Picture Your Name Proudly Presents the Signature Collection of Original Home Décor Featuring Creative Photographic Art Framed With Reclaimed Barn Wood

Dawn DeCourcey, artistic director and owner of the Fredericksburg, Virginia home decor company, Picture Your Name, releases her Signature Collection of photographic art with recycled barn wood frames. The unique concept of “alphabetography,” the art of photographing everyday items that appear to form a letter of the alphabet or number, is featured in this signature product line of custom-made home decor signs.

The photographer and designer, DeCourcey herself, combines her creatively captured photographs of numbers and letters into custom names and dates, which are framed as special gifts to commemorate a wedding date, arrival of a new baby, birthday, graduation or other occasion.

After forming the artistic photographic letters into custom designed phrases including names or dates specified by the customer, the designer frames each individual letter and number in a rustic-style picture frame made of reclaimed barn wood.

As a unique way to display a baby name, wedding date, or other special occasion, each item in the Signature Collection will be custom made to order as a conversation piece for those who love to decorate their homes, create family memories, and celebrate the proud moments in life.

Picture Your Name carries the slogan, “Create the Unexpected” as an answer to the “call of the wall,” a catchy phrase referring to the search for tasteful home décor items to display on a wall, shelf or fireplace mantel. A custom-made photographic name or date sign from the Signature Collection adds a personal touch to a living room, kitchen, bedroom or baby nursery.

A custom framed wedding date with the names of the bride and groom is perfect as a personalized gift for the happy couple, or as a fun and eye-catching piece of art to be displayed on a table at the wedding reception. A set of artistically photographed letters that spell out a soon-to-be-born baby’s name is a creative idea for a unique baby shower gift.

The Signature Collection includes a selection of Picture Your Name’s most popular wedding date signs, family name signs, and individual photographic letters and numbers which can be formed into phrases of up to ten characters per frame. Each custom-made sign, framed with rustic reclaimed barn wood, showcases a one-of-a-kind design which will be treasured as an heirloom and proudly passed down to the next generation.

The photographic prints of alphabetic letters and numbers in the Signature Collection are available in black & white, sepia, or colour photography. The neutral tones of black and white or sepia photography lend themselves beautifully to a wide variety of home decor settings, and the rustic barn wood frames fit perfectly with today’s design trends.

In addition to individually framed photographic letters, numbers and custom phrases, Picture Your Name also offers printed greeting cards and ready-made signs featuring popular words and phrases about the celebration of life’s memorable events and the joy of family togetherness.

The Signature Collection ranges in price from $3.99 to $185.00 and will be released on Sept. 1, 2018, online at https://picturename.etsy.com.

Picture Your Name can also be found on the following social media platforms:

Facebook: https://facebook.com/PictureTheName

Instagram: https://instagram.com/picturenamesby_dawn

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/drenedecourcey

For more information about the Signature Collection or to contact the owner/designer of Picture Your Name, please email Dawn DeCourcey at create@xendecor.com.


An Interview with Evan Batky

We recently spoke with Evan Batky, 19-year-old photographer from Colorado, USA, who currently resides in Geneva, Switzerland. He tells us about his inspirations and why photography is so important to him.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and why photography is important to you. What was it that first got you interested in photography?
My name is Evan Batky, I'm 19 years old and I lived in CO for 18 years. For the last 2 months I've been living in Geneva, Switzerland. Photography is important to me because it combines all the things I really value. It allows me to connect and make amazing friends. I've made so many friends who either also take photos or model. It's an amazing community that stretches all around the globe. Second photography takes me on amazing adventures. I'm always looking for a new mountain to climb, or lake to swim in. The photography then comes in to capture all the memories. Behind every photo there is a story, and whenever I look at one of my photos I always remember everything about the moment I took the photo. I first began interested in photography along with a group of my friends around 3-4 years ago. We would all go out and take photos in the mountains. It was just for fun, and to make memories.

Image Credit: Evan Batky – Featured Model: Sarah Courtney

"I've made so many friends who either also take photos or model. It's an amazing community that stretches all around the globe."

