Networking in your Network | TLM Productions

Networking in your Network

 

Networking. The word itself seems as though it has this stigma on it, but why? It’s just a word, right? This is where my answer gets weird, yes it is just a word, and yes the stigma surrounding it is there. If you look up articles on networking you will find many articles on how to network and networking for introverts and probably everything in between. While I am all for getting out there and going to the meetings, today I want to talk about having others help you network for your small business.

 

When I was in high school, I told my parents that I wanted to go to school for broadcasting. They thought I was crazy, but they started talking to their friends and realized that they in fact knew and a handful of people within the industry. My parents friends were outside of my network, but not that far out of reach. After graduation I reached out to their friends and was able to talk to a handful of companies, I probably would not have been able to get in the door otherwise. So after making my rounds of talking and even working for some of them, I started figuring out how to use my network to grow my business. I’m sure you have seen many times online somewhere that you can’t make it as a photographer, and while I am still building my brand and company you can do it.

 

I started out with taking photos for many of my family’s friends and even using my family to build my portfolio. Then my break into getting people who don’t know me! This is the amazing part of networking, I wanted to start shooting sports and it was hard to find my in with local teams. My mom one day got an email from a parent on my sister’s high school soccer team asking if anyone knew a photographer. I took the parent’s email address and reached out, I did 6 collages and 1 package of action shots that year! The parents of my sister’s soccer team were not in my network, but they were in my moms. I learned that I need to use my mom, dad, and sister’s networks in order to spread the order that I was a photographer and I am here. This brought me to asking my family to network for me, NO I did not stop building my network on my own. I continued to build and add their networks to mine.

 

I still go out to networking meetings and I have my favorite groups to meet with, but now I have more people networking for me too! My network has grown and so has my network’s network. I know this sounds funny, but as I get new clients and repeat clients they network for me. I have two favorite examples, the first one: I did a senior session for Lauren last year, she was one of my athletes that I had been working with for a few years. She had a lot of fun during her session and told her entire soccer team. I showed up to one of her games and when she saw me, she yelled across the field hello and said that’s my photographer! My second favorite, is a friend of my sisters did a snowy senior session with me. Maddy loved the pictures and posted one on Instagram, a friend of hers saw and loved the picture too and wanted to have their own session. We booked a family session with them and they love the pictures and gallery I did for them.

 

I will continue to network and grow my network with the help of my growing network and new found partners in networking.

 

I hope you are going to start networking within your network, too!

Super Moon Lunar Eclipse

Shooting the Super Moon Lunar Eclipse

September 2015 Super Moon (Blood Moon) Lunar Eclipse, on September 27, 2015.

This past Sunday, many of us were able to see the lunar eclipse, for the most part. If you are in the Philadelphia area like me, you probably saw a lot of clouds. Which was a little disappointing since a “Super Moon Lunar Eclipse” is not suppose to happen again until like 2033, or around that time. The couple hour event is amazing to see, I unfortunately did not get to see the whole thing, mostly because I started falling asleep on the sidewalk watching it; luckily it was nice out, I could have slept there.

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Capturing the eclipse was no small task with the cloud cover, I spent about 15-20 minutes trying to find the best focus on the moon; shooting at night you will want to be in full manual mode. So what did I use? I had my Canon EOS 70D set up on a tripod and 70-300mm lens attached. A longer lens is always best for taking pictures of the moon. The longer the lens, the closer and more detail of the moon you are able to see. Because I was shooting at night, I also used my phone which acts as a remote for my camera. This way the camera did not shift a little when I would hit the shutter.

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Once, I had my focus it was time to see what the best exposure would be. Sunday night I was about a half hour south of Philadelphia, and the best place to see the moon was standing on the sidewalk, next to a street light. I have photographed the moon before and I have found a 2-6 second exposure is the best, a longer exposure and everything moves (the earth and the moon). With the 2-6 second exposure I dropped my aperture to ƒ/5.6, I wanted a smaller opening. I played with ISO the most, I finally decided on 640 as the best for me.

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Try playing around with your settings the next time you shoot at night. The moon is out most nights and a great way to practice shooting in low light. Let us know what settings you found to be best for you.

