Eli's Photography Blog

Rachelle + Steven – Laguna Beach Engagement Photos

Posted: February 19th, 2013 | 1 Comment »

Sometimes when Leslie and I are shooting photos for people, either engagement portraits, wedding photos, or family sessions, I sometimes take for granted how special it is for our clients. I get lost in the moments of making beautiful photos, composition, color, light, and posing. I’m having such a great time attempting to create little peices of art that I sometimes forget that what we are actually doing is documenting. We’re using tools to capture their story, to freeze a peice in time. It’s just a section of their lives, but most of the time it’s a very important one. The photos will be admired for generations, passed down to children and grandchildren, shared with friends and family and used to remember a time in the past. Leslie and I absolutely love what we do. I feel blessed everyday that we are in the industry of love. One of the things I like most about photography is the technical side, all the fun gear and equipment. I also love the creative freedom that comes from a subjective art form, but with all of this, I think it’s most important that we keep in mind who we’re taking the photos for. I could have the most creative and technical photo ever, but if it’s not true to the subjects, and has no emotion or isn’t telling their story, then I have not done my job as a documentry wedding photographer.
Below are a couple of our favorites from Rachelle and Steven’s engagement photos we took this Sunday. They are truly a beautiful couple both inside and out and I hope that these photos will show you that. We had a great time shooting around the Canyons of Laguna Beach and the Pacific Coast in Southern California. We are very much looking forward to their wedding in May and can’t wait to share it with you guys! – Eli

If you’d like to see more photos of Rachelle and Steven and order any prints from their session click here.

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Sweet Love Bakery – Little Rock, AR

Posted: January 31st, 2012 | No Comments »

Kelli Marks is the owner and lead baker for Sweet Love, one of the newest and fastest growing bakeries here in Central Arkansas. I was so impressed with Kelli’s wonderful personality, how she runs her bake shop, and her crazy good baking skills, that I wanted to dedicate a blog to Sweet Love and share some photos with you guys. If you are bride-to-be in Arkansas and you are looking for a really unique, beautiful, or classic wedding cake, check out Sweet Love.

It’s pretty easy to see that Kelli loves her job. Making people happy baking sweet goodies.

I was super excited when I heard that Sweet Love was opening up a storefront on Cantrell. It’s wonderful to have another really great bakery  in Little Rock for brides to create custom wedding cakes. You can also sit down inside and enjoy a fun little cupcake date.

I may have just had a couple of these cookies when I was shooting the bakery, and yes, they’re even better than they look.

This is the Sweet Love mascot, “Wisk”. Make sure you say hi when you stop in.

With so many unique and creative ideas for wedding cakes, I’m really glad to know Kelli and can’t wait to see what she has in store for the 2012 wedding season.

Sweet Love is located at 8210 Cantrell Road in the Cantrell Heights shopping center. http://sweetlovebakes.com/

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The Wedding Post – Arkansas Wedding Blog

Posted: June 24th, 2011 | No Comments »

If you haven’t yet discovered or if you’re not already following the brand new Arkansas Wedding Blog – The Wedding Post, then you should be.
They blog daily, all things wedding. Primarily focused on Southern and Arkansas Weddings. Perfect resource for all you Arkansas brides. They recently featured some engagement photos that I took of one of my super awesome couples getting married this year. I’m really excited about their wedding, I’ll be working along side some of the Arkansas’ wedding industry greats like Finishing Touch Event Design, Wedding Videography Services, and Designs by Tanarah. Make sure you guys swing by and check out The Wedding Post for the latest in Arkansas Weddings.

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Jason + Marissa – Southern California Wedding Part 1

Posted: May 31st, 2011 | 5 Comments »

Last Saturday was my birthday, I turned 25 and spent the day in Southern California photographing a gorgeous wedding. I’m so thankful and blessed to have been a part of Marissa and Jason’s wedding day. I can’t imagine doing anything else better on my birthday than photographing two people in love, in the beautiful rolling hills of the California wine country of Temecula. Because this wedding was bigger than most, I not only had my wonderful wife assisting me, but I also had the awesome help of my good friend and native California photographer Daniel Cruz.  I met Daniel at WPPI this year and connected with him through The Becker’s [b]School. If your a wedding photographer and you haven’t heard of the [b] School, you need to check it out! This is just a quick teaser from the wedding, part one if you like. I will have lots more photos to share from their wedding soon. I just wanted to give everyone a quick peak first. Congrats Jason + Marissa! Enjoy!

This was taken from the greens of the Temecula Creek Country Club. Unbelievably beautiful views.

This flower girl was a 10 on the cute scale and future radiant bride.

Look at how happy they are! Aren’t they just awesome?

The ceremony and reception were both outdoors, in a valley of rolling hills and lanterns hanging from overgrown trees. The Dance floor was laid beside a 130 year old Stone House.

It’s not California wine country without a little wine.

Such a beautiful bride.

These guys rock! So happy!

One of my favorite images from the day.

There are so many more I can’t wait to share with you guys! Stay tuned for part 2…

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My Big Sister – My Biggest Fan!

