Why I Hate Summer Sunsets

I’m a full time marketer, a full time writer, and Carrie would call me a most-of-the-time critic. I love things that are beautiful, but I really hate cliché, which leads me to this article…sunsets during summer.

Well…I love sunsets and warm weather, especially with a drink on the beach at dusk surrounded by friends and camera in hand. But it’s so cliché! It falls into the category of “everyone is a photographer” because they added a sepia filter to their sunset picture and posted it on Instagram. So to all instagramers—think of something more original! Yes, it’s beautiful, but seriously, google “summer sunset,” is your work really better?

Okay, so you’re capturing your moment. What differentiates that sunset from others? What makes that day stand out? I bet a year from now, you’ll know where you were but not who you were with, what made that day rock or insufferable, and you can’t even remember the date.

To that end, remember that truly great photography doesn’t rest within HDR and editing, it derives from the photographer. Some tips and tricks to help differentiate your landscape shots:

  1. Solid ND filters and polarizing filters still have their place in landscape shots.
  2. Solid neutral density filters reduce the amount of light entering the lens, which extends shutter speeds for long-exposure shots.
  3. Polarizer filters remove reflections from the surface of water and shiny leaves.
  4. Polarizer filters also help boost the contrast between blue skies and white cloud

– T.

Enter the $1,000 Give Away! Seeking Creative Engaged Couples to Enter for a Chance to Win!

East Northport’s Carrie Weston Studios is making a special offer starting this St. Patrick’s Day for brides to be. Starting this St. Patrick’s Day and running through April 18, 2014, the Studio will be launching their first contest for $1,100 worth of services toward five lucky couples.

The Give Away includes $3,000 worth of photography services for only $1,100. Five lucky
couples will be selected to receive day of wedding photography; two photographers; bridal
makeup and trial session; in-studio bridal mini-session; on-location engagement session. To be considered, participants must submit a brief essay (no more than 500 words) stating what makes them “lucky.”

“We’re looking for unique and creative entries,” said Carrie-Anne Gonzalez, partner at Carrie Weston Studios. “We intend for the $1,100 Give Away to encourage entrants to consider not only what makes their story special, but how capturing the essence of who they really are should resonate on camera.”

The contest, which launches March 17, 2014, is open to NewYork residents over the age of 18. Competition details and more information can be found at http://www.carriewestonstudios.com. An active discussion will be held on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #CWLuckyBride.


For the Love of Art

Earlier this month, I (Carrie) started pursuing my Master’s in photography.  For the past several months I’ve been gathering portfolio pieces, putting together essays, requesting transcripts and letters of recommendations…. all while maintaining and running a business packed with assignments and shoots. It truly has been challenging, yet amazing year. So after months of preparing and finally submitting my work, I have been accepted into an MFA program, with a concentration on Photography.

Most people think its super cool to be perusing an MFA, but I have gotten those that have asked me why? Why go back for your Masters? An artist doesn’t really need a masters degree, why not just work in your field and keep getting “experience.” To that I say this –

What will differentiate us from the next guy, gal, fresh young college student? What will differentiate us from the guy up the road who just bought a $3,000 camera and is super excited to be a “photographer?” Or the girl who takes “good pictures?” Or the family member who will be shooting your daughters wedding because “they have a good camera?”

What will differentiate us from those “self proclaimed” photographers other than our outstanding work and attention to detail? Other than my photographic military training? Other than…. well the list goes one…. but one thing we will be able to say – “Carrie has received her MFA in Photography.” And THAT… says something.

This isn’t a hobby for me, this isn’t something I thought would be cool or easy to do. This isn’t buying expensive cameras and calling ourselves photographers.

This is love of Art, and that is what you will always get from Carrie Weston Studios. This degree, will only make it that much better.

I Discovered the Laundromat…Where is your Creative Haven?

Most people dread doing their laundry…I personally get super excited when the clothes pile up. This means that I get to pack a bag and head to the Laundromat—which probably sounds really strange, but within the confines of benched seats and screaming children, I’ve managed to find my creative haven.

After dragging two large bags into the trunk of my car, I grab my notebook, a crossword book, my iPod and some snacks and I’m out the door. Once the wash is in and running, I find a prime seat, tune into whatever music I’m into that day, and start writing. With the TV blaring in another language, children racing around throwing balls and playing tag, the temperature always being horridly uncomfortable and the overall noise of the Laundromat—I somehow find solace.

When you think about it, how many days do we spend too many hours at the office or too long working on a project that undoubtedly could have waited until tomorrow? It’s hard enough to schedule cooking dinner, exercise and a shower into our routines, nevertheless finding the time to sit and write a story (as she was running down the street, hands seemed to be coming up from the earth itself, as if escaping from some underground world…hey, it’s in the works).

Though I don’t have the option, for many it’s easier to toss the dirty clothes into the washer as you’re cooking dinner or vacuuming; however, there is something to be said about forced creative time.   Every week I’m so engrossed in what I’m doing, I hardly realize my wash is ready to be loaded into the dryer.


Science has proved that creativity can come at the most unexpected times: when you’re drunk, when you’re groggy, when you’re on an organized schedule…I’ve discovered that after an exhausting day at the office, my inner genius takes place at the loud, drafty laundromat down the road.


Fall Portraiture: What do I Wear?

Fall remains one of the most popular times for portraiture—it’s a great time to update your school photos, prepare for holiday cards, or just get together and bond with your loved ones.

One of the most frequently asked questions I receive from clients is about what to wear on their photoshoot.  Here are some tips and tricks about what to wear (and not wear) on your shoot:

  1. Coordinating outfits does not mean you have to match. You do not need to all wear black and white or khakis and polo’s…but you should wear complimentary colors and outfits that match. Some of our clients have found it easier to buy outfits from the same store.
  2. Keep it classy. These photographs will be on the wall, in frames and in albums for a long time. Remember when Bedazzle was in?  Be conscientious of your outfit and make sure it’s something classic that will stand the test of time.
  3.  Stay away from primary colors such as true red, true green and true blue. While the changing leaves against the blue sky is beautiful, you don’t want to look camouflaged into the background!
  4. Consider matching the décor in your home, after all, these pictures will be on the walls for at least a year.
  5. Be creative. Don’t be afraid to add some color, props or accessories such as hats and scarves. Remember, this is about having fun! If you’re whole family is into painting or skateboarding…bring your hobbies with you!

We also encourage clients to check our Pinterest Board  and to call us with specific questions or to just kick around ideas!

Carrie Weston Studios