Photographer’s Blog

A Very Busy Day

Last Friday was a very long day.  Angie and I awoke at 4am to prepare to get to Cerritos College to photograph the spring 2017 nursing class portraits.  Set up was scheduled for 7:30, first session at 9am.  Photographer Andre and Angie would be there until 6pm.  I went to help set up and help.
Mid afternoon I went to the Quiet Cannon in Montebello to set up for Cathedral HS Mother/Son Dance.  I would be working with Jose running his instant portrait system to print 5×7’s and wallets for the couples to take home.
After Angie got done with Cerritos she came to the Quiet Cannon to help.  We photographed 147 couples.  We would be done at 11pm.  We got to bed at 1am Saturday morning.
Later Saturday I would umpire 3 baseball game, Loyola vs. Alemany and two Pony League games.
Attached are images from Friday.
Contact 1st Image Photography at
(661) 254-4720, (800) 244-4720 or
Cerritos7470 Cerritos7450 Cathedral0906 Cathedral139 Cathedral062

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Today Angie and I, with dogs, head to Bakersfield for the 51st Annual Square Dance Fiesta at the Kern County Fairgrounds.  To those reading this post who may be square dancers and not aware of the Fiesta this is a great weekend getaway like RIVCO in Indio in November.  Angie and I have attended the Fiesta since 1981 except for 3 different years when I had photo business or involved with Knights of Columbus St. Patrick’s Day 5k run and dinner dance in Santa Clarita.
As a baseball umpire, working NCAA Division 1 and Pac 10 games, I always blocked this weekend from assignments as it was midseason in the 1980’s.
During the early years we attended this event the Fiesta would attract 3000 or more dancers at 4 levels from mainstream to challenge levels.  Angie and I are challenge level dancers though we will dance all levels this weekend. Many square dancers are RV enthusiasts, some full time RVers.
Unfortunately Angie’s 96 year old mom will miss attending this Fiesta. She fell a couple of weeks ago resulting in a very nasty bruise.  She is also having blood pressure issues. She’s in at the Rinaldi Convalescent Hospital, Hayvenhurst and Rinaldi, in Granada Hills.
For many in the education industry who read our post spring breaks are beginning.  We wish you well with your Rest and Relaxation.  Last night I read an article in Reader’s Digest on how being in nature, forest and other places, has such a positive affect on people’s well being.
Contact 1st Image Photography at
(661) 254-4720, (800) 244-4720 or
BakersfieldFiesta9894 BakersfieldFiesta9898 BakersfieldFiesta9908 BakersfieldFiesta9916 BakersfieldFiesta9918 BakersfieldFiesta9920

Save your Smart Device’s Files & Images

Thursday I was at the Apple store for some issues I was having with my computers.
While I was waiting a lady was conversing with Apple employee and the store manager on duty regarding an issue with her I-Phone.  She was telling the staff her problems, that she runs a business, no one can call her and she has lots of photos on the phone.  She says it took her 36 hours to backup files from the phone.
The manager was telling her the procedure for solving her problem, which included cleaning out her phone and that her files were in Apple’s Cloud.  He told her it would take about 15-20 minutes to restore files to her phone.  I am overhearing this conversation for about 45 minutes.  
She was fearing losing her images.  Well if she backed up her files, she should have the images and files on the device she used for the back up. She wasn’t buying anything the manager was telling her.  I left after I dealt with my issues and she was still there.
Bottom line to all this is why keep so many images on your phone?  I can see family, friends and interesting photos, but 100’s to 1000’s?  I only take photos I want to post immediately on social media, then I throw them away because I probably photographed the same image with my pro camera in RAW format.
Finally, back up your cell phone files and images.  These devices are fallible and will break down.  Also edit images.  Get rid of bad photos. You don’t need to keep every image you take.  Remember the photo images take up a lot of your smart device’s memory and storage.
I ultimately save my images on CD/DVD’s.
Bob Messina

Photographer In Front of the Camera

Last Saturday I showed up at Sylmar HS to referee a boys volleyball tournament.  Though we officials were told uniforms were optional I decided to show up in uniform.  I am a contributing photographer to REFEREE MAGAZINE, since 1982, with 20 covers to credit.  Thinking some officials would wear uniforms, none did.  I brought camera for the benefit of REFEREE.  There was a photographer for Sylmar HS at the tournament.  Since I was the only official in uniform I asked this photographer if he would photograph me with my camera.  He did.  Attached are some images which were submitted to REFEREE MAGAZINE.  I am also umpiring baseball at Hart Pony League (I have been rained out 5x this season) and returned to high school baseball after 8 year absence.