TLM Productions,LLC

Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes of Dragonfly

You’ve got all your in-camera settings set, and you have captured a great picture. Now it’s a few hours later and you are looking at your picture on your computer. The picture is just not popping like you thought it was on your camera’s little LCD screen. If you have photoshop there are a few settings that you can use to make your great picture amazing and pop just like you want it to. There are other post processing programs and there are even some free ones (GIMP), that work just as well, but today I will be showing you in Adobe’s Photoshop CS5. No I have not upgraded yet to Creative Cloud, but you can use these little settings in any of the Photoshop CS versions.

Longwood Gardens has a beautiful summer spectacular going on. The water lilies are in full bloom and the Open Air Theatre is playing for all to see.

Today I’m using a picture I took at Longwood Gardens the other day. I was using my Canon EOS 70D with a EF 70-300mm USM lens. I had my settings at

  • Manual exposure
  • Shutter Speed: 1/400 sec
  • Aperture: f/16
  • ISO: 500

I was at the end of my lens, because this lily was towards the middle of the pond. What would a pond be with out a few dragonflies? A few took some time to pose for me so that I could practice quick focusing and exposing to better my skills, but that is for a different blog. Any picture that I adjust the levels or make minor changes to I like to duplicate the layer so that I can see the difference in the two pictures quickly as I work. Next I manually adjust the layers to bring out the blacks and whites a little more. This is really playing with the levels to create the base look you want.

I added a warming filter to the picture.

I added a warming filter to the picture.

In Photoshop in Windows you will see “Adjustments”, from there a window will open up. Within the adjustment window, I like to play with the exposure, vibrancy, curves, and photo filter. I started with exposure, and adjusted all three of the settings adjusting to my liking. As I was doing this I saw that some of the highlights became much brighter than I wanted them. To help with this without changing my new settings, I used the burn tool only on the highlights. The burn tool will “burn” or darken the areas of the picture you want it on. For the burn tool to work you need to be on the background layer or a layer with an image. I’m using the background layer since it is the base of my photo and the picture that is being adjusted.

Bruning petals

I used the burn tool to darken some of the petals.

Once I finished doing minor burning to the picture, I added vibrance with layer.  I pushed it up, this way some of the details in the dragonfly’s wings get a little boost. I boosted vibrance to +28, which gives the picture a warmer, more colorful feel. To get an even warmer feel, I ran photo filter, keeping the default setting warming filter (85) on but dropping the density of it to 15%. I finish my adjustments with curves, for this I choose a point in the middle of the line and pulled it diagonally down just a little bit to give the blacks some more black, instead of the picture being bright.

Using a black paint brush, I painted the corners before I changed the blending layer.

Using a black paint brush, I painted the corners before I changed the blending layer.

Now, for my finishing touch I’m adding a vinaigrette to the corners. Now there are many way to do this but since I only want a little bit, I am going to create a new layer and paint black onto the four corners. Since it is kind of dark and I don’t want to lose the details in the corners I blend the layer to darken and drop the opacity to 44%. I also colored a little too far into the picture so I created a mask to the layer I created so that I could pull the vinaigrette back without losing what was already there.

 

(I did continue to play with the layers along with adding a few other things to get this image, and you can do the same to get the look you want).

Straight out of the camera shot.

Straight out of the camera shot.

Shuttering Through Speed

Shuttering Through Speed

Life, Frame by Frame's bi-weekly blog, this week TLM Productions Tonya Moken talks about shutter speed and how it effects your pictures.

Life, Frame by Frame’s bi-weekly blog, this week TLM Productions Tonya Moken talks about shutter speed and how it effects your pictures.

One of my favorite sound when taking pictures is the ch-ch, but have you ever wondered what the little “ch-ch” sound is? It’s the shutter opening and closing, capturing that winning goal, that special moment, or what you are eating for lunch on “film.” Ok so most of us are not using film anymore, but our camera cards act like our film today. Why is shutter speed important and what is shutter speed mean?

I’m glad you asked, shutter speed is the amount of time your shutter is open. Let’s make this a little more relatable, think of your eye. When your eye is open, its like the shutter, capturing and recording everything happening in front of you. The only difference is you are creating a memory playing the whole scene like a video, the camera is capturing everything into one snapshot or freeze frame image, that will help you remember the memory at a later time.

