Ok so just like my photomate (a photographer friend) LDPhotography I have also been found guilty of neglecting my blog. To be honest it will happen again.    However, I have wanted for some time to express my concerns about a subject I am sure will touch everyone that reads it. Maybe it is because of my military and church background do I find this a very important element of my life.

But it amazing me, or should I more correctly say it sometimes is upsetting to see how people do not understand such an important principle to doing business, operating within a relationship, or just going about everyday life. Protocol 3a: a code prescribing strict adherence to correct etiquette and precedence (as in diplomatic exchange and in the military services) .

As a young man I had the honor to learn how a young gentle should treat and escort a young lady. I received formal training in order to escort a woman coming of age to her official presentation to higher society – She would be known as a Debutante.

Because of that training it was easy for me to understand that in anything you do there are a set of rules to follow.

Etiquette (one of my favorite words) speaks of Etiquette (pronounced [,eti’ket]) is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group. The French word étiquette, signifying ticket (of admission, etc.) first appeared in English around 1750.
Rules of etiquette encompass most aspects of social interaction in any society, though the term itself is not commonly used. A rule of etiquette may reflect an underlying ethical code, or it may reflect a person’s fashion or status. Rules of etiquette are usually unwritten, but aspects of etiquette have been codified from time to time.
In short I am referring to Manners; you know that principle moms, dads, and your grandmother always did their best to instill in you. Protocol!

Well it seems that in the photography business people have forgotten all about it.  So I would like to share a little on it now.
1. If you call me for my rates and they are outside of your budget.  Be adult enough to say, “That is outside of my budget, thank you for your time.” Or “Thank you I will continue to shop around.”    How is it people are so comfortable with lying, it is lying when you “Ok, I will give you a call back when I am ready”, when you know you will not call back, because you either, cannot afford the rate, or you are not willing to pay that amount.

2. Do not set up a meeting and on the day of the meeting fail to call to say you cannot make it. Thing happen from time to time. But I recently had someone tell me they forgot and went to sleep. But that was after we talked and confirmed the appointment earliey that morning.

3. DO NOT schedule a date for a photoshoot when you know you have no intention of making the deposit, paying for the shoot or showing up. Just have the mental fortitude to say, “I CAN NOT AFFORD THAT, OR I HAVE FOUND SOMEONE ELSE WHO PRICE FITS MY BUDGET”.

SN: Removing someone from your friend’s list on Facebook will let them know two things:
a. You are a coward
b. You know nothing about protocol.
I could add so much more to this but those are the ones that is important in my mind right now.  Just for my readers’ information people who conduct business in the above mention manner only have one time to do so with me.  I do not give them the chance to disrespect my time and talent ever again.


Who Is That In My Way?

I often tell my Bride and Groom the importance I place of the day of their wedding.  With the advent of portable cameras and camera phones it is difficult to ensure exclusive coverage at such events.  Everyone wants to take pictures for their family members to see and or for their online page etc…

At a wedding in Savannah Ga on October 10, 2010 one of the guest asked the Bridesmaid a question, “Who is that guy with the hat on, he keeps getting in my way?!” her reply, “You mean the guy who is the official photographer for the wedding?”

How often it is that people forget that at most wedding somebody may be paid to capture moments of such an important event.  Years will go by, but the moments frozen by my lense will continue to give years of smiles and even laughing out loud.

Proper lighting, angles and a creative eye is what I provide to my clients and awesome wedding day captures as well as stunning post work to make sure they will have frozen moments that causes them to say WOW!

So when you are at the next wedding or event; please be on the look out for the man or woman who just may be the people hired to capture those moments frozen in time…. AND MAKE SURE YOU STAY OUT OF HIS/HER WAY !



         Wow you never know when you will find a inspiring thought!  Today I decided to have a little me time to think over an issue I am dealing with and went to the driving range.  I felt like hitting something, yet life as taught me to stay cool and calm on the outside no matter what is going on internally.   

“Life like Golf can sometimes be a four letter word that can sometimes be  belligerent.”   W James Hunter, US Navy Chief Ret

      I must admit that being 50 years of age I have learned over the years of my life how to be ready for the attacks that life present.   God during mylife has been good to me, even with the diagnoses of  Diabetes and High blood pressure (both well under control thank God). 

     But what if we do not allow Life to attack us, what if WE ATTACK IT?!   I think one of the great challenges and responsibilities those of us who are older and mature in the things of life have is to share with those who are coming behind us.

      So while practicing my swing and releasing some internal stress and pressure I saw a ball that said, “Attack Life” and began to think; that is what we must do, ATTACK LIFE.    Do not all allow life to attack us, but we should have a strategy to attack it.    Aplan, a goal for our life and when Life Attacks us it would have a hard time caughting up!  Because we are on the move and making forward progress towards what we have set our hearts and minds on.    That which God has revealed to us as His plan for our walk in this Life.

“Attack Life, DONT LET IT ATTACK YOU”  W James Hunter, US Navy Ret Sept 2010

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called , and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses…. 1 Timothy 6:12


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The Cost…

The Cost….

