Tag Archives: Studio

Leaves Blowing

Leaves Blowing

I love autumn, however I hat leaves blowing in to my studio (and house).  My shop vac in my studio has a small hose that doesn’t always get the big leaves.  It makes vacuuming the studio difficult.

One of the guests keeps tracking leaves in through the kitchen.  Oh, well.  Soon they will be gone (the leaves, that is).  If it is dry Monday I will suck them up with the lawn tractor.

Clean for Shoot

I got the studio clean for my shoot.  I even wet mopped the concrete floor in the camera room.  Spring comes and I plan to rotate the rug on my office.  It is worn where my chair rolls back and forth.  If I rotate it I can get another 7 or 8 years out of it.

My shoot went well.  Of course, anytime a client is on time, it’s a good shoot.  That’s one thing I can take pride in… studio sessions are always good.

Starting Tomorrow’s Dinner

I am starting tomorrows dinner.  I plan to make spaghetti squash with a butternut squash sauce to go over it.  The sauce will be like a stroganoff sauce with mushrooms, onions and meatballs.

Thinking about the squash theme I’ve decided to make a mock pineapple upside down cake too.

Fall Cleaning Day

Fall Cleaning Day

It’s fall cleaning day in my studio.  I am taking time to vacuum and sweep.  Leaves and dead bugs seem to find their way inside. I also have a photo shoot this afternoon.

Cleaning up is not my forte.

My photo session went well, and now it is time… like after every photo session… to do backups.  The new 8TB drives are working great.  Let’s see how long before I need more space.



My networking meeting went well, but again, sparsely attended.  Next week I am the speaker, and we are pushing to get people to come check us out.

What people don’t realize is (1) the cost is affordable, (2) there’s no pressure, (3) people tell others about your business and if they are interested, they give you the contact information.  How cool is that?

We had an interesting discussion last night about people who think they can work without human interaction.  Networking groups require human interaction, however, they make it easier.  It’s not like knocking on doors to get business.  Instead, you take 60 seconds to tell people what you do, and what makes a good customer.  After that, they let you know if they have someone who fits that bill.



You’re wondering, “What in the word does AD200s mean?”  AD200s are my new lights.  I’ve invested in battery powered studio lights that are small enough to go anywhere.  You can read about them on my photography blog (click here).

They arrived on Saturday in time for me to use them in a photo shoot today.  I should have read the manual, but I thought it would be simple enough to just go and shoot.  Wrong.  They are simple, but not that simple.  Like setting the date and time on a digital watch, you’ve got to know what buttons to push, which ones to hold down, and in what order to do things.

A Fun Shoot

It was a fun shoot.  A model friend named Cas brought her boy friend and another model.  I invited 3 other photographers to participate.  The shoot was fun for all.

copyright 2017 db walton

Models: John and Angela

It is time to set aside time to study the manual for the AD200 lights and the transmitter.  They are wireless and use a radio transmitter to trigger and configure them.  What got me in trouble today is the transmitter.  The lights are straightforward.  The transmitter… not so much.

My next shoot I will be better prepared.


EOS Cleaning

EOS Cleaning

What is EOS cleaning?  No, it’s not cleaning a Canon digital SLR.  It’s end of season cleaning.  Today is that day.

I convinced Elizabethe to help me clean the studio.  It needs it.  We managed to get it done in a couple hours.

There are things I need to sell.  I have some lights, props and backdrops I simply never use.  Nobody ever asks for them, and they just sit there.

Workshop Prep

The EOS cleaning was also to prepare for my workshop next week.  The rest of the afternoon I did workshop prep.  When I teach a class I am well prepared.

I wish there was a complete list of all of the Corel Painter brushes and their attributes.  I went searching for such a list and came up empty handed.

Fish and Chips

We went to dinner for fish and chips, or as they call it around here – fish fry.  Both Elizabethe’s and my fish got over-cooked.  The fries were cooked perfectly.  Elizabethe likes her breading lightly cooked and golden brown.  This was  dark brown.

She brought it to the waitresses attention.  We pointed out we were not looking for a meal comp or anything like that.  We just want them to be aware of it being too dark.  They took 15% off the tab, which was nice.



First Year Photos

First Year Photos

It is time for my granddaughter’s first year photos.  Amber came with outfits for the sessions, and she spent most of the morning shopping for latex helium balloons.

We wanted to start shooting first thing, but because she wanted balloons they headed out to find them.  They returned hours later.

copyright 2016 db walton - First Year Photos

Granddaughter Peyton 1st Year

We took some with and without balloons.  It is kind of difficult to get the balloons in the studio because they tend to float to the ceiling.  We’ll have to do some more shots with balloons outdoors.