Life, Frame by Frame's bi-weekly blog, this week TLM Productions Tonya Moken talks about shutter speed and how it effects your pictures.

So, now that we have a better understanding of what the shutter does, why is it important to our picture? The shutter’s speed will either give you a frozen in time look or movement in your picture, depending on how fast or slow it is. A faster shutter speed is the fastest speed you can have that will freeze the action. We see this many times in sport photography, freezing that moment of scoring a goal or diving into a pool. A slower shutter speed will give you movement, like we see in car and motorcycle pictures. The blurred lines while the subject is in focus, makes us think they are going fast. A slower speed also allows you to shoot at night.

Life, Frame by Frame's bi-weekly blog, this week TLM Productions Tonya Moken talks about shutter speed and how it effects your pictures.

How do you know the speed in which your shutter will fire? If you are looking through your viewfinder, it will be along the bottom showing something like 1/500, meaning the camera’s sensor sees light for 1/500th of a second, if you are using a slower shutter speed you will see 1” meaning 1 second. As you are shooting you also want to be thinking about your triangle settings focusing on the aperture setting, since shutter speed and aperture play with each other while capturing that special amazing moment.

As always I’d love to see what you capture with your new found knowledge. Post your pictures in the comments below or on my Facebook or tag us on Instagram. Happy shooting.

 

Tonya Moken is the owner of TLM Productions, LLC, a business focusing on you in South Jersey and Philadelphia. Please call TLM Productions’ Tonya Moken at 609.440.6176 or email her at tonya.moken@TLMproductions.com for a project quote or photography lessons today!

Loving the Haze

Loving the Haze

 

Reading Tree was taken while recording May's video blog about how to put a haze around the edge of a picture.

When taking a picture or video many times we are looking for the best lighting and angle, but what about the little creative aspect? As a photographer and videographer I like to find little things that will change my piece and perspective on my subject. Often times for a little different look in pictures its fun to shoot with the fog and mist to get a hazy look, but what happens when there is none on the morning of you shoot or your shoot is later in the day? I learned this cool little trick from PetaPixel, a few years back and have loved to use it when called for since.

The supplies you will need in order to get the hazy look on the edges of your pictures.

 

This little trick is super easy to do, and you probably already have everything you need. All you will need is a sandwich bag, a marker (optional), and your camera. Once you have your supplies it’s time to start start. Take your sandwich bag push a hole through the bottom of the bag. This will create a stretched out bottom with a hole, you may have to stretch the bag out a little more so it will fit around your camera’s lens a little better. Now it’s time to place the bag over the lens, you will want to pull the bag back enough that your subject is not covered by the bag’s edges (the hazy look). Once you have the bag placed how you want it, it’s time to focus on the subject and shoot. To give a little color to the haze you simply color the edges you have stretched and pulled with any color marker you would like.

Reading Tree was taken while recording May's video blog about how to put a haze around the edge of a picture.

 

You can use this cool little trick for any subject. Make sure your camera is in manual focus this way auto focus doesn’t refocus on to the bag by mistake. Don’t panic, if you are not sure how to use the Exposure Triangle settings (ISO, aperture, and shutter speed) yet, you can leave your camera body in auto and just have the lens in manual focus.

 

 

 

As always I’d love to see the pictures and videos that you do with this little trick, be sure to share in the comments below or on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

 

 

Tonya Moken is the owner of TLM Productions, LLC, a photography and video business focusing on you in South Jersey and Philadelphia. Please call TLM Productions’ Tonya Moken at 609.440.6176 or email her at tonya.moken@TLMproductions.com for a project quote or photography lessons today!

Gaining Grain

Gaining Grain

Gaining Grain Blog Taking pictures is something most of us do daily, just take a look at Instagram. 70 million photos and videos are being posted every day according to Instagram’s website. Many times these pictures are taken on our phones, our phone settings are the same as the ones on our cameras, only difference is we have more control over the settings in our DSLR cameras. Do you feel like your pictures are coming out grainy? There is a setting to help you adjust the amount of grain in your pictures. ISO (pronounced “EYE-so”) is represented by the International Organisation for Standards, and refers to – in simplest terms – how sensitive a particular film is to light or in a digital setting how sensitive your camera is to light.

