Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dickens Success

We had a great time on Saturday during the Dicken's of a Christmas. We took a lot of photos and raised $220 for The Jubilee Christmas. This was our first year taking photos with Santa, but rest assured it will not be the last. Next year we would like to raise even more and if things go well, we might offer to match the amount we raised! At the LUM they told me that they are providing for over 1600 Children this Christmas and we are glad that we were able to help.
Merry Christmas!
Mark and Wendi Ailor

Friday, December 4, 2009

Set for Photos with Santa - Thanks Traci!

A special thanks to Traci from "Walnut Street Traditions" for helping us create our setting for the Santa photos. Here is a photo of me (trying to look festive) on the set. We hope to see you all here tomorrow for your photos with Santa. Remember...it is all for a good cause!
Merry Christmas!


I just wanted to post a reminder to everyone that we will be taking photos with Santa from 10am - 3pm on Saturday December 5th during the Dickens of a Christmas Festival. The cost will be $5 with the proceeds going to Lafayette Urban Ministries "Jubilee Christmas" charity. Come down and have your photo taken and support a good cause.
Merry Christmas,

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Background

hey....we are entering a bit of a slow period here at the studio. My afternoons are still crazy, but my mornings are a bit more open. I have been dying to hang up some new backgrounds and I finally got one up today. Dana didn't know she was going to have her photo taken today, but she volunteered to give the new background a test. I like it a lot.Hopefully...soon after thanksgiving I will have the second one ready to go. I have to build a few things for it so it will take a bit longer. Look for it here! Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 9, 2009

A few cool photos from the last week.

Here are a few cool photos that I took last week. I just thought they had style. Also a word to all Lafayette Jefferson Seniors who have NOT had their YEARBOOK photo taken yet. We will be at the school to finish up on November 11th, 12th and 13. Don't forget! This is your last chance!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Special Portrait Session

While I was out of the studio today Ashley had a sitting with a very special celebrity. We are going to be doing a lot of photos for him during the "Dickens of a Christmas" festival downtown on December 5th so we thought a little "test shoot" would be a good idea. Santa took a quick break from all his Christmas preparations and flew down for a couple of photos. They came out pretty good.
Remember that he will be back on December 5th from 10am - 3pm if you would like to come have your photo taken with him or just let him know what it is you would like for Christmas. The cost for a photo with Santa will be $5 and you will get the photo right then and there. All of the proceeds from "pictures with Santa" will go to a Christmas charity, we are not yet sure which charity.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Full Senior Sitting

I have been thinking for a while about putting an entire senior portrait sitting online just to give everyone an idea of what a whole sitting was like. I did Derek senior portraits recently and was really happy with them. I don't even think he has seen the outdoor ones yet. He picked a really nice location for his outdoor. Something special to him and that makes all the difference. The cool airplane didn't hurt either!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


For our second year in a row....Ailor Photography will be offering free Halloween photos of children in costume. As part of the downtown's "Operation Trick or Treat" We will be taking photos of children 12 and under, in costume. We will set up a Halloween themed background and photography individual children. No groups. Here is a sample of last years photos.
Photos will be on October 30th from 5:00pm - 7:30 pm at our downtown location at 1010 Main St. You will be able to pick up your photos the following day or after at our studio. Each child will recieve 1 free 4x6 photo. Please remember that the photos are for individual children 12 and under, in costume. We look forward to seeing a the kiddos in their halloween costumes.

Swine Flu and Airplanes.

Okay, that might be a bit of a weird title, but strangely appropriate. I missed Friday due to a light case of the flu. I apologize to the appointments we had to reschedule. But trust me, you did not want to be around me that day. After a quick trip to urgent care (which I surprisingly was not swamped with sick people) and a round of Antibiotics, I am feeling much better today.
My Saturday started out with a really fun sitting even though it was outside in the cold and rain, which is not good for a person recovering from the flu. I drove to Delphi to a small landing strip and did some photos for Derek with an airplane. A Piper Cub (which is a very cool 2 seater). Here is one of my favorites. I was trying to give it a bit of an old-time feel and it worked out great. Derek...if you read this...you are going ot LOVE these photos when you come pick them up.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fall is here...but few good days for photos.

