My new (very) parttime job

SO …. In addition to my ‘day job’ (that takes up 52.5 hours/week including commute) …. I ALSO have taken on a very (very) parttime job.

You may have seen this on Facebook already – but I am the Studio Manager for Maggie Keegan Gross Photography!!

My first official day was Jan 15 … and since then I work about 5 hours each week.

Duties include customer service-type work (like scheduling appointments, taking payments, etc), some marketing work (like writing blurbs for her newsletter or researching getting published) and assisting on photo shoots (like carrying 2 dining room chairs in and out of Placerita Canyon State Park).

It’s fun and it’s interesting, and it’s the kind of job I am actually really good at.

Plus I get to work with/for Maggie, who I’ve known for YEARS.

I get to do most of the work from home, in whatever hours I have.

And I get free headshots :)

So, you know. Forgive the sparse posting here in the last few months. I’ve been BUSY!

What’s new with you?

{ 1 comment }

Took some maternity photos this morning

In AZ this weekend ….



… Posted via iPhone from the car. I love technology!


unprofessional wedding photographer

As a wedding photographer, sometimes I take (and keep) photos that are not flattering to the photo subject. That may seem unprofessional of me, I know.

I don’t even care.

Those are real moments that make the wedding (or party or portrait) genuine and not staged.

I love moments like that.

SO! In honor of Kaitlin and Joe’s 1 year anniversary (tomorrow) …. Here are some behind-the-scenes, slightly goofy, imperfect and full-of-fun photos from their wedding….











Related: Katie and Joe’s wedding photos are (finally) all edited and online.

You can view them here:

Joe and Kaitlin’s wedding rehearsal

Joe and Kaitlin’s wedding


eBook review: How to Shoot your Kids!

Waaaaay back about a year ago when I launched Lemon and Raspberry, I created a small, free ebook with 3 simple techniques to get better photos. It’s still available, but it probably needs a redesign, and frankly – I’ve found a more thorough replacement to recommend.

Our friend Maggie just released her eBook : How to Shoot your Kids!

It’s a quick and easy guide to taking better photos of your kids no matter what camera you have!

Maggie discuss all the NON-TECHNICAL ways to improve your photography – using images of her adorable 3 year old as examples. Just paying attention to the lighting and the composition can help your images so much more – even if you have no idea what an f-stop is.

“The secret to getting better photos isn’t in your camera manual. It’s not about the technical, it’s about the technique.”

I strongly believe that if you’re going to spend the money on a big fancy SLR camera, you owe it to yourself to learn how to use it. But EQUALLY important is to practice your composition, your interaction with your models and recognizing the best parts of your location.

Plus, included in this eBook are those techniques that can make your point-and-shoot camera photos truly impressive!

You can check out the table of contents and some page examples below:




No lie : My favorite chapter is when Maggie talks about the ‘tricks of the trade’ …. basically some little hints about how to get kids to smile more naturally and interact with you. So very important when you’ve got kids who may not be interested in getting their photo taken.

So, really … If your photos need a little oomph, take a few extra dollars and invest in this eBook. You do NOT need a fancy camera to get good photos. You do NOT need to shoot manually to get good photos. You just need to learn about a few factors to pay attention to.

Totally doable.

This eBook is $8 regular price – but Maggie is offering a special discount for Lemon and Raspberry readers!!

Visit this page to purchase How to Shoot your Kids! eBook and use the discount code: SCHUBERTS to get the eBook for only $5.

$5 my friends. If you can’t afford $5 you’re drinking too much Starbucks :)

If you’re interested in WINNING a free copy, please visit Lemon and Raspberry and enter the giveaway there!

Full disclosure: Maggie sent me a free copy of the eBook so I could review it honestly before offering it as a giveaway.


I am so excited to announce the launch of my newest website and venture : Lemon and Raspberry!

Lemon and Raspberry is a website/blog that will be updated regularly (daily, possibly) on a variety of topics that fall under the umbrella of arts, crafts, inspiration and photography.

I have a lot of fun things planned – included DIY projects, photography lessons, online chats, blogging resources and maybe even an etsy site with some handmade creations.

I’d love if you joined me over there every day and your feedback is most welcome….


In honor of the new site, today I am launching a FREE ebook on better photography.

This 29 page pdf features 3 really easy ways to make your images even better.

All the steps are completely do-able with any camera you have – do NOT think you need to buy a fancy dSLR to make better images.

