Jerry Kiesewetter: Blog http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog en-us (C) Jerry Kiesewetter info@jerrykiesewetter.com (Jerry Kiesewetter) Fri, 03 Mar 2017 18:02:00 GMT Fri, 03 Mar 2017 18:02:00 GMT http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/img/s7/v153/u756855135-o149857134-50.jpg Jerry Kiesewetter: Blog http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog 120 79 Automatic Bill-Payments — Is there a Right Way? http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2017/3/automatic-bill-payments-is-there-a-right-way

I’ll admit it, I’m addicted to life hacks. Too much of my time is spent looking for all the little things I can do (or tools I can use) to make my life and work just a little bit easier.

I feel like I’ve gotten pretty damn good at it too. I use Evernote (I’m currently enamored with Bear though), Trello, and Slack religiously. David Allen’s, Getting Things Done is at the top of my recommended reading list, along with Tim Ferris’ Four Hour Work Week, and Tools of Titans. I love Tim's podcast too!

But there is one area in my life where I still struggle…Keeping track of, and paying an ever-increasing list of monthly bills. Due dates are in my Google calendar as repeating events, but some of the dates change from month-to-month so the system isn’t completely reliable.

  • Morgtage
  • Electric
  • Car Payment
  • Car Insurance
  • Credit Cards
  • Student Loans
  • Cable TV
  • Cell Phones
  • Trash Service
  • Subscriptions

Automatic bill payment seems like an obviously easy answer, but I always tend to over-analyze things, making the decision more complicated than it needs to be. I’ve let perfect become the enemy of good.

I’m turning to my readers for advice. How do you do it?

I’ve got some ideas, but what is the best way? I’d love to get your input.

Do you use your bank’s bill payment system? I use CapitalOne360, for most of my banking, and I still haven’t even bothered to set bill-pay up yet. Or do you use your biller’s auto-pay system?

What about payments that fluctuate each month (i.e. credit cards)? I’ve considered at least setting up auto pay for the minimum payment (just to prevent the chances of a missed payment).

I’ve also heard nightmares about people being over-charged by the likes of cell phone companies, etc. What about accidental overdrafts of your checking account? An overdraft charge could easily be more expensive that a late payment on a bill.

I’ve also considered using a cash-back credit card to pay all of my recurring bills. That could make life a little easier, and make an accidental overcharge easier to contest than if I’d used a debit card.

Please give me your advice and feedback. I can’t wait to see how everyone else is handling their bill payments.

--

If you’re interested in reading Tim Ferris’ Tools of Titans please follow my Amazon affiliate link, and buy the book from Amazon.

 

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info@jerrykiesewetter.com (Jerry Kiesewetter) bills finance lifehacking money http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2017/3/automatic-bill-payments-is-there-a-right-way Fri, 03 Mar 2017 17:47:35 GMT
Women's March on Washington DC - Scenes from a Protest http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2017/2/womens-march-on-washington-dc---scenes-from-a-protest Women's March on WashingtonProtesters took to the streets on the day after Donald J. Trump's inauguration. Will their voices be hear?

An Invitation from Friends

This blog post is political in nature, but my intent is not to start a flame war, or win a political argument. I simply want a place to share my photographs, and reflect on an historic day.

Donald J. Trump was sworn into office just the day before, and it might be an understatement to say that I don't share his vision for the future of America. His rise to power was fueled, in large part, by fanning the flames of division and fear. Pitting one group against another, rather than trying to unite us as a nation, and find strength in our differences.

When my wife, Cathy, and I were invited to attend the Women's March on Washington, DC, we felt that we had to go. Not only did I want to march in support of a cause, but I was also looking forward to an opportunity to capture some photographs of an important moment in the political history of America.

Wife and Best FriendsWhat better way to kick off the Women's March than with a photo in front of the Washington Monument.

By The Dawn's Early Light

Still sleepy, after an early morning ride from Ocean City, Maryland to Washington, DC, we started our walk from Dupont Circle towards the National Mall.

The crowd grew larger, and more enthusiastic by the moment as we slowly worked our way through downtown Washington, DC. By the time we reached the Washington Monument the crowd was huge. At times the crowd was so dense that it was almost uncomfortable. We were shoulder-to-shoulder, and packed in like sardines.

Conclusion and The Photos

What we witnessed on January 21, 2017, in Washington, DC was truly amazing. A peaceful, and inspiring coming-together of people from all walks of life who wanted to be sure that their voices were heard by our President, by the nation, and by the world. 

The crowd was incredibly diverse, and I was quite impressed with how orderly and peaceful the participants in the march were. Mothers, daughters, sisters, fathers, sons, and brothers all marched together.

To see people from so many different backgrounds united in a cause assembled peacefully to exercise their First Amendment rights made me even more proud to be an American. This is what our country is all about.

Please take a moment to click through the slideshow of my photos from the march.

Many of these images are available as FREE downloads on Unsplash. Feel free to contact me if you're interested in using any of the other photos in this set.