Who or what are your main sources of inspiration?
For inspiration I have to start with Kent Johns (@kent_johns), and Michael Graef (@mikeygraef). They were the first professional photographers I ever met, and their work back then, and now, constantly inspires me. Besides that I don't really have a specific source of inspiration. I try to look at as many different social media platforms as I can to get inspired. Recently I've been spending a lot of time of Pinterest and Behance.

Click here to read the full interview with Evan Batky in Issue 06 of DEZINE


David Calvert Celebrates 10 Years as Official Team Photographer for Reno Aces

Calvert Photography's David Calvert grew up with a glove under his bed and a dream that someday he might play professional baseball. Or maybe, just get to work at the ballpark.

A self-proclaimed failed junior varsity athlete, this season, he celebrates 10 years as the official team photographer for the Reno Aces, Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

For the past decade, Calvert has captured the moments that matter to his client. From the first pitch in 2009 to Reno’s sesquicentennial celebration earlier this season, his photographs serve as a visual record for the club and region.

This past decade with the Aces has been incredible. Working in this town with this club, documenting a decade of Triple-A players, is a privilege and dream come true.

– DAVID CALVERT, Photographer

“Having David Calvert as our team photographer has put the Reno Aces into a position unlike any other franchise in minor league sports,” said Eric Edelstein, president of the Reno Aces. “We have a visual history of every important moment in our existence and even before. I’ve never understood the power of this medium until working with David and can’t imagine Greater Nevada Field without him.”

“In high school — when I stopped playing baseball and started photographing it — I knew then that I wanted to work with a team,” Calvert said. “This past decade with the Aces has been incredible. Working in this town with this club, documenting a decade of Triple-A players, is a privilege and dream come true.”

To mark their tenth season, the Aces will host many exciting events at Greater Nevada Field. There will be concerts, fireworks, fan giveaways and theme nights. And all summer long, Calvert will be there to photograph them.

A graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, Calvert is an alumna of the esteemed Eddie Adams and Missouri Photo Workshops. In addition to working with the Aces, he is also the official team photographer for Reno 1868 FC of the United Soccer League.

Calvert Photography serves numerous corporate and editorial clients including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Getty Images, The Nevada Independent, Renown Health, Rye Patch Gold Corp, Reno Bites Week, the Abbi Agency, 120 West Strategic Communications, Bishop Mule Days Celebration and the Boys & Girls Club of the Truckee Meadows.

A Stormtrooper from the 501st Legion's Central California Garrison throws out a ceremonial first pitch on May 16, 2015, during the Reno Aces annual Star Wars night at Greater Nevada Field. Photo by David Calvert/Reno Aces

VR Maker is Google Street View Ready

iStaging announced last week at the Street View Summit that its VR Maker app is now Street View ready (https://www.google.com/streetview/publish). Users can now effortlessly share their 360° panoramas captured with the app directly to Google Maps Street View with just one click. The VR Maker app, which comes with a free capture kit, is one of the most affordable virtual tour solutions on the market and is used by thousands of real estate agents, photographers, designers and retailers to digitize spaces in more than 60 countries.

VR Maker is a spatial VR capture solution that enables any individual with a mobile device (Android or iOS) to create immersive virtual tours in minutes using a fisheye lens and Rotator. The solution also comes with an all-in-one virtual tour builder that can create real estate walkthroughs, digital stores, 360 previews of vehicles, and more. Pricing plans start at $29/month. Registrations are available here: https://www.istaging.com/en/livetour?ref=gsvr.

Our customers have high-quality standards, and we've worked hard on creating a capture solution that delivers on their expectations. We're humbled to see it recognized as Street View ready by Google.

JOHNNY LEE

CEO, ISTAGING

“Our customers have high-quality standards, and we’ve worked hard on creating a capture solution that delivers on their expectations,” noted Johnny Lee, CEO of iStaging. “We’re humbled to see it recognized as Street View ready by Google”.

With the addition of Street View, iStaging eases the workflow of professional photographers by adding another option to share 360° panoramas within the iStaging ecosystem. Every iStaging LiveTour also has its own unique web link that can be embedded on any website, viewed in VR using Google Cardboard, or shared on various real estate websites.