Well, we always look forward to fall and the photos we can do with all the fall color. this year it seems that we have had just enough rain to spoil a lot of outdoor sittings. I guess that is the bad part about planning for fall photos in Indiana. You never know when fall is going to show up or how long it will last. On Tuesday we did get a couple of chances to go outdoors. Here are a few photos from the fall so far.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Ailor Photography had made it to the final voting on the Jconline readers' choice awards. If you think we are the best in the area...please go to jconline.com/readerschoice and vote for us today. We are very happy to be in the final voting and appreciate all the votes we have already recieved.
I have no idea if we win anything in this voting, it is just great to know that we are doing a good job and our customers appreciate what we do!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Lafayette Jeff Seniors.....It's not too late!

For all of the Lafayette Jefferson Seniors who have not had their yearbook portrait taken yet...DO NOT PANIC! We are still taking appointments for the next few days to try and wrap up. You can have the photos taken anytime in October....you just need to call us in the next couple of days to get your appointment made. Also...we will be coming to the school sometime in November to catch all of those who just were not able to get scheduled. Stay tuned here to find out those dates when they are announced.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Yes, I meant to do it......and it's okay.....

Okay. I am putting this post up just to explain something. A pose that I do quite often (mostly because it is one of our most popular and biggest selling) occasionally generates this conversation.

customer: I just looked at our proofs and there is one image where my daughters head is cut off. Is there more in the photo than the proof shows?

Us: No...what you see in the proof can be cropped in further, but if her head is cropped then we meant to do it.

customer: Why would you do that?

Us: The image in question is what we call an "extreme close-up" of just the face. If we get the top of her head then the eyes will be in the lower half of the photo and it will look really dumb. It is okay to cut off the forehead if you do it properly and intentionally.

Here is a photo that always generates this conversation.
As you can see the eyes are the focus of this image and you are not missing anything by cutting off the top of the head. Compositionally...it just looks better this way. It is one of our most popular poses. Usually when I do this pose I also shoot a vertical image where the entire head shows, as in this image.
I assume by doing this I am giving the customer the option. If you do not like the super close-up then you have the full headshot to fall back on. The funny thing is that most say that they like the super close-up more. I think it is just so ingrained into us that cutting the top of someones head off is a bad thing that we can't look at the image with an open mind. JUST remember....if you like the way a photo looks.....don't worry about that stuff. It is okay to do that as long as it looks good. If you don't like it...then order the one with all of the head. Here are a few other examples of PROPERLY cropped images.

Friday, September 18, 2009

13 years of Ailor Photography

Okay....that is actually 13 years in business and 12 years having a studio as of September 17th! Sometimes it really seems like it has been a lot less time and others it feels like this is all I have ever done.
I remember the first year when I was lucky to have 1 or 2 sittings a week. I spent a lot of time that year sitting at my desk, reading a book and hoping the phone would ring. I must have read 12 - 14 novels that year. Anyway it has been a long road but totally worth it. I am so happy to have a nice studio and a large group of wonderful customers. I look forward to many more anniversaries.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Final sport of the season

Well, between Neil and I we have managed to photograph all of Jeff High Schools fall sports. We did them all in about 3 weeks. We know that we still have to photograph some events this season, but the action sports are done. I let Neil photograph women's golf and men's tennis and most of football, but I went to football for a little while to see what I could do. Neil was using my best lens so once it started to get dark, I had to stop. Anyway, here are a couple of mine that came out pretty good. Unfortunately it wasn't a very good game for Jeff so we had a lot of photos of the quarterback dropping back, but that was about it for offense.
Remember you can view and order action photos from all of the fall sports at www.ailorphotography.com. Follow the link for online proofing, choose the event you want to view and enter the password: jeffphotos.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Lady's soccer this time!

