Does Facebook Sell Free Time?

Does Facebook Sell Free Time? Or Can I Have Mine Back At No Charge?

Very recently, I had a realization about how I utilize time and was disgusted enough to write this blog post, which is not necessarily about photography, but related; it does affect my Journey in Photography anyway.
IMG_59372

My Babies…I would love more time to hang out with them.

People regularly ask me questions like, “how do you do everything that you do and when do you find the time?” or “I know you must be so busy because you are involved in doing so many things”.
When I hear these things I laugh inside. Why? Well, believe it or not, while people think that I use every second of every day like the U.S. President would, with his team of scheduling professionals, being busy accomplishing greatness with every second, I actually believe that I waste a great deal of time daily, which to me means that I ain’t as busy as they think. I hope the psychology of this isn’t equivalent to a six feet tall 90 pound adult male claiming to be fat! Maybe my psychologist wife will put me on the couch for a session and we’ll figure it out together.
IMG_7695fb

My Babies…Wife and Daughter – Always make time for family.

You see, I like to remain busy; busy at my 9 to 5, at the non-profit organizations I volunteer with, at my photography business, with online studies, with playing music, with theatrical dancing, with sports, with being an avid father and family man, and so on and so on. As part of keeping busy, I walk briskly, I commute with a purpose, I engage in extracurricular activities, many in the hopes of helping the less fortunate and giving back to my society. Basically, I’m the energizer bunny with a shinny bald head. However, some activities that keep me busy are not overly important, some actually being meaningless. This then points out the fact that I actually have spare time, but use it unwisely.
 So I compared the amount of time I spend with aimless activities, to the time I spend with activities that really make me happy and work towards me reaching my goals in life. I found that I waste more time than I even realized, in the sense that many of my daily habits and routines do not contribute meaningfully to my growth as a person, father, husband or businessman. I was being busy, but I was being busy in many instances, for example, playing games on my smartphone, getting caught up with watching “Top 10” videos on YouTube, spending ridiculous amounts of time on social media, chat messaging and email, and even simple things like obsessively clearing notifications on my smartphone. Time suckers!
Well, time for a revamp! After realizing change was necessary, I set out on a plan. A plan not to reduce the amount of time that I used keeping busy, but simply to replace these aimless activities with more meaningful ones, including spending more time with my family. That way, I would remain as busy as I always am (which I do like), but will progress more in life using the same amount of time as used before.
 So, let’s start small. I deleted the Facebook app from my smartphone and I only visit Facebook twice a day, at most, from my desktop computer (reduced from upwards of 20 or more times a day because of Facebook notifications on the smartphone app). I turned off all banner notifications on my smartphone, except for business and VIP messaging and calls. This allows me to maintain focus on work, play, family time and other tasks, without the distraction of obsessively pulling out my phone every minute to respond to notifications, or constantly trying to clear the red bubble notifications, which seems to be a Monkish attribute of mine. I have also unsubscribed from the email newsletters that I don’t read regularly (although I want to) and I have scheduled myself to read emails twice a day.
img_7663-edit

Uhm…Me…trying to see outside of the box.

Well this is the first phase on my journey to remap and reroute my efforts and time. I must say, though, that it has been amazing thus far, the amount of focus and time I have gained back just from making those small changes above, Facebook being a big one. I’m sure you can agree with how easy it is to get caught up watching funny videos on those websites, only to realize that two hours have gone by.
Phase two will be to work on separating my activities and scheduling them more aggressively so that I only focus on one at a time. I’m an avid multi-tasking professional, but more and more I am becoming a firm believer that some things should not be multi-tasked. Single focus can most often produce greater results.
 If you have made similar adjustments in your life for better productivity and time usage, do share some of your ideas and I will share more of mine in my next blog about time wasting.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to visit my new YouTube Channel here: https://youtube.com/DamePetersPhotography and subscribe, subscribe, subscribe 🙂

Dame Peters

Dame Peters Photography

http://www.damepeters.com | info@damepeters.com

If you enjoyed this post, share it, like it and leave a comment.

I Fell Down Go Boom!

Recently, while photographing a client’s engagement proposal, I fell down and hurt myself. Sounds simple, huh? Well, allow me to elaborate. 