Shameless Advertising

http://amzn.to/2k32TmG

 

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info@jerrykiesewetter.com (Jerry Kiesewetter) DC Politics Protest Trump Washington Woman Women blog photojournalism travel http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2017/2/womens-march-on-washington-dc---scenes-from-a-protest Wed, 08 Feb 2017 15:41:01 GMT
Giving Away My Photos for FREE - My First Week with Unsplash http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2016/12/one-week-with-unsplash---thoughts-on-giving-away-my-photos I've quietly decided to give away some of my favorite images for FREE. They are available (in all of their high-rez glory) for anyone to download and use as they wish on Unsplash.

 

Sweet Appaloosa

 

Founded by the cool people at Crew, Unsplash has created quite a stir in the photography community; and in the process, is changing (for better or worse) the face of stock photography. What started out as a Tumblr page, has evolved into one of the best sites for downloading top-quality stock photography on the internet. Curated by a team of design pros, the photography that shows up on the "new" page, and in their curated collections are truly stunning.

In less than a week on Unsplash, my photos have been viewed more than 80,000 times, and have been downloaded more than 260 times. What will they be used for? I'm not sure, but I can't wait to see the places they might crop up.

The bottom line is that I hope they bring joy to the end user, and inspire others to get out there and start creating. Don't get me wrong. I'm not going to be giving away high-resolution, FREE for all uses copies of all of my work, but there are many photos sitting on my hard drive just collecting "digital dust", and I'd rather see them enjoyed, used, and finding their way into the creative work of others. 

Horizon at 8th and the Beach

 

So this brings us to the big question: Is it a good thing, or a bad thing for photographers to give their work away?

For me, the jury is out, but I think the exposure outweighs any possible monetary losses. Who knows what might happen?

Maybe someone influential discovers my work, likes my style, and wants me to shoot their next campaign. I can still dream, right? If someone chooses to use my work, I only ask that they are kind enough to share a link with me, so I can enjoy it as well.

Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

If you'd follow along on Instagram that'd be cool too!

https://www.instagram.com/j_key_sweater/

Thanks for reading...

 

Jerry K

I'm testing using some space on my blog to promote some of the products that I use (and love) in my daily life. Hopefully they will be things that you will find value in as well.

First up is my Sonos PLAY 1. this is honestly some of the best $200 that I've spent, and can't wait to add at least one more to other rooms in the house.

Please click the Amazon link below to check out this really cool device!

http://amzn.to/2kCBGGJ

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info@jerrykiesewetter.com (Jerry Kiesewetter) Instagram Maryland OCMD Ocean City Stock Photography Unsplash blog photo blog photographer stock http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2016/12/one-week-with-unsplash---thoughts-on-giving-away-my-photos Fri, 16 Dec 2016 20:20:11 GMT
Fear of the Unknown - Adventures in Maternity Photography http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2016/10/fear-of-the-unknown---adventures-in-maternity-photography  

Photography assignments don't typically make me nervous, but when a client requested that I shoot her maternity session, my stomach immediately went into knots.

Sure, I've taken some tongue-in-cheek "maternity" photos of myself (it was one of these photos that actually got me this booking), but never before have I photographed the pregnant human form...with all of that "glow". Honestly, it was just a genre of photographythat I'd never given much though to.

Why should I worry? Maternity photography is one of the biggest, and most popular genres of photography out there, and I'd be a real knuckle-head if I turned down the work. Maternity photos are everywhere; Just scroll through Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest, and you'll see what I mean. This popularity was helpful, as it gave me a starting point, and provided some references for the types of photos my client was looking for. My goal for the afternoon was to keep it loose, and have some fun.

We chose Assateague Island Nation Seashore as the location for our shoot. The weather was gorgeous! It was sunny, warm, and beach and ocean made the perfect backdrop for some lovely images.

Here are a few of my favorites...

 

If you're interested in working with me, or would like additional information, please send me a message.

I'd love it if you follow me on Instagram.

https://www.instagram.com/j_key_sweater/

 

 

 

 

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info@jerrykiesewetter.com (Jerry Kiesewetter) Eastern Shore Maryland Ocean City blog maternity motherhood photographer photography pregnancy pregnant travel http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2016/10/fear-of-the-unknown---adventures-in-maternity-photography Wed, 19 Oct 2016 23:44:00 GMT
A Trip to Chinatown in Philadelphia - A Photo Story http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2016/10/a-trip-to-chinatown-in-philadelphia---a-photo-story I took the family on a quick trip to Philadelphia this past Monday to bring my son home from Drexel for the long, Columbus Day Weekend.

My daughter is obsessed with all things "Kawaii", or (in the context of Japanese culture) cute, so we decided to spend a few hours in Philadelphia's Chinatown.

Here's some of what we saw while we were there.

Asia Crafts Inc. - The Sanrio StoreThe makers of Hello Kitty

 

Run - Do Not Walk

Maneki Neko CatThe beckoning cat is often believed to bring good luck to the owner.

Feel The BernBernie Sanders even made an appearance.

Bubble TeaI did not partake, but Cathy and Anna loved this stuff.

