Monday, November 1, 2010

Great Alaskan Adventure Day Four

Our Great Alaskan Adventure continued as we picked up our camp at Savage River and left the campground and headed back to Riley Creek to pack up on supplies as we would be without utilities etc. for three days once we started camping at Teklanika. The rule with Teklanika is that once you've passed from the paved area (you go through a Forest Ranger Checkpoint) you can't go back in. You have to have what's called a Tek Pass which is something you have to pay for and it's a three night minimum.

So on the road back to Riley Creek I stopped on the side of the road and captured this three shot panoramic called, "Road to Denali" that is just breathtaking. Once we had all our supplies and a hot shower we headed back up the road and towards Teklanika (Tek for short). The cool thing about having restricted access to Tek is that there are so few cars, mostly only a small amount of tour buses and other campers so the wildlife is more abundant and you are able to get out and take pictures as you'd like.

On one stop where I was taking pictures of a caribou the boys got out and were checking out their Denali Junior Forest Ranger Guide. The other funny thing is that the Caribou will just walk in the middle of the road as you can see below!

We got the Tek campground, found our spot and headed out to the Teklanika River which is a beautiful braided river alongside the campground. We took a nature walk (they warned of bears and wolves) and had an amazing time. Some of the boys decided to draw pictures as I took them while Kara was in a silly dancing kind of a mood. The other really cute thing was that we bought all the boys small digital cameras for the trip and I caught a picture of Michael taking a picture of me!

We headed back to the campground and at last fulfilled one of the boys biggest requests which was a good old fashioned campfire. We had dinner inside the RV earlier so the campfire was all about hot chocolate and roasting marshmallows over the campfire. My son Kevin then grabbed my camera and took some family pictures of us which was awesome. All in all a wonderful day in a truly amazing place. I don't think it got dark until close to midnight! If you haven't been to Alaska, you need to go!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wedding Photography Tips- #1 Finding the Right Photographer

Top ten tips for bettering your wedding photography experience

Tip #1- Finding the right photographer

Having shot weddings all over the world from Rancho Cucamonga, California to Sydney, Australia and a lot of places in between I have seen and experienced a lot. We have shot weddings that only included the bride and groom (no guests) to weddings well over 600 people. We’ve done weddings that lasted a total of only 30 minutes to weddings that have lasted three days. The advice I give below would apply to all the different wedding types that I’ve ever done. I publish this article that will be done in a 10-part series for the sake of all wedding brides and grooms out there in the hopes that it will improve their wedding photography experience.

Finding the right photographer- fall in love with the photographer, not their packages. While it’s undeniable that finding a photographer that fits your budget and gives you what you’re looking for in regards to deliverables is very important it’s not as important as finding a photographer that fits your style and passion. I always tell all of the brides and grooms that I meet in a photo consultation, “You only leave your wedding with two things, your spouse and your wedding photography. Make sure that you have made the right decision on both before saying, ‘I do.’”

Remember that hiring your wedding photographer isn’t the same as buying a car. You can’t sell it if it doesn’t work out to your satisfaction, there are no lemon laws, and you will not have multiple chances in your life to find the right wedding photography for you. Almost all of us have bought a car we regret buying. But after you’ve sold it and it’s gone it usually turns into a funny story of the “bad” car you bought once upon a time. Talk to any bride who’s hired a “bad” wedding photographer. There is no laughing, usually only tears. The moral of this story, take the time to find the right one for you.

Good photographers including us at Jason Lanier Photography do what we do because we truly love it. When we find clients that sincerely love our work we will almost do anything we can to be able to provide the opportunity to shoot their wedding. Flattery goes a long way and as long as we can make the numbers work for both of us, we will find a way to shoot your wedding.

I know I’ve found the right bride and groom when I ask them, “If we can make the financial part work, would you like us to shoot your wedding?” If the answer is, “Yes,” then I know that the vast majority of the time we will find a way to make it work for both of us.

Good photographers should also make sure they are a good match for the wedding couple as this will lead to a much more successful photography experience. I always tell my prospective clients, “You will spend more time with your wedding photographer than anyone else on your wedding day. So make sure you like them before signing on the dotted line.”

Last but not least is certainly the package portion of the conversation. Item #2 on the “Top Ten Tip for Bettering your Wedding Photography Experience,” will speak at length about packages and determining the deliverables that work for you. But the only thing I want to mention about the pricing and package portion in this article is that if your photographer is more concerned with how much money you have and hasn’t even asked you the name of your fiancĂ© for example….you’ve found the wrong one. Photographers should be just as focused and dedicated to finding the right clients as all wedding couples should be at finding the right photographer.

While this advice might seem simple it is also unbelievably true. Being a wedding photographer I can’t help but use marriage metaphors when I speak and write. But finding the right photographer is truly like finding the right spouse. Once you’ve found each other you both know, and saying yes just seems so easy.

For any questions or comments please feel free to email me directly at

Item #2- Understanding Wedding Photography Packages and finding what’s best for you will come out later on my blog in October 2010.


Jason Lanier

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Join us for our Test Drive on October 30th at the Hotel Menage!!

Please join Jason Lanier Photography and a host of other wonderful wedding professionals for our Test Drive event on Saturday October 30th 2010 at the beautiful Hotel Menage in Anaheim California right next to Disneyland! Registration is FREE and is open to those couples looking for a wedding photographer for their big day.

Our Test Drive events are very popular and have filled up to capacity every time we have done one. So if you are interested please register now and don't delay. To learn more about our Test Drive events and the specials we are offering please visit our website dedicated specifically to these events by clicking below:

Hotel Menage

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tony and Jen- Gershon Bachus Winery

Jason Lanier Photography is excited to release the wedding sneak peek of Tony and Jennifer married September 18, 2010 at the Gershon Bachus Winery in Temecula, California. The wedding was absolutely beautiful as these two tied the knot in front of friends and family with just perfect weather. The Gershon Bachus Winery is a gorgeous venue that offers amazing picture opportunities inside and out....they even allowed us to pick grapes from their vineyards for some cool pics! The wedding was shot by myself with my assistant Shannan Elliott. A musical slideshow presentation is at the bottom of this post!