Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia: Blog en-us (C) Timothy Carlson, CPP (Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) Fri, 08 Sep 2017 14:38:00 GMT Fri, 08 Sep 2017 14:38:00 GMT Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia: Blog 90 120 It's Friday! Good day and welcome to your weekend!

We all look towards the weekend for that wonderful break in the stress and moments to recharge.  On that note, let's keep a watchful eye out for all the people who work the weekends.  For them, your pleasure may be their daily bread.  Their stress may be high when you are trying to relax.  If you can, keep them in mind and let them do their job.   RHHF-134_peRHHF-134_pe

Now I ask, why wait for the weekend to have fun?  Try to find the pleasure in your daily tasks.  The quiet on the drive to work can help you focus.  The time we have with our spouses--doing the run of the mill tasks--are not to be wasted.  And the "healthy" food and trips to the gym are there to give us long life.  Sure, we know all these things but let us take a minute and think...not everyone has a job, a spouse, a gym, or even food to take for granted. Don't wait for the perfect time to dance.  Look for the music, fill your spirit, and enjoy this moment you have.  The upcoming moment is all there is.  Take time to build a dream and reach for it.   trout-P11409691140969-EditStudioCPhotography¬©2017trout-P11409691140969-EditStudioCPhotography©2017

For all my photographer buddies, you want inspiration?  Attend PPA Imaging USA in January.  Guaranteed to lift you up! yesiamppalogo_redyesiamppalogo_redPPA Logo, Logo for PPA, Professional Photographers of America Logo, Photography Association, Photographers Association, See The Difference, See The Difference Campaign

]]> (Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) Fri, 08 Sep 2017 14:37:49 GMT
Beauty is... Unless you have been sleeping for 70 years or just born, you know of Dame Helen Mirren--decorated and talented actor who was recently interviewed by Allure Magazine.  The article was a pleasure to read but what struck me was her answer to being a sex-symbol at 72.  Her response to a woman's 'sexiness' is, "a theory that it's rooted in confidence." "It's an interior power that comes from her intelligence.  When intelligence is combined with beauty, it's extraordinary..."  Ladies, and gentlemen, your beauty comes from within.  The confidence...the glint in your eye is the beauty we all enjoy.   The rest is just window dressing.  Value yourself and the smile will be beautiful.


]]> (Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) Mon, 21 Aug 2017 15:23:08 GMT
Culpeper's Downtown Artists Have you seen Downtown Culpeper?  Last night we had a new artist enjoy a festive crowd at their ribbon cutting.  The Sweets were there, the Chamber was there, the spirit was there, and the people came.  We had bottled water, brownie samples, microphones, and traffic control.  So what does this have to do with photography?  Well I was there with a few photographers as well but the artistic planning was there before we came to wish them well.

When you plan an event--party, wedding, appointment, whatever--you need to ask, "what do we wish to accomplish?"  I look for a skilled attorney to handle my legal needs and a different skilled Pro to take care of my car.  So please ask questions before you dive into something you may not fully understand.  Did you know a cupcake will cook different than a thicker cake?  Did you know the accent lighting needed for someone with dark hair is different for someone who is fair?  The folks from Seriously Sweet took a lot of time to plan their ribbon cutting last night.  The planning of a street event or the baking of 1200 cupcakes for a Bride's wedding takes some Seriously Sweet artistic talent as well as serious business planning.  

I don't know what expertise you have, but I pray you will enjoy the skills of the small business people who are eager to work for you.  And if you enjoy you favorite...stylist, deli-lady, cheese expert, photographer, them and tell others. Some people have not had the pleasure to work with an artist or to visit Culpeper's famous Downtown.

]]> (Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) artist culpeper photo Sat, 05 Aug 2017 16:01:44 GMT
I like to take pictures, I have a camera, am I a Pro ?!? Hi Guys,


Today this may sound like your Dad talking to you--so in honor of Father's Day, here goes!


I was reminded this morning of a conversation I had after I got my first real 35 mm SLR back in the late 70's.  Back then, I was feeling so cool--knocking out color and B/W images of family, friends, and beautiful landscapes.  I had shot weddings--for free--for a variety of friends and they were more impressed with my work than their paid photographer!  I asked a photographer friend for advice on getting started in the business.  He started talking about contracts, business licensing, federal id numbers, accountants, lawyers, and dangers to avoid.  I wanted the tricks, the cool lenses, best camera body, and what toys I needed to have in the camera bag.  He told me stories of equipment failures at the church, batteries that were suddenly dead, drunk guests that damage your camera, clients that split up after the wedding and refuse to pay their bill, and wedding venues that change at the last minute and you are not told, and on an on.  


