Eli's Photography Blog

Kele's Bridal Portraits Marlsgate Arkansas Photographer

Posted: February 27th, 2010 | 2 Comments »

Today I am photographing Kele and Jonathan’s wedding. I have just been dying to show off  Kele’s bridal portraits that we took back in January, but I had to wait  until now so that certain eyes wouldn’t see. Kele is a beautiful bride and when she told me that she wanted to go to Marlsgate Plantation to shoot her portraits, I knew that these bridals would be something else. A little bit of high fashion/ lifestyle portraits, at least that’s the feeling I got from them anyways. I’ll be sharing their wedding soon, stay tuned.  Enjoy!

Marlsgate Bridal Portraits

Marlsgate Bridal Portraits

Arkansas Bride Photographer

Arkansas Bride Photographer

Arkansas Bridal Portrait

Arkansas Bridal Portrait

Arkansas Fashion Bridal Portraits

Arkansas Fashion Bridal Portraits

Author: | Filed under: bridals, portraits | Tags: , ,

Tuesdays with Eli – Adobe Lightroom Tip #1

Posted: February 23rd, 2010 | No Comments »

Hey everyone, today is Tuesday, that means you’ll be hearing from me again. Since I’ve been doing so much personal blogging lately, I decided to share with all you interested photographers and photo enthusiast a couple tips I’ve learned for my post processing. First of all I want to say I’m no expert, there are plenty of great ways to post process your photos, the key is to just find a great system that works best for you. I’m just sharing with you my current system that’s working for me. The first part of my workflow after capturing the photos onto my hard drive, is using a program called Photo Mechanic. It cost $150 bucks, but makes selecting, re-ordering, marking, and re-naming the original files much faster that trying to do it in Lightroom. I save tons of time doing it this way first. I shoot a lot of pictures, so that means I get rid of a lot too. I like to shoot a lot because sometimes I’m just looking for the difference between a half smile and a real smile. I try to catch that fraction of a moment that’s just right, so I shoot a lot and I’m liberal with trashing the ones that don’t make it. When I ready to import into Adobe Lightroom, I make copies of the selected photos as backups. When I import into Lightroom I always make sure that I’m adding the copyright metadata to the images during import.

Adobe Lightroom Import

I choose to add the photos to the catalog without moving them. You can do it either way, just make sure you have a backup. After the photos are in Lightroom, I go through every photo in order and make my adjustments. In my opinion, the key to great post production is subtle adjustments. You want to get it right in camera before you begin to process in Lightroom. I make small adjustments to preserve the look of the photo. Too much post processing can kill a great photo. Here you can see the before and after. I also want you to be able to see what I adjusted in Lightroom.

Lightroom Photo Editing

I shot this with my Nikon D90 at 1/1250 SEC at f / 1.8 200 ISO 85mm. You can see the original photo was pretty nice as is. I just made a few small adjustment to the photo in Lightroom to make it pop a little more. The older I get, I realize the things that my parents taught me can be used in just about any area of life. “Everything in moderation.” I basically only make small adjustments to the exposure, blacks, sharpness, sometimes vibrance and color. Then After I have processed all the images in that set, I make another backup. You don’t want to have to do the same work over again. Hope this helps, Thanks for listening. : )

Author: | Filed under: tips & information, tuesdays with eli | Tags: ,

Josh & Alex – Arkansas Modern Engagement Photography

Posted: February 19th, 2010 | 3 Comments »

1700 photos for an engagement session may be a bit much, but when I find something I really like, it sure is hard to put it down. Wednesday was a great day for me, I got to spend a couple hours with the very cool couple,  Josh & Alex! Alex got so excited after the engagements that she already started planning her bridals. I can’t wait tell their wedding in May! Wednesday was also unique for me, because my new friend Jason Crader allowed me to test out some new gear, for Josh & Alex’s engagements. After a couple minutes shooting, I was sold. I was thrilled with the images that were coming out. Honestly I wanted to shoot more, I couldn’t put it down. Josh and Alex didn’t seem to mind either so we just kept shooting! What an awesome couple, you could definitely see the sparkle in Alex’s eyes when see looks at Josh. These two are no doubt in love. Their excitement and energy was feeding mine. This is why I know that I have the best job in the world. Nothing else gets me this jazzed. Enjoy the photos!

