New Studio Grand Opening Open House!!

posted on: March 30, 2010

Open House Announcement

Since I have a lot of friends and family who I know won't be able to make it to Massachusetts for the Open House, I'm going to try to do a live streaming webcam for those who want to "stop by" online even if they can't be here in person. Any suggestions on which streaming webcam service I should use? ;-)

*** Update 4/4/10 ***
Sorry I wasn't able to get a live feed up and running for you, I'll try to set up an "online tour" for later this week!!

Should I Get RAW Digital Negatives From My Photographer?

posted on: March 29, 2010

Digital Negative or RAW image file is an uncompressed file straight from the camera, which contains the largest amount of image data possible.  Digital cameras have surpassed the human eye in the ability to perceive light and color, and this information is all captured in a Digital Negative / RAW file.  These files offer the greatest image flexibility and quality control, but ultimately must be processed and compressed in order to be usable for web or print.  Note: most small point &shoot cameras do NOT produce Digital Negatives (only JPG), but almost all DSLR cameras offer the ability to capture in RAW and/or JPG.


1. What do I want to do with the images?
If you want to put your images online, create prints, or make an album, your RAW Digital Negatives files will need to be processed with software into a compressed format, such as JPG, TIFF, PNG, GIF, etc.  If all you want is to have an archive of the original unprocessed image data, you'll simply need to make sure you have enough space for all of the data and the right software if you'd like to view the files. (I use an average of 40GB of hard drive space per wedding.)

2. Do I have the right software/hardware to view and process Digital Negative / RAW files?
Since new cameras, containing new RAW formats, come out every 6 months or so, software and hardware constantly need to be upgraded in order to handle the newest formats and file sizes.  Make sure the software you have can process the specific type of RAW files that you'll receive, or you can purchase the latest versions of photo processing software online.  Lightroom and Aperture are popular image processing softwares.

3. Do I know how to process Digital Negative / RAW files to achieve my desired look?
Photographers spend a lot of time learning how to process images after they've been captured in order to achieve a particular look to their images.  Everyone has a different eye, which is why even though many  photographers use the exact same cameras, lenses, and software, the end results are still just as individual and unique as the person behind the camera.
Post Production Variations

When shooting weddings with such a vast array of lighting situations, I prefer RAW capture over JPG for the ability to create high quality images even when faced with the most restricted and challenging lighting situations, however all of my final images are processed and permanently backed up as High Resolution JPG.  Once I've processed an image to the highest quality JPG possible, there's very little need or desire to go back and reopen a RAW file just to end up processing it again.  While most of my clients choose to receive their wedding images as fully processed High Resolution JPG images so that they are ready for web & print, I am also willing to provide the Digital Negatives or RAW files when working with photographers who have a great understanding of image processing, or with clients who really want the RAW image data archived.  For clients who are interested in doing their own processing, I offer variable rates for the time I'm saved in post-production.  However, if you love the finished images that a photographer has featured on their website or blog, please note that those are fully processed according to the photographer's tastes, which is often the most valuable and time consuming element in a photographer's workflow.

Disclaimer: Other photographers may have different policies for Digital Negatives, so if this is something that you're interested in, please speak with your professional photographer regarding their exact policies.

Thanks to Jim Cryan for capturing the image above, and to Janelle DePiano for modeling!

Where in the World is Anne Ruthmann?

posted on: March 18, 2010

(The fabulous Annabel & Paul in Los Angeles, CA)

It's that time of year again, when I get quiet on my blog because there's so much happening behind the scenes!! It would take an entire day for me to just type out everything I've been working on right now, so I'll spare you all the details and just give you the bullet list:

- March 18-22: Photographing a wedding overseas
- March 23: Consulting for another photographer
- March 24-27: In Anaheim, CA conducting market research and planning a pricing workshop tour
- March 28: Special screening for a client and photographer consultations
- March 29: Engagement session
- March 30: Presenting in an Online Marketing & Social Media Workshop for COOL
- March 31: Interview with potential intern
- April 1: Hang gallery pieces for The Space
- April 2: Private event
- April 3: New Studio Open House - You're Invited!
- April 7: Meetings in Boston
- April 8: My Birthday!
- April 9: Teaching an Optical Illusion with Digital Photography Workshop for the Boys & Girls Club

