Telling your story in photographs.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Continued Growth

This are looking up, as usual. Bookings are up, our web presence is growing and we're always working on new things. Right now, we are experimenting with a new blog site: http://mjbdigital.wordpress.com/

Why don't you roll on over there and leave us a comment and tell us what you think!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

For the Facebook Fans....and for you.

Originally, this deal was going to be exclusive for facebooks fans. It is a celebration of our reaching the amount of 100 fans in less than three weeks! The price is so super low, that I'm a bit wary of  sending it out there. So...I believe I might be crazy. However, as I posted the last post (below this one) I realized that with the re-opening happening, I want to broaden the scope of this celebration. So, here you have it. The crazy facebook promotion is yours for the takin'!

The last touch on this bad boy was the expiration date, as you will see on the bottom right. This deal ends in thirty days so...HURRY!!!


New Look, New Ways

MJB DIGITAL is in full swing to a grand re-opening! We've been contacting the bridal shows and magazines to schedule our advertising, We've totally redesigned the workflow to be more efficient which might bring prices down...but we can't promise anything yet. We've got a new branding scheme as you can see here with the new logo! (There it is over on the left...see it?) We're hoping that we've made our mistakes and stuck with it through the last three years to become a strong business. We're hoping on some investment funds to boost our marketing and really give us a kick in the pants. We're really looking forward to closing 2010 on a good note. 2011 is going to be OWNED by MJB DIGITAL. Here's to hoping everyone has a great summer.

Friday, March 12, 2010

New Outlook

Changing what you mean to MJB DIGITAL

I had an epiphany the other night. It was late and I was working on finalizing some different processes that we have developed for the new opening of MJB DIGITAL. I was facebooking with a groom and brainstorming about shoot ideas for April 17 and I realized that I want to make another change. Along with our brand image, I want to change the definition of those we serve and possibly create a new type of unique relationship with them.

What do I mean by 'change the definition of those we serve?'
'Customer' is a word I don't really favor. To me the word customer defines a person making a retail purchase, buying online, getting some fast food or any other purchase that involves a short-term or no-term relationship with the seller.

'Client' is the word that I've been using for the last couple of years. To me, client signifies that we rely on each other for an extended period of time in order to exchange and process information and ideas and basically get the job done.

'Cast Member' is the term I thought of the other night while facebooking with the groom of my latest booking.

Suddenly, I felt like I had the proper term to define those who become the subject of my lens. The new unique relationship that arises with this change is that brides and grooms are commissioning MJB DIGITAL to use our skill in documentation to capture a story which has really been what it's all about -- a story in which the bride and groom with family and friends are the stars. No longer will I feel like I'm a craftsman of photos. 

Maybe this little change won't actually make changes around here, but I am going to have a different and creative perspective on what role my Cast Members play in my life and how I capture their weddings.

The groom I was facebooking with signed as a client, but that couple is part of my first 'Cast'.

My cameras have been detained at the repair service for a pretty long time. There getting prepped and ready to go for this new season. I haven't shot much this winter, so here are a few from the archive that are some of my favorites.


Monday, February 15, 2010

....the mistakes I make

It happens. Sometimes you go about things the wrong way and can feel the sting when you finally find out that you are acting like an idiot. Okay maybe I'm the only one....but you know what I'm talking about. Well, I really messed up big this time. I was unhappy with my employer. I didn't fess up and ask for a raise or a more classy environment. I blabbed about it. In speaking out about why I was unhappy, I missed the mark. I didn't bring her the problem, I just spoke out.   Well I guess what happnes when you mess up is that you face the consequences. That's what I'm doing right now. I'm getting my butt back to work again and MJB DIGITAL is waking back up! I'm trying to make the best of things and consider that I finally get my business back, which I love, and get in gear. I'm telling myself that  it's my birthday present to myself but I know it's not. I know that I have a hard road ahead in the couple of months but fully intend to finally put my heart back into MJB DIGITAL again, full force, with a totally reworked workflow. I'm excited for this re-opening and confident. I'm looking at things like new opportunities, and investor, and a growth in my skill and style.

Just watch, we're about to ROCK! 8) Always, always check us out!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Fiasco of Closing my Business....and the stress that comes with it.

One of the main reasons I closed MJB DIGITAL was because of my poor workflow strategy. I found that my routine was causing a delay in turnaround time for client's images and albums. At first it was a small delay, and it didn't really matter much. These delays began to grow, however, and I felt they were getting out of control. So I reached out for help. I was planning on outsourcing for developing of the digital negatives and album design. My only problem was that I hadn't built that into the cost of the jobs that I had already done -- jobs that were already behind schedule.

I needed to eat and pay the rent, so I continued to work and raise prices. I was too late. Rather than ruin my brand image and myself  professionally, I stopped taking bookings. Great - that gives me time to catch up on this back work and reformulate my strategy, right?