Fashion Portraits

Fashion Portraits

People Photographer

People Photographer

I flipped these so you could see their shadow puppets. Haha!

Shadow Puppets

Shadow Puppets

Little Rock Photographers

Little Rock Photographers

Urban Engagement Portraits

Urban Engagement Portraits

Urban Kiss

Urban Kiss

Little Rock Engagements

Little Rock Engagements

These bright red/orange chairs are downtown Little Rock. Super fun for portraits!

Downtown LR Portraits

Downtown LR Portraits

Couple's Hands

Couple's Hands

Look at that smile. They are so in Love!

Arkansas Wedding Photographer

Arkansas Wedding Photographer

Eli Murray Photography

Eli Murray Photography

Arkansas Lifestyle Photographer

Arkansas Lifestyle Photographer

Arkansas Photographer

Arkansas Photographer

Little Rock Lifestyle Photos

Little Rock Lifestyle Photos

Author: | Filed under: engagements, portraits | Tags: , , ,

Grandma Cain – Snowball Fight!

Posted: February 18th, 2010 | 1 Comment »

I’m sure you’re all wondering when I’m gonna start blogging some actual clients again and stop blogging my family all the time, haha. Well, I’ve got some engagements coming real soon that you’ll probably want to check out… I know that when Arkansas gets snow like this, it always makes me feel like a kid again, and I guess it does the same thing for my grandma. I’ve been wanting to blog this for a while now, like when we still had some snow on the ground, but maybe this will bring some good memories back for you guys and you’ll all be wishing we had snow again, haha. Maybe next year right?  So here is my grandma enjoying the winter weather! Leave her some love, she’ll like that! Also, I’m checking off #22 of my goals this year. : )

Grandma Cain

Grandma Cain

Grandma Portraits Snow

Grandma Portraits Snow

Grandma Snowball Fight

Grandma Snowball Fight

Author: | Filed under: personal, portraits | Tags: , , ,

Tuesdays with Eli – Community, Helping, Sharing, Giving, Growing.

Posted: February 16th, 2010 | No Comments »

To quote the KJV Bible in Acts 20:35, Jesus Christ said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” To quote John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address of 1961′ “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” One more quote made famous by Albert Einstein, “The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable receiving.” These three men didn’t share a whole lot in common. Their passions, interest, and personal lives were all different, but they all seamed to understand one universal truth. Giving anything to anyone, is much better than waiting to receive. It’s much better because its positive, it helps others, and something magical happens to the giver… they are in turn blessed back. I am sharing this with you guys on my “Tuesdays with Eli” for a couple reasons. One, I’m seeing first hand right now in my life how this basic principle works. Two, I’m hearing the stories first hand of my friends and family that are also working this principle, and three, I hope that this blog post might inspire someone to do the same. With all of that said, I am young and naive to a lot of things in this world. Yes, I did just read a couple books recently that jazzed me up and made me think that it is that easy. But, I’m just telling you from what I am experiencing, that this stuff does work wonders.

Community:  Most of you may know that for the last couple months, I have been organizing and inviting fellow photographers to a lunch meet-up once a month. A bunch of like minded photographers sit down and eat and share with each other. I think this is great for the photography community here in Little Rock, and the feed back that I’m getting is that everyone really enjoys it. I hope that I helped give just a little to the industry. I gave a little bit of my time and now I’m reaping HUGE benefits. I now have more photographer friends who all bring something unique to the table, and I’m also feeling much more comfortable meeting new people. If there are any new photographers reading this that would like to join us in our monthly lunch, please let me know. Shoot me an email, tweet me, or facebook me.

