03.04.11

Where were we?

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:04 pm by Andrew

Like all creative types, I started a blog with all good intentions of keeping up on it weekly. And then life gets busy…..and the blog gets put on the back burner. Next thing you know, it has been a few months and no new posts.
I am going to do my best to keep up this time. Of course, I hope I get so busy I forget again, but I will try to have reminders set on my calender to remind me.
This past week I finished up a project for an old friend’s new product line of bags that have an exterior pouch for one’s I-Pad. They are beautifully designed. Of all the different bags and folders I have seen for the I-Pad, these have to be one of the most unique and easiest to access on the go.
Here are a few pictures to wet your appetite, though you can get more information at: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001374838794

God Bless,

Andrew

05.15.10

Autograph Night take Three!

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:24 am by Andrew

Let’s see….the first autograph night of the year for Kalamazoo Speedway has been rained out twice so far, though tonight looks very promising. It is a beautiful day out this morning, and it looks like it is going to stay that way through the night. A perfect night to take the whole family out to the track for a fun family night of racing and getting to meet the drivers.

The family gets to go out on the track and meet the drivers and check out their cars tonight. The drivers hand out autographs and usually candy to the kids. Sometimes there are bigger handouts from some of the drivers as well. You just have to be there to see what you might get:-) So come on out tonight!

Autographs start at 6pm on the track with students 17 and under getting in FREE tonight!! Tickets for the rest of the family are only $9 tonight. What a great time!

See you there.
God Bless,

Andrew

Designed through Forever Always Photography, LLC's division TheSteelToad.com

Designed through Forever Always Photography, LLC's division TheSteelToad.com

05.11.10

Graduation is Upon Us

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:38 am by Andrew

Hard to believe, but another school year is almost coming to a close. Congratulations to the Seniors of 2010!
I know graduating can be a scary thing for many. Now you have to go out into the REAL world! You have to find a job, decide what college to go to and what you want to do with your life. So many opportunities, or as some may see it, so many chances to fail. Just remember what Mark Twain said: “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”
If we are all honest, we have all experienced fear of some sort or other in life. It is how we deal with the fear, that determines how we come through it in the end. Don’t let fear of failure paralyze you into not making choices, for not doing anything is failure in itself. We all fail at times, that is part of the learning process. It is as Mr. Twain said, learning to resist fear, that produces the courage to continue forward in life.
May God give you the courage to dream big, and the grace to make it through the failures that come with life.
DREAM BIG!

God Bless,

Andrew

*Here are a few samples of some postcard graduation invites we did this year. Cheaper than sending a card and picture:-)

Chris_S

Matt_L1

Matt_L2

05.03.10

Race Season has Started

Posted in Fun Shots, Hobbies, Uncategorized at 4:50 pm by Andrew

This past Saturday night, I had the privilege of attending the races at Kalamazoo Speedway. I was really taken back by how family-friendly of an environment it was. Don’t take me wrong, I didn’t go there thinking it was going to be a drunken brawl, but I really didn’t go there thinking it would start with a prayer over the loud speaker. I was pleasantly surprised.
Now, I guess I should state that I spent almost the entire time in the pit area, but from what I witnessed, there was a lot of children and families hanging out having a really nice time. With a minor rain delay from the start, the track was quickly dried and the races were under way. There was even a beautiful sunset for all to enjoy, something you miss while sitting in the movie theater.
After talking with different drivers, I have found that the family atmosphere is also evident in the pit area. It is like one giant family, all the drivers that is. Yes, there are those that may get a little too competitive with each other at times, but then again it is a race and no one wants to lose. But then again, unless you have a family like none that I have seen, families have there little tiffs as well.
I would definitely recommend to all my readers to pick a race some Saturday night and give it a try. Go to KalamazooSpeedway.com to find out the schedule and to see if there is a cancellation due to rain the day of the race. You might try a race early in the season, that way there are more races to go to when you find out how much fun it is. Maybe I’ll see you there. I will be hanging around the #8 car since my name, TheSteelToad.com is on the side of it:-)
Here is a look at the autograph cards Chris Shannon will be handing out this Saturday, May 8th.