Your camera’s ISO settings will most likely range between 100 and 1600+ and you should change it based on what your environment’s lighting is. For example, if you’re taking pictures outside on a bright and sunny day, your camera’s sensor doesn’t have to be as sensitive so it can be set to 100. On the flip side, if you’re taking pictures in a dark setting, outside at night or maybe in a museum, your sensor will need to be more sensitive to absorb more light and the ISO should be higher, say 1600.

Now, you may be wondering, “what exactly is this doing to my picture?” I’m glad you asked! Having your ISO setting higher, you’re telling the sensor to absorb more light. Since your picture is made up of millions of little pixels, each one of those pixels will become “brighter.” Doing this will start to make your picture look “grainy.” You may not notice the “graininess” on your camera’s LCD, because of it’s size, but it will become noticeable on your computer screen or when you print them.

Gaining Grain BlogNow, you may be scared to use a high ISO setting, but you shouldn’t be! You may be looking to give a picture a “nostalgic” or “antique” look and using a higher ISO setting than you actually need can help you achieve that. You would also want to to bump up your ISO when you want to “stop motion” or capture the night sky. To “stop motion”, your shutter speed would have to be greatly increased. Since the shutter is faster, your sensor needs to be more sensitive (higher ISO) to achieve the same exposure. To take a picture of the night sky, you have two choices. You can do a long exposure shot, which will give you a “shooting star” sky, or you can have a higher ISO setting to get a quick, star-filled sky.

 Gaining Grain Blog Gaining Grain BlogGaining Grain Blog 

 

Professional head shot by Tonya Moken.

Professional head shot by Tonya Moken.

Tonya Moken is the owner of TLM Productions, LLC, a business focusing on you in South Jersey and Philadelphia. Please call TLM Productions’ Tonya Moken at 609.440.6176 or email her at tonya.moken@TLMproductions.com for a project quote or photography lessons today!

This blog was written by Tonya Moken and Matthew Goswick.

Video ASAP!

Video ASAP!

Are you saying, “I need a video ASAP!” Only problem is you didn’t factor it into your budget this year, for one reason or another. There is a way to do video that is budget friendly, but a word of caution, people will be able to tell that it is not done professionally. Well, with that being said lets get started.

Most of us nowadays have a smartphone, which has an okay camera on it. Using a smartphone will give you the flexibility to shoot on your time and not have someone else’s schedule effecting your shoot. There are a few steps that you need to do in order to get ready to shoot your own video.

  • Step One: Write a script and then use it as bullet points.
    • You dont want to seem scripted, you are not an anchor on the news where every little fact is important to the story.
  • Step Two: Find a neutral background.
    • Having a neutral or non distracting background, is important. If there is a something behind you distracting the viewer it is going to take away from what you are saying.
  • Step Three: Get a microphone.
    • The mic on your phone is ok, but if you want to give it that little extra getting a microphone that can plug into your phone will make all the difference.
  • Step Four: Set up and start shooting.
    • Now it’s time to set up. When setting up, plan to have your phone propped up by something like a book or a picture frame. Don’t hold it! A video that is going to be telling about you and/or your company is not the time to be “selfie styling” it.

A few other things that you will want to think about when shooting on your phone is how it should be set up. Having it sitting there vertical, will look bad when you upload it to YouTube. Have it on its side (horizontal) this way the picture will fill up the box that YouTube already has set up. Now you are on your way to doing a video, remember to also have a quiet place when filming. The background noise will be annoying and distracting to your viewer.

 

 

Professional head shot by Tonya Moken.

Professional head shot by Tonya Moken.

Tonya Moken is the owner of TLM Productions, LLC, a business focusing on you in South Jersey and Philadelphia. Please call TLM Productions’ Tonya Moken at 609.440.6176 or email her at tonya.moken@TLMproductions.com for a project quote or photography lessons today!

 

Looking for Who?

Looking for Who?

We are all looking for someone or something, sometimes we know what it is and other times we don’t. People tell me all the time that they are looking to do video. That’s great everyone should be looking or already working on a video for their website and social media pages. In my experience the first thing I hear is, “I want video, but I don’t know what to do in the video or what I want to say.” All are important things to think about, but what about the videographer that is going to be working with you?