Friendship Arch

Setting the Scene

Feel the Pulse of the Streets

Stop and See

Red Wall

Peking Duck{"DeviceAngle":0.01970897428691387}

Lunch at Ho Sai Gai{"DeviceAngle":-0.05786875635385513}

Man Working

Man Not Working

Orchids at Ho Sai GaiYes! They're real!

Engine Company 20, Ladder 23

A New Tattoo?

Motorcycle in an Alley

Some Cool Street Art

Year of The Ox

Not Your Daughter's Barbies

The Boot

Morton's Salt GirlIt was a good day - She didn't even have to use her AK.

Chinese Christian Church

That's about all that I have to share. We had a great time, and I'd definitely recommend that you visit Philadelphia's Chinatown the next time you're in the city.

 

Thanks for looking!

 

Please be sure to follow me on Instagram for more photos...

https://www.instagram.com/jerry_kiesewetter_photography/

 

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info@jerrykiesewetter.com (Jerry Kiesewetter) Drexel University asia asian chinatown day kawaii philadelphia photography squishies street travel trip urban http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2016/10/a-trip-to-chinatown-in-philadelphia---a-photo-story Sun, 09 Oct 2016 14:44:11 GMT
WARNING: The Rat is Unleashed! http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2016/8/warning-the-rat-is-unleashed The Rat's out of the cellar, and ready to give you a piece of his mind. Can you handle it?
 
The Rat Speaks His Mind
 
I don't think anyone believes me when I tell them what a trip my neighbor is....Then I play one of his voice-mails for them, and they start to get the idea.
 
Not only does my he still make old-school-rock-and-roll mix-tapes for his friends; He gets on the mic between songs and explodes his mind. Ramble along with him through music history, and hear his unique take on today's music and entertainment landscape. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you might even be confused.
 
In the first six minute installment you'll sit slack-jawed as The Rat shares stories from his days in 1970's California, and asks you what the Hell you've done with YOUR life.
 
Topics include: Starship, Craig Chaquico, Jerry Garcia, Grace Slick, Burning Man Festival, Rob Zombie, Wayne's World, Hashish, James Brown, and don't you DARE try to tell him a DJ is a musician!
 
---
The Essential Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship/Starship
http://amzn.to/2kQ6K3H
Available on Amazon!
 
Stay tuned. Video coming soon!
 
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info@jerrykiesewetter.com (Jerry Kiesewetter) California Eastern Shore blog blogging deadhead grateful dead music ocean city photography podcast portraits rock and roll travel vaping woodstock http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2016/8/warning-the-rat-is-unleashed Sun, 14 Aug 2016 13:30:03 GMT
Model Releases Make Me Feel So Awkward http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2016/8/model-releases-make-me-feel-so-awkward Mother and DaughterHow do you handle model releases?
Want to know what's harder than asking a stranger if you can take their photo? Asking them to sign a model release.
 
I know the importance of getting a signed model release, but I just feel so awkward asking a person to sign one -- "Thanks for letting me snap your photo, please sign this contract."
 
In it's simplest form, a model release, or liability waiver, is just a document that allows a photographer to publish your photo, or grant license to others to use your photo.
 
How do you handle model releases? Is there any way to make the process less intimidating for both the photographer and the model? Please share your advice with me. 
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info@jerrykiesewetter.com (Jerry Kiesewetter) beach blog legal licensing nikon photographer photography portraits travel http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2016/8/model-releases-make-me-feel-so-awkward Thu, 11 Aug 2016 16:40:09 GMT
Donald Trump Visits "America's Coolest Small Town" - Berlin, MD - A Guest Blog Post http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2016/4/donald-trump-visits-americas-coolest-small-town---belrin-md---a-guest-blog-post

 

Donald Trump recently paid a visit to "America's Coolest Small Town", Berlin, Maryland. Trump can be quite a polarizing figure, and his presence always brings out large crowds of supporters and detractors, all wanting their voices to be heard.

I was sure that Trump's visit could provide for some excellent photo opportunities, so I packed up my camera, and headed over to the local High School where Mr. Trump was scheduled to speak. The turnout was huge, and I was not disappointed. There were people there to rally behind Mr. Trump and his message, and there were many protesters who wanted to bring attention to what they see as some of his shortcomings. 

I will state up front; I am not a Trump supporter, and my wife was there as a respectful protester. She carried a sign that encouraged people to be kind, and not bully one another. I support an open dialogue between people with differences of opinions, and believe that everyone has a right to have their voices heard. I was mostly just here to take pictures.

Our good friend, Matthew Manos, was there as a protester, carrying a message of neighborly love.

The following are some of Matthew's observations, which he later posted to Facebook. I thought that his words would go along nicely with my photos from the event, so with his permission, here you go...