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Special Occasion Photography

I have gotten a couple of wedding photography requests recently.  One is from the son of a former nursing director and the other an athletic director/client.

For me weddings, mitzvahs, quinceaneros, anniversaries and other special occasions are like family reunions.  Group and formal posed photos are a necessity.  Candidly my job is to photograph the day so the parties know what occurred and who was there.  .  Memories fade by the day.  Photographs keep those memories.

Wedding Photography

Wedding Photography

Wedding Photography

Wedding Photography


Wedding Photography

Wedding Photography

Wedding Photography

Wedding Photography


Welcome to 2017

It’s been awhile since I posted a blog.  I upgraded the operating system in one computer and purchased a new computer and was unable to access Word Press. I have been sending Constant Contact messages on a weekly bases.

Recently I attended Imaging USA, Professional Photographers of America, convention in San Antonio, Tx.  Big emphasis on Drone Photography.  Attached you will see a group photo taken by one of my associate photographers using his drone.  Personally I have no plans to purchase a drone.  I will use this photographer for any drone requested photography service.  We have two track teams, with large numbers than my risers can handle, we will use drones for the group photo.

Highland HS XC

No one makes prints anymore

I just read an article in Professional Photographer Magazine about people not printing their photo images anymore.  Making prints preserves a record of history.  Under “Fleeting Images” the article points out 24% don’t recall the last time they printed a photo, 42% no longer print photos at all, 53% haven’t printed a photo in a year or more and 70% don’t have photo albums.  Then under “Tempting Fate”  the article points out 67% don’t actively back up the photos and data on their phones and 4.5 million mobile phones lost or stolen in the U.S. in 2014.


Consumers are taking more photos than ever before. And yet, they no longer print or display those photos in their homes. These images stay in digital form on computers and smartphones.


Technology is changing so fast that many photographs taken only 5-6 years ago are stored on devices that are no longer supported. Sadly, this means that many of the memories captured today won’t be around tomorrow!

The article goes on “We are essentially raising a generation conditioned to not print photographs. It’s time to change the trend and spread the message by printing your favorite photographs and storing them in beautiful albums.  When consumers see beautiful prints, they touch them. And when they touch photos or frames, they realize how meaningful it is to hold something tangible. Join THE MOVEMENT and get free marketing resources to help your clients and prospects see the value of printing and preserving family histories in photos. Through your one-on-one relationships with clients and with the aid of The Movement’s resources, we will begin to reverse the trend and restore the art of print to a place of prominence in people’s homes.”

I can say that if the trend does not change we won’t have much photographic history by 2100.

Generally the best time to take scenic photos is early morning or late afternoon.  In my opinion the best lighting is 1 hour to 2 hours after sunrise or 2 hours to 1 hour before sunset.  Inside the 1 hour windows to even before sunrise or after sunset can create some interesting images.  Shadows are a key element in many scenic images.  As winter approaches and the sun is lower in the sky, midday photos can be equally spectacular and interesting.  Just make a judgement.  The lighting should not be flat with little to no shadowing.

Enjoy these posted images taken mid day after a rain storm in Sedona, Az.  We had late afternoon showers so photographing late afternoon was not possible. The next day was cloudless.

Check out some travel/nature images on our  site.

Enjoy, Bob.

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Recently at a restaurant I had a photography discussion with an employee who got married two years ago. They are piecing images of significant people that their photographer failed to photograph. If you’re having a special occasion, please contact me. These occasions are also family reunions; posed group photos are a must necessity. Don’t let or hire a photographer who tells you he/she only takes candids/photojournalism images.

Wedding Photography

Wedding Photography

Anniversary Photography

Anniversary Photography


Panoramic and Large Group Photos

These photos were taken recently at Reseda HS Police Academy, Hawthorne HS, Torrance HS and New Designs Charter HS. Much of our photo business is group photos. Though I used the gym bleachers for the panoramic group, I have a riser system for other large groups. Key to taking large group photos is getting the subjects to “GAP” their heads and bodies between two sets of shoulders ahead of them. I also try to put the taller subjects in the back, though not always possible.


Large Group with our riser system.

Large Group with our riser system.

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