My first cooking video on youtube – Alex the Cooking Photographer

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Please excuse the quality of the photos I captured from my video directly onto my ipad.

I just wanted to share my cooking video, as some of you might know, not only do I take photos for a living, I also love cooking, and food as it might be obvious by my belly🙂

On this first episode, I’m cooking a rib eye steak and garlic mashed potatoes using my favorite skillet, a well seasoned iron skillet at 500 + degrees. I hope you enjoy it. Unfortunately, the video stopped just as I was about to start plating, but I do a recap at the end that somewhat helps with the missing visuals.
Here is the link :
Alex the cooking photographer making rib eye steaks

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My first quinceaniera portrait session.

Last week I was contacted by a mom regarding a portrait session for her daughter’s upcoming Quincieañera ….
I have never photographed a Quincieañera , much less portraits for one.  So I figured id give it a go.🙂
My first thought was to google some sample images an honestly I was bored to death.  Every image looked the freaking same!
So I decided to take a different approach.  I used my experience with fashion portraits and  threw in a little wedding style to highlight the beauty of the dress.
And offcourse I clicked a few old school quinceaniera poses just for kicks.
When I showed my client a few samples from the back of the camera she loved them. I can’t wait to show her the rest🙂
I’m looking forward to doing more of these in the future, it was fun.
Here are a few samples.

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http://www.alexchernakphoto.com

Finally! I have a break in wedding work for a few weeks so I can catch up on editing portraits.

I’m still is awe on how awesome it feels to edit my work in such a large screen, like working on high def…Love it🙂

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working on head that’s as large on screen as your own head is great, every little detail is so visible.

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Just sharing, this is an image from an Indian inspired photoshoot.

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The uptight photographer…

I remember while growing up, everytime I saw a photographer at school, weddings, parties, even tv, they always rubbed me the wrong way…
Walking around stiff and uptight in their monkey suits, with an air of “I’m an artist! So shut up and sit up straight, and put your fist on your chin…just like so.  Does it hurt? Too bad! Suck it up and smile, so I can have your parent’s money.”
What a bunch of grouchy bastards.

When I first started working with clients I tried to be serious, originally imitating the dinosaurs, I thought that was the right way.   This stressed me out and made my customers a bit uncomfortable, which didn’t sit well with me.
At the time, since I was new, I didn’t charge much so I still got new clients.  They loved the pictures, but returning customers and referrals where not there.

I have always been the one cracking jokes, running around having fun, always laughing with or at something…never too shy to make a fool of myself if it meant entertaining a crowd…which made me seem unnatural when I took the “uptight photographer approach.”

Once I realized the problem, I got away from that, I stopped taking myself too seriously when behind the camera.
Going from pose to pose, location to location cracking jokes and wowing clients with the results while entertaining them.  Photography sessions became part of my social entertainment.  Partying along with the wedding party, having a drink with the couple after an engagement session, getting to know them, going for a swim after portraits at the lake…truly becoming a part of my client’s family for just one day.

This has in turn multiplied the amount of refferals, repeat business, and friends…  What can I say…  Be yourself, let your hair fall out of place and you may see beneficial changes.

I just added my business to yelp, about a week ago, and already you can see that people love my approach: http://www.yelp.com/biz/alex-chernak-photography-rocklin
http://www.yelp.com/biz/alex-chernak-photography-rocklin

There will always be the unfriendly, stiff client, but I’d rather pass up on the money if I’m not enjoying the company.   I got into photography without knowing that I was going to make money with it…I began my photographic journey because I loved it, and if you don’t love it its not worth doing it.

http://www.alexchernakphoto.com/

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This is me screwing around as always with Shelly, my favorite model. 
Photo by: Gabriela Michanie
My awesome sister🙂

A few firsts this year

This year has been full of ups, downs, and several upcoming firsts.
My daughter starting middle school this week…seems like it was yesterday when I walked her to kindergarten.  Tiny girl, huge backpack and even bigger smile…
It’s amazing how quickly they grow up.
This year we experienced some great loses, my wife’s aunt and grandfather dieing from cancer, great people. 
My business has grown steadily over the years, unaffected by the economy, which is shocking… I have to attribute it mostly to customer service, listening and caring about my clients and their families.  It just works.
This year I also booked my first same sex wedding! Yey, I will very soon be doing a photo session for the same couple’s first baby.  After years of trying, all of the stars aligned and they will be receiving their new child in october.🙂
In september I will also be doing my first muslim wedding a two day affair with all of the color, music, and traditions. 
I’m also working on a partnership with an afghan event coordinator, who will be targeting the afghan community with package deals of photography and video. 
There are only two photographers that currently service that group in the area, there will soon be three😉

Ok, off to my next project…time management🙂

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Managing time, bbq, and beer🙂

Smartest Purchase this quarter and possibly the year…

I’ve been editing images with an old 17″ lcd for years… It wasn’t until I started using the 5D Mk2 that the size of my monitor became a real issue. There is so much detail in these full frame images that for the past year I’ve found myself editing with my nose inches from the screen.  getting closer and closer trying to see every the last pixel…which explains having to clean the screen more often.

Finally I got around to taking the jump, I picked up a 27″ monitor yesterday!  At first it seemed like an overkill, you know, doing the manly thing…until i spent one hour calibrating it, and then testing it out on some edits with PS…All I can say is that I cant believe I waited this long, Its a whole different experience, I’m still in shock.

The details, resolution, blacks etc on these new monitors are light years ahead of the 5 year old dinosaur I was using.  I’m a happy photographer right now…for now..ok, till I see the next cool thing I have to have, lol.ImageImage

http://www.alexchernakphoto.com/

A Pro photographer’s first blog

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Hello, not sure who reads these things but here we go.
I was born in argentina raised in miami and lived in several states while in the military.  So you can say that I get around.
My life experiences have granted me a great bit of vision that I use for my images… I love fashion photography, and use those skills during all of the weddings I photograph. 

I’m thinking that I will end up blogging a little about photoshoots and experiences as time goes on.  This in order to let people see what it’s like to be a photographer, a husband and a father. 🙂

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http://www.alexchernakphoto.com/

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