PolarPro's New Cinema Series Exposure Collection Allows Aerial Photographers to Capture Stunning Long Exposure Aerial Imagery

PolarPro’s new Cinema Series Exposure Collection includes ND128 (7 stop), ND256 (8 stop) and ND1000 (10 stop) machined thread-on filters for Phantom 4 Pro and Mavic Air, or press-on filters for Mavic Pro/Platinum. These neutral density filters reduce camera shutter speed in broad daylight, making cinematic long exposures of up to eight seconds or longer possible with the DJI Phantom 4 Pro, Mavic Air or Mavic Pro/Platinum.

“We like to use Exposure Collection filters when shooting with the Phantom 4 Pro to get some great shots in the middle of the afternoon at the beach,” says PolarPro lead design engineer Esteban Martinez. “For example, our ND128 at f/2.8 reduces 7-stops of light. When combined with an f/11 aperture, it reduces light by a total of 11 stops, allowing us to capture a long exposure shot during daylight hours that could only be captured in low light conditions without the use of a large-stop ND filter. And with the fixed aperture on the Mavic series drones, the Exposure Collection gives those new to aerial photography the opportunity to capture stunning long exposure content like the pros.”

PolarPro’s Cinema Series Exposure filters provide a neutral color profile and enable DJI pilots to shoot at longer shutter speeds in bright scenes. With eight layers of optical coatings on each side of every lens that reduce ghosting, flaring and other artifacts, PolarPro’s Exposure Collection is a welcome addition to its Cinema Series line of filters for producing quality long exposure aerial content that can be used in both independent or commercial projects alike.


TransAkron Raises Awareness and Shares Stories of Akron Transgender Community

The Gay Community Endowment Fund (GCEF) of Akron Community Foundation has unveiled a new photojournalism series aimed at fighting stereotypes, increasing inclusion for the transgender community, and celebrating Pride Month.

Created by award-winning photographer Shane Wynn and writer H.L. Comeriato, the TransAkron series shines a light on trans, nonbinary and gender-nonconforming people in Akron, Ohio. The project captures the lived realities of these individuals and tells the stories of their journeys while adding a data-driven narrative about the transgender community nationwide.

The photos and stories can be viewed online at TransAkron.com.

The TransAkron project is part-narrative and part-resource, and at the Gay Community Endowment Fund, we are proud to be on the front lines of advocacy through storytelling.

PHIL MONTGOMERY

CHAIR, GAY COMMUNITY ENDOWMENT FUND OF AKRON COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

The TransAkron series features the stories of eight individuals, including U.S. veteran Giovonni Santiago, who opened the country’s first transgender-specific clinic in the Veterans Affairs system, and Rylee Jackson, who, after experiencing a dozen foster homes and four different high schools, found joy through her love of dance.

“The idea of TransAkron originated in early 2017 when I had a conversation with Shane Wynn — a local artist and advocate — about her photography and how we could use images to humanize people and advocate for the GCEF’s important work in the community,” said Phil Montgomery, advisory board chair of the Gay Community Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation. “The TransAkron project is part-narrative and part-resource, and at the GCEF, we are proud to be on the front lines of advocacy through storytelling.”

TransAkron was made possible thanks to funding and support from the Gay Community Endowment Fund and several community partners, including ArtsNow (an innovative nonprofit that connects arts and culture through collaboration) and the EXL Center at The University of Akron. The series’ writer, H.L. Comeriato, is a former University of Akron student who was identified by faculty member Dr. Heather Braun.

“People are often unaware that their friends, neighbors, civil servants, police officers, doctors, etc. identify as trans,” said Nicole Mullet, executive director of ArtsNow. “Breaking down that sense of ‘other’ helps us come together as a community. We are Akron – all of us.”

Established in 2001, the Gay Community Endowment Fund accepts grant applications for programs and services that positively impact the LGBTQ+ community and Greater Akron as a whole. It also raises awareness about equality issues and rallies the LGBTQ+ community around a common philanthropic purpose. Since its founding, the GCEF has invested nearly $475,000 into local causes that change the lives of LGBTQ+ people in the Greater Akron community. Recent grants have advocated for countywide nondiscrimination protections, supported a mentoring program for LGBTQ+ college students, and raised awareness about domestic violence in the LGBTQ+ community, among other critical initiatives.