The story was--film is art and photography is a business.  We all want to see the best and prettiest outcome; but as business owners, we need to be ready for any event.  There are many legal requirements that artists are not imagining.  As I moved from county to town, I needed a town business license.  If I use my car, I may not be able to take the personal property discount for my now "business" car.   Then we must be ready for the "I don't like these so I am going to sue you" conversation.  Or the "you have 15 minutes to take the 120 poses on the list and we can't find the Bride."  (That is 1 poses every 7.5 seconds.)  And when you come to Tax time, you will find out about taxes you did not know existed.  


Now I am not here to bring you down.  But as my father told me, do a job you love but ask questions.  Don't get penalized on a rookie mistake if you can help it.  If you are taking money for a job--you are responsible for the work.  The reason you build a doghouse or swing set is because you enjoy the work.  But your house is built by those with training and the right equipment.   So if you want to be a Doctor or a Professional Photographer, get the right advice so you can get the training and enjoy the work you do.

yesiamppalogo_redyesiamppalogo_redPPA Logo, Logo for PPA, Professional Photographers of America Logo, Photography Association, Photographers Association, See The Difference, See The Difference Campaign

]]> (Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) PPA Fri, 16 Jun 2017 22:47:38 GMT
Hobby or business? WeddingBookWeddingBook Pros--they seem to be different.  When I am at the gym, they stand out by their abilities and their dedication.  When at the garage, they have tools and training that make the job look so easy.  And a trained builder can construct a beautiful house that is straight, true, level, and lasts for years to come.  And of course, we want our pilots, doctors, and military to be the best because their job is important.  They have to be able to do the job, no matter what, and then do it again.

So, on special occasions--births, wedding, graduations, reunions...don't rely on your cell phone or the new skills of someone with a cool camera that wants to help.  Hire a professional.  Someone who can anticipate and adapt to changes and surprises.  They will be there to deliver your work, answer questions, and help you in the future.  For them, it more than a hobby.  

Go to and search for what you need and where you need them.  And remember, during your search you can specify Certified Professional Photographers only.  They have been through extensive training and testing so you can be sure to get a professional! 

]]> (Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) Wed, 24 May 2017 21:57:29 GMT
Don't forget to ask! Good day friends.

A wife asks her husband to hang a new mirror on the bedroom wall.  Being the good husband, he grabs his tools, and hangs the mirror before going to work.  The wife calls her hubby and asks him to rehang the mirror when he gets home.   You see, the husband was over 6' tall and the wife was closer to 5'2".  Did the husband do what was asked of him?  Yes.  Was his wife happy?  No.  The husband put the mirror at his eye-level.   Opps!


Funny stories like this are told every day.  When it is a big party, wedding, special celebration, business event--make sure things go as planned.  Ask your photographer if they are board certified and trained in the style of work you are requesting.  Ask if they have insurance.   Do they have a contract with the correct times, locations, and dates?  Do they have backup equipment with them in case a lens, flash, or camera, stops working during the event? 


If you are the photographer, your client should be asking these questions.  But just like my story, the wife didn't know she needed to ask if he would put the mirror at her level.  No one wants a sad story after the event. Ask the questions--even the silly ones--and be assured you will only have good memories.

]]> (Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) Mon, 15 May 2017 23:26:14 GMT
Professional Photographer As artists and business people, we should strive for excellence and ethical practices in our work. Not everyone wants to go the distance and that, unfortunately, reflects on the rest of us.


Case in point, a recent client asked me to print another photographer's work. It seems she hired someone to do a boudoir session that was a "great price." The $400 session included a rented room, 2 bottles of wine, and printing rights to the images. The photographer did not even offer prints or albums of the work. Since the room was rented, room clean up and furniture resetting would be left to housekeeping staff. The images were on a disc but my client could not open the images from the RAW format the photographer supplied. When the images were copied to JPEG my client still could not get them printed at the drug store. Hence she came to me. Her photographer had never given her a usage license for printing or receipt. Once everything was resolved, the images sorted, cropped and retouched, and a few printed for the intended gift, I have a new satisfied client.


My point, however, is how many people would just give up--pointing to the questionable photographer? Or be too embarrassed to do anything? How many innkeepers would see the cameras and lights and remember the trashy expense of the last photographer's session? To fellow professionals, keep up your good work, act professionally, and demand others treat you accordingly. PPA and VPPA offer wonderful training and support to all types of Photographic Artists. The proper portfolio and business approach is a great introduction to potential partners and clients.

I am sure there are those who will still see our craft as meaningless; but, just remember the lives we touch when we do our job well.