IMG_8329BLOG

A very special moment was about to occur, one of those moments that can have no do-overs. My client was about to drop to one knee and propose marriage to his lovely and unsuspecting girlfriend. This all happened on a special private island in the Virgin Islands. However, a special request came by way of the event planner for the resort, asking for the photographer to be out of sight until the actual proposal began.

Now, this is usually not a problem; we’ve had to do this with many surprise parties and other events. However, the proposal was planned to take place on a very secluded beach that could only be accessed by traversing through an unoccupied private villa.

The challenge here was that the beach was surrounded by the ocean and a very bushy and rocky hillside. Well, the obvious choice, considering I had no scuba diving gear or underwater camera housing for my DSLR and also that the couple would be arriving by sea on a canoe, was to hide out in the ever bushy and rocky hillside.

Just my luck, the timing had me rushing to find a hiding spot before the couple in the canoe arrived. I perched myself on the hillside next to a very jagged volcanic-looking rock, under and behind some thick trees. Well, SNAP! CRACK! SNAP! One of my support branches snapped and down I went, me and my camera. At this point I had already started shooting the couple paddling across the channel towards the beach and my location.

I fell onto that dreadful jagged 200BC-looking volcanic rock, smashed my knee and scraped my hand and forearm, all in an effort to save my camera and L-Series lens, which still contacted the rock with a loud smashing sound! So now I’m moaning; moaning loudly from the shooting pain from many areas of my body and from the thought that I had just destroyed my camera and knee. What do I do now if I cannot walk out of this hiding area, and worse, what do I do if my camera has malfunctioned due to the accident?

After realizing that I could still move my knee (albeit very painful movements), I took my DSLR through a few tests to confirm functionality. It sill worked! WOOHOOO!!!

So I stumbled out of and emerged from my hiding place like a well dressed pervert stalker with a camera (well that’s what I thought I must look like emerging from hiding in the bushes on a hillside lol). The couple parked their canoe and a few seconds later, the young man dropped to his knees and popped the question. I limped over to them and captured every second of that very special moment. SHE SAID YES! Yep, she said “yes”, while I was saying “ouch” to myself, very quietly. Then, for the following 30-45 minutes I captured their fun moments together on the beach, as the newest engaged couple in the Virgin Islands.

To this day, the client does not know about my ordeal and did not know I shot their very special moments in pain and while bleeding from a gouge on my left hand. Well, I guess they will know now, when they read my blog post lol

I’m healing up very nicely, with hopefully very minimal scaring. The resort’s front desk personnel took great care of me by providing first aid for my wounds; my photography battle wounds.

This was the first time, and hopefully the last time of me getting hurt during a shoot. I guess this is a gentle reminder of no matter what you are doing, be careful, take extra precautions and make sure your health and equipment insurance payments are up-to-date 😀.

Now the big question is, what would I have done for my client if the camera got destroyed? 😳 🤔

Thanks for reading! Be sure to visit our new YouTube Channel here: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCjGM-Mdoi6Ki9iu77PUwP_A

Dame Peters

Dame Peters Photography

http://www.damepeters.com | info@damepeters.com

If you enjoyed this post, share it, like it and leave a comment.

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day

from all of us at

Dame Peters Photography

IMG_34272small

We wish all mothers a blessed and joyous Mother’s Day. This is the day set aside specifically for the appreciation of these special women who fill our lives with nurture, guidance and joy, and are a pillar of our families; our queens.

The famous words of Abraham Lincoln says, “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother”.

IMG_05282small

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Like us on Facebook                     Follow on Twitter                          Follow on Instagram

Visit Our Website | www.damepeters.com

Dame Peters Photography

Weddings • Events • Portraits • Architecture

Why I Love To Photograph Weddings

Ever since my organic leap into the world of professional photography, I have sampled many genres in the art; portraitures, events, nature, landscapes, fine art, architectural and even food and product photography. All have become special to me in one way or another, but one in particular captures my heart and love. That one is wedding photography.

The Wedding of Christina & Kevin – 2011 (Shot with Team Photoshop)

Wondering why? Well so did I when I realized the specific affinity was a reality. Well, let me shed some light.

Firstly, I’m a sucker for story telling and nothing is more captivating than a love story. Some people will argue that some good old drama is more captivating, although you do find some drama at weddings…but that’s for another post. From the first meeting to the engagement, special moments and the wedding, the love story grows everyday.

