Category Archives: Blog

Seniors at Shutterfest

I just got back from St. Louis where I attended #shutterfest and met amazing senior models. Let me tell you, it was a blast! A big shout out to the models there and to my fellow photographers who helped, needed help, or were just there while I was shooting. Below is a small gallery of just some of the photos I got.

Seniors

Returning to Shutterfest at Union Station in St. Louis, MO

Returning to Shutterfest at Union Station in St. Lou!

shutterfest at Union Station

St. Louis Union Station

Back in April of 2015 I went down to St. Louis, MO for a two-day conference, known as Shutterfest. It’s a photography conference like no other. Sal Cincotta calls it the un-conference. I was absolutely amazed at all of the great content I was able to attend and all of the fantastic people that I met. It literally is a non-stop 24 hour a day learning fest. Last year I wasn’t able to make it down there. 🙁

This year I am heading back. From what I heard and saw from the group, I missed an amazing couple of days last year but this year, come hell or high water, I’m headed down there. I wrote about Shutterfest 2015 in St. Louis and I also wrote about fixing up my old Buick to take the trip and today I just wanted to let everyone know that it was the best conference, of any kind, that I’ve ever attended.

The conference is held at the famous Union Station, not too far from the Arch, the St. Louis Blues and the St. Louis Cardinals home games. When I was down there in 2015, I stayed at the Ballpark Hilton which was about a mile from Union Station. This year I’m staying at the host hotel which means I don’t have to take a shuttle or do any driving unless I want to.

This will also be the first major undertaking I’ve done since I had my stroke back on August 3, 2016. I’ve barely done any shooting since then, mostly practising in my office using my strobes in a simple setting on myself. I haven’t advertised or really pushed to do any paid sessions but it’s time to get back into real life.

I’ve used the last 7 months to strengthen my body and work on self-reliance and self-worth. I am still not back to 100% and I may never return to life as it was before the stroke so I have had to re-evaluate how and what I want to do for the rest of my life. If you want to, you can read about my short life summary in my article HELP ME HELP YOU to learn why I keep doing what it is that I do.

I’m really looking forward to learning new information and new techniques and meeting fellow photographers, models and people that live in St. Louis and the area to gain a better perspective on their views on photography and life in general. I won’t be taking the old Buick though. She died last year. Instead, I’ll be taking my old faithful Ford pickup with 18 years and 384,000 miles of experience. Yes, you read the mileage right. I’ll write more about Shuterfest17 when I get back. Until then, stay warm, stay dry, stay safe.

Pictures with Santa coming to Blackduck

Pictures with Santa

It’s that time of year again. For the third year in a row Caddy Imaging, along with the Duck in and Eat Restaurant, in Blackduck are sponsoring the Pictures with Santa. Pictures with Santa is an event along the same lines as the Santa at the Mall where kids of all ages can come in and get their pictures taken with Santa for free. That’s RIGHT! No charge!

Parents are able to download a digital copy of their kids pictures.

pictures with Santa

 

 

Caddy Imaging prides itself on giving back to it’s communities. For over ten years, I’ve has been involved with the local first responder agency, my local fire department and other EMS agencies to help provide fire and medical services to my neighbors. “As long as I am able to I will continue to provide support and care to my family of friends and neighbors including the Pictures with Santa program that we started in Blackduck to provide families that can’t afford family pictures during the holidays with a free photo that they can cherish throughout their lives.

HELP ME HELP YOU

This post first appeared on Bill Caddy Photography

Bill Caddy

When I was a senior in high school, way back when, all of us were asked what our number one goal in life was. I know that gets asked for a lot of graduating seniors, maybe all of them. My answer at the time was, “to help people in times of trouble.” Back then I had planned to go to school for law enforcement and even started taking classes in college for criminal justice.

I soon realized that while I could get my degree and go in to law enforcement, I would probably be stuck pushing paperwork and working in an office type setting. You see, back then, any little medical issue was enough to keep me off the streets and I had flat feet and a bum knee from football. With a glut in the system because of the baby-boomers generation, there were plenty of fresh, healthy, young men (and a few women) just waiting for the chance at a career. I gave up the plan and decided to roll with life and do what ever I could find for a job. I worked in everything from dairy (milking cows for $14/day) to being an electrician to driving truck and even went back to school.

Fast forward to 2004. I was working as a security guard for a casino and had a chance to take a first responder class. I really didn’t do it to be able to help anyone but myself, I did it for a .75c pay raise. Just a couple of months after that, they held an EMT class and again I took it, this time for another $1.25/hour raise. In 2005 there was a school shooting on one of the reservations in the area I live in (we have 3) and I decided to join the local first responder group to see if I could help in any way. For the next 11 years, I volunteered with them, joined my local volunteer fire department and changed careers, working for my local ambulance service (two, in fact). I thought I had finally found my niche in life and was doing something I loved and it really had turned in to the goal that I had set way back in high school.