Each of the 3 steps includes

  • the how and why
  • possible drawbacks
  • unexpected advantages
  • examples from my photography and others
  • extra credit projects

This ebook is completely free. No need to shell out a couple bucks or join a mailing list. Just download it to your computer and start playing!

Please click on the image below to visit Lemon and Raspberry ….


I’m very much looking forward to Monday – May 3!

I have a new website launching and I can’t wait to share it with all of you.

I’m talking inspiration, I’m talking crafts and DIY, I’m talking paint and projects and fabric and photography.

Maybe even an Etsy shop!

I hope you’ll all join me Monday, when I’ll reveal more!


I love living in Los Angeles.

There are always so many things to see, visit, tour, experience ….

I make Andrew come with me to as many as I can (it’s not as fun going alone), and recently we went to the Getty Center to catch the Irving Penn “Small Trades” exhibit before it went away.

Not only do I love the art – photography especially – at the Getty, but I love making a ‘date day’ out of it. On this Sunday in December, the museum was remarkably empty. We had a nice quiet lunch at the cafe (warm enough to eat outside), and strolled through the garden on our way to the photography wing.

irvingPenn  001

irvingPenn  002

irvingPenn  003

About the Exhibit (from the Getty website):

Working in Paris, London and New York in the early 1950s, photographer Irving Penn (American, 1917-2009) created masterful representations of skilled tradespeople dressed in work clothes and carrying the tools of their occupations. A neutral backdrop and natural light provided the stage on which his subjects could present themselves with dignity and pride. Penn revisited his Small Trades series over many decades, producing evermore-exacting prints, including platinum/palladium enlargements. In 2008 the J. Paul Getty Museum acquired the most comprehensive group of these images, carefully selected by the photographer – 155 gelatin silver prints and 97 platinum/palladium prints – that are being exhibited in their entirety for the first time.

About Irving Penn

Irving Penn was one of the most respected photographers of the 20th century. In a career that began at the premiere fashion magazine Vogue in 1943 and spans more than six decades, he created innovative fashion, still life, and portrait studies. His photographs are defined by the elegant simplicity and meticulous rigor that became the trademarks of his style.

I really loved the idea of documenting the outfits, tools and personalities behind all the jobs that Penn did. Everything from head waiter to sand blaster to cowboy. In 3 different cities (interesting contrasts between the butchers of the various cities, for example).

Check out some examples of the Small Trades show here

Sadly, Irving Penn actually died in October 2009, while his exhibit was up at the Getty.

View more of his artwork here – and here.


The last weekend in August, we drove down to San Diego (just for Sunday) to see a photography exhibit at the San Diego Museum of Art on Richard Avedon’s Portraits of Power.

I’m fairly certain I have never been to the San Diego Museum of Art … and if I have I must have been very very young and didn’t drive and therefore didn’t know where it is.

All that to say – MapQuest directions were bad and we got lost trying to find the place …. but, we had an Italian language CD to entertain us as we circled blocks. Plus, I don’t know when the last time Andrew was in San Diego, but he didn’t realize there was a bridge to an island just off the coast there. He was pretty excited. We’ll have to go back.

Anyway – finally found it. In Balboa Park. Near another museum with a poster for a “Skull Stories” exhibit. If only we had planned for that too ….


Maybe we’re just not all that smart, but it seemed like the parking situation at SDMA was unnecessarily difficult. It appeared that the museum was at the end of this narrow (narrow) street, populated with other museums, trees, gardens, these fun strings of light, etc. This street was at the far end of a narrow bridge. At the close end of the narrow bridge there was NO indication that if you want to park, you really should turn before the bridge and park on one of these side streets, because otherwise you’ll drive across the bridge and down the narrow street only to turn around at the dead-end and go back.

So, we learned the hard way.

Don’t make the same mistake we did.

{sidenote: I love these strings of lights. I love the big, white bulbs. I’m going to get similar ones to string in our backyard when we buy a house}



(sidenote: yes, we drove all the way to the end, all the way back, found parking not too close and walked the whole length of the bridge/street again)




I forgive them the parking, though, because of the pleasant surprise that greeted us when we (finally) got to the museum.

The photography exhibit ended Sept 6, and with Andrew’s work and all the other things we had planned, there was only a couple days that we could have made the trip to see the show – one of them being Aug 30.

Lucky us – August 30 happened to be the day that Target Corporation was there hosting a ‘Family’ Day and the museum was free! We saved almost $25 just by luck.

One more reason I genuinely like Target.