My experience at tonight’s anti-Trump demonstration in the Coolest Small Town in America

- Within minutes of arriving on site I was called an idiot for the message that I carried with me, which said: “Stop hating your neighbor! WWJD?”
- While there were exceptions, the vast majority of one side was white, while the other side was much more diverse.
- There were 34 cops on our side of the street and maybe six cops on the pro-Trump side.
- The cops were respectful to both sides and kept order without being overbearing.
- Cameras were everywhere. It started feeling very passive aggressive..."I’m gonna film you filming me and you’re gonna take it!!!" I admit I was guilty of doing this… but seriously, who scoffs at a sign that says we need more love?
- Both sides would have cheered for the Orioles. And the Nats.
- Often, the pro-Trump side would yell “get a job!” and “stop living in your parent’s basement!” Though every single person I talked to was either employed or a student.
- The entire demonstration was organized by a high-school student. #TheKidsAreAlright
- There was a small number of Hispanics carrying a Mexican flag. They were booed. But they stood strong despite being massively outnumbered.
- One man draped in a Confederate flag yelled to a group of black kids: “This is your heritage!”
- I feel like I see the same guy selling tee-shirts at every concert/event I’ve been to in my adult life.
- A mother of a 7-8 year old boy scoffed at the “WWJD?” on my sign. The boy promptly said “I’m just here” and put his hands up like he was innocent.
- My favorite sign of the day: “Trump Likes Nickelback.” Runner up: “We Shall Overcomb.”
- Another woman came up to me and said “she was just here to check out things…but she wasn’t a real Trump supporter.”
- In small town America having “the wrong” opinion can impact your career; but, regardless, people were willing to take that chance.
- Walking back to the truck, which was a half mile or so up the road, I ended up in a conversation with an older white man who had just left the pro-Trump rally. He explained that he served in Vietnam and currently works in health care, and his son is a Sanders supporter. He said that he voted for Bush Jr. and really regrets it. He explained to me why he was voting for Trump; I explained why I am not. We walked together to the parking lot, formerly introduced ourselves, and wished each other the best. (Of course then I told him thank you for not being aggressive with me. He scoffed and said “why would I do that?” It was a good question.)

I respect the opinions of others, so please feel free to leave a comment. I only ask that you keep the conversation respectful, and free of obscenities. 

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info@jerrykiesewetter.com (Jerry Kiesewetter) America Berlin Bernie Sanders Democracy Democrat Donald Hillary Clinton Maryland Non-Violence OCMD Ocean City Politics Protest Republican Trump berlinmd photography http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2016/4/donald-trump-visits-americas-coolest-small-town---belrin-md---a-guest-blog-post Mon, 25 Apr 2016 14:50:39 GMT
Photographs Now Available for Licensing Through 500px Prime http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2015/2/my-photos-are-now-available-for-licensing-through-500px-prime Stink Beach, West Ocean City, MarylandStink Beach, West Ocean City, MarylandStinky Beach in West Ocean City, Maryland

I just wanted to make a quick announcement that many of my photos are now available for royalty-free licensing through 500px Prime. It's not quite Getty Images, but at least my photos will be getting a little bit more exposure to potential buyers.

If you, or someone that you know, might be interested in using any of my photos for your next advertising, or social media campaign, please take a look here. And be sure to share the link to this post using the share buttons on the blog.

Thanks for you support. Now go take a look...

Jerry Kiesewetter Photography on 500px Prime -

Are you a photographer? Have you licensed your prints before? If you're familiar with 500px Prime, and have a success story to share, I'd love to hear about it.

 

- Jerry

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info@jerrykiesewetter.com (Jerry Kiesewetter) 500px Maryland Ocean City advertising commercial licensing photographer photography prime royalty free travel http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2015/2/my-photos-are-now-available-for-licensing-through-500px-prime Fri, 20 Feb 2015 13:56:01 GMT
Caribbean Cruise - January 2015 http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2015/1/caribbean-cruise---january-2015 BRRR! It is cold here...That was my first thought upon arriving back home after our most recent vacation to the Carribbean.

We cruised aboard the Carnival Sunshine from January 17th to January 24th. This year we visited; Cozumel, Mexico, Goff's Cay, Belize, Isla Roatan, Honduras, and Costa Maya Mexico. My wife and I traveled with our kids, my sister's family, and two of our best friends. It was nice to have so many awesome people to share in this great experience.

Of course I took lots of photos along the way...Here are a few of my favorites.

Luggage at Cruise Terminal - Port Canaveral, Florida

Wife in Bikini - Paradise Beach Wife and Friends - Mahogany Beach, Isla Roatan, Honduras The Carnival Sunshine - Mahogany Beach, Isla Roatan, Honduras Aquamarine Water and Dock - Isla Roatan, Honduras Worry Dolls - Honduras Dolls in Honduras Goff's Cay, Belize, Central America Boatman at Work - Goff's Cay, Belize, Central America Sand and Palms - Goff's Cay, Belize, Central America Black Sea King - Goff's Cay, Belize, Central America The Eileen - Goff's Cay, Belize, Central America Dock, Conch, Boats, and Sky - Goff's Cay, Belize, Central America 0746SilverImagePhotos0746SilverImagePhotos 0747SilverImagePhotos0747SilverImagePhotos Carnival Sunshine and Carnival Glory - Costa Maya, Mexico The Beer Drinker - Mexican Marionette - Costa Maya, Mexico Sugar Skulls - Costa Maya, Mexico Sugar Skull in Black and White - Costa Maya, Mexico

If you've enjoyed these photos, please be kind enough to visit my shop on Etsy. I've got lot of beautiful and original photos to help you decorate your home. Photos make great gifts for Valentine's Day, BTW!