My first consultation with the bride and groom is most important to me. Although we talk business, pass a few jokes around here and there while getting to know each other, my main goal at that meeting is to learn about their connection and to find that spark in their love story. As a professional photographer, I cannot tell the story of their love, if I have no idea about who they are and what their union means to them. That would be like putting every bride and groom into a box, shaking it up, then handing them a photo album of their wedding showing their love story the way I think it should be. This first meeting is a joy, although it presents a challenge for me to use my knowledge, skills and experience to really capture the true meaning of their love for each other in photographic memories. I like that challenge!

Wedding Decor – Kesha & Clifford’s Wedding – 2012

On the day of the wedding, that’s when I get really excited and nervous at the same time. Why excited? I finally get to do what I love while making the bride and groom happy. Why nervous? The concern that I can fail always presents itself, although not very strong. Also there is the pressure that the couple is depending on me capture this very special day that will only happen once; there are no do-overs.

It’s very fun moving around the ceremony, reception, dressing and bridals, capturing the candid moments of laughter or joyful tears, each time thinking to myself, “Wow, the bride and groom would never see this happening except for in their wedding photos”. It’s fun mingling with the children and making them smile, or getting the groomsmen in their best GQ poses. I get the sense that I am part of the wedding experience for the bride and groom and their guests, and I take that so seriously. It’s an honor really.

The Wedding of Thelma & Nano – 2013

I find, though, that wedding photography is not just about the photography. The bride and groom’s happiness comes first, then the photography comes after. There have been weddings where I realized that something was going wrong, that an important function at the wedding was not manned by anyone. One glance at the bride or groom and it was immediately clear that they were growing concerns about this unmanned function. Because of this growing problem, genuine looks of happiness would be hard to get from the couple. What do I do? I man that unmanned function myself. Yep! I have been the DJ at weddings, the bridesmaid, the decorator, the gardener (this is a funny story for a whole different post lol), the MC, the organizer, you name it! People have asked me why I would do those things when I wasn’t paid to do them. My response as always is that the bride and groom have paid me to capture beautiful memories for them. If they are unhappy about what is happening or not happening around them, I will not be able to capture any beautiful memories, which I pride myself in doing. So I love being versatile! It certainly helps to get the perfect story captured.

When it’s all said and done, and I sit in front of my computer reviewing the wedding photos and molding the story, I again feel joy. I tell people that I care as much about their photos and memories as they do, believe it or not. I cherish those photos. I cherish those memories and I embody them. I try to envision how the bride and groom will react when they see each photos. I try to estimate the emotions they may go through when they hear the song I have chosen to create their picture slideshow. I love details and the couples appreciate it.

The Wedding of Jessica and Marlon – 2014

At the end of it all, when I deliver the custom designed and printed DVD or picture slideshow or wedding album, I feel like I’m giving away a part of me, an original work of art, my precious baby.

So why do I love to photograph weddings? Because I love capturing, creating and telling love stories, I love the challenge, I love making couples happy by presenting them with something tangible from their wedding day that they can enjoy for their entire lifetime, I love being a part of the experience of their unique story and I love happiness and love in general. Yep, I’m a sucker for love stories.

The Wedding of Tekeisha and Danny – 2015

The photos you see above are from a few of the weddings that I have done over the years; I have added one from each year for the last five years. From my humble beginning of second-shooting with some of the greats in Virgin Islands photography, to where I am today, as a full fledge and independent photography business.

Maybe your wedding will be the next one that I capture with my growing team of professionals. Just know that I care about your story and your memories. They will certainly be safe with me and my camera 🙂

Thanks for reading and feel free to share this post with your friends and family. Contact us for a free consultation and learn more about our growing wedding photography service.

Thank you for being a part of my Journey In Photography!

Until next time.

Dame Peters
Dame Peters Photography
http://www.damepeters.com

— Thanks for viewing.  If you enjoyed this post, share it with your friends, family, Twitter peeps, Facebook friends, etc. Our new photo gallery is now live, as well as our Youtube Channel. Visit them here:

Photo Gallery – photos.damepeters.com

Youtube Channel – Click Here to Visit

* Read more posts in this blog of my Journey In Photography by visiting the panel to the right of this post. Share it with of your friends and colleagues and please leave me a comment to let me know what you think. Be sure to visit my website at http://www.damepeters.com and like our fan page on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with new photos, blog posts and other updates in my photographic journey.