I was too chicken respectful to take photos stealthily while inside the exhibit.

But one of my favorite San Diego wedding photographers did. You can see his quick shot here.

Richard Avedon ….. is amazing. I want to be like him.

I love learning about photography, and photographers, and Richard Avedon’s portrait work is SO up my alley.

I’m fairly certain there’s probably a few of his pics in my Vanity Fair: The Portraits: A Century of Iconic Images book (affiliate link).

The Portraits of Power exhibit was a collection of portraits of individuals/groups from throughout the American political landscape. From the site:

Richard Avedon, America’s pre-eminent portraitist and fashion photographer, portrayed significant figures of the American political landscape throughout his career. This exhibition brings together Avedon’s work on the subjects of politics and power for the first time. Juxtaposing more than 200 images of government, media, business, and labor officials with photographs of artists, activists, and ordinary citizens caught up in national debates, Richard Avedon: Portraits of Power explores a five-decade photographic inquiry by one of our finest artists.

It was so very interesting. I love that his images were so intimate and raw. Even when the subject was standing and just gazing straight at the camera, you could still get an idea of that person’s character, personality, their feeling about being photographed.

It’s so interesting to me.

Here’s a small glimpse of the gallery.

You may also purchase this collection and many of his other photographs in book form. I would LOVE love love to have any of these books. I’m especially partial to his work with artists/actors/performers. I want to someday have a big luxurious collection of photography books for inspiration and eye candy.

All that to say – I really really enjoyed seeing these images and I’m so grateful to Andrew for going with me and driving all the way to San Diego and back in one day. And for letting me sleep in the car.

I love learning new things, I love learning about photographers, and I LOVE that Andrew is such a big support of both of those …


I’m such a great helper

I often get to assist Amy at her photography gigs. I like to joke around that I’m her second shooter (2nd Shooters, whispered, throwing the metal sign!) but I’m really just the guy that watches the gear and holds the bags. It’s a lot of fun because I know it’s easier for her to not have to carry around 4 cameras and a bunch of lenses and her computer etc. and I get to see her in action. And I think she’s pretty cute when she’s in action, trying to get wedding parties pumped up and excited about group shots, or attempting to get the attention of a small child and trick it into looking at the camera for 1/2 a second. Usually I have to get dressed up pretty nice for the weddings. Black slacks & a black button up, or tan old man pants and a western shirt with a brown tie (Chris & Nichole’s wedding). She usually pays me an hourly rate to help her out and I get to spend time with her and I’ve occasionally walked into a few shots and was promptly told to get out of the way. If I’m her assistant that means that I drive to the location, and I know she loves that. Mostly though, I just enjoy watching her do something that she loves and that she is really great at. I can’t wait until the day when she has a photography studio in the house and it is her full-time job. Below are a couple of pictures of me assisting her. I’m definitely wearing my orange Hot Snakes shirt in one. That was during the Keegan-Gross 5 Year Anniversary shots (actually, that photo was too large to insert, so unless Amy helps me resize it you won’t see it)




lots of thinking today …

so … today. … not going to work … have class in a few hours … I’ve been having a very … cerebral (?is that the word I want) morning of homework and dreaming and brainstorming …

I’ve been reading Elsie Flannigan’s blog ( all morning … that girl is awesome … she’s pretty much my age (w/in a few months, I think) and she’s doing exactly what she wants … scrapping and designing and creating … along with working in an art studio (I think) part time and being fabulously happy w/ her husband …

This girl also had a (short) career in wedding photography, and doesn’t appear to have any formal training in any of these things … which makes me wonder if I really want to go to school forever to get a PhD …

I would love love love to be a photographer (like, or … I would love to be able to scrap 6 hours/day (like Elsie) … but I also love my English classes … so, the question is … do I have to choose?

do I quit school (part way through my Masters program) and start all over in a new career? Hoping I can do it? Do I finish my degrees as planned (get my PhD and go on to be a professor) and pursue photography/scrapping on the side? Do I need a degree in photography? Do I like English enough to teach it? Am I good enough at either to be successful? How much artsy stuff can I do while still in graduate school? Any thoughts?

I’ve been planning my photography/scrapping company today too … the name/colors/website/logo/services/prices, etc … I need to talk to Andrew about all of this, of course …

So … that’s today … I’m going to do some more design dreaming, even though I should be doing homework!

Ah well …

PS. tentative name … “Blithe Images” … a very slight reference to some books that always inspire me … Anne of Green Gables, etc. …