Jim + Ravyn Photographers:: Welcome

Hello! We are Jim and Ravyn Stadick. Welcome to our little home on the internet. First things first, Jim is like Jim … or Gym, you get it, right? Ravyn is like the bird. Stadick is like electricity. Yes, those are our real names. Together, we are a husband + wife photography team who love what we do and love our super fun, awesome, amazing clients even more. We are based in Portland, Oregon, and our hearts sing big time when we travel. 

You’ve made it to our blog. Here, you’ll find our latest work and a bit of our personal lives. If you want to know more, click on the contact button to send us a message. Be sure to visit our website for more about the J&R wedding photography experience. 

Be sure to scroll past this post to see our most recent work!

Cheers,

Jim & Ravyn

Get to know us better:

Visit our Facebook page + Follow Ravyn on Twitter + Follow Jim on Twitter + Visit Our Website + Visit Our Design Site

FAQ :: Watermarks

The FAQ post today is all about watermarks and protecting your images. Ashley sent us an email asking us to go through the steps of creating a watermark, and explaining how to apply it to your images. *Side note: Ashley has started a blog called Penny Pinching Mom. I’m not even a mom, but I definitely love reading her posts. She’s like that genius woman I saw on the Today Show that got $200.00 worth of groceries for $1.67. If you have a minute … be sure to check her out!* Okay, back to watermarks. 

First of all, your watermark can do a bit of advertising for you. If you’ve ever uploaded an image to Flickr or Facebook, you should assume that they (or anyone) can take your photo and use it however they would like. If you have a clear watermark with your name and/or web address, it’s easier to trace the image back to you. We watermark all of our images with our web address … This ensures that when we load photos of a recent wedding we shot, everyone that looks at them will know where to find more photos. This is free advertising … and we like free. We encourage our clients to make the images their profile photos. Their friends/family want to see photos from the big day, and it helps us get wonderful referrals!

The biggest reason that someone decides to use a watermark is to protect their images. As an artist, you’ve created an image … Therefore, you have the right to establish ‘rules’ for its reproduction. In our case, we watermark our images that we post online. These images have been optimized for the web … meaning, low resolution… meaning, crappy print quality. If our images weren’t watermarked, clients might do the ol’ right-click, save… then head to Walmart and print the photo. Please don’t do this … It makes your photographer cry! With a watermark, the client is less likely to print your image. We offer a DVD of high-res, un-watermarked images for purchase with every session for this very reason. We want our clients to show off our work, but we want them to show off our best work. Not show cropped, low-res images. 

Okay, so there are several more reasons to have a watermark, but I think you get the point. This tutorial uses Photoshop CS4. You can use any Photoshop version, it just may look a little different. Also, you can download a 30-day trial of PS from adobe dot com. 

For this lesson, I’m using a photo that we took recently when we were out exploring the amazing alleys in Broad Ripple. I love old buildings!

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First you want to open the image, and open your actions pallet. It is worth mentioning that I have already sized my image for the web (1024 x 680 72 dpi). You can find the actions pallet by clicking Window > Actions in the menu bar.

Next, be sure the actions pallet is not in button mode. This can be done by clicking the pallet menu icon (circled in pink). 

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Next, you’ll want to start recording your action. Click the record button (circled in blue) to begin. *Everything you do from this point out will be recorded). Name your action ‘Watermark’ or something to that effect. Create a new layer (circled in green). You’ll want this action on a new layer in case you decide you need to move your watermark around on the next image. Select the type tool, and the settings of typeface that you want. You can type your name, ‘do not copy’, your website, etc. Once you have the type you want, you can change the opacity over in the layers pallet. This gives the effect of the watermark. Once you’re done, click the stop button (circled in blue). You now have your action. Go back up to the action pallet menu (circled in pink) and choose button mode. Now, you should see a button that says “Watermark”. If you open a new photo and click the button, your watermark should show up in the exact same place as the last image. Remember, you kept it in a separate layer … This means by hitting control - T, you can move the watermark wherever you’d like it to be on your image. 


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That was easy, right? We actually use a different/more custom-method for watermarking our images. Since we have a logo that was created in Illustrator, we created a layered PSD file (web size) with our logo in each corner (each on its own layer). We copy and paste our web sized image onto the PSD file and simply shut off the 3 layers/corners that we don’t want to logo to appear. 