Yes...it is true...I do pick my favorite sports to photograph myself. I love soccer so of course, I assigned myself to photograph the girls soccer match vs. Kokomo. Here are two good ones. I shot over 380 photos so it is too much trouble to go through them and look for the "best"
It is always good to catch a header sometime during the game. I love this one because the ball is still in the photo and her feet are still off the ground. Pretty cool.

I'm pretty sure I photographed this girls senior portraits also. Who do you think comes away with the ball in this photo?

Well Neil is shooting girls golf and boys tennis yesterday and today. I will be joining him on Friday night for FOOTBALL. This will be a good chance to see how it is photographing under the lights at the new Jeff stadium. Should be fun.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

No....I don't do weddings....BUT...that being said....

I hope that all the people from the past couple of years who have heard me say "I don't do weddings" don't start calling me and yelling. I really don't photograph weddings under normal circumstances. In this case it was the wedding of my assistant "Ashley".
We were worried all week about the weather since Ashley planned an outdoor wedding (against my better judgment). As it turned out it was a beautiful day on Saturday for an outdoor wedding even though they had been calling for rain all week. I had fun photographing her wedding since it was at Riehle Plaza which has tons of great locations for photos. It is also quite liberating to do a wedding when you are not being paid.....takes the pressure off.

Anyway...here are a few of my favorite photos from the wedding. You might notice a theme with the sepia toning.

Anyway.....Ashley if you by any chance check the blog while on your honeymoon. I hope you like the photos.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Experimental studio

In the back of our main studio is a smaller studio that we use, mostly, for business and yearbook headshots. With the Jeff Yearbook contract, it is nice for us to have a separate space to do the headshots. I am also using the space as an experimental studio to try out new, creative background ideas. I am tying to find those unusual things that will make a great photo, but were not designed to be used as such. Yesterday I made a cool image from a different idea. I covered the corner and floor with newspaper and it came out awesome. Let me know what you think!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Women's Volleyball!

I have always thought that volleyball is one of the most difficult sports to photography. You have to keep both eyes open so you can tell who the ball is going to go to and the other eye through the camera. Tough. I haven't photographed volleyball in almost 15 years, but I did so last night and did a pretty good job, I think. Here are a few good ones.

Remember....all the photos from Jeff Sports and Events can be viewed through our website. Look at my last blog post for instructions!!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lafayette Jeff Photos ONLINE!

As I said in my last post...all of the Lafayette Jefferson sports and events that we photograph for "The Nautilus" will be available for viewing and purchase online. You can follow this link:
Ailor Photography Online Ordering
Or you can go to www.ailorphotography.com and follow the links for Online Proofing. The passwork for all Lafayette Jeff sports and events will be "jeffphotos". Please give us 48 hours after each event to get the photos online. We will be photographing 1 game or match for each varsity sport. (We often shoot a little of the JV also so you can check those out also). We will also be photographing many theater, choir and band events throughout the year. All the photos will be posted on our site. If you have any question...please email us or give us a call.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Let the SPORTS BEGIN!!!!!!

Now that the school season is up and running it is time for SPORTS! Yeay!!! Since this year we are handling the Lafayette Jeff Yearbook contract, we will be photographing all of the varsity sports and events. My sports shooting kicked off last night with boys varsity soccer (one of my favorite sports!). I haven't photographed sports action in quite a while so I was a little worried, but I got some great photos in the end. Here are a few!

All of the photos we take at the Jeff events will be available on our website for viewing and purchase. Just go to www.ailorphotography.com and follow the links for "online proofing". find the event you are looking for. When prompted enter the password "jeffphotos", and you can view all the best photos from the event and order any copies you would like. Please help us in spreading the word that the photos will be available online. Tell any parents or students who might like to have some action photos of themselves or thier children.
Next....look for girls volleyball, football, and girls golf!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Just a quick note about a COOL photo.

