Photography by Steve O'Donnell » Clermont and Orlando award winning professional wedding, portrait, senior and family photographer serving central FL

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Category Archives: Just for Fun

When I googled the words “photography scam”  what I expected to pop up in the search results is the Photo Stealers website.  It’s website dedicated to outing “photographers” who are caught red handed stealing hard working real photographers work and claiming it as their own.  It’s a great site that catches people trying to pass themselves off as real professional photographers misleading those who are simply looking to hire a real photographer.

What is more alarming is what really pops up in the results…..countless examples of a scammer looking to hire a photographer to cover their event.  The event is usually a family reunion shoot or a wedding.  The scammer as expected has very poor grammar skills and usually cuts right to the real question of “do you accept credit cards?”  I personally have been on the receiving end of this scam twice via text message.  I’ve heard other reports of this scam happening over email too.  Usually a real photo client will reach out by email so a random text message as their choice of correspondence  is somewhat of a red flag to begin with.

The 1st time I got the scam I just blew it off.  The second time I got this scam I trolled the scammer a bit for info to see if they would slip up.  This time I decided to troll the scammer hard….making up outlandish stories that would send any real client running far far away from any consideration of hiring me.  The initial idea was to see just how long I could keep the outlandish stories going.  I had plenty of them lined up by the second day.  At the third day I thought the scammer had caught onto my trolling, but somehow I reeled them back in for a bit more fun.  The ending of this isn’t as grand as I had originally intended….but the process was a blast.  Originally I documented the events as they unfolded on my personal Face Book page that I keep for friends only.  I often polled my friends who were following along giving choices of which way the story should go.  Many suggested they wanted the story to be public so they could show friends.  For your enjoyment at many requests I present to you 3 days of crazy fun trolling the scammer in an effort to give them less time to bait someone else who might become a victim.


Carolina “the scammer” in yellow chat box.

Me “the photographer” in the blue chat box.


DISCLAIMER!  I have never been in trouble with the law and certainly have never been on parole.  My dear grandmother passed away 20+ years ago.  No dogs were harmed in the process….just pics taken from the internet or borrowed from friends.

On with the show!  Enjoy!

photography scam

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So being that it’s Christmas day and all, my daughter decided to get dressed up in her Elsa dress and had her big sister do her makeup.  Next thing you know she came running over to me and asked if I would do a photo shoot with her.  Wait….did I just hear that right?  She has zero patience for me and my camera lately and usually limits me to maybe 4 or 5 shots at most.  “Well, let’s go up to the field at the top of the street” I replied.  I quickly grabbed my gear and a few off camera lights and my Apollo Orb softbox and we headed for the field.  Once I got everything set up she held true to form and after about 10 shots she was pretty much done and wanted to return home.Blog

After getting home and dumping the few shots we got in the field onto the computer I thought wouldn’t it be cool if I could turn her surroundings into a winter wonderland.  We live in Florida where it never snows and with her infatuation of all things Frozen it would just make her day if I could change her surroundings to better align with Elsa.  Roughly an hour later in Photoshop I had the image above and she absolutely loved it.  The image below is the original shot we got in the field.  I got extra points in the Daddy department today!  Merry Christmas everyone.


For the past year I’ve been toying with the idea of documenting my journey into the world of photography.  I am at the point that I can no longer keep thinking about it.  Time to move!  Time to stop thinking about it and just start doing it.  So here it is, the start of “Inside my head”.  Currently I imagine it will be about the journey, my thoughts on matters of photography, some praise that I certainly owe to those that pushed me, helped me focus and those who inspired me.  I also expect to rant a little and get some things off my chest that I see along my journey.  Hopefully the series will be entertaining to read along.  I hope it will possibly help others who are starting their own photography business in some way or in the least provide them a little comfort in knowing they are not alone at the start.0736_Blog

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At the end of 2012 I blogged my favorite images from that year with a short description as to why they made the cut.  It was a fun look back for me to see how my photography evolved throughout the year and I thought it would be a good idea for every year.  Well, a few weeks ago I started combing through the thousands of images I had taken in 2013….(yes thousands)….and I was a little surprised how nothing really stood out as the best.  Maybe I had become desensitized  from the initial impact they originally had when they first came off the memory cards or maybe I had just become bored with them after looking at them over time?  What ever the reason was I was miffed by it.  I shared my thoughts with a friend and fellow photographer and was reminded at the fact “we as photographers are our own worst critics” and we will often loose ourselves and find fault in the smallest of details.  I often feel my best images are the ones I take for me, the candid moments from home….or the random shoots I do with my kids where I can take my time and plan things out and work around problematic shooting conditions.  So naturally I looked to my personal images first and this is where the feeling started to hit me.  My fellow photography friend reminded me of the images I took of my clients…the ones who hired me for my photography.  Know what, he was right.  I shook off the feeling and took another look thinking back from where I started out….to where the year took me.  Being proud of the work I did for clients isn’t a bad thing.  Being proud of my client work is a good thing….a really good thing!

If there are any “take away’s” looking back over 2013 I think it’s safe to say I’m a people photographer.  I love photographing people.  I love working with people, capturing their candid moments, their memories, the look in their eyes, and the way they smile.  My main mission for 2013 was to become very comfortable using flash photography and boy did I do a lot of flash photography.  The best light isn’t always available.  Sure, nothing beats that natural light golden hour.  But, a clients time and my time is very important….and I can’t expect clients to reschedule a shoot just because the best light isn’t available.  I also can’t expect every wedding to be graced with the perfect light and weather conditions.  If the best natural light wasn’t available I set out to be certain that I could produce light that was pleasing and unique.

The following are my favorites from 2013.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

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Every once in a while you just need to go out and shoot for the fun of it, for practice, for the love of it.  The following was one of those days.  A friend of mine asked me if I’d like to plainly just “get out and shoot for the fun of it”, and that is exactly what we did.  He had some new flash gear he wanted to try out, and I wanted to experiment with some flash photography.  So, with the help of my step daughter and one of her friends as our subjects we set out in a local field that I’ve been dying to shoot in to have some fun.  Below are a few of my shots from that session.