I started shooting on a 'salary' for http://www.RhondaJeanPhotos.com . The result was that I brought an entirely new workload to add to what I had to do already. It has been really stressful trying to get all of this stuff caught up. I'm glad I wrote in the margin of contracts of clients toward the end SLOW CUSTOMER SERVICE, if ya know what I mean.

But that is just a prologue to what I REALLY want to say.

I just got off of the phone with Laura and Marcus. They were the very last client MJB DIGITAL shot before stopping all bookings. It has been almost a year since their wedding and they still don't have the album. They were giving me input on some of the final design, and they expressed their gratitude for doing my work AND they said they have no problem with how long it has taken.

I was so glad to hear that they were happy.

So glad. It was a big load off of my shoulders.

Here is a peak:

Monday, January 4, 2010

Time Spent Learning About Myself

I haven't done any work today except mail off cameras to repair for end of season maintenaince and work on ONE photograph. This photograph I shot a few weeks ago and had the RAW shot opened in adobe camera raw.

I was recording my tracking numbers and what not, and an old lady appeared in the window to look at some photographs.I didnt shave today and I had the lights off because I have no meetings and I was planning on just working on this end of season wedding overload. But I started talking to 'Mickey'. I don't know how old she was but her grandchildren are older than me. She was talking about making prints (not lithographs, those are all mechanical, she said).

After talking for a while about different things in St. Louis that have changed, she started to mention and ask questions about photographs such as this one, so I brought her into the office, turned the lights on [showed her an autofocus camera after she said 'whats autofocus?'] and brought her around the desk to see what she said about the photograph.

Immediately she started talking about dodging and burning in areas to strengthen and change the comp.

So I sat here at my desk for almost two hours listening and following her instructions, doging and burning...sometimes I snuck in some cloning to get the effect she was looking for....

And this is what she came up with.

It's been a time of great trial in my life--in business, relationships, finance, and everthing else. I took a few minutes out of my WORK to relax and remember why I'm shooting.

(I don't really mind if you critique and even encourage it, but I will take it a bit differently this time because the relationship I made with Mickey is a bit different than someone trying to create the new modern masterpiece...but go ahead and hit it if you want...)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Onward with tecnology eh? (No, I'm not Canadian)

Now, if I can get this working, it should be a direct link to my complete gallery (which isn't so complete right now, because I haven't paid the dues as of late, so you can only see 200 of my most recent uploads).

Anyway, Adobe Air has a new beta program called Flickroom. I haven't checked it out yet, so this is my trial run with it. I have to admit, I'm a bit nervous about putting my pictures out there like this. So, I'm going to sign out of here and check it out anonymously...


Have fun

The post below this one is an interactive resource from MJB DIGITAL. In order to view it, you need to get a free google wave account, activate it and sign in.

Comment if you need an invitation to the wave.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

New technology

This is an attempt to make my blog more interactive by using the new google wave interface and embedding a wave directly into my blog....

Maybe the guys at Google will see that I'm having trouble and help me out. 8)

If you have a Google Waveaccount and are signed into it and are having problems seeing the wave here, please visit this link: google gears. I think that installing google gears might make it more visible and interactive.
Also, you can download Google Chromesince that is the most compatible browser..

If you don't have the wave, I don't believe you will be able to see the wave. Instead, you will see a google sign in page.

This is sort of a post in progress and an experiment with Google Wave.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

I have't ever advertised for another business....'til now...

I've never made and advertisement for a business that wasn't MJB-DIGITAL. It's not an awkward feeling. It is that same smooth feeling of that started to flow. It was type of flow that took a while to get going. Even though I have gigs of ad media in my hard drive, it has been an eon since doing that type of brainstorm and I was trying to make media for the new 46" HDTV that Rhonda bought for her storefront at a killer price.
Photographers don't have nearly enough RAM to process video edits.

So, 489 frames, multiple psd's, tweaks on resolution, changing crops, adjusting the framerate, and doing it all on two gigs of ram was hard.....a little too hard. So I had to take the compiled frames and use Rhonda's IMAC to create a framestack and resolve it to a .mov format.

I think she has double the ram of me. I love it. She also has a new system that supports new versions of things. In a digital world it is vital to have tools that are up-to-date, and Rhonda has got it goin on.....pregnant mama.....

Yeah, I AM going to have the pleasure of babysitting at work. I think I'm going to have to get baby a nice sleeping mask so that we can make a ton of baby photos without disturbance....

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Work? As of late.....

Well the last of my clients are getting the last of their stuff....slowly. This is probably the longest it has taken someone to stop a business. I've had my share of kinks though, and it really has set me back.