As always … We love to hear your comments and questions. If you would like to see something in a future FAQ post, let us know! 

- Ravyn - 

Lauren:: Anytime Session

I think it all goes back to our common love of Titanic. Yes, that was it. But wait, maybe it was our common love of L.F.O. You know you remember them! Okay, but wait … It could have been our obsession with Adidas Superstar shoes and overall-short combinations. It’s quite apparent now that I can’t attribute our friendship to any one moment … but sometime in the 6th grade, our paths crossed and we’ve been friends ever since.

J and I met up with Lauren and her boyfriend Gary last weekend while we were in Chicago. Lauren just launched her new photography site, and we were so excited when she asked us to make photos for her. We had so much fun. Seriously … We were laughing the entire time, and Gary & J probably thought we were crazy. Thank you to Lauren & Gary for meeting up with us! We had a blast. Can’t wait to see you again soon!

Jim-Ravyn-Photographers.jpg Jim-and-Ravyn-Photographers.jpg Chicago-Portrait-Photograher.jpg Indianapolis-Photographer.jpg Two of my favorites!! Lauren’s laugh is the best!husband-wife-photography.jpg Lauren-Wakefield-Photography-II.jpg Canon-EOS-5D.jpg Lauren-Wakefield.jpg Indianapolis-Chicago-Photographer.jpg Okay, just like most Tweens in the late 90’s/Early 2000’s, Lauren and I thought it was super cool to pose like Charlie’s Angels. We thought for old times sake, we could do it again. The two photos below prove that we’ve always been super cool. Especially when we were dressed up as the Spice Girls for Halloween in 1999. Be jealous!Lauren-Wakefield-Ravyn-Stadick.jpg Old-School.jpg

FAQ:: Shootsac

Every time we’re shooting a portrait session or wedding, someone asks, “What is that?!” Well, THAT my friends is a Shootsac. It’s a little bag that has changed the way we shoot.

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A Shootsac is a lens bag … Meaning, it’s made specifically to hold your lenses while you shoot. With that said, that bag has held way more than just lenses. Last weekend, while J was running his marathon, it held: a banana, a book, a map, sunglasses, two bottles of Vitamin Water and a Power Bar. 

Okay, so basically, we love this bag, because it gives us freedom during a session or wedding. We can leave the big bulky camera bag in the car, and just take the items we need for our shoot. The entire bag is made from what can best be described as wetsuit material. There are three large pockets on one side, and three more pockets on the back with snap closures. The Shootsac comes standard with a black cover, but the awesome people that created it knew that photographers would want more. They offer several different covers that can be changed super easily.  

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The three pockets on the front are deep enough for a 70-200 2.8 lens, which is the longest lens that most portrait/wedding photographers use on a regular basis. The snap pockets on the bag of the bag are perfect for things like keys, memory cards, business cards, hand sanitizer, cell phone, lipgloss, etc. The entire bag is pretty flexible, so it wraps around your body while you’re shooting. Plus, it doesn’t look like a camera bag. That means we are very comfortable wearing this bag in public … I don’t feel like it screams, “I’m a camera bag, come steal me!”, which is always great when you’re out of your element and looking like a tourist!

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Typically we have a few lenses, a flash, memory cards and everything we need for a wedding day in this bag. There are a few exceptions (my light sphere for example), that don’t fit in the bag, but these are the essentials. 


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You can check out the Shootsac site by clicking here.

Chicago Half Marathon:: Accomplishing Goals

(Insert “Rocky” theme music here)  Actually… hold off a sec.  Being my (Jim) first blog post ever, I’d like to preface this by reassuring you that they can only get better from here. :)  I’ve been thinking all day of what I should put and how I should “speak” and how I could capture everyone’s attention with glorious writing.  Then I thought how lame it would be to try to put on a sophisticated writer front.  I promise to always stay true to our followers by staying true to myself and letting everyone really get to know us, the Stadicks.  So, without further ado… Blog Post Numero Uno!

NOW insert theme music.

For my first post on Jim + Ravyn Photographers, I’m going to, ironically enough, not talk about photography at all.  Instead, I’m going to focus on a life-changing weekend the Mrs. and I just got to experience.  Our weekend started early Saturday morning when we loaded up the car and headed north to Chicago.  Everyone loves a good roadtrip… especially when your wife drives your manual transmission, lovely, awesome, super-cool, Honda Civic in Chicago traffic. Gulp!