God Bless,

Andrew Isbell
269-303.1806

Autograph Night May 8th, 2010

Autograph Night May 8th, 2010

Kalamazoo Speedway Opening Night

Kalamazoo Speedway Opening Night

04.16.10

Spring Fever is Here!

Posted in Children, Creative, Engagement, Fun Shots, Hobbies, Senior Pictures, Weddings at 12:28 pm by Andrew

Wow, I know this is beginning to sound familiar, but time sure flies! Things have been a little crazy around here for so far this year. Between weddings, senior photos, helping models build their portfolios, maternity & newborn shoots, engagements, motorcycle and car shoots and swap meets, and having my business TheSteelToad.com placed on a race car and steins up at Old Hat Brewery, I have been trying to get caught up on the computer end of things. I know I said this last time, but I am going to do my best in keeping up on this blog. I actually do better at keeping up on Facebook with the two separate business pages. If you have not yet become a fan of the pages, go to ForeverAlwaysPhotography.com and click on Facebook. You can join there. You can also go to TheSteelToad.com and click on the link to the Facebook page on the homepage and join that fan page as well. That way you can keep up on all the latest happenings.
Any seniors still needing photos for this year 2010, I will be glad to work with you in getting things done quickly. Those who will be Seniors this coming year, I am already taking in students for the Ambassador programs. I already have a girl for Lawton and Mattawan, with a few others talking with their parents. Sign up quickly if you are interested. Only one girl and guy allowed from each school. Major, and I mean MAJOR discounts are given along with some really cool perks. Don’t wait too long to sign up.

God Bless,

Andrew
269-303.1806

Here’s a few pics of what’s been going on:

The Happy Couple

The Extended Family

The Girl Loves Peacocks

Doing a little Audrey Hepburn

The Wait is Almost Over

Sweet Baby Lane

The Start of Something Big

Too Cute

2010 Ducati Streetfighter S

Shannon Racing (before my logo was added)

First Sponsorship

11.17.09

Wedding Reception @ Gallagher’s

Posted in Family, Weddings at 4:34 pm by Andrew

Things have been crazy lately, which is a good thing. It is always nice going into the holiday season busy!

So I get a phone call last month on a Tuesday wondering if I could possibly photograph a wedding on that Friday? That’s how crazy things have been going this Fall. Lucky for both of us, I was free that Friday, at least after I rescheduled a Senior session I had for that day. Thanks again Pearson’s for being flexible!

Well, we just had the wedding reception this past Saturday, which meant tearing down all my gear at the church where I was photographing the new directory, packing it into the Trooper and setting it all up at Gallagher’s on Stadium. We had a good time. Of course, I then had to tear everything back down and haul it back to the church where I set it all up again and started taking pictures again Sunday after church service. We will finish up the directory photos this weekend and then start back up again Sunday with another Senior session.

Don’t let the busyness keep you from calling to get a session in before Christmas though, for we love being busy!

God Bless,

Andrew
269-303.1806

Reception Session with Bride

Church Directory photo

11.08.09

Gorgeous Day For November

Posted in Senior Pictures at 10:54 pm by Andrew

Talk about a beautiful day….temps reached 70 today! It did not reach 70 the entire month of October here. I could use a few more days like this, though most of the leaves are down.
We took some outdoor shots with a Senior today, lining up a few very unique barns and a nice wooded area with some pines and a few leaves. I thought I would include a few shots from today’s session.
Of course they are calling for a chance of snow Sunday! Go figure…from one extreme to the next. Welcome to Southwest Michigan:-)

God Bless,

Andrew

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FAP_0192 (1)

FAP_0415

11.02.09

Time change…time to stay on top

Posted in Children, Family at 5:43 pm by Andrew

It’s like a New Year’s resolution, a time for change. Anyone else feel like you have been at least an hour behind all year? Well, we are now on schedule, rolling the clocks back an hour this past weekend. I am going to use this as an excuse to start my own little resolution of staying on top of every aspect of my life a little more. From keeping the office a little more organized, to staying on top of this blog….I resolve to do better. Hopefully it will last longer than most New Year’s resolutions do:)

Things have been rather busy with Senior portraits and trying to squeeze in some great family portraits in these beautiful Fall colors. This past weekend took out some of the leaves, though there are plenty left to create some stunning family photos in time for Christmas. Give us a call if you like to get that family portrait done you keep putting off. Resolve to stay on top of these things as well.