Peyton wasn’t too happy after a while.

copyright 2016 db walton - First Year Photos

Peyton with Balloons

We finally called it quit with Peyton and let Brianna have a chance in front of the camera.  What a ham.

copyright 2016 db walton - Year Photos



Elizabethe and I were off to the temple for the evening.  It was a fun day taking pictures of my granddaughters.

Studio LED Lights

Studio LED Lights

The other day, Spencer helped me rewire and install new studio LED lights in my studio.  He did the ladder work, and I did the minutia sitting at the table.

Today, I walked out there, and turned them on just to bask in the light.  I’m very pleased with out they turned out.  It is all made from parts bought in the electrical department a Lowe’s.  Each light strip has 4 sockets with pull-chains and a 3-prong outlet.  I can actually get the wiring OFF the floor in the studio and suspend the power cords from the ceiling.

copyright 2015 db walton

House Lighting in the Studio

(Please note:  While my studio fully endorses BayPhoto (the bags in the picture), we do not endorse or recommend SmugMug.)

Haha… in the photo you can see the soon-to-be-replaced florescent fixture.

My grandson came out in the studio and I showed him what his dad and I accomplished.  He looked at the old lights and said, “But, Grandpa, those old lights are cool.”

“Fine, you can have them… if your parents say it is okay,”  I said in response.

The new lights are brighter and make the place look so much better.  Plus, the old ones hung down so much I was always hitting them and that worried me I would break one of those 48″ florescent tubes.

While the 2nd fixture is up, it still needs to be wired in to the sockets.  In the mean time, the next time Spencer gets some time we’ll at least pull the old fixture down.  And, in spite of my offer, I think they are going to end up at ALPCO Recycling.


A Shoot and More

A Shoot and More

Today I had a shoot and more.  It’s the more that keeps us photographers busy.

When it rains, it pours as they say.  All of a sudden, and I mean sudden, I have a whole bunch of pictures to retouch.  While some are at the end of their retouching, I got several orders rolling in today.

Most people know I dislike the word “edit” when it comes to retouching, because “editing” does not describe the work of the retoucher.  Back in the 70s when I retouched my first photograph, it was a job requiring a loop (magnifying glass), and some sharp brushes and pencils.  Today, the same work is done on a computer using a tablet and stylus.  Editing on the other had is simple.  You look at an image and say, “That’s trash”, and then you throw it away.  That’s editing.

Around 4pm the phone rings in the studio.  It’s my granddaughter, “Grandpa, can we walk to Mark’s Pizza for dinner?”

I told her we could.

About 5 minutes later, a knock comes on my studio door.  It’s my grandson.  “Grandpa,” he asks, “can we walk to Mark’s Pizza for dinner?”

“Sure, as long as it isn’t raining,” I respond.

He looks at the sky and decides the wind is in our favor and that we’re walking.  But, it was only 4pm and not quite time for dinner.

5pm comes along and I bring my retouching to a stopping point and guess what?  It’s pouring down rain.

Jennifer drove us all to Mark’s where we enjoyed pizza while the rain came down in sheets.  After a mad dash to the car, we came home, dashed into the house, and me to my studio.

Here I am, working on retouching.  I don’t think I’ll get done tonight.

LED Lights

LED Lights

LED Lights are expensive, but hopefully they will last a while.  The verdict isn’t quite out on the ones they are selling to replace household lights.  Let’s hope they glow forever.

So far, the best one I’ve found is a CREE 100W equivalent LED light that is dimmable.  Yes, it is expensive — $20.  It’s bright and white.  I’ve started using them in my studio.

Jennifer and family are here.  We ran some errands and brought Spencer along with us as he needed some stuff from the hardware store.  While out, I bought LED lights for the house.  $100!!!   Ouch.  But, I hope I never have to replace the porch light again.  (Which, because of my leg, I couldn’t do and Jennifer did for me.)

It has been fun having the grandchildren around today.  We went to Chill-n-Grill where they ordered kiddie cones and were overwhelmed by the size.

The day has been so busy it took me all day to do an email.  Crazy.

I’m putting together a day trip to NYC where myself and two other photographers are going to meet a professional model and do a 3 hour photo shoot with her.  It will be FUN.

So You Know

So You Know

This falls under the category of So You Know.  If you are planning a trip to Palmyra during Hill Cumorah Pageant, this are things you should know.