Working in EMS I had seen abusive situations, drug-related situations and terminal results of depression. I had friends that were in abusive relationships, physical, mental, you name it. Throughout all of this I had been an avid photographer, mostly of nature and landscapes and still-life. I have also found beauty in all things and in people. I have always looked for the good in someone and encouraged them to strive to be better. I’ve spent countless hours talking to my friends and family, even strangers, encouraging them, trying to show them how beautiful they are when their self-esteem was so low that they couldn’t see their own beauty. A few years ago I began to toy with the idea that I wanted to help show people how beautiful they really are by photographing them. I started photographing families and friends but I felt like I really wasn’t being honest with them or with my work.

I realized that one of the biggest lies that our society holds sacred is the idea that if a person, male or female but mostly female, didn’t have the right body shape, or the right hair color, or the right skin color or if they had tattoos or piercings that they were outcasts to be looked down on, shunned, or worse. I wanted to give my clients a fuller experience. But I was afraid. I let my own fear of society get me down and keep me from doing what I wanted. Then came an experience for me that has changed my life and my outlook on life. I had a stroke.

On August 3, 2016 while working I had a stroke. I was extremely lucky. I happened to be in the local emergency department because we had just brought in a patient. Within an hour and a half I had been given clot-busting drugs and flown out by helicopter to a larger hospital in Fargo, ND that was better equipped to help me. I spent the next day and a half in ICU and three more on the floor before being discharged and going home. I started physical therapy and have since regained about 90% of my life. On December 7, 2016 I see my neurologist to find out if I can return to my EMS jobs. Whatever the outcome, I have realized one thing. Life is too short to let fear or self-esteem get in the way.

This life story, if that’s what it is, is about taking control of your fears, taking back your self-esteem, taking back your life! I’m here to tell you that YOU CAN DO IT. Let me help you by showing you through my eyes, my camera, the beauty that is you. People have always used the excuse that they don’t look good in pictures. I’m here to tell you that you do. Beauty isn’t only skin deep. It comes from inside you. Let me help you find your beauty. Let me help you find that person that you always knew, deep down inside you, was there. Together, we can make a difference in your life! HELP ME HELP YOU!

December Special – Modern, High-Fashion Photos – 2016

December Special - Modern, High-Fashion Photos

December Special – Modern, High-Fashion Photos

Engagement photos and portfolios

Caddy Imaging | Engagement photos and portfolios

Engagement photos are an investment, just as much as your wedding pictures. I am looking to expand my portfolio of engagement photos. I feel like I’m going stale so I want to start branching out a little. I would like to build my portfolio with some engagement sessions. I am seeking two good looking couples, or even good friends, to model for an engagement experience.  If you’ve been looking for some new, exciting photos of yourselves or trying to decide on a photographer for your wedding and you’re willing to invest an hour or two, please email me a couple of photos of yourselves and why you would like me to photograph you at Portfolio@CaddyImaging.com.

Caddy Imaging engagement photos

Caddy Imaging Engagement

Here are a few tidbits to think about when choosing a photographer:

  • Have any of the photographers you’ve used in the past been with you throughout the process?
  • Have they been available in near real-time to answer questions?
  • Are they easy to talk to?
  • Do they understand what you are looking for?
  • Are they willing and able to pivot when needed?

The biggest things to remember are to be yourselves. Don’t worry about the guy behind the camera. He may be shy or outgoing. He may sometimes act nervous but just remember that your photographer is simply a person, the same as you.

When it comes to the session itself, try not to go out and party or pull an all-nighter at work the day before. You want to be rested and relaxed.

Empty your pockets:

  • For the guys, put your keys, wallets, cell phones, etc. in a bag and put it under the seat of your car. The last thing you want is to see stuff bulging from your pockets.
  • For the gals, if you have a small clutch purse, use that. You can always throw it in your photographer’s bag. Just remember to get it back before you leave. Bring along a little extra makeup to freshen up a bit with. Bring a hairbrush. You really don’t want to use your photographers’, do you?

Wear what you normally wear:

  • Generally speaking, you want to be yourselves. If you normally wear sweatpants and a t-shirt, I’d say don’t! 🙂 Instead, I’d suggest something classy and casual.
  • For the guys: wear some nice jeans and a nice button down shirt. Don’t wear multi-colored, loud shirts (unless that’s you and you really want some photos of those) but just a clean one-color shirt. Bring a sport jacket if that’s your style. Don’t wear something with a logo on it though.
  • For the gals: nice slacks or a nice skirt and a matching top are perfect. If you want to bring an extra set of clothes to change in to to get some different looks, great!