God Bless,

Andrew
Tel. 269-303.1806

Boy with B.B. Gun

Boy with B.B. Gun

09.01.09

Where did the time go?

Posted in Children, Creative, Family, Fun Shots, Hobbies, Senior Pictures at 10:05 pm by Andrew

Summer is almost over, and the kids are headed back to school next week. Where did the time go? This seems like a constant theme in my life. Summer was definitely fun, being my first summer home with the kids all day long! Some days seeming longer than others:) Last year I was putting in 60 hours or more each week at Stryker and coming home to work on photos. It was hard going to sleep at 9 or 10 in order to get up between 2-4am. I think I am closer to getting to bed at those times now.

This summer has had many photo sessions, from water ski events, to senior photos, to family portraits, to starting up another division of Forever Always Photography, LLC, The Steel Toad, that focuses on the automotive & cycle photography business. It has been a busy but fun ride. I thank God for providing so far.

I do have some slots open within the Senior Ambassador program for some of the schools in the area. If you are interested in finding out more information, please give me a call at 269-303.1806 or drop me a line at info@ForeverAlwaysPhotography.com.

God Bless,

Andrew Isbell

Breanna ‘10

2OrangeHarleys.com

Asher

Buell custom

McGee Family

Cindy

Jackie

Michigan Hall of Famer

Morgan

Trick Ski Event

Trash the Prom Dress with Dannah

05.12.09

Why not hire Uncle Harry to photograph the wedding?

Posted in Uncategorized, Weddings at 12:06 pm by Andrew

Sorry I have not posted anything for a few weeks now. Things have been just a little hectic to say the least. I have heard many photographers say “There are those who have experienced a hard drive crash, and those who WILL”. I always guessed it was due to the fact they were using cheap hard drives in the first place. That wouldn’t happen to me, I have a nice LaCie external I keep things on, since my internal is already full. Well, if it was a car, you would have heard the crash from blocks away. Not good at all!

If everything I was working on was printed it still would have been bad; however, I had a wedding on the drive and it was NOT printed! Panic does not quite describe the feelings I was going through. I had heard of photographers losing all their photos and being sued to fly everyone back to redo the wedding day for photo purposes (this is TRUE). This was one of the main reasons I originally became a member of PPA (Professional Photographers of America). Included in my annual dues with PPA, is an insurance policy for just that reason.

Drivesavers.com is the best at recovering data, and with a wedding on the line, I decided not to trust it to a friend working out of his basement, pretty sure he could do it. The original estimate knocked me off my seat: between $900-$3500 depending on the severity of the crash and how soon I needed it back. Once I regained consciousness I called up PPA to see if I was covered, something Uncle Harry more than likely would not have been able to do. Because of the wedding on the drive it was covered. I would only need to pay the deductible of $200, thank you Lord:)

I received the drive back yesterday with over a 98% recovery and all of my photos intact. Needless to say I have purchased a Raid 1 system that now backs up everything unto two identical drives in case one decides to quit. After talking to friend yesterday afternoon and explaining what happened, he proceeded to tell me how his niece took the pictures at his daughter’s wedding and lost the flash card before she could print the photos. Five year’s later, still no photos, only memories:(

The question is….”When it comes to your wedding, are there somethings that are worth paying a little extra for in order to have done right?” Yes, everyone has a digital camera today and might be able to take good photos, but if something goes terribly wrong, will “sorry” be the only thing you get in return?

God Bless,

Andrew

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