]]> (Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) Fri, 24 Mar 2017 15:32:08 GMT
Manual for snow A friend of mine was complaining her snow photos were dark and dreary.  She bought a "nice" camera and even in the Auto Program mode she is retouching and brightening all the images.  Well, we had some snow today and she reached out again so we had a practical experiment. Snow-P11408881140888Snow-P11408881140888 Snow-P11408951140895Snow-P11408951140895CAMERA Manual 1 stop over


First off, when you are using the camera's internal meter, you are registering the light coming off your subject.  When I use a hand held meter, I am reading the light falling on the subject.  The camera meter wants to make the reflective light value equal a nice 18% grey color.  So, anything white will come out grey--if the camera has its way.  You could invest in a nice meter or as a quick trick--use the camera meter and then over expose.


The first image is a straight camera Program shot.  We recorded the values the camera chose-- F3.2 1/4000, switched the camera to Manual mode, put the camera's values back in--F3.2 1/4000 and then changed the Shutter speed to 1/2000 and took the second shot.  We did it again at F3.2 1/1000 of a second for the third shot.  By doing this, we told the camera to keep the shutter open longer which will make the image whiter. Snow-P11408961140896Snow-P11408961140896


So, if you want to control the white's of the snow, bride's dress, cake, beach sand,...take your reading, record it, copy it, and then adjust to your liking.

]]> (Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) #white snow Tue, 14 Mar 2017 19:41:22 GMT
Smiling eyes I just saw a Facebook friend celebrating the engagement of her best friend.  My first thought should have been to rush a wedding brochure out to them.  Surely my FB friend will be the maid of honor and would put in a good word for me.  Or perhaps, a big shout from my website...a call to action....  That's what I should have done; but, the artist in me just saw their smiles and their eyes.   And you know, that's what it is all about.  Not the rush to a business deal but the emotion in the heart.  

When we are moved by a moment--and lucky enough to have it captured on canvas or in a small frame--it brings us joy each time we see those eyes or that smile.   Those memories take us back in time.  To that moment or one like it.  

Do you remember the smell of your father or grandfather's aftershave?  Or the smell of fresh laundry dried outside on a summer's day.? I can't reproduce the smells but I hope to bring you back in time with an image.  All I need is your smiling eyes. RHHF-148RHHF-148

]]> (Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) Culpeper wedding Tue, 03 Jan 2017 21:57:44 GMT
Christmas 2016 StudioCPhotography-DSCF5541PP-StudioCPhotography-DSCF5541PP- Just a quick not to say Thank you and Merry Christmas to all our clients, family, and friends!  We have enjoyed all the prints, frames, gifts, and last minute restorations we have been delivering this week.  Remember the reason we are here is help you capture, and share those special memories.  Enjoy your holiday and celebrate the moments you have!

]]> (Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) Sat, 17 Dec 2016 19:47:09 GMT
Lighting option 401  We had a little fun demonstrating lighting ideas at the Studio tonight.  We started with a single light, added bounce cards to fill in the shadows.  Moved them around for effect....  Then we added an accent strip light...then a hair light, adjusted angles, and finally removed the bounce card to add shadow and interest.  

The last two are one with built in camera flash and one with bounce light only.   

Your lights are your tools--even if it is only sunlight!  Play with them to get the effect you want.

Studio C Photography-9901Studio C Photography-99011 light-softbox/Broad lighting Studio C Photography-9902Studio C Photography-99021 light-softbox/Broad lighting+
Bounce Card @ 2'
Studio C Photography-9903Studio C Photography-99031 light-softbox/Broad lighting +
Bounce card @ 1'
Studio C Photography-9904Studio C Photography-99041 light-softbox/Broad lighting +
Bounce card @ 1', brought to front
Studio C Photography-9905Studio C Photography-99051 light-softbox/Broad lighting +
Bounce card @ 1', front +
Accent light
Studio C Photography-9906Studio C Photography-99061 light-softbox/Broad lighting +
Bounce card @ 1', front +
Accent light + Hair light in front
Studio C Photography-9908Studio C Photography-99081 light-softbox/Broad lighting +
Bounce card @ 1', front +
Accent light + Hair light in rear
Studio C Photography-9909Studio C Photography-99091 light-softbox/Broad lighting +
Bounce card @ 1', front +
Accent light + Hair light in Rear +
REMOVE Bounce card
Studio C Photography-9910Studio C Photography-9910Built in camera flash only Studio C Photography-9912Studio C Photography-9912Bounce light from left only

]]> (Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) Wed, 12 Oct 2016 00:01:36 GMT
Hiring the right person for your Wedding How do you have a successful wedding?  Ask or say yes to the "right" person.