The production company, videographer, or camera operator might not seem like an important part of making your video, but they are vital to the success of your video. Here’s why, my guess (and I’m only guessing here):

  • You’re nervous about remembering your script or trying to read it.
  • You’re not comfortable in front of a camera, after all most of us are not seasoned actors or actresses.
  • Is this video going to show the “real” you and what your brand is?

These are all things that most people are concerned about when they start looking for a production company to shoot their video.

No matter, if the people that are talking to me about video choose to go with me, I tell them make sure you are comfortable with who ever you hire. Being comfortable with the person that is going to be working on the post side of your video is important. Have a few meetings with them, the first time is to get to know each other and most likely start getting your script and video ideas down on paper, after this initial meeting where you made sure the video has your vision in it, it is time to start shooting. If you are someone who does not like public speaking doing a video is going to be a little tougher. Let your videographer know, because they should be able to help you relax and calm your nerves, just like a duck on water.

Things to look for in your videographer:

  1. Timely: arriving on time for meetings and early to set up if you are not going to their studio.
  2. Energetic: you’re going to be nervous and scared when you first start. Having someone who is upbeat, making you laugh and smile will really help you feel better and more confident in what you are saying and the way you are acting.
  3. Video Look: I know this one seems a little funny to be looking for, but it is important. Ask for samples of their work, chances are your video is going to look similar to the samples. This is because all editor’s have a style, if you don’t like the samples they send you probably won’t like the video they do for you.
  4. Professional: this is a big one, because you want your video to look, feel, and BE professional, so it is important that your videographer is professional, but still making you feel comfortable.

 

Do you have a video up on your website yet? If not what is holding you back from getting one? Let me know what your thoughts are on video in the comments below.

 

Professional head shot by Tonya Moken.

Professional head shot by Tonya Moken.

Tonya Moken is the owner of TLM Productions, LLC, a business focusing on you in the South Jersey and Philadelphia area. Please call TLM Productions’ Tonya Moken at 609.440.6176 or email her at tonya.moken@TLMproductions.com for a project quote today!

Triangle of Exposure

Triangle of Exposure

Photographers hear all the time, “your pictures come out so well. What camera do you use?” Yes the equipment that photographers use is important, but only for the fact that they need it in order to be in their line of work. If a photographer did not have a camera, it would be pretty hard for him or her to be the picture taker. A photographer spends time with their camera when they first get it. Learning everything they can about it, like where the buttons are for the aperture, ISO, and shutter speed, a long with many other settings that they will need to know how to get to like the back of their hand.

The big thing that many people don’t realize is how important ISO, aperture, and shutter speed is for a picture. Each one affects the other two, just like if you change a side on a triangle, the other sides are adjusted as well. Thus giving you, the exposure triangle.

Here are the three elements to the Triangle of Exposure are:

  1. ISO – the measure of sensitivity to light (graininess)
  2. Shutter Speed – the amount of time that the shutter is open (motion)
  3. Aperture – the size of the opening in the lens when taking a picture (depth of field)

 Triangle of Exposure

A good way to think of each one is by creating a metaphor for yourself. I like to think of ISO as sunglasses, this is due to the fact that when you lower your camera’s ISO it makes your camera read a neutral or darker light. Just like when you put sunglasses on when your outside, your are taking away the brightness of the sun, ISO does the same thing for light in your picture.

I use a metaphor that includes shutter speed and aperture together. I read this metaphor on Digital Photography School’s website. (Yes I still need reminders sometimes on what everything is). Think of a window with shutters, the window represents the aperture. Depending on how big your window is, that’s the size of the opening in your lens. The larger the window, the larger the opening, and the more light gets in. The shutters are your shutter speed. If you open and close your shutters quickly less light is going to get through. When you have your shutter speed set to be open longer, you will get more light and a brighter picture.

Lighting will always affect all three elements in the triangle of exposure. Now you know what each one does and a metaphor to go along with it. Here is an example, you set your ISO to 12800 and the aperture to ƒ3.5, your shutter speed will need to be lower so that your picture is not blown out. The best part now is that you’re probably using a digital camera, which means that you can practice without worrying about the cost of developing pictures. Many cameras now give you an option to put one of the elements into auto while you adjust the other two, by doing this you will get a chance to slowly ease your self into shooting full manual versus full auto.