My Etsy Shop..

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info@jerrykiesewetter.com (Jerry Kiesewetter) Belize Caribbean Carnival Costa Maya Cozumel Ocean Roatan Sand Sun beach cruising mexico travel vacation http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2015/1/caribbean-cruise---january-2015 Sat, 31 Jan 2015 01:58:18 GMT
Children's Portrait Session with Ruby. Always a Great Time! http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2014/11/children-photo-session

This past year has been a very busy one for me, and unfortunately (with my full time job), I've not been able to shoot as many photographs as I've wanted. Thankfully, our dear friends, Angela and Matthew, wanted some fall photos of their beautiful daughter, Ruby, and she asked if I'd be willing to help her out. I couldn't have asked for a better excuse to blow the dust off of my camera gear!

I want to offer a special thanks to our friends, Lynn and Cindy Crockett, owners of Harvest Grove Garden Market, for allowing us to use their lovely farm as a location for our photo shoot. If you want fresh, local, organic fruits and vegetables Harvest Grave Garden Market is a great place to go.

Here are the pics...Enjoy! Please let me know what you think...

 

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info@jerrykiesewetter.com (Jerry Kiesewetter) Cute Kids Eastern Shore Ocean City childrens photos girl portrait photography http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2014/11/children-photo-session Wed, 12 Nov 2014 15:12:08 GMT
The Star of the Show - An Amazing Day with Ruby http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2014/2/the-star-of-the-show---an-amazing-day-with-ruby Angelic

I ain't too proud to beg

Lately, I've had to do lots of begging in order to get subjects to sit in front of my camera. Who'd think that it'd be this hard to get people to show up for FREE PHOTOS? When I browse Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, it seems that over half of the photos I see are "selfies". Here I am eating. Here I am driving. Here I am making a "duck-face". With all of these people taking photos of themselves, I figured that there would have to be at least a few folks willing to let me snap a few photos of them. I've not found this to be the case. Maybe it's the thought of turning control over to someone else. Or maybe, deep down, these people are really more self-conscious than I'm giving them credit for. Anyway, I always try to make my models look good, feel comfortable, and I'd never post a photo without your permission. If you look bad, I look bad.

Alright, Mr. Demille. I'm ready for my close-up

One of our family friends, Angela, was nice enough to bring her lovely daughter, Ruby, over to have some photos taken. Angela knows that I want to hone my portrait/headshot skills, and I'm so thankful that she and Ruby were willing to give me an hour of their time.

Angela brought a great bag of outfits*, and even some props to make the session a bit more fun. After about five minutes of shy-time, Ruby really opened up, and literally took control of the shoot. She knew what outfits she wanted to wear, what props she wanted to use, and what poses she was willing to do. She even kept a running count of the number of photos I was taking of each pose (Time is money, I suppose).

This girl is not even five-years old yet, but she is going to be a star. I should definitely send a link to this blog to a few casting directors.

Enjoy the Photos

About the Set-Up

If you're wondering about the setup, it was very, very simple:

  • Thunder-Gray Seamless Backdrop
  • Nikon SB-700 Speedlight
  • Ten-Foot Lightstand
  • Optic White Shoot-Through Umbrella
  • Westcott Five-In-One Reflector

I hope that you've enjoyed seeing a few of the photos from yesterday's shoot with Ruby. Please feel free to contact me if you'd like to set up something for yourself.

* My sincere apologies to Angela for "forgetting" to take photos of Ruby in her Pittsbugh Steelers hat. It was an honest mistake ;)

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info@jerrykiesewetter.com (Jerry Kiesewetter) blog children flash photography portraits strobist http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2014/2/the-star-of-the-show---an-amazing-day-with-ruby Thu, 27 Feb 2014 15:17:22 GMT
Manual Mode, Free Headshots, and Off-Camera Lighting http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2014/2/a-month-in-manual-mode  

It's been two weeks since my last post, and I've busy making some decisions about the direction that I want to take with my photography. What types of photography do I want to spend my time shooting? What do I want need to learn more about? What are my weaknesses? And most importantly, how am I going to force myself to get better?

A Return to Manual

I've been a photography enthusiast since my days spent in the darkrooms at Stephen Decatur High School, so I'm fairly well grounded in the basics of ISO, aperture, and shutter speed, but let's face it, today's DSLR's make it really easy for us to become dependent on some of the automated settings of taking photographs (and they usually do a damn fine job.) Personally, I've been living in the "A" mode for quite some time now, and while I don't feel that it's been detrimental to my photos, I do feel as though it's a crutch that I fall back on far too often. So, excuse me while I switch over to "M".