Posted: November 13th, 2010 | 1 Comment »

Today is the fifth year anniversary of my big sister’s wedding! I just wanted to take a second to thank my sister and her husband Nick for all their love and support over the years. Elana was there with me in the beginning of my plans to be a big time wedding photographer. She supported my dreams and let me take lots of pictures of her to help build my portfolio. I can tell you that without a doubt, I’m no longer the same photographer that I was 5 years ago. A lot has changed.  If I was getting married five years ago, I probably would have considered other options for my wedding photos other than Eli Murray photography, but not my big sis. I was completely under qualified and without experience, but she still trusted me and wanted me to be there to capture her special day. This was probably the most loving gift I could have received at that time in my life. After shooting her wedding, I gained so much courage and confidence to begin the next steps of my life. Like I said before, no doubt, I’m not the same photographer that I was 5 years ago. But that’s my story. Happy Anniversary Nick and Elana! Here’s to 50 more! Thanks for being my biggest fans! I love you both!

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www.elimurray.com – Wedding Photography Mobile Site

Posted: May 27th, 2010 | No Comments »

With all of this Apple/Adobe flash debate going on, I just wanted to take quick moment and remind everyone that  elimurray.com is fully mobile and has been from day one. If you’re on the go and want to show  your wedding photos to friends or family, you can do that from your iPhone or iPad. This may be a very minimal feature to want to tell you about, most people probably wait until they get home to their computer, but I do believe that at some point we will all be mobile. When I was first thinking about a website, I thought I wanted a flashy flash site for the glamor, but my good friends at Shift Creative helped me understand that flashy is not always functional. So there you have it. Just a short blog to remind everyone that elimurray.com is 100% mobile. Have an wonderful day!!
Arkansas Wedding Photography iPhone site

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All New Wedding Photography Packages – Now Include iPads

Posted: April 15th, 2010 | 4 Comments »

I have given a lot of thought into my current wedding photography packages. I wanted to be able to offer the more to my couples. I’m constantly striving to better my skills as a photographer and will continue to work very hard on every wedding that I’m blessed to photograph. Because I felt that my current wedding packages were limited with what I could offer, I’ve decided to modify them. There are a couple things that I am really excited about.

  • First, all 3 of the new wedding packages include ALL DAY wedding coverage. This is really wonderful because you will no longer have the difficult decision of choosing what time best fits you. This is your wedding day, the entire day is important.
  • Second, I have now had my own iPad for almost 2 weeks and I love this thing. I was thinking about how much I love showing off my portfolio and I wondered if you guys would like to have one to show off your wedding photos too. I’m not getting rid of my wedding albums, this is completely an option for you to choose. You can now substitute a custom leather bound wedding album for a brand new Apple iPad with all of your wedding photos in full resolution to be displayed on it’s amazingly sharp display.

Like I said, I don’t want to get rid of my albums, there’s no substitute for physical prints,albums, or canvas wraps. The iPad is just another product that I can offer and another way to display your beautiful wedding photos around your home for years to come. After all, my slogan is Eli Murray Photography – Modern Wedding Photography for a Classic Bride. That kind of forces me to stay up with the times, huh? Haha
Apple iPad Wedding Package
The iPad offers so many ways to remember your wedding. You can create your own photo slideshows with your own wedding music. View your engagement and bridal portraits and send them to friends/family. If you had a wedding video produced, you can also view it on you iPad. All of this in one beautiful package. If you are interested in any of the new wedding packages or if you want a personal demonstration of how the iPad can change the way you view your wedding photos, give me a call. I hope that you are all just as excited about these new changes to my wedding packages as I am. And don’t worry, if you’re a current bride of mine, your prices won’t go up. You’re still getting the same wedding package at the time you signed the contract. Also, if you are a current or past bride of mine and you are interested in added the iPad, give me a call. : )
All New Wedding Packages can be viewed here.

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Matthew Huff Music- Arkansas Music Photographer

Posted: April 11th, 2010 | 3 Comments »

I first heard Matthew at a wedding I was shooting back in September, he was the live music at the reception. Since then, we made friends and Matthew has played some great tunes at a few more weddings. Matthew loves doing weddings and events, but he’s working really hard on his own music right now. Just finished recording his new county album and has been busy playing gigs all over the south. I asked him if he needed some photos, as it turned out he did, so here we are. These were my first ever music portraits, so I’m glad that didn’t scare Matthew away, haha. We talked a little about the album and came up with this setting for the shoot. He wanted something that represented his album, that makes since right?
Here are a few of my favorites and one at the end to show you my lighting set up, just in case anyone’s interested.
Oh yeah, you can also download Matt’s music from iTunes here.
Matthew Huff Music
Arkansas Music Photography
Matthew Huff Music Photos
Empty Theatre
Heavy Heart Portrait
Little Rock Portrait Photographer
Matthew may seem kinda serious, but he did break character a couple times.
Matthew Huff Photos
Music Portrait
Okay, here’s my set up. Not much. One light. I had an SB-900 Speedlight inside of the 28′ Westcott Apollo softbox.  If you are looking for a little more info on simple lighting set ups, you should check out Zach Arias. He has workshops and a dvd called One Light. Also check out another really great photographer David Jackson.

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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. : )

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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

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