The Hill Cumorah Pageant runs for 7 days.  This year those days are Friday, 7/10, Saturday, 7/11, Tuesday, 7/14, Wednesday, 7/15, Thursday, 7/16, Friday, 7/17, and Saturday, 7/18.   However, the tech crew is already here, and cast begins to show up this weekend.


Lodging is scarce.  There is one hotel, the Palmyra Inn, and rooms run about $160 to $220 per night.  There are a couple of Bed and Breakfast Inns – The Liberty House and Canaltown B&B.  They run about $100/night (plus or minus) depending on the room.  And then there is us, The Beckwith Mansion.  We run about the same as the B&Bs.

The difference between us and a B&B is this… A B&B feeds you breakfast.  We do not.  However, you may use the kitchen for preparing food, AND you may use our laundry facilities (you must provide your own soap).  While some find breakfast is a nice addition, many of our guest appreciate the included laundry facility use – especially if you have driven some distance or have small children.

New York State Laws limit how many people can stay in a room.  Always inquire as to the legal limit when reserving a room, or tell your host how many people are in your group.  Again, lodging is scarce.


Plan, plan, plan in advance.  This is especially so when it comes to lodging.  We’ve had tourist call begging to sleep on our floor or sofa.  We legally can’t allow that.  While there are campgrounds in the area, you will want to do your research well in advance.

This is NOT a region where you can drive through and find a room always.  This is especially true during Hill Cumorah Pageant.

Also, if you want a family portrait while you are here, that’s my specialty.  (See www.dbwalton.com)  Many families contact me for an outdoor family portrait to remember their trip to Palmyra.  We can go on-location or take the portrait in my studio (located on Main Street in Palmyra, New York.)


copyright 2015 db walton

Family Portrait (Sacred Grove in Background)


When attending pageant, I recommend on the day you attend that you eat at the Rotary/Lions tent.  Those proceeds go to local services.   They usually have BBQ chicken, sausage with onions and peppers, burgers and a few other things.  They also have a regional favorite called “salt potatoes” (they aren’t real salty, it is how they are cooked.)

The other meals I encourage you to visit our Palmyra restaurants.  We don’t have a lot, but the ones near the Book of Mormon Publication site are:  Happiness Garden (Chinese), Mark’s Pizzeria and Nima’s Pizza.  A little further down the road you will find Chill-n-Grill (ice cream, burgers and hot dogs), Acropolis (diner with some Greek dishes), Athena’s (diner – burgers and sandwiches).  Going the other direction you will find Yellow Mills Diner.

Time Commitment & Sightseeing

If you have never been here, and you are coming during pageant, I would budget at least 3 days:

1 day for the pageant and Hill Cumorah and the E.B. Grandin (Book of Mormon Publication site) Building
1 day for the Sacred Grove and to attend the Palmyra Temple (very close to each other)
1 day to see the Peter Whitmer farm and while you’re out that way, visit Sauder’s (a Mennonite store) and drop down and see Watkins Glen (it’s non-church related, but you’ll be glad you saw it.)

copyright 2015 db walton

Watkins Glen State Park

I could give you a list that would keep you busy for TWO WEEKS while staying in Palmyra, but I realize most people don’t want to budget that sort of time to one place.  (Sad, but true.  This place is rich in family adventure stuff.)


I spent the day cleaning my studio and office.  When Elizabethe got home from work it was a trip to the bank to do the deposits, and then dinner at Chili’s.  It has been a busy day.

Where Did They Go

Where Did They Go

Where did they go?  Where did all the tourist go?  Did the rain scare them away?

I found myself asking that at the temple tonight.  We had very few guests and most of the work was done by us temple workers.   While this afternoon was nice weather, the previous couple of days were quite stormy.  I’m wondering if it scared our tourist away.

Here in Palmyra we get a LOT of tourist from April through October, and usually the temple is quite busy.  I’m thinking because they couldn’t tour the sites on Sunday and Monday, they are enjoying the nice weather an touring the sites.

Speaking of Palmyra, did you know that D. Brent Walton (that’s me, and my web site is www.dbwalton.com) is Palmyra’s ONLY Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) and Photographic Craftsman (Cr.Photog.).  And, because our studio is only 2 miles from the temple, those getting married in the temple save money on my photographic services.

Hiring a PPA certified photographer is important.  We are fully insured and always have a back-up plan.  You can’t say that about most other photographers.  If they get ill or in an accident the day of your wedding, oh well.  Whereas a PPA photographer has a network of trained, skilled photographers who are known to step in when help is needed in an emergency.  Yes, we give you peace of mind.