Attention ShoppersA red shopping cart waits for a shopper outside of an Ocean City shopping center.

 

 

Off-Camera Lighting

Off-camera lighting is the one area where I really want to upgrade my skills. There is so much to learn about off-camera/studio lighting, and it can be quite overwhelming, but in my opinion, a solid understanding of off-camera and studio lighting is what separates the novice photographer from the true professionals. I want to be a professional, so it's time for me to step up to the plate and swing.

My biggest challenge is currently my budget. I've got no choice but to work with a very basic setup; a flash, a light-stand, a shoot-through umbrella, and a background support system with a choice of two different backgrounds (white and thunder gray). An additional flash and light-stand are at the top of my wishlist. Not having enough light means slower shutter speeds and higher ISO's, both of which can quickly diminish the quality of your photographs. With these basic tools, I should be able to produce some quality work.

UPDATE- I just sold all of my comic books today (sniffle), so I've just ordered a new speedlight, light-stand and another umbrella on the way! 

Headshots and Portraits

Headshots are another area where I feel as though I need to get more practice. It's also an area where photographers can potentially make some money.

Headshots aren't just important for actors and models, they also play an important role in helping business professionals market themselves. Your headshot should clearly communicate who you are, set the tone for your business, and reflect you personality. They should be flattering, but not overly edited. We want to see who you are.

Self Portrait with Tiger hatThis is one of my favorite models. He is also the only one who's willing to sit for me whenever I need him.

Getting better at taking headshots, and becoming more comfortable working with people, is so important to me that I've decided to offer a limited number of FREE HEADSHOT SESSIONS over the next few weeks. So, whether you need a new photo for your acting resume, business card, or just want to update the really bad Facebook profile photo, contact me to set up an appointment. Sessions should last about 15-20 minutes, and you'll walk away with a few great new digital photos of yourself. It's a win-win for both of us.

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

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info@jerrykiesewetter.com (Jerry Kiesewetter) blog headshots lighting model photographer photography portraits speedlight strobist http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2014/2/a-month-in-manual-mode Mon, 24 Feb 2014 21:09:56 GMT
Enter at Your Own Risk - In Search of Abandonment http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2014/2/enter-at-your-own-risk Private PropertyI really should follow the rules.

Country Drive on a Winter Day

Though my coffee and comfy chair tried to persuade me otherwise, this morning I finally convinced myself that it was time to get out of the house and go take some photos. With no destination in mind, I grabbed my camera, my coat, and a pair of heavy boots, I fired up the car, cranked up the heat, and headed off to find some back roads.

With no destination in mind, I headed North on Rt. 13 towards the Delaware line. Stopping for a traffic signal on Peerless Road in Showell, Maryland, I obeyed my urge by the urge to make a left on Peerless Road. Of course, I've traveled these roads many times before, but the mood and emotions evoked on each trip change with the seasons; And today definitely felt like winter.

I love to photograph the old, the abandoned, and the forgotten. I imagine all of the souls that frequented these places in days gone by. I'm not superstitious, but I swear that sometimes it's as though I can still hear them there...begging to be remembered.

Here's a look at what my camera an I saw today. I played with white balance, curves, and saturation today, as if to try to breath some warmth and light into an otherwise cold and dreary set of photos. I hope that you enjoy them.

* If you are interested in decorating your home with one of my prints, please visit my shop on Etsy.

ClicheYou can't have a camera near a train track without taking at least one of these. The Hay is in the Barn?Long-forgotten hay falls out of a decaying barn loft.

 

 

 

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info@jerrykiesewetter.com (Jerry Kiesewetter) Eastern Shore Maryland Ocean City Ocean City, Maryland abandoned architecture blog country photography rural rustic http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2014/2/enter-at-your-own-risk Tue, 04 Feb 2014 18:06:30 GMT
Another Cold Day in Ocean City, Maryland http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2014/1/cold-and-snow-on-the-boardwalk-and-beach-in-ocean-city-maryland Cold Walk On The BoardsA couple enjoys a walk on the boardwalk, as snow from winter storm Janus clings to the shadows.

 

When the cold and snow hit Ocean City I'm usually pretty content to watch it from the comfort of my family room window. For the most part, the snow from winter storm Janus has melted away, so when my son asked if I'd let him drive us to the Ocean Bowl Skatepark, I saw it as an opportunity to come out of hibernation (if only for a few moments).

The snow had mostly receded, but some of it was still clinging to life in shadows, and drifts. I was quite surprised by the number of people that were actually on the boardwalk. The downtown arcades were open, and of course there was the ever-present line of customers lined up to get their Thrasher's-French-Fries fix.

It was a bit colder than I had anticipated (or dressed for), so I limited my walk from the Inlet to the north-side of the pier. That's quite enough for me, thank you very much. This is how things looked to me. Enjoy!

If you are interested in decorating your home with one of my prints, please visit my shop on Etsy.

Snowy Skater Oceanic MotelCold and desolate approach to the Ocean City, Inlet

Welcome to ocean CityThe tram station sits empty at the boardwalk's south end.

