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Monthly Archives: February 2009

We are stoked to announce the crazy little adventure that has been the past two weeks of our lives. Here’s the skinny…

Mobile Digs.

Most people that have some sort of online portfolio (insert photographers, graphic designers, architects, interior designers, hand models, marketing firms, etc.), all have portfolios based in Flash. Problem being that Flash doesn’t work at all on mobile devices (insert iPhone, Blackberry, Google Android, etc.) 

Until now. (insert Mobile Digs). 

We have created a super easy, yet totally good looking solution so that when someone visits your online portfolio from a mobile device, they are automatically redirected to this awesomely gorgeous, yet totally speedy lil’ new portfolio that actually works on said mobile device. (insert applause). 

So please, stop by our new site and check it out. Say hello. Tell your friends. Tell all your friends. Even tell your Aunt Myrtle. Heck… buy a copy for yourself. 

We are thrilled about this new adventure. 

For the many lovely friends we have at this here blog… (all 18 of you :)) we thought we’d throw out a little love. When checking out use the coupon code brightenlovesyou and save half off. (Normal price is $39 bucks. That means you get a swanky new iPhone friendly site for less than 20 bucks. Score.) 

Feel free to pass that code around to anyone else whom you might think will enjoy it. We’ll keep that code good till February 27th. 

And much thanks to my buddy Chris from Anova Solutions, who spent an ungodly amount of time helping get this thing ready over the past two weeks, so that we could spread the word at WPPI. You are an unreal dude and I can’t wait to share a drink with you soon. Thanks bro.


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By far the best part of WPPI was spending 3 full days with this lovely lady.

We met many wonderful people from all across the globe. And we may or may not have stayed up awfully late a few times. I have many photos from our time-shots of the city, of our shananigans and of the few shoots that we took part in with models and big lights-but none of them come close to these gems that make me smile like the Nile. 

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So once again, I’ve come up with a crazy idea. Usually when this happens, Whitney kindly hears out my madness, smiles and says something to the extent of ‘oh sweetie… you have so many good ideas. Someday that one might be neat.’ Neat? Neat?! She might as well have said that it sucked. Usually they do.

But this time…. she totally thought it was awesome.

And I’m thinking… wait? you mean you aren’t going to be that dose of reality that confirms that starting a piñata store that doubles as a swanky wine bar is a bad idea? YESSS!

So even though we might not be starting a new piñata themed wine bar… we have started yet another biz. And we’re PUMPED. Not gonna give the details yet, but hold on to your hats and by Monday,check back for the full dose of goodness! (especially you other photogs out there-we really think you will dig what we’re throwin’ out there!)

Here’s a sneak peak….

I know what you’re thinking… ‘What the EFF is that?’ We’re thinking the same thing.. well… not really.

Stay tuned.

On another note… we are heading to WPPI! Super last minute. But if there are any other photogs out there- we would love to hook up. Maybe lunch, dinner, drinks, throw water baloons off the top of the MGM.. ya know… whatev.

So hit us up and we can kick it for a bit.

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This post is one that has been sitting in my head for quite some time now. Months actually. I’ve long had this itch to somehow put to words just what it is that we are trying to accomplish with our work as photographers-to sort of write about what we hope for every time we get behind the lens.

And now I think I’ve found a few words that help.

Just this past week one of my ‘I really want to be that guy’ photographers that I follow, Chase Jarvis, had a post on his blog that was written by one of his studio staff (Scott). The post discusses from Scott’s perspective the industry of stock photography and how there has long been (and will probably continue to be) an expectation that for any image to enter the market it has to hit this mark of perfect aesthetics. Perfect transitions between color tones, spot on white balance, flawless sharpening, etc.(If you have a few minutes, definitely go read the post-its quite phenomenal).

But what originally drew me to the work that Chase and his crew puts out, is the simple raw power and story telling that they are able to convey through their imagery. His work in the commercial industry is unlike anything else I’ve ever seen. The first thing I think of when I see Chase’s work isn’t the technical perfection attributed to flawless post processing, but the dramatic story and emotion that is evoked inside of my own heart and head.

So jumping back to why we suck at photography….

We were never trained at photography. Quite honestly, I’ve never really been trained at any creative endeavor I’ve pursued. What originally drew us into becoming photographers was the opportunity (and adventure) of somehow capturing the world in all it’s raw, beautiful, powerful, humorous, and even tender ways. And we could have thought of no better way than through the monumental moments and days of two people joining lives.

We will never be ‘Master’ photographers. (yes- you can actually jump through enough hoops for the title). Not that pursuing your passion and skill is at all a bad thing-some of my other ‘I really want to be that guy (or gal)’ photographers are ‘Masters’ level photographers. But I’m quite certain I would never quite fit the mold.