Don’t change up your hairstyle or get a haircut the day before. Your hair need a few days after being cut to look natural. Don’t change your hair style or hair color either. You really want to look as natural as possible because photos tend to enhance details like hair and colors. Gals, if you wear make-up, and I’d suggest you do, don’t put on heavy layering. It really shows up in the photos. Use a powder base instead of an oil base. It will look more natural. Also, if you normally use cheap make-up, please go purchase some that is a little better quality. Your photos will love you.

Just remember that this is your day, much as your wedding day will be also. You want to have fun and you want to look and feel your best! I want that for you too.

OCF for a selfie.

OCF for a selfie

So, last night I was out doing some shooting and decided that I needed to do a “Selfie.” As you might have guessed, over the years, I’m not really in to taking selfies, especially with my cell phone (this wasn’t with a cell phone btw), but I decided that the moon was too cool looking with the haze from the fires out in the western US making the moon stand out in relief.

Selfie under the moon

Selfie under the moon

This was shot with a single flash, hand-held, no modifier for 8 seconds, 1600 ISO, f16. The flash was set at 1/128 power. Camera is a Nikon D700 with the Nikkor 50mm f1.8 lens.

How come I don’t get the digitals on a disk?

How come I don’t get the digitals on a disk? We’re paying you and we don’t get anything! That’s a lot of money for nothing! These are some of the questions that I get when someone is trying to decide whether I’m the right fit for them. So, let me answer them the best way I know how.

Why don’t you get all the digital negatives on a disk? Well, actually you do… sort of. If you buy my top collection then every image that is used is also included on a cd or jump drive, as well as a release allowing you to print for personal use. The images are sized to print up to about an 11×16 print. More about that in just a minute. The images are also available via A La Carte but that’s expensive!

Why do you get only the images that you purchased in the collection or off the A La Carte menu for you to print? That’s easy. Those are the images that you have chosen as the ones that are your favorites. The rest will be archived in case you want to re-visit them at a later date. Just remember that there is a fee for retrieving them from the archive.

Images are sized on the disk because I take pride in my art, and so should you! We’ve had a fantastic experience together creating these memories for you. At sizes of 11×16 and smaller, no matter where the image is printed it will look ok. Not breath-taking, but ok. The images that you have chosen have been cleaned up to look as beautiful as they can be. When you bring them to your local print lab at the SuperStore, you have no idea when the last time that that printer has been calibrated or cleaned. You don’t know what kind of paper they use to print on. These things affect the quality of your prints. I have taken care of making sure that the prints that I have done are done by a professional lab, that they are color calibrated and in the right size for quality printing. My lab uses high-quality archival papers so that your images won’t fade over time. I want to ensure that when you have large prints done that they look exactly like what you approved when we had our viewing session.

Why do you cost so much?

Why do you cost so much?  I hear it all the time. I used to get irritated when I’d hear this. In today’s age, everyone has a camera, whether it’s a ‘point and shoot’, a cell phone, or a dslr. Everyone takes pictures. Everyone documents their lives on their phones. Everyone wants to have you take their picture for free because they don’t see the value in it.

What is value? That’s what we decide something is worth to us. So, when you’re asking me to take your picture for free, you’re saying that my time and talent isn’t worth anything to you. And why should it be? What can I do that you can’t? Quite simply, I don’t just take pictures. I create ART for your home. So how come I see the value in charging more than you think it’s worth? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

I spend an average of

  • 1+ hours prepping (emails, consults, etc.)
  • 1-3 hour of shooting time
  • 10-30 minutes of editing time per photo (4-12 hours)
  • 5+ hours of everything else (driving, posting, ordering, packaging, delivering, etc.)

PER SESSION

Why do you cost so much?

Why do you cost so much?

I invest thousands of dollars in equipment, software, props, training and marketing and many, many hours practicing to be able to produce those beautiful images that you love.

I don’t get paid holidays or sick leave. I don’t get bonuses or vacation time. I buy our own insurance and I pay my own taxes. I don’t have a company that pays half of our taxes. I pay them.

I own a business that happens to LOVE photography.

So, when you ask why I cost so much, remember that the session fee you think is so high is going towards that 10 to 20 hours that I’m investing in you. That doesn’t cover the cost of the prints. That’s why I offer collections and why the more you invest, the more you save. But that’s a post for another day.

Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) of June 23, 2015

This morning I had the pleasure of capturing Aurora Borealis, otherwise known as Northern Lights. Tonight, if cloud cover doesn’t get in the way, should also be a great night to see some of the most beautiful natural features that we can see here on Earth.

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