Another thing to note about ISO, aperture, and shutter speed is that they also affect other elements. ISO affects the graininess of your image, Shutter speed affects motion that is captured, and aperture affects depth of field. I will talk about each of these in another post.

 

I’d love to see what pictures you take with your new knowledge of shooting in manual mode. Share your pictures in the comments below or on Facebook or Google+.

 

Professional head shot by Tonya Moken.

Professional head shot by Tonya Moken.

Tonya Moken is the owner of TLM Productions, LLC, a business focusing on you in Somerdale, NJ. Please call TLM Productions’ Tonya Moken at 609.440.6176 or email her at tonya.moken@TLMproductions.com for a project quote today!

Be A Duck in a Video World

Be A Duck in a Video World

Be a Duck in a Video WorldWe all have fears, get nervous, or are scared of different things: spiders, snakes, wooden objects, heights, loneliness, and one of the most common fears, the fear of public speaking. I fit right in with many of you; I have a fear of public speaking. I feel silly, stupid, ridiculous, and I started feeling light headed and dizzy, the list goes on and on; I’m not any different from the many people that I have talked to. We are truly our own worst critics, which can be a problem at times.

“I keep messing up, I’m stumbling over every word.” “I don’t like the way I look. I have a face for radio.” “Can we have something playing over me and just hear my voice?” These are all things that I hear people say when I talk to them about doing a video. The reply I give all of my clients and prospective clients is that you can cover the video and only have a voice over, but the viewer likes to see you talking and getting to know you. I know being on camera is scary. Trust me, I am not one to jump in front of a camera very quickly, friends and professor alike used to spend some time convincing me to go on camera, so that I could get the experience and practice. It usually ended with me running off camera as fast as I could when I was done the read, but why? It’s just a camera, right?

Yes, it is just a camera and a few people are around, because I need someone to hit the record button. As I thought about why I was so scared to talk to a camera; I quickly realized, I was not scared of the camera, it was my fear of public speaking, that caused me to be nervous talking to a camera. You’re probably saying, “What? Video is public speaking?” The answer is yes, recording a video is public speaking the reason why I say it is, is because once you are done recording the video, it goes out the world wide internet.

Recently, I read an article by Kate Thome called “Got Executive Presence? Part 2 Be a Duck. Kate says that while you are feeling nervous, scared, and can’t remember what you are suppose to say, be a duck. When a duck is sitting on top of the water, it is seemly just sitting there floating, and enjoying the water. In reality the duck is not just sitting there, it is paddling its feet to stay in one place, or to move about the lake. Those who are above the water don’t see that, we only see the duck moving around smoothly, missing all the swirls the duck creates. So why don’t we copy the duck when presenting to a camera for our next video? Taking that built up nervous energy (the swirls from the duck) and putting “under the water,” will help us be able to talk in a normal tone of voice and not seem really nervous.

Putting that nervous energy somewhere for the time of shooting the video will help. Some other tips and tricks that I have learned from others and figured out my self are:

  1. Get to the place you are shooting in early, this way you can see how the room is setup and where you will be shooting.
  2. Practice in from of the camera with the lights and camera turned off. This helps because you have had some time spent with your newly found friends (the camera and operator) and it becomes a lot easier because you are “friends” now.
  3. Remember there is a camera operator behind the camera. The operator is not just there to hit the record button; you can talk to them and act like they are your best friend, your next prospective client, or the one person you can tell anything in the world too.

I know it all sounds so simple to write about in a post, but if you watched my video for this post you’d be able to see that I am taking my own advice and going through the same steps as I am telling you now. We all have fears, but F.E.A.R.s are just False Evidence Appearing Real.

 

“Bless you for your fear for it is a sign of wisdom. Do not hold yourself in fear. Transform the energy to flexibility and you will be free from what you fear.” — Yoko Ono from Ed and Deb Shapiro’s book, The Way Ahead

 

Do you have a fear of public speaking? If not, what is your fear? Let me know, I’d love to hear about it if you are willing to share.

 

Professional head shot by Tonya Moken.

Professional head shot by Tonya Moken.

Tonya Moken is the owner of TLM Productions, LLC, a business focusing on you in Somerdale, NJ. Please call TLM Productions’ Tonya Moken at 609.440.6176 or email her at tonya.moken@TLMproductions.com for a project quote today!