Then ask the "right" questions to each other about your ceremony.  Then hire the "right" people to fulfill your dreams.  Easy...Right?  


How do you find the "right" vendors?  Social media, yellow pages, ask a friend,, local chamber of commerce, your minister, wedding planner, Bridal magazine, local newspaper, local Photography Studio, Professional Photographers of America--Find a photographer search engine, Google....    All of the above can work.  And they each have their Pros and Cons.  Please...Please take some time, ask questions about the questions you need to ask!  And don't grab the first guy because you are overwhelmed, tired, or because they are the cheapest.   That can be a costly mistake in hidden costs or things you want but are not included in the cheapest package.  

]]> (Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) Culpeper planning wedding Mon, 03 Oct 2016 17:51:01 GMT
Ask+Listen=Happy I want to share a tip I use with my Wedding Clients.  First, I ask the Bride what are the 5 most important things about her wedding.


  I explain this will help me to safe-guard those memories for her.  Then I ask the Groom the same thing.  I know this feels like the Newlywed Game; but often, I find Men and Women have different ways of experiencing the same event.  So when we are done, I have a clearer idea of what they both want, they understand what is important to each other, and we are able to work together.   Communication is a wonderful thing!

]]> (Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) Mon, 29 Aug 2016 15:34:19 GMT
Did you consider.... StudioCPhotography_¬©2016QandA-66856685StudioCPhotography_©2016QandA-66856685 Kennebec Boundary PackYour wedding may be super simple or an extravaganza!  Don't rely on the basic snap shots. Talk to a Certified Pro Photographer.  They can capture the memories around you while you are living your dream.   (Have you thought about wedding during the week?  You may save $$.)


Tim Carlson, CPP

Studio C Photography


]]> (Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) fun wedding Sat, 20 Aug 2016 15:10:16 GMT
FREE Senior photo session? The summer is here, the vacations, summer jobs, and soon...your senior year.  At Studio C Photography this summer, we are offering a bonus on your senior session.   

  1. Buy any photo session--studio, downtown, on the farm, at the lake,...  
  2.  Star in your session and book your preview  Canavan_Stephanie-9218-EditCanavan_Stephanie-9218-Edit
  3. After your preview, for the next 30 days, you can use 100% of your session payment to buy any of our senior collections or prints! 

Don't wait.  Book your session now at Studio C Photography, downtown Culpeper.


]]> (Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) Culpeper fun seniors Wed, 01 Jun 2016 20:42:26 GMT
Enjoy your hometown Come to Downtown Culpeper on Saturday mornings for some friendly neighborhood flavor.  You will meet bakers sharing their wares, fresh veggies and fresh plants, hear and taste hot fresh kettle corn, and as always the people, the children, and our four-legged friends just walking around.   If you have never purchased fresh eggs, farm raised meats, unique spices, or various sweets, give it a try.  If not for the food, the wonderful experience.

]]> (Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) culpeper Sat, 07 May 2016 16:09:34 GMT
Pride vs Self esteem I just finished the second of two shoots that should have been so easy.  One was a high school senior and the other was a mom of a high school senior.   Both ladies were very attractive.  Their skin was smooth, their hair was styled, they clothes fit well and were in fashion.  Both were smiling, arrived on time, and were very pleasant.  We discussed their photographic needs, I positioned the lights, added the colored gels, and took the light meter readings.  Then...I moved to the camera and things changed.  

As I was adjusting the proper settings, I noticed my subjects stopped talking.  They commented the idea of being photographed brought them a great deal of anxiety.  One had been told she was ugly in a photo--the picture was bad-- and needed to be redone-- without the goofy grin.  See had been 6 years old.   The other had been told to embrace her bad qualities because pride is a sin.  I have been photographing people for over 30 years and I have heard this before.  Some people are looking for compliments, some reassurance, but some are near the edge of the cliff and really need support.  

I want to impress two things today.

  • We are most critical of ourselves.  It is hard to see yourself honestly.  And in today's world, everything is okay even if it is a poor choice.  Find someone you can have honest dialog with and trust their opinion.  They want to support you and will tell you if you look "great" or if you really shouldn't wear those pants...that way.
  • There is beauty and value in everyone.  I shoot--pose, light, coach--people differently for different reasons for different outcomes. The passport image is not the business image which is not the image for grandma and not the image for that dating site.  The people who love us want to see that familiar smile or the 6 year old with the missing tooth or the grandmother with the white hair.  I can make you look great; but, I still want it to look like you.