Other note worthy events of late:
- After several weeks of interviews, I have 3 new interns: Janelle, Cait, and Tiffanie all working on different long term projects- woo hoo!
- The Boston Pin Up Girls Casting Call was a great success.  Lara Swanson and I photographed 17 girls will full vintage styling, hair, and makeup provided by local stylists all in about 8 hours.  The results can be found here:
- I donated a family session to be auctioned for another Haiti relief project, and will be donating a digital photography private lesson to benefit local homeless relief agencies
- Dan built a wall in my studio, and Melissa & Allison organized my storage area
- In December I hung my first full gallery display at headquarters focusing on local children and urban families.  It's still there right now if you'd like to see it before it comes down.
- I'm still experiencing issues with emails not going out or coming in, and things getting corrupted while being uploaded, but the problems seem to go away on days when the weather is warmer- it's weird.  Is it spring yet, are we there yet?!?
- I finally have a Facebook Fan Page  and right now I'm my only fan- so, um, go me!

So, if you don't hear from me for a while, it's not for lack of activity, but rather, it's often because of over-activity.  Thank you so much for being a loyal reader and for understanding when I disappear from time to time- you can always follow me on Twitter  if you end up missing me in between posts!

LOVE IT: Laura Barrett

posted on: March 8, 2010

It was Thursday, February 11th, at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston. My husband and I were there to see The Magnetic Fields, but when the opening act came out with a kalimba in hand, we were intrigued. What followed was mix of delightful kalimba virtuosity and fun geeky lyrics. I was instantly drawn into her world and fully captivated. When she announced the title of an instrumental as "Stop Giving Your Children Standardized Tests", I officially declared my love. This quirky Canadian has me hooked, so much that I now must share her talent and fearless individuality with you. If you fall in love with her as I did, you can check out more of her work on iTunes and see her tour schedule on MySpace.

Here's a little interview with Laura Barrett, and what inspires her:

March Desktop Image - When Life Intervenes

posted on: March 1, 2010

(Click an image to instantly download a copy for your desktop.)

Lowell Mass-23.jpg

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” ~Maria Robinson

"When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves." ~Victor Frankl

Urban Merrimack Valley-49.jpg

You make plans. You make back-up plans. You make just-in-case plans. No matter how hard you plan, sometimes life just has a different plan.

When I was in elementary school, I had planned to be a lawyer by day and a jazz singer by night. When I was in high school, I had planned to be a broadway star. My first year of college, I planned to be a teacher. My next three years of college I planned to be an advertising executive. My last four years of college I had planned to be a music teacher. I never planned to be a photographer, but life had a different plan. Little did I know that everything I had done, even when I wasn't working toward "my plan" was actually preparing me for what life had planned.

My first two years in business as a photographer, I planned to always be able to live in Michigan. Life moved us to Indiana. My second year in Indiana, I planned to always be in the Midwest. Life moved us to the East Coast. One small business, three different locations, in five years. It's fairly well known that it takes two full years for a business to become established, reach a point of sustainability, and gain support in a community. Each time I've reached that second year, my husband has found a better job in a different market, and I have had to start all over again. I'm planning that won't have to happen again for at least 5-10 years.

If I cared more about my job than my marriage, I wouldn't have moved. However, life gave me a wonderful husband when I was planning not to meet anyone, and I continue to embrace everything that comes with being married to him. Life also prepared me from a very young age to deal with change and to learn how to cope as a perpetual new girl. As a child, I was in a new place every 1-2 years, which meant new schools, new people to make friends with, new streets to learn, new clubs to join, and new opportunities to define who and what I wanted to be. I can't even begin to imagine what it's like to live in one place all of your life! In fact, I have yet to know what it's like to live in just one place for more than 5 years!

Just because life may change your plans at any moment, doesn't mean you shouldn't plan. Often, it is by pursuing the plan that you've set for yourself, that you encounter something which is even better along the way. It might not always seem that way at first, and you might be forced to change when you aren't ready for it, but if you seek to make the most of what life gives you - you're guaranteed to live a more rewarding life in the end.

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