Helping:  I am quickly learning that every successful person has only become successful because of inner drive and more importantly the help of the people around them. The tricky part to this equation is that you must help others before looking for help yourself.

Sharing:  The photography industry is not exactly the same as it used to be. Modern technology has forever changed the face of Photography. Blogs and social media have made sharing information just about as easy as tying your shoes.  However, people still wear slip ons….don’t they?  Sharing is super easy and everyone has something to share. Photographers in this age will NOT survive by hoarding up all their tips and advice because the don’t want others to know their secrets.

Giving:  Just do it. It feels good and good things happen to you when you give. I could share with you all the great things that have been happening to me because of giving, but I’m trying to wrap this thing up. Plus I bet your thinking I’m just going over and over the same stuff by now. Give… just do it.

Growing: Like most of the photographers I know, we are never quite satisfied with our work. I’m always looking for ways to grow and master my craft. Reading books, watching instructional DVDs, taking pictures, and trying new things are all great ways to get better. However, don’t forget about the other ways to grow. “Let the information flow both directions.”

My sincerest thanks from the bottom of my heart to every single person that has ever affected my life and helped me get to where I am today. – Eli : )

Arkansas Sunset

Arkansas Sunset

Author: | Filed under: personal, tips & information, tuesdays with eli | Tags: ,

Happy Birthday Mom!

Posted: February 15th, 2010 | No Comments »

Wow I’m sure doing a lot of personal blogs lately, I guess I’ve been spending a lot of time with my family recently. That’s not a bad thing right? I’m actually really happy that I can spend so much time with my family, after all, they do mean a whole lot to me. Today is my Mom’s Birthday. We celebrated this weekend with dinner and gifts, and while I was visiting we got a little bit of a flurry. Of course I had my camera and asked mom if she would let me take a few photos of her. At the time, I was just snapping away, quickly composing the frame, adjusting shutter speed and aperture, just doing what I do without thinking much about it. Today, now that I’m looking at these photos and posting them on my blog, I’m realizing how special these photos are to me. Honestly they’re priceless. Happy Birthday Mom!

Arkansas Portrait Photographer

Arkansas Portrait Photographer

Mom's Portrait

Mom's Portrait

Author: | Filed under: personal, portraits | Tags: ,

To Grandma's House We Go

Posted: February 12th, 2010 | 1 Comment »

So last weekend Leslie and I made the trip up to Nashville, TN to visit her Grandparents and have a birthday dinner for her older sister. Buford and Nell are will have been married for 60 years in July and have lived happily in there home for the last 37. While I was there Nell was determined to make sure that I left her home stuffed. I piled my plate full of some wonderful southern home cooking, but she still wanted to make sure that I had all that I could eat and then some, haha. Nell & Buford are wonderful host’s and I’m already looking forward to our next visit!  Also, I can check off #18 from my goals of 2010. I tried a southern red beet for the first time…”different.”

After dinner, we decided to go outside and grab a couple shots out in the snow. Enjoy the photos!

Brick Home

Brick Home

Kissing Grandparents

Kissing Grandparents

Grandparent Portrait

Grandparent Portrait

Backyard Snow

Backyard Snow

Author: | Filed under: families, personal, portraits | Tags: , ,

Jaycee Alice – Newborn Portraits Arkansas

Posted: February 11th, 2010 | 2 Comments »

Candice really has been with me from the beginning, she’s been a loyal client and friend for over the last two years. When I was first getting started in photography, Candice helped me build my portfolio by letting me photograph her bridal portraits. After Candice and Ray got married in 2008, it wasn’t long before their family began to grow. I was super excited that Candice still thought of me to do her maternity photos. That really is the biggest complement that I receive, when I take someone’s photo and they are so happy they come back. I hope that I will continue to be a part of Candice, Ray, and now baby Jaycee’s lives and I plan to continue to deliver photos that will make them smile. Thanks again Candice, for letting me be a part of your special moments, you certainly are a special part of my life.