So if your husband's passport is less than flattering or your second-grader has their school image with a silly grin, don't tell them they ruined the photo or the picture is ugly.  That hurts and you missed the point.  As a photographic artist I focus on telling a story in the photo.  Sometimes that is edgy, raw, and bold.  It may be full of light, soft, and delicate.  It may be just silly.  Either way, it is beautiful. 


]]> (Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) Pride Thu, 05 May 2016 16:09:30 GMT
Passport photos With the summer coming you and vacations around the corner you may need to update your passport photo.  We have a new Id station ready for your Passport, Visa, Business Licensing, and International ID photos.  Just tell us what country and what your requirements are and we will have you printed and ready to go in just minutes!  (The images can even be emailed for you.)  Stop by and let us put your best ID image in your hand!

]]> (Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) ID Passport Photos Visa Wed, 30 Mar 2016 21:14:09 GMT
Walnut table for 6...$39.95 Hi guys,

This is a quickie that I hope you will appreciate.  I just had a friend call me with a funny story.  She and her husband were looking for a dining room table.  They had been shopping, pricing, and they wanted wood, well made--something that would last.  You can imagine the prices considered--$500-$5000.  

While online, she found a retired craftsman making walnut dining tables seating 4 and 6 for under $50!!  She knew this must be a typo but for grins, she sent him an email.  Seems he likes to work with good wood and needed to stay busy so the money was not the focus.  In truth, he said, "I just need to be productive and I love making quality items that people can treasure."  The images he sent were beautiful and the testimonials were stellar.  So she went for the  table and 6 chairs, paid the fee, and got a delivery date of 6 weeks.  

Last week, UPS delivered a small box--about twice the size of a shoe box.  Inside the box was a beautiful handmade walnut table with 6 chairs.  After waiting so long and anticipating the freight delivery, my friend was angered at the deception.  Until, she researched the man and found he was a premier Doll House designer.  She did get exactly what she requested.  

So, ask the right question. Listen to what your vendors are saying.  Don't assume!  And if the price is way too low, perhaps there is a reason.


]]> (Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) Price value Mon, 14 Mar 2016 17:36:28 GMT
But I want it, Why can't I have it if I really want it? You want to help.  You want to help a friend by giving them a photo to be used on a business page or video.  Or...a close friend dies and you want to use 'that great shot' to honor their memory.  This is a perfect way to celebrate and we would never tarnish the moment with stolen items.  Would you steal flowers to honor your Mother on her birthday?  Would you rob a bank to provide capital for a friend to start their business?  We all see the disclaimer before a movie.  Don't copy, it's illegal.  What happens when we forget? 

As a photographer and photo-restoration artist, I am careful not to steal another's right to copy, not copy, or alter an image.  We need the public to know choices have been made in the creation of the art work.  You can buy the work--or not, display your purchase, cut the print into pieces, give it away, or sell it.  But, the image can not be copied---photographed, scanned, cropped--without the image owner's permission.  And the image owner is the photographer not the owner of the print. 

The reason I post this is partly as a business owner.  I want to stay in business and not get sued.  In our small locality, I know of two incidents where people have unknowingly been given an image to use--copy-- and then had to pay a large fine--$1000-$1500-- and also remove the image from their intended use.  The starting fine is $750.  So if you bring me your photo to be restored, no problem.  If it is someone else's, we will need to contact them.  And if you want to copy one of mine, please ask.  Our images are registered with the copyright office in DC and we would like to make sure the print we made of you will be reproduced perfectly.

“Copyright” describes the rights given to creators for their literary and artistic works.

But we often don’t consider copyright when we look at our family photos, or go to get them copied. Even though it is so easy to copy an image—with scanners, photo-quality printers, and copy stations—it is still illegal.

        Things to remember about copyright:

               Copyright is a property right.

  • Just because you buy a print does not mean you have purchased the copyright.\

  • Professional photographers are the smallest of small copyright holders.

  • Under the Federal Copyright Act of 1976, photographs are protected by copyright from the moment of creation.

  • Photographers have the exclusive right to reproduce their photographs (right to control the making of copies).

  • Unless you have permission from the photographer, you can’t copy, distribute (no scanning and sending them to others), publicly display

  • no putting them online), or create derivative works from photographs.

  • A photographer can easily create over 20,000 separate pieces of intellectual property annually.

  • Professional photographers are dependent on their ability to control the reproduction of the photographs they create.

  • It affects their income and the livelihood of their families.

  • Even small levels of infringement—copying a photo without permission—can have a devastating impact on a photographer’s ability to make a living.

  • Copyright infringements—reproducing photos without permission—can result in civil and criminal penalties.


]]> (Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) copyright Thu, 18 Feb 2016 17:28:37 GMT