Well, The last rain we had just happened to be on the day of Williams outdoor sitting. It poured so we didn't get to do the photos that day....We DID get to do them today. He had brought a "stand-up base" with him for his studio photos and even then I was dying to take it outdoors. Luckily for us, today worked out and Will got some cool photos. Here is one of my favorites.
It was "Guerrilla" style photography.....Run out into the street....snap...and get out before you are run down by someone. Will....I hope you like them.....I think this one is really cool.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Wow! Have we been busy lately. School is just right around the corner and we are trying to get as many seniors in before the time crunch as we possibly can. We still take as much time with each sitting....I just don't have any breaks during the day. We have had some fun lately (as usual). Recently I was asked to do some Aerial photos of some property around the new St. E. Hospital and that was a blast. I haven't been up in a small plane for MANY years so this was a great experience. We went up and flew around for about 40 minutes or so...got all our photos and headed back. I will say that the combination of small plane, turbulence, and image-stabilizing lenses is a recipe for air sickness. I didn't actually get sick, but my head was seriously unsteady when we landed. I would do it again in a heartbeat!!!!
Here is a photo of the new hospital and property. As always...we are photographing seniors also. The deadline for the Lafayette Jefferson yearbook photos is coming up quickly. If you haven't booked your appointment...CALL TODAY!!!! Here is a photo from this week that I really liked. It was a beautiful day before all this heat kicked in.
Now that everyone is getting back to school in the next week or so, we will have a lot of new things going on. We will be photographing all of the Lafayette Jeff varsity sports and events and those photos will be available online. Keep your eyes open to find out how to view and order action photos!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Some really great photos this week.

Well, I just wanted to put up a few photos that I really liked doing this week and weekend. First of all was my great niece, Lily. My niece brought her down to the studio on Thursday for some (long overdue) photos. She was so much fun to take photos of. Lily is very easy going and makes such BIG expressions. This is one of my favorite just because I love her smile. My wife and I took the family out for dinner after the sitting. They had been wanting to try sushi. Lily loved it....her parents.....not so much!

On Saturday I went out to the home of Levi Curwick to do some senior portraits. He wanted some with his four-wheeler and some around their home. They live right next to the railroad tracks so we had some fun taking photos there. It was a great day with stormy looking clouds so I did this "infra-red" photo to make it stand out even more. I LOVE THIS PHOTO.
My wife has put out a hummingbird feeder at our house and she just loves to sit and watch them buzz around. They have been emptying the feeder in less than 36 hours! I decided to take my camera and 300 f/2.8 lens home and try and get some photos of the hummingbirds. Just to see what I could get. I ended up shooting over 150 photos. Here is one of my favorites.

I had a lot of fun doing these photos this week. A good variety of subjects and each challenging in their own way. That is the best part. I love photography.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New Backgrounds.....new styles....

Now that we are really "in the mix" as far as senior season goes. We have been setting up and trying out some new ideas, backgrounds, styles, and techniques. We are always challenging ourselves to create new, different images. Check out these two black and white photos. We love the contemporary style that they have. Very cool.

Also....we want to remind all of the Lafayette Jeff Seniors to CALL TODAY to make your senior portrait appointment. The summer is filling up very quickly and the deadline to have your yearbook photo taken (Oct. 1st.) is approaching fast. Give us a call to make an appointment.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

and the busy season begins!!!!