So my responsibilties don't lie with growing/changing my business anymore.....and I like it.

Working at Rhonda Jean Photos is the first place I have worked where people can actually understand each other. Weelll Rhonda I have to admit  I don't understand you sometimes.... XD

Anyway, this post is just to show off what I have been shooting for Rhonda (I hope I've been keeping up with uploads!) and to reflect on where I am going with her business.


Yes this IS the shoot where I threw  a camera on the cement! grrrrr
Sometimes I get a get too 'into' it and  metal pole can really throw you off, and knock your camera to the ground.

Nothing like a jagged little ledge jabbing you in the ribs while you crank your body over and twwwiiiiissst. But I wanted the lowest perspective possible!

 These Guys are RAD.

Nuff said.

(Abbey and Kirby)

...sometimes you just have to get soaking wet for a shot.

OK so I don't have much on the servers yet, but there is a collection building in the office of my Rhonda Jean Photos work and I'm going to have a collection of new media out with her brand which happens to be the best modern brand on the market.

It's going to be a productive winter.


Friday, August 14, 2009

Life, Time and Work

It's funny that I didn't know what my career was going to be until after it was already paying me. The work started walking into my door, and I made a business out of it. MJB DIGITAL is not taking bookings right now, but that doesnt mean that my career is over. It doesn't mean that MJB DIGITAL is finished yet, either.
I stopped taking bookings because I had a bad strategy for efficiency. I also had a couple of life situations that very effectively prevented me from working. MJB DIGITAL won't book anything new until the current backed up work is done. The stuff that is slowly being churned out and mailed to clients in the form of album, print or disk. After that work is done, and I've been all caught up, MJB DIGITAL is going to be dissected and restructured and reorganized and is going to become the SIX MILLION DOLLAR, BIONIC BUSINESS!!!
I'm still excited about my work and I'm still excited with MJB DIGITAL even after two years of business and a current hiatus.
It's 10pm, my work day should end now.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Start of a New Era

Well. I contracted a lot of work. I became overwhelmed. I started to let each client know about the increasing slowness of my turnaround and the long waits for product.

It became too much. Worried about ruining my brand image, worried about never having any time to do anything, and worried about staying stuck in a system of slow delivery and overwhelming workload, I closed my business.

MJB-DIGITAL is done taking bookings. If you are a client of MJB-DIGITAL and still waiting for delivery, don't worry. You will still have an excellent product arriving to you in time.

I have taken a new position as 'Associate Wedding Photographer/Office Guy' at Rhonda Jean Photos in Crestwood Mall. Rhonda and I have been good team working together for more than three years running. If you like my work, you will like Rhonda's work. Come check us out at Crestwood Mall!!

If you have followed my photography, and want to book Mitch Bowen (no longer MJB-DIGITAL) for your event. I'll be here, at Rhonda Jean Photos: www.RhondaJeanPhotos.com

Hope to hear from you.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Pit Stop

...I just wanted to pop in and post this link to my complete gallery:

MJB DIGITAL complete gallery

...now back to work!

Friday, March 27, 2009

It's all about pacing out my workday.

I've stayed so busy. I've been overwhelmed. I've become good friends with coffee. 8)
My dog has been taking me on walks to preserve my sanity.

So I'm getting ready for a wedding tomorrow, stopping every so often to make another album page, and generally staying productive when it hit me: DO SOME MARKETING 8) Ok, the truth is I have grand marketing strategies, and I do put myself on the market, but I love spending time networking and getting reviews and staying up-to-date on what clients want. I also love to generate digital portfolio, which goes into marketing.

So, here is another sneek peak into MJB DIGITAL.
It's been busy around here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Well...five or ten shoots down the line....

In truth it hasn't been four or five shoots, it's been winter and I haven't shot much. I've been working my tail off, though. With multiple albums in design process, one print order steadily becoming fulfilled, new weddings to process, growth to structure for...sheesh.

I really need to hire some help. So I have been doing a soft interview process with certain networking connections. While I network, I have been taking notes about how a good office structure might flow. If you happen to know a quirk...let me know! 8)

I've got a sneak peek of the new website (not yet approved by the web guy) some recent shooting, and maybe an album page or two.

check me out at www.flickr.com/photos/mitchel109

The website should be up sometime at www.MJB-DIGITAL.com!...but not yet...

Sneak Peek of www.MJB-DIGITAL.com

Sneak Peek of Ashley and Jon tying the knot 8)

Unfortunately, the new sneak peeks of the recent albums is on another drive. We might have to wait a day or two for those.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Double Post Day

Since a blog is supposed to be a bit more personal than just an internet gallery, I thought I would add another post today and showcase some of the shooting that I do that is either not for pay, or not for very much pay.
This is the kind of stuff I do regardless of the pay, just to keep my sanity...