The View of Assateague Island Turn to Clear Vision

Looking North from Lifesaving Museum

Twin TwistTry a Trimper's Twin-Twist Haunted HouseThe Haunted House looks downright haunted! Ice Cream?All I'm seeing is ice! The Northern ViewLooking to the north from the OC Fishing Pier OC Fishing Pier With Snow in ForegroundDon't be fooled by the sunny look of the pier, it was very cold today. If you look closely, you can see snow in the foreground. Dumser's Dairy LandEven the seagulls are ready for the return of summer. Ocean City HotOcean City Hot...Not Tidal Wave Roller CoasterTrimper's Tidal Wave Roller Coaster Viewed from Beneath the Boards

 

 

 

 

 

 

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info@jerrykiesewetter.com (Jerry Kiesewetter) Eastern Shore OCMD Ocean City, Maryland beach boardwalk cold ice pier travel http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2014/1/cold-and-snow-on-the-boardwalk-and-beach-in-ocean-city-maryland Mon, 27 Jan 2014 15:03:39 GMT
A Reminder to Protect the Natural Beauty of Our Community http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2014/1/flowers-from-our-past If you've lived in Ocean Pines long enough, then I don't need to tell you just how much the area has changed over the years. Some of it is for the better, but many of the changes have only served to detract from the natural beauty that has drawn so many of us to the area.

Here are a few photos taken in areas that have recently been severely impacted by our growth and development.

Trees and flowers lost in the name of progress.Cathage Road and Rt. 589Wildflowers and tall trees once grew here. It's all been lost for the sake of a new medical building. CLICK IMAGE to BUY in my Etsy Shop!

The photo above was taken last Spring. This is an area situated between the North Gate of Ocean Pines, and Rt. 90 (south of Cathage Road). All of this vegetation, and all of the trees have been cut away. There will soon be a new medical facility located here. That's all well and good, but I'm certainly going to miss the trees and flowers.

Bainbridge Park, Ocean Pines, MarylandThe trees and vegetation are now gone.

This photo was taken during the summer, at one of my wife's favorite spots for her daily runs, Bainbridge Park in Ocean Pines. All of the trees by the side of this beautiful pond are now gone. I suppose the area was in need of some manicuring, but there was no need to take away ALL of the vegetation. Those trees provided refuge to hundreds of birds, and other forms of wildlife. I'll bet that they also helped prevent soil erosion, and acted as a buffer against the run-off of chemicals, and pollution into the pond.

This post isn't intended to point fingers at anyone, or to make a political statement about growth and development. I just wanted to point out of few of the things that I'm going to miss as our community grows, and to remind us to think about our natural surroundings as we move forward together into the future.

 

-Jerry

 

PS - If you've liked this post please use the social media buttons to share with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Google +! You can also subscribe to the RSS FEED by clicking HERE.

If you're interested in purchasing a print to decorate your home or office, please visit my Etsy Shop.

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info@jerrykiesewetter.com (Jerry Kiesewetter) Maryland OCMD OPMD Ocean City, Maryland Ocean Pines conservation develpment environment growth photography trees http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2014/1/flowers-from-our-past Sat, 25 Jan 2014 15:08:45 GMT
Trending on Wanelo http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2014/1/my-photos-are-trending-on-wanelo I'm happy to report that some of the products in my Etsy shop are starting to show up in searches on Wanelo. I've put in my claim for the store, and I'm just waiting on final approval.

Be sure to go check it out, and add some of my products to your favorites...

 

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info@jerrykiesewetter.com (Jerry Kiesewetter) Eastern Shore Maryland Ocean City Ocean City, Maryland etsy photographer photography wanelo http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2014/1/my-photos-are-trending-on-wanelo Wed, 22 Jan 2014 13:28:34 GMT
Madaline Lowicki - Welcoming a Newborn Baby Girl to the Family http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2014/1/madaline---welcoming-a-newborn-baby-girl-to-the-family My niece, Erika Lowicki, and her husband Shawn, had their baby, Madaline, on Christmas Day. After about 20 hours of a hard, and exhausting labor, Madaline was delivered by C-Section. Not exactly the way that a girl (or guy) wants to spend Christmas Day, but the fruit of her labor certainly made it worth all the hard work. As excited as Erika and Shawn were about their new arrival, they couldn't help but be a little bit disappointed when they were told that the hospital's camera was out-of-order. Uncle Jerry (that's me) saw this little bit of bad news as an opportunity! I wanted to give Shawn and Erika a set of photos, that would, hopefully, be a lot more meaningful than the generic photos that the hospital spits out by the hundreds per year.

Having never photographed a newborn (indoors) before, this was a great opportunity for me to learn and grow as a photographer. My wife helped me gather up a few props (blankets, and toys); while I collected my flash, light stand, umbrella, lenses, and lots of batteries. We packed up the car, and headed off to Salisbury. I'm usually a bundle of nerves before a photo shoot, but Erika and Shawn made me feel totally at ease. Since I was shooting these photos for a family member, I didn't feel any of the pressure that I usually put on myself. We totally had a blast!