10334269_10152431199551961_3261039718816191077_n

Forget the Bride & Groom, We Want Food!

I haven’t blogged in a while and now I’ve come on here to vent 🙂 or express myself, rather.

Last weekend my team and I were photographing a very lovely wedding; a young couple tied the knot and started their life-long journey of love and togetherness. We spent time with them from the dressing and make-up stage in the morning, straight to the reception during that same night. So many smiling faces and many jokes to be heard; and even the occasional tears of joy from the mother of the groom.

IMG_8425

This photo is not related to this story – just one of my bridal photos that I like 🙂 designed to soften the rage of my rant lol – from Sandra & Francisco’s Wedding 2015

Well, after the ceremony, we whisked the bridal party to a remote location for the formal photo shoot, so that the videographers and the photographers (us) can be creative and create some very special and unique photo and video memories.

Unfortunately, the ceremony ran a bit late, so the photo shoot started late. This means that the reception would also start late.

Nevertheless, we had a wonderful formal photo shoot and I thoroughly enjoyed working with the videographer, who was very positive, creative and energetic. Although I took very ill halfway through the wedding, we still did work together to create magical memories for the bride and groom.

Upon arriving at the reception location and after being wowed by the beautiful decor and setup, I started working my way around the room, photographing the decor and guests.

10297624_10152119589276961_7141462358897648538_n

 

I’m stopped immediately by the 5th guest to be photographed, who refused me taking her photo. I’ve been doing this for many years and always respect people’s wish not to be photographed. They always have their reason. However, 9 out of 10 times, I can convince them (with a joke or kind words) to allow me to take their photo. This lady was having none of that! She was the 1 out of 10, but her reason took me for a loop and a spin and a flip upside down and back.

d24de101b20a9b4a130e61e44b7737f5She boldly told me, “Yo keep the people dem tekin’ photos so long and people here hungry! I don wan no picture! I wan food! Ayo didn’ have to be there so long tekin picture and people here hungry! Where allyo gone tekin picture fah when people here wan to eat! I don wan no picture! I wan food”.

Well….my….peace!

Well, my photography contract that my client signed states that I will ALWAYS be professional and courteous while at their event (well it says that because I always am 🙂 it’s true lol). So I kindly responded, “Sorry you had to wait, but I’m sure they will be serving food soon”, and then moved on to photograph the next guest. I wonder if she saw the imaginary devil-red bloodshot that appeared in my eyes or the imaginary steam that flowed out my ears?

What I really wanted to say to her was, “Are you kidding me right now? I thought you were here to celebrate this special day with the bride and groom. This isn’t a family dinner, this is a wedding! They asked you to come to witness their lifetime commitment and you prefer that they miss their photo shoot so that you can eat the food that you are not even paying for? They can’t just do it again tomorrow. I’m glad you asked me not to take your photo, because the bride and groom do not need selfish bad-minded self-absorbed people like you in their wedding photos collection or album”.

Well, I didn’t say any of that although I was thinking it. I was already literally falling over from being sick and then had to deal with this nonsense. Another guy heard the lady from his table and made the same comment to me when I went to photograph him, but he said it jokingly as if to tease me about it.

IMG_8411

This photo is also not related to this story – it’s just another of my bridal photos that I like and still using to soften the rage of my rant lol – Sandra & Francisco’s Wedding 2015

I feel so strongly about this, that the people invited to a wedding need to fully understand their purpose there. Firstly, it should be an honor and a privilege that this couple and their family cherish their relationship with you enough to request your presence during such a special, private and intimate ritual. It’s not the other way around. You are a witness and part of the support team for this young couple’s vow to each other. This is a once in a lifetime event for them. Why must some people behave as though they think the couple is privileged to have them at their wedding? If you don’t care to support them and have the day be all about them, then stay home and eat a bowl of cereal. Nobody will miss you.

Anyway, I’m thankful that this person’s comment and disrespect was voiced to me only and not to the bride and groom or their family. However, despite this rude disruption of my equilibrium, and my illness, it was such a beautiful and memorable wedding.