I am still amazed that people really think they should be able to come to a professional photographer and get better prices than they would going to places like the mall or other established retail photography sources.    

        Where do I start? How can I explain to the customer what it takes to be very good at what most people think anybody can do?  With the advent of camera phones, pocket cameras; both which provides the takers of the photo instant satisfaction of seeing what they have captured…

          I am equally amazed at how creative I can and am when it comes to photography; for more than 35 years I have considered myself more of an intellectual (geared more to the reading, leaning and teaching side of life).   I love to read but only inspirational, motivational and non –fictional sources.   I look for things that add to the quality of my life and the lives of those around me.   

           I started photography out of a love for the formation of clouds; the sky is what turned me on… it still has my attention.  After learning how to repair a jet engine for the Navy, I thought to myself one day… “If I can repair a jet engine I should be able to build a computer.”  So I learned how and started building my own personal computers. Years later I got certified to diagnose, repair, built PC’s.  

          Then I started learning more about computer programs from the standpoint of how to use them.  While serving as a Navy Career Counselor I had to produce reports for the Commanding Officer, Department Heads, Chiefs, and Leading Petty Officers.    Harvard Graphics was a very popular program with the Navy as well as Word Perfect and later Office Word.   I had some of the best reports because I made it easy for the reader.

        In any case years later this would allow me the skill set to be of help to a photographer, who is responsible for me being a full time photographer now.

        So now I am a fulltime photographer and because I have developed my portfolio I very rarely have to shoot for free (TF – Time For I.E. PHOTO, CD, PRINTS) for the purpose of developing my portfolio.   Yet as photographer there are times when I see someone that I want to photograph… but that is my choice.

            So how do you put a price on years of experience and keeping up with new technologies?  The hours of training, reading and testing out processes and theory?   I am typing this blog entry and watching a photography training video – multitasking at it best.  

                So here is the punch line… when you contact a photographer  telling  him or her about how much you like their work,  and ask for the price of a photo shoot, event, or headshots; do not insult them by telling them how over priced their rates are.   “You will do better to say I cannot afford that at this time”, or “That is more than I am able to pay.”   The COST is based on a lot of other factors… 



I like this quote because it applies to many things in life.. but most of all it is a solid principle in PHOTOGRAPHY..

Make sure you are not just clicking away because your camera can shoot at a fast speed. I often have to remind my subject that THIS IS STILL PHOTOGRAPHY.. so be still… dont move just because I have not fired the button.. I may be waiting for focus, or for someone to pass by in the background.. a fly maybe in my view that I do or do not want in the shot.

Every great photographer should have a sense for what is about to happen.. when shooting outside I am listening and feeling for the effect of the wind.. why? Sometimes the wind will provide you with a one in a million shot.     Hair slightly blown, a dress kissed with a touch of movement, the model looking away for just a moment.. NOW THAT IS PHOTOGRAPHY

It is the job of the photographer to capture what is seen 99% of the time.. that is what makes for your personal style of Photography.. .every now and then you may luck up on a shot, but for the most it should be your skill and style that is protrayed in the photographs that you capture… THEY WILL KNOW IT IS YOURS WITHOUT YOUR LOGO BEING ON IT… but make sure you put it on there anyway…. LOL


Favorite Site

Ok after 24 1/2 active Naval Service, 8 months of playing Golf, 2 years at Blue Cross Blue Shield (FEP Customer Service), 3 mos at Sears (Training and HR), 16 Mos at Medical Services Company (Pharmacy Department Trainer – my dream job at the time). I started full time as a photographer. I must admit I am a little surprised how creative I can be when it comes to photography. I have been a technical person since my late teens. Jet Mechanic for the Navy from age 18 – 29; another time I was surprised.. Complete Engine Repair on a Aircraft wow… before the Navy I was a Tae-Kwon-Do champion; skilled at my art and proud of it. I put in long hours to be the top of my dojo and in my division.

Being the Chief in the Navy was one of my greatest accomplishments and I AM STILL THE CHIEF.

My ability to inspire and motivate is a gift from God. The power of speech He has blessed me with is something I cannot get away from and at this time do not want to get away from it.

Photography gives me the ability to show others what I see through my lens. To capture a moment and freeze it for others to view the awesome look on a woman’s face when she is looking away, the smile in the eyes of a child, or the kid that is grabbing something to eat at a wedding.
The ability to bring to life the idea that someone has for a photoshoot theme. And my greatest joy; to have someone say, “No one has ever capture a beautiful picture of me like you do.” or “Is that really me?”

I want them to see what I see, to view themselves from a different angle, or to know that they can be as sexy as the women they see in magazines, heck I even had a male client marvel at how GQ he looked in front of my lens. But again that is THE POWER OF PHOTOGRAPHY.

So here are a few of my favorite site…


I will be sharing more through this blog

MJ Images Photography & Graphic Design 
Contact me if you are interested in my services:  904-347-1041