Mars to Earth

Mars to Earth

They say that re-entering earth’s atmosphere from space can be hard. If you come in too quickly, you burn up, like a meteor. The trick is to enter at the correct speed, matching your trajectory with the rotation of the earth — as much as possible. Even then, it’s a balancing act that could result in a ball of fire, and could hardly be described as “easy”. It is similar returning to “normality” after 2 months of living day-to-day in our RV.

Fortunately, we live in a beautiful town and have wonderful friends and family here, so re-entry was something we didn’t dread, like burning to a crisp. That still didn’t make it any easier. I think that the lessons we learned made…

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Grad Gifts, AsukaBook Turnaround Time, More Profit for Minimal Work, Road Trip...

Graduation is here!
Offer this great add-on product to you senior families...

The perfect way for a graduate to thank family for their graduation gifts!

The Zen Layflat and Art Folios offer a sleek way to display photo favorites and make for fantastic add-ons to senior sessions for parents and grandparents to display on their bookshelves and desks.

Our folios are seamless, layflat, and press printed using exceptional-quality 6-color printing and presented in a frosted plastic slide-in case. These fully designable folios are available in bi-folio or tri-folio in multiple sizes. Most of the folio sizes match our album sizes, so it takes no time at all to use one of your clients favorite album spreads to use for the design. Learn more.

Graduation Folio
Clare Attitude of Gratitude
AsukaBook turnaround and shipping options.

Orders are usually processed within one business day of receipt.
Standard: Approximately 13 business days.
Rush: Approximately 10 business days or less for an additional $40 fee.
Fees are based on package weight and size, destination, and transit time from Bend, OR 97703 to you or your client. If you'd like your order drop shipped, simply update the shipping address when placing your order.

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Clare Attitude of Gratitude More profit for minimal work...
When you sell additional copies of an album.

One of the easiest ways to increase your bottom line is by selling additional copies of albums to the bridal party, parents, grandparents, etc. OR to your clients to gift to them.

We offer at least a 14% discount on additional copies of all our products. Since there’s no additional design time spent and these albums are offered at a reduced price you can sell additional copies to clients for a significantly reduced rate. A win win for everyone!
Matt and Jess Cramer of Cramer Photography Adding Sparkle to Your Portraits
I recently taught a lighting workshop for Santa Fe Photographic Workshops (I’ll be back there again next spring too), and I love being able to share with photographers how EASY it can be to create great light anywhere. We only used speedlights, and very simple and inexpensive lighting modifiers. I think many photographers shy away from using flash because they are intimidated by it, think it is too complex, or are not sure they can achieve natural looking results. These are all myths!

One of the fun things we can do with a speedlight is to create a theatrical sparkle in the background by pointing the light directly at the lens. Whoa! I can hear the resistance already! Won’t that cause flare?! Degradation of the image?! The end of civilization as we know it?! The answer is maybe, not necessarily, and not at all.

Don’t fear the flare! By being thoughtful of where you place your flash, you can minimize the degradation effects of the flare and add a lot of interest and energy to your image. The other factor that controls the look of the sparkle is the f-stop that you use. When shot at larger f-stops, like f 2.8, you’ll get a glowing blob and a slight loss of contrast. With a smaller f-stop, like f 5.6 or smaller, you create an actual star like sparkle from your flash. The smaller the f-stop, the more the star shape is pronounced.

Sparkle In the images here, the first one was shot at f 2.5 and you’ll notice the light is more of a glowing blob. The second image was shot at f 5.6 and that gave me the more distinctive sparkle that I was looking for. I simply played with the flash power on a couple shots to get the intensity where I wanted it. Notice how the sparkle light also creates a neat-o rim light on the model, helping to separate him from the darker background.

The main light on our model’s face was created using our LunaGrip flash modifier with a speedlight. This gives me beautiful, soft, but shapely lighting and it is very portable and easy to set up anywhere — in a flash. Sorry, couldn't help the pun.

Experiment yourself by placing a flash behind your subject, but visible by your camera. Next, shoot the same image at your full range of f-stops (adjusting the flash power accordingly as you change the f-stop) and you’ll immediately see the different effect on the star quality of the flash.

When positioned properly outdoors, the sparkle light can even emulate a sun glowing in the background, but now YOU have control over the placement and intensity of the source of life on earth. That’s some power.
Kevin & Clare Kubota's journey across the Southwest...
Offer this great add-on product to you senior families...

Aloha is as Aloha does
Kevin, Clare, and their dog Leo embarked on a journey across the Southwestern United States in their RV the past two months. They had a goal of not trying to over plan things and making as many personal connections as they could. They posted photos and stories from some of their meetings and adventures. Starting their trip, all they knew is that they planned to share their Aloha and live the Truth as they know. Read more about their adventures and view their photos.

Unexpected gifts from Thailand...

Workshops with Purpose logo She was a little hesitant about walking in to meet her portrait subject for the first time, having left her camera back in the hotel room. Typically, this would mean a reschedule of the session, but in Thailand, we intentionally arranged for our workshop photographers to meet their subjects, even have dinner with them, sans camera. The intention was to lead with our desire for human connection, not our lenses. There would be ample time to photograph over the next couple of days, and some of the photographers, and subjects, would end up having powerful experiences that would forever change them.

One of our projects at Team Kubota (Kubota Image Tools, Asukabook USA, Kubota Photography) is an international travel program called Workshops With Purpose. Benjamin Edwards, and I created this program years ago after several of our own international service based photography projects. We discovered that donating our photography skills to charitable organizations, to help them grow awareness and give support to the communities, was a powerful and rewarding gift to give.Soon we realized that other photographers were eager to change the world with their photography too, but unsure of how and where to start — giving birth to WWP. As a team, we learn and actively work together — providing photography and video services to charitable organizations around the globe.

One of the things we've learned is that it is rarely a good idea to charge head strong in to a new environment, camera blazing, hoping to get meaningful images. If our subjects feel like, well, subjects, then the photographs will rarely convey depth or intimacy. It takes time, and desire, to connect on a neutral human level first — then photographing can unfold much more naturally. Ironically, the photographs are sometimes the least important part of our visit. The fact that we took the time to care, to listen, and to commit to understanding can make a world of difference to someone living in constant hopelessness.

Each photographer on this Thailand trip was assigned to an individual child or young adult. They spent the first evening just getting to know each other, no cameras allowed. On the second and third day, they hung out again and created a "Day in the Life" photo essay of their student.Some of the students were refugees from another country trying to make a better life in Thailand. Some were going to school successfully for the first time, working towards a future free from poverty and abuse. All of them were students with The Freedom Story, an organization committed to providing education and safe after school activities for children, to prevent their stumbling in to the path of human trafficking.

At dinner after the third day with their students, one of the photographers shared her incredible experience. She had made such a deep, and powerful connection with her student that she literally could not give account of her day without becoming awash with tears. She realized at last that her entire "purpose" for coming on this trip was simply to meet and encourage this young student of hers — showing her that others saw her potential, and her beautiful, shining light.She knew that her student felt her life was forever changed by the caring support and connection she had made with this outsider — now an insider.

As photographers, we have tremendous opportunities to open doors and walk deeper in to the lives of others. When we remember that our cameras are instruments of connection, not just capture, then our own experience of the world is exponentially enhanced. It is a rich and important responsibility to have, and when we honor that power, bringing mutual respect and sincerity with us, we can change the world — even if it happens one person at a time.

Learn more about this workshop and sign up to be notified of the next Workshop with Purpose.