To support the Gay Community Endowment Fund, please visit GayCommunityFund.org. Gifts of all sizes will make a permanent difference in the LGBTQ+ community. For instance, a gift of $600 could provide safe housing and basic living essentials for one homeless LGBTQ+ young adult, who is more likely to become a victim of violence, abuse and human trafficking than their heterosexual peers. Likewise, a gift of $100 could provide HIV testing and prevention education for five LGBTQ+ people in Akron. All gifts are fully tax-deductible and are invested and grown over time, so gifts made today will continue to multiply for generations to come.

For more information about the TransAkron project, please visit TransAkron.com.


Ripley's 99 Strange Days of Summer $5,000 Photo Contest!

Everyone has a little STRANGE in them!

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is hosting a 99 Strange Days of Summer Photo Contest with a $5,000 cash prize for the strangest photo.

From incredibly weird pets to outrageously cool beards and mustaches, everyone has a little STRANGE in them. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is rewarding the strangest summer photos with their 99 Strange Days of Summer Contest. Submit a photo via Twitter, Instagram, or by directly uploading to ripleys.com/strangesummer.

The winner will receive a $5,000 USD cash prize and a feature on Ripley’s social media. The winner will be selected based on the strangest and most creative photo.

From incredibly weird pets to outrageously cool beards and mustaches, everyone has a little STRANGE in them. It's your chance to win some cool prizes and enjoy fantastic promotions.

RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT!

HOW TO ENTER

Take an original photo or video and then share it on social media or upload directly to ripleys.com/strangesummer.

Twitter entries must include #Ripleys99 and @Ripleys. Instagram entries must include #Ripleys99.

A panel of judges will select the finalists, and the winner will be chosen by a public vote. Voting begins on September 2, 2018 at ripleys.com/strangesummer.


PolarPro's New IRIS Mobile Filter System Lets You Capture Stunning Cinematic Content With Your iPhone X or Pixel 2

Never miss an opportunity to capture another off the cuff moment again with PolarPro’s IRIS mobile filter system for iPhone X, iPhone 6/7/8 (and Plus sizes) and Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Featuring drop-in neutral density filters to control shutter speed, professionals to casual content creators will find the IRIS filter system useful, expanding their smartphone’s camera capabilities to produce smooth, cinematic content.

IRIS gives content creators complete creative control to tell their stories just how they were imagined. For those times that you are caught without your primary camera, PolarPro’s IRIS neutral density filter system helps you capture cinema-style content using your iPhone or Pixel, making it easier to tell your story in smooth and stunning 4K detail by giving you the best image quality possible from your phone to match other high-resolution content shot with your DSLR, mirrorless or production level video camera.

“So, we were really excited back when the iPhone 7 Plus came out with 4K video capabilities,” says PolarPro CEO and founder, Jeff Overall. “We started shooting a bunch with it, but kept running into the same problem, that the footage never looked consistent next to our other cameras. On a sunny day, the iPhone’s 7’s shutter speed would be shooting near 1/1000th and when you try to edit that with video shot at 1/50th on a production style camera, it just doesn’t look fluid.”

PolarPro tackled a similar problem with their flagship ND filters for creating smooth video with drone cameras and has developed IRIS with the same goal in mind for iPhone and similar smartphones like Google’s Pixel 2/2XL.

“We wanted to be able to quickly change out camera filters, so we created an easy drop-in system, and the glass had to be color neutral, coated-to reduce ghosting, and sharp with a low refractive index, so we selected our top end Cinema Series glass,” says Overall. “One year, and 18 design iterations later, we are excited to launch the IRIS, a mobile filter system allowing you to reduce shutter speeds to cinematic levels and add smartphone video to your multi-camera edits seamlessly.”

The IRIS filter mount is built with an expandable machined-aluminum frame, fitting neatly over the top of your camera lens with or without a phone case installed.  When disassembled, the IRIS filter mount and filters fit into a slim hard case that slides neatly into a pants pocket, jacket pocket or small bag, helping you maintain a low profile as you move through your day.  The IRIS filter system includes a filter mount, 3 neutral density filters (ND8, ND16, ND32) and a low profile carrying case, with the ability to add more filters as they become available to further expand your smartphone’s camera capabilities.