Why a Chicago getaway?  For the last several months, I have been training for the Rock N’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon.  Crazy, I know.  Almost exactly a year ago, we were visiting Ravyn’s Aunt Karen in Chicago.  The 2009 Half Marathon happened to be just wrapping up and I casually remarked, “Hey, if you run it, I’ll run it.”  After realizing the undertaking that lay ahead, I quickly started a fierce training regiment… or at least attempted to.  The winter was less than kind to me, but as spring rolled around, the training actually began.  It all started with a little running here and there, nothing that could come close to my 13.1 mile goal.  As time came closer to running out, my training picked up and the mileage grew.  Before this seemingly impossible goal, I had never run more than 2.5 miles and I DEFINITELY never enjoyed it.  By my 5 mile run, I was beginning to understand why those crazy runners actually do what they do.  I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed my training.  What’s not to like about running along the White River Canal, with the trees blowing in the wind, the sun shining overhead, and all of your favorite tunes playing in your head?  Pretty great right?  So after a few months of training, the moment of truth came.  R’s Aunt Karen and I geared up for what has turned into the life changing event R and I needed.  

4:30 a.m. Wake up because I’m too excited to sleep anymore.
5:00 a.m. Get out of bed because I can’t hear Karen moving around and want to make sure we don’t miss this thing.
6:15 a.m. Arrive at the amazing site that is the starting line. (Thousands of people waiting to start this huge undertaking)

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6:30 a.m. Runners!  Start your engines!  …well, you get the idea. 

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 Lost in the crowd.

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 This is where I saw R + her uncle the first time. (around mile 5)

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 R’s “marathon training” :)

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A brief note about the race…
Running down Michigan Avenue, with no cars and no shopping was a little weird.  That said… running down Michigan Avenue with “When the Lights go Down in the City” by Journey playing in your earbuds, random stranger high fives and cheers, and a big, goofy smile on my face was, well, awesome.  Every high five, every cheer got me that much closer to finishing one of the biggest things I’ve ever done.  At around mile 5 I got an extra boost when I saw Ravyn + her uncle + his girlfriend, cheering me on like crazy.  I forgot to mention, being the Rock N’ Roll Half, at every mile there was a band.  They ranged in style and craziness, but all were great!  I felt great until about mile 10, then I started to slow down.  Bound and determined to finish, I kept on.  The last half mile had 2 uphill sections (jerks) and then the final stretch.  It was here, I dug deep and “sprinted” to the finish.  I say “sprinted” because I was probably running 2 mph.  A quick glance to the left revealed my cheering wife crowd that gave me the little extra boost I needed to not fall down before I finished.

 The final stretch!

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 Karen finishing up.

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 Karen + J (post race awesomeness)

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I want to end this, somewhat lengthy, first post with a huge congratulations.  Good job Karen!  We got to do something that not everyone would even think of trying.  We set our goal and we beat it.  It’s an achievement that will surely lead to bigger and better things.  Here’s something to stew on by one of the greatest:

You have to wonder at time what you’re doing out there.  Over the years, I’ve given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started.  It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement.”
-Steve Prefontaine

Now get out there and do something that makes you happy, makes you strive for more, makes you… awesome.

Oh, and last but definitely not lease, I FINALLY got to meet R’s longtime friend, a Miss Lauren Wakefield.  Our little photo session with her was a blast!  Lauren, so nice to meet you.  Can’t wait for you to see your photos. (All Things Lauren coming in a later post)

-Jim-

Lauren:: Sneak Peek

As we speak, we’re sitting in downtown Chicago enjoying a beautiful evening in the city. Our bellies are full of delicious Italian food, and we’re so excited for tomorrow. Jim will be running his first 1/2 marathon in the morning. I am so proud of him … and can’t wait to share the photos. 

As soon as we got into town this afternoon, we met up with one of my oldest friends. Lauren is just starting her photography business, and we met up for a little photo session to make head shots for her. We definitely have more to share, but we wanted to post a sneak peek for now. I really can’t wait to share the others … Lauren’s laughter is contagious, and it was such a fun afternoon.

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-Ravyn-