Our busiest season for taking photos is usually in mid to late summer. The last two weeks have definitely been the start of the busy season. We are booking up VERY quickly with seniors and other portraits. With our new studio we are hoping to "return to our roots", so to speak, by photographing a lot more kids and families. This type of portrait used to be a large part of our work, but has tapered off over the years as we invested more time into senior portraits. I really love photographing seniors, but families (and especially) kids can really be rewarding. The kids can be so cute and so much fun.
Over the last month or so we have had quite a few family and children sittings. Here is one of my favorite photos from all of those. Isn't she just too cute?
Of course we have begun the busy senior season and we are really enjoying that also. We have so many cool things we can do in the new studio. This was a fun photo from today.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

SUMMER THEME SPECIAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111

Okay....we are finally ready to do our first themed shoot of the year. We wanted to make a special "set" and theme that had a really nice summer feel to it. What says summer better than "the beach". There will be NO SITTING FEE for these themed shoots!!!! Just call and schedule your appointment
July 11, 1pm -3pm
July 12, 1pm - 4pm
July 13, 10am - 6pm
Take a look here at our sample of the summer theme! Bring your kids 6months - 5 years old in their swimsuit, shorts or any other summer clothes and we will take several poses of them on our beach themed background. (individuals or groups of 2 max.) We will upload the photos to our online proofing website where you can view them and place any orders at your convenience. CALL TODAY AS TIMES WILL BOOK UP VERY FAST!!!!!!!
If you have any questions...give us a call at 765-429-7145

Friday, June 19, 2009

Africa Pendants on Etsy.com

In my previous post I mentioned the Africa Pendants that I have been making. My wife put up a little shop on Etsy.com last night so they are available for sale there.
MWASilver.etsy.com . Just in case anyone wondered how to get them!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Jewelry Photography and Africa...

Sometimes it is great to use those photography techniques that I haven't used since college. In my studio photography class (somewhere in the early 90's) one of our assignments was to photography jewelry, or at least, something very shiny. This can be tough because you have to use a "lighting tent" to keep from having a bunch of specular highlights. I of course don't use this technique in my daily photography since people aren't usually all that shiny. However, I recently had to remember all this stuff from 15 or so years ago.

For those who don't know...my wife and I are adopting a baby from Ethiopia. Hopefully sometime in the next year we will be home with our little boy or girl. We are very excited and very impatient. In order to pass the time, I decided to make my wife and I a silver necklace in the shape of Africa to wear as a daily reminder. After I finished ours we had an outpouring of interest in purchasing them. So....I went to work and made a few more and we will see how they sell. Thus...why we needed a photo of a piece of jewelry. I don't think it came out too bad!
We are still trying to decide what to do with the profits from selling the necklaces. We would like to use them to support (at least in part) some African educational charity. Anyway, life leads us in circles sometimes and I had to go back to my past to remember how to do a photo that will affect our future.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Welcome To Ashley!

As I am sure you all expect, the summer season is a crazy time for a studio that specializes in Senior Portrait photography. It has been very busy around here, and I have neglected my blog. First and foremost, I want to introduce everyone to the newest member of the team here at Ailor Photography.... Ashley Blissitt.
Any of you who had your photo taken 4 or 5 years ago may remember Ashley as she worked for us while in High School. She recently graduated from University of South Florida with a degree in Business, and decided to return to the photography business with us. Ashley has always been a very good photographer, in her own right, so we decided to bring her back as our Children and Family portrait specialist. She is wonderful with kids and has a creative modern style that makes for great portraits. She has already helped us to start a milestone program for the first years of your childs life, and some new "Theme" shoots that we will be announcing very soon. (Our first is going to be a "summer, beach" themed shoot scheduled for sometime in July. Check back here in the next week or so to get exact information). We look forward to Ashley helping us out and giving us a boost of fresh, young energy. We hope to use that to keep us on the cutting edge of portrait style.

Friday, May 29, 2009


Well, we wrapped up most of the 2009 senior photography season last week and it was time for a little vacation before all the craziness of the 2010 season starts. With us handling the Lafayette Jeff senior contract we know this year is going to be a wild ride.