With IRIS, PolarPro has designed a filter system that meets the photography and video production requirements of a diverse consumer base who’s technical abilities range from consumer, prosumer and professional backgrounds, allowing users to capture cinematic quality content on the fly with their smartphone when using their regular camera isn’t an option.


International Association of Women Honours Debra Parks as a 2018-2019 Influencer of the Year

Debra Parks, Owner of Deb's Art Designs Photography, is selected for her outstanding leadership and commitment within her profession.

The International Association of Women (IAW) honors Debra Parks as a 2018-2019 Influencer of the Year. She is recognized with this prestigious distinction for leadership in entrepreneurship. The International Association of Women (IAW) is a global in-person and online networking platform with nearly one million members, 1000+ in person and virtual events, over 100 Local US based Chapters and International Chapters in several cities in China.

“I’m pleased to welcome Debra into this exceptional group of professional women,” said IPDN President and IAW Spokesperson Star Jones. “Her knowledge and experience in her industry are valuable assets to her company and community.”

Ever since she was a young girl, Debra Parks has always loved creating art, from drawing to painting to photography. Although she chose to enter the field of nursing and worked as a labor and delivery nurse for many years, Ms. Parks eventually chose to follow her passion.

It is my desire that anyone who views my work, to feel emotion, and that is what I strive to achieve with all my photos.

DEBRA PARKS

OWNER, DEB'S ART DESIGNS PHOTOGRAPHY

It was after moving to Maryland to start a new life that Ms. Parks began to seriously study photography. She attended workshops, honed her craft and started a small photography business from her home in 2012. Four years later she opened her own studio and has not looked back since. Ms. Parks’ photography recently earned two bronze awards in an international competition — it was the first competition she ever entered.

As the Owner of Deb’s Art Designs Photography, Ms. Parks uses her talent and skill as a photographer to provide an array of services, including contemporary portraits, children and family, maternity, boudoir and themed photography, professional head shots, branding and more. “My photography style concentrates on lighting,” Ms. Parks says on her website. “After all, a photograph is all about the light and shadows. It is my desire that anyone who views my work, to feel emotion, and that is what I strive to achieve with all my photos.”


Jason Thomas Crocker Photography Moves Headquarters to New York City

Jason Thomas Crocker Photography Makes the Big Move from Cleveland to NYC

Award-winning photographer, Jason Thomas Crocker, has made the leap to being in NYC full time by moving the Jason Thomas Crocker Photography headquarters from Cleveland, Ohio to New York City. The global photographer has shot weddings all around the world including France, Maui, Bainbridge Island, Cleveland, Denver, and Chicago and is ready to light up New York City.Jason Thomas Crocker believes in creating an experience for his clients and making their wedding day special and a day they can look back on for the rest of their lives through photos.

Jason walks clients through the entire process from engagement sessions to what to expect on your actual wedding day. Throughout the whole experience, Jason put the emphasis on clients and how they would like everything. From the exchange of heartfelt wedding vows to breaking it down on the dance floor, Jason captures every timeless moment that makes the client’s wedding day special.

New York City wedding photographer | Jason Thomas Crocker

While working out of Cleveland Jason built up his New York City wedding portfolio and has become a go-to in the area for the best wedding portraits. Having shot over 200 couples on their special day, many in NYC, Jason made the decision to make the big move to be more accessible to his NYC clientele. Jason truly blends his eye for epic compositions with his photojournalistic style of photography to capture the true essence of who you are as a newly married couple.

“I have so many couples reaching out to me from NYC, it just made sense to make the move,” says Jason. “NYC is a pinnacle for weddings and I have found myself being called to shoot weddings there more and more.”

About Jason Thomas Crocker Photography

Jason Crocker is a New York City Wedding Photographer who loves capturing candid wedding day photos as much as traveling around the globe to photograph destination weddings.

After documenting 200+ couples, Jason can honestly say that no two weddings are the same, which makes every wedding story that he captures unique and special. Jason blends his eye for epic compositions with his photojournalistic style of photography to capture the true essence of who you are as a newly married couple.

Along with his award-winning photography, he has also built his wedding photography process to infuse more fun and less stress into your wedding day. Leave the photography planning, organizing, and wrangling of aunts and uncles to him so you can relax and enjoy the celebration.