I’m that guy that gets teary eyed at my clients weddings, or as I flip through a family shoot for the first time and find an image that just absolutely speaks to the story of being human-of being a kid. Or upon seeing the smiles between a couple as they say goodbye to their wedding guests and take off for the honeymoon. Those are moments and reasons behind why we do this job.

I’m a total sap. Go on. Insert funny girly joke here. I can wait. :)

Even as I try and put words to all this mumbo jumbo… I can’t help but use images to convey.

(random thought… does it help to put captions/thoughts before or after the images? let’s go with after.)

This is my favorite image that I grabbed this year. There is something about seeing a smile that big-that beautifully reckless, innocent and unabashed-that reminds me of the joy of being human. And there I go getting all teary eyed again. Get it together, Ben.

Technically speaking-this image has much to be critiqued. In full disclosure it’s not well proportioned, the focus point is actually on her shirt, distracting background elements and color correcting that isn’t exaclty flattering.

But I can feel that image. I am reminded of the feeling of being a kid. Without worry of what people think of me and the ability to simply laugh, play, run… and love.

This image just takes me straight to a conversation in my mind….

Mom: Did our kids just really just jump into a fountain?
Dad: Yep….. that was awesome.
Mom: My family is really that crazy…..
Dad: I can’t wait to put the kids to bed later.

Whoa…. let’s keep this one PG. My apologies. :) And even though there are fingers in mouths and eyes not even close to looking the camera-the kids have this guilty innocence, while the parents share a smirky joyful smile that speaks of the love that means the world… Priceless.

This is an image that Whitney consistently goes back to as one of her favorites. It’s that “we are getting married in two weeks and my life can no longer be without you” kind of kiss. It’s suuuper noisy, blown out, with some extremely average and overdone post processing. Yet it draws up that feeling I had just days before my own wedding. I know that feeling.

Again… I’m drawn to that smile. The one that says “I’m marrying you in exactly an hour-and our lives will never be the same. And it couldn’t feel any more right.”

Yet the image is crazy blown out, losing what many people would consider so many important details of the bride.

I’d pick capturing stories, life and love any day. And it’s not even that we aren’t constantly pursuing becoming better at what we do-for the better photographer one is, the far easier it is to be ready to capture that priceless moment-and we are constantly pushing ourselves to become the best we can be.

It’s a blend somewhere between aesthetic perfection and raw, powerful imagery that we hope to land in. Always ready to let life dictate what comes through lens.

So here’s to capturing life, love, hilarity, tenderness and those ‘holy crap I just got to experience that‘ moments. Thanks to many of you who have invited us into those very moments. We are blessed because of it-because of you.

Cheers friends.

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I love the beginning of the new year. For some reason I enjoy the month of January more than most months. There is something beautiful about the opportunity to look forward at 365 days of opportunity, and begin the pursuit of making dreams come to life in new and challenging ways. Now, ask me what I think of these new opportunities and resolutions in March, and you might get a return glance that says something to the extent of “ask me again and I’ll kick you in the crotch.” Not really. But, sort of.

So Whitney and I have talked a lot over the past month about what we are really hoping to accomplish. I honestly could not think of something I enjoy more than hashing out our dreams over the many meals and drinks that we have been able to share-they remind me how beautiful life can be when shared with the most wonderful person ever.

Anyway… enough sappy talk. (happy valentine’s day, sweet cheeks!) Here is our list of the year twothousandniner. (I’ll be vague. You don’t want the details, I can imagine.)

-Read way more. Which=cancelling cable. Oh the freedom.
-Make a baby…errrr… I mean… practice making a baby. 😉
-Travel the international. (hopefully our trajectory can continue to be an every other year international sort of thing-which would=this year).
-Shoot our brains out. And by shoot, I intended to imply with our cameras. Personal. Not work.
-Consume less. Seriously. We live in a country that thinks very little about how much we take and how little we give. We hope to be a small piece of change. This one is big.
-Get healthier. Whitney already works out like a champ. Ben is a champ at things like wii. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.
-Debt free. I’ll repeat that one with a bit more dramatic tone. Debt. Free. Thats right. Bring it.
-Blog. Like. Crazy. I’m putting this one here so that I now have the accountability of the ENTIRE world (or the 12 of you). At least 3 posts per week. Hey-it worked when I set out for everyday in August. I figure telling the world (or the 12 of you) I’m gonna do it will help get some traction…
-Solitude. One day a month. Shut off the world. This one is my personal deal. Much needed.
-Laugh at something-or with someone-everyday.
-Launch the commercial side of Brighten and small little personal project that is bouncing around in my head…
-Love. Vague? Yes. But if we can grow our capacity to love at the rate of a good 401K, we will die incredibly rich people. Far more rich than any amount of $ could ever offer.

Here’s to the rest of twothousandniner and actually putting our resolutions down on paper in February. Cheers friends!

I leave you with a splendid memory from our trip to hawaii in 2008….

Apparently my eyes don’t open under water…

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