So now that I have finished venting, do have a wonderful New Years Eve. Have fun, party healthy and safe and ring in the new year in a positive and uplifting manner.

Until next time.

Dame Peters
Dame Peters Photography
http://www.damepeters.com

— Thanks for viewing.  If you enjoyed this post, share it with your friends, family, Twitter peeps, Facebook friends, etc. Our new photo gallery is now live, as well as our Youtube Channel. Visit them here:

Photo Gallery – photos.damepeters.com

Youtube Channel – Click Here to Visit

* Read more posts in this blog of my Journey In Photography by visiting the panel to the right of this post. Share it with of your friends and colleagues and please leave me a comment to let me know what you think. Be sure to visit my website at http://www.damepeters.com and like our fan page on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with new photos, blog posts and other updates in my photographic journey.

Meet Our Newest Team Member: Christopher Kissoon

Meet the newest member of our team; Christopher Robin Kissoon.

Chris has joined our team as a Professional Photographer and brings a wonderful element of uniqueness and fun to the team.

Christopher Kissoon

He has interned with us since June this year and has done several weddings, events and portrait shoot with us since that time, including a wedding that was covered by TLC’s television show “Say Yes to the Dress”.
Photographers

Chris is a young graphic designer and photographer that loves to be artistic. He captures and creates things that he believes are worth remembering. Every picture says something about his style and the type of person he is.

His hobbies are making videos, taking pictures (of course), hanging with friends and making people laugh.

His contact information is:
Email: christopher@damepeters.com
Web: chris.damepeters.com

Please join me in congratulating Chris and welcoming him to the team.

Dame Peters
Dame Peters Photography

Wait…Where Is That Bag?

Tonight I’m off to photograph an event across the waters, on an island not too far away. A private boat will take me to my destination; the boat that is a part of the event.

The event is a senior prom, which kicks off for the students with a short, coastline boat ride on this large, private catamaran power boat.

IMG_1272

 

Once docked, the students and their dates walk along a boardwalk to a nicely decorated restaurant, where the fun begins.

After arriving on the island, and being greeted by the host, I was driven to the prom location to prepare and setup my gear, after which I was whisked back to the boat to await the students and their dates.

Wow! What beautiful dresses and suits these couples are sporting. I felt under-dressed in my company polo shirt and dress pants; but then again, it’s their night to shine. So I tucked my camera bag away on the boat and got to work.

Capturing their arrivals and moments during the short boat ride, their disembark at the docking spot and journey along the boardwalk, it was time to shoot their formals upon arriving at the prom location.

IMG_1257

 

Strobes set, spectators cautioned about flash photography at this point and the couples are invited one by one to have their portraiture taken under studio lights.

Great! All is going well. The music is good, the dialogue is great between the guests and myself and I’m enjoying what I love; photography.

IMG_1458

 

But wait, where is my camera bag with my spare CF Card, extra speed light batteries, business cards, studio booking book, battery charger, extra DSLR battery and all of the extras I keep handy during every shoot?

OH NOOOOOO!!! ITS STILL ON THE BOAT! It’s now dark and the boat sailed back to its home across the ocean hours ago. Oh boy! What a thing to have happen to anyone at a shoot over 30 minutes across the ocean! I really liked that bag 😊.

Don’t panic…don’t panic.

Continuing the night like nothing happened (except for alerting the host, so she could phone the boat captain to secure my bag), I was forced to improvise once the batteries in my speed-light had depleted.

Now, I have never had something like this happen to me during a shoot, but it was a very valuable lesson of keeping a close eye and constant track of gear at all times.

The captain did secure my bag, which I later collected, missing nothing…thank GOD!

Even with this minor, and borderline major hiccup, this was an enjoyable shoot. The guests all seemed to have had fun and I was happy to capture their special memory.

Until next time.

Dame Peters
Dame Peters Photography
http://www.damepeters.com

— Thanks for viewing.  If you enjoyed this post, share it with your friends, family, Twitter peeps, Facebook friends, etc.

* Read more posts in this blog of my Journey In Photography by visiting the panel to the right of this post. Share it with of your friends and colleagues and please leave me a comment to let me know what you think. Be sure to visit my website at http://www.damepeters.com and like my fan page on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter to keep up to date with new photos, blog posts and other updates in my photographic journey.