Here are a few of the photos from our session. I hope that you enjoy them!

Please use the social media buttons to share this blog post and photo galley with your friends!

If you're interested in purchasing a print for your home or office, please visit my Etsy Shop.

Shawn and MadalineThis is what happens when Dad holds the baby!

 

 

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info@jerrykiesewetter.com (Jerry Kiesewetter) Eastern Shore Maryland Ocean City Salisbury babies baby blog infant infants newborn photography portraits http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2014/1/madaline---welcoming-a-newborn-baby-girl-to-the-family Tue, 21 Jan 2014 15:02:08 GMT
The Joy of Printing Photographs http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2014/1/joy-of-printing-photos Stinky Beach Framed PhotoStinky Beach Framed PhotoPhotograph of Stinky Beach print hanging over fireplace at Christmas. Assateague Print with Happy New OwnerAssateague Print with Happy New OwnerThe daughter of a happy customer displaying her newly-framed print of an Assateague Beach print. Photo Winner, Charlene SmithPhoto Winner, Charlene SmithCharlene Smith won a photo by participating in a contest on Facebook.

Snapping the Photo is Just Part of the Joy

I've always loved taking photographs of the beautiful sights that surround me here in Ocean City, Maryland, and on the Eastern Shore. Whether it's capturing images of the beaches and waterfront, the memorable places, or the friendly faces that make living and working here such a pleasure, my photography provides me with an outlet for all of my creative energy. Photography is a fantastic hobby, and I encourage anyone who is interested to pick up a camera and start shooting.

For years I was content to snap a digital photo, edit it on my computer, then view and share it in its digital form with friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr. Little did I know that I was experiencing just half of the joy that photography could deliver! Then one day I decided to get a few of my photos printed by a professional color lab (MPIX Pro), matted, and framed. All I could say was, "WOW!" I'd never realized that having my work turned into a print, a tangible something that can be had and held, would increase the fun of my hobby by 1,000 times.

At first I got prints made to decorate my own home; then, I started getting requests from friends and family members to have prints made for them, too. That's why I finally decided to set up my own shop on Etsy, JKiesewetterPhotos, to allow people from all over the world to buy affordable prints to help them beautify their homes, and keep their memories of the beach alive. My prints are of the highest quality, and I can print in a variety of sizes and formats to meet any need. Please visit my shop, and share the link with your friends.

I love to get photos of my works being held by their new owners, or hanging on the walls of their forever homes! If you have one of my prints, please take a moment to send me a photo. I love to know what my children are up to.

Jerry

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info@jerrykiesewetter.com (Jerry Kiesewetter) MPIX OCMD Ocean City, Maryland beach beach photo beachy boardwalk frames ocean photography print prints resorts sand sea seaside sun travel http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2014/1/joy-of-printing-photos Tue, 14 Jan 2014 13:51:11 GMT
On Being Thankful http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2014/1/on-being-thankful Dinner Aboard the Carnival DreamDinner Aboard the Carnival DreamDinner Aboard the Carnival Dream Skateboarding at the Ocean Pines SkateparkSkateboarding at the Ocean Pines SkateparkJerry does a 50-50 grind at the Ocean Pines Skatepark in Ocean Pines, Maaryland. Anna at Assateague island National SeashoreAnna at Assateague island National Seashore

It's another relaxing Sunday morning, and as I sit back and enjoy my morning cup of coffee, I can't help but think about some of the people to whom I owe a big thank you. No matter how strong we think we are, we don't get too far in life without the help and support of our family and friends. They are the ones who lift you up when we're feeling down, encourage us to push past obstacles that stand in your way, and sometimes even carry us when we can't carry ourselves.

First and foremost, I want to thank my wife, Cathy Kiesewetter, for standing by my side for the past twenty-some years (for richer, and poorer, and poorer still). I can't begin to imagine where I'd be without her love, support, and constant encouragement. Her patience is a virtue, and she's never given up on me (even at those times when I'd given up on myself). She is the glue that holds our family together. She's is my love, my joy, and my life.

I'm thankful for my two amazing and beautiful children. Jerry and Anna are the two greatest gifts I've ever received (thanks Cathy). They drive us both crazy at times, but as they quickly grow into young men and women, I grow more proud of them every day. I can't wait to see what the future holds for these two shining stars.

Last, but not least, I'm thankful to all of my friends. Even though I only see most of them on Facebook, Twitter, or Google +, I look forward to the news, support, and humor that they bring into my life every day. Keep sharing news about your families, funny stories and photos, and, of course, constant updates on what you just ate for dinner ;)

These are just of few of the many things that I'm thankful for. Now it's your turn.

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info@jerrykiesewetter.com (Jerry Kiesewetter) Ocean City blog dogs facebook family friends pets photographer photography thankful thanks http://www.jerrykiesewetter.com/blog/2014/1/on-being-thankful Sun, 12 Jan 2014 16:19:35 GMT