My wife and I decided to make a trip out to visit her family in Lancaster Pennsylvania over Memorial Day weekend since it is in the gap between senior seasons. It was a nice trip where I got to go trout fishing for a couple of days and even get to see my father-in-law fall in the creek. Fun for me....not so much for him. We also got to see our nephews Brandon, Andrew and Mason and spend some time having fun with them. I took the camera along to take some photos of the boys playing soccer and do a portrait session for them also. Here are a few of the best.

Here is Andrew on the "Pump-track"

And Little Mason on his scooter just before he flipped over the handlebars and crashed

Here is Brandon posing for his portrait.

And here is the best (and only) photo of all the boys...Mason just wasn't going to do what we
wanted him to do.
In all we had a really good time even with the 11 hour drive each direction. It may take a few days for my back to recover, but that is okay. We have our photos of the boys and trout in the freezer!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A fun couple of shoots!

I just wanted a chance to make a quick blog entry so I could post these photos. On Monday I had one of my senior REPS come in for a sitting and we got a chance to use my new "lockers" background. I have to say that it came out really cool. I have been working on getting this background together for a while. Thanks to Main Street Mercantile I got it finished last week. I am really looking forward to seeing what ideas we can come up with using the lockers.
Today I had a sitting over at Purdue. It was an engagement sitting and they had hired the Boilermaker Special to be there for some of their photos. I think every one of their photos came out great, but this is one of my favorites. I can't wait for them to see all the photos.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Okay...finally after we are ready to have an open house for the new studio. We moved in here on February 1st, and we have been swamped with work ever since. We are just coming out of our busy senior season and we thought the timing was perfect to have an open house. We looked at the downtown gallery walk schedule and decided to have the open house on May 15th from 6pm - 9pm. We hope that anyone who is looking for a photographer for families, children, seniors or whatever will stop by and check us out. Even if you're not in the market for a photographer and you're just curious...stop by anyway. We look forward to showing off our new studio and letting everyone greet our staff.
Speaking of staff......Ailor Photography would like to welcome an addition to our team. Ashley Blissitt will be coming onboard as our Children and Family portrait specialist. Ashley worked for us about 5 years ago (when she was only 16!) and was a great addition to the studio. She went away to college in Florida and after graduating wanted to get back into the photography business. We are really looking forward to having her with us and having her help our business to be the best.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

One BUSY weekend!

Wow did we have a busy weekend or what! We are coming to the end of Senior portrait season, but that just makes us busier than ever trying to get orders and graduation announcements done in time. We had a lot of those in the past week. On Saturday we had the Morton Community Center Dance Recital to photograph from 8am until 12:30. I followed that with an engagement sitting on Purdue Campus (it was a beautiful day for it and the pictures are great). I had a short break after that and then off to photograph Lewis Cass High School's Prom in Kokomo. We have been photographing that prom for about 6 years now and we always have fun. I enjoy coming up with background ideas to fit their themes and colors. It is always a challenge to come up with something that is fitting, but not the typical "Cheesy" prom background. I think we did pretty good this year. My wife has helped me out with the prom the last couple of years and we always take our "prom picture" to start the night off.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Spring hurry up and get here.

Well, we have had some good weather lately and some bad, but I did manage to squeeze in a few outdoor sittings while it was nice. Maybe I can do a few more this weekend. It is good to get outdoor and take some photos after being in the studio all winter. Here are a few photos (both studio and outdoor) from the last week or so.

We have been working hard this spring. We are getting our first Mailer together to send to Lafayette Jeff's 2010 senior class. Since we will be the studio handling their yearbook portraits we want to let them know that it will be a big improvement over what they have had in the past. Our quality is better, our prices are lower and our customer service is great. We know that no one like to be told where they "have" to have thier photos taken, but we believe that once they have a look at what we offer, they would choose to come here anyway.

We have also been getting things ready for the Lewis Cass High School Prom on May 2nd and the dance recital at Morton community center the same day. I will be very very very busy that day, but it should be a lot of fun.

Anyway, it looks like this weekend is supposed to be beautiful so get out and enjoy it. I know I will.