New Parents

New Parents

Baby Alphabet Blocks

Baby Alphabet Blocks

Arkanasas Newborn Photographer

Arkanasas Newborn Photographer

Baby Details

Baby Details

Newborn Portrait

Newborn Portrait

Newborn Portrait Photographer

Newborn Portrait Photographer

Author: | Filed under: kids, personal | Tags: , , ,

Tuesday's with Eli – Roadtrips

Posted: February 9th, 2010 | 1 Comment »

I have always loved road trips.  For one thing I do some of my best thinking on the road. All the distractions of the “day to day life” are taken away when you only have one simple task to do…Drive. Because I had dated Leslie for 3 years long distance, I got pretty used to long drives. I really only need a couple things to make me happy on a road trip: Plain sunflower seeds, bottle water, possibly a Rockstar Energy drink, and if it’s a really long drive… an audio book. These simple things make all the difference to me if I’m driving by myself. However, if I have a driving partner, that is something else. This weekend Leslie and I took a roadtrip to Nashville, Tennessee, her hometown. We we going there for her sister’s birthday dinner at her grandparent’ house. The weather was really nice the whole weekend, just a bit chilly, but made for a super pretty drive most the way. I was major excited to listen to my new audiobook “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi, and the 11 hour drive was a perfect fit. I’m glad Leslie didn’t mind either. As long as the narrator has a non-annoying voice we’re good, haha. It was a good book, I definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to get a little better at networking, and not in an artificial way, but in a genuine making friends and lasting connections kinda way. My friend Geoff Duncan recommended it to me, and I’m sure glad he did. Now I say pay it forward!

Here’s a quick little photos Leslie grabbed on the drive. Have a great week!

Eli

Road Trip Sunset

Road Trip Sunset

Author: | Filed under: personal, tuesdays with eli | Tags: , , ,

Tuesdays with Eli – Fun in the Snow!

Posted: February 2nd, 2010 | 5 Comments »

Yesterday I blogged about the engagement portraits I took of Danielle & Jordan on Saturday. I told you guys that if they didn’t want to get out because of the weather, I was gonna be stupid and get out anyways just to shoot some portraits of Leslie & I in the snow. But because Danielle & Jordan were such awesome sports, they wanted to shoot their engagements, plus shoot some of Leslie and I too. I have to say, I really liked the idea because shooting my own portraits with a tripod and remote is not the easiest thing to do. I was a little reluctant at first though, I didn’t want to make my clients work for me, haha, but Leslie didn’t mind. She always wants great shots of the two of us. She thinks that we don’t have enough photos together because I’m always behind the camera.  So, after I did some photos of Danielle and Jordan, I showed them some of the basics on working my camera and they were ready to go! After I looked at a few of their photos, I was shocked. I better watch out, because Danielle & Jordan may be the next dream team photographers to take my job. Leslie was ecstatic, she couldn’t stop talking about how great the photos were. It was a lot of fun shooting in the snowy environment, but it sure was different letting my clients photograph me.
So there you go, my second “Tuesday’s with Eli” post and I’m already getting my clients to shoot for me, haha. Stick around, who knows what what craziness I’ll have next week.

These first few I shot of Leslie before we met up with Danielle & Jordan.

Arkansas Portrait Photographer

Arkansas Portrait Photographer

Arkansas snow portraits

Arkansas snow portraits

Eli Murray

Eli Murray

Couple Portraits

Couple Portraits

Snow Portraits

Snow Portraits

Happy couple

Happy couple

elimurray photography

elimurray photography

Seriously aren’t these great. Leave Danielle & Jordan some love and let them know what you think of their skills.

Author: | Filed under: personal, portraits, tuesdays with eli | Tags: , ,