Having the right gear for the job is essential in being able to handle the barrage of lighting scenarios that a wedding photographer will encounter on each outing. I, like many others, am constantly thinking about the next piece of gear. What lens, what camera, or what lighting system will allow me to take higher quality images and provide a better experience to my client? This led me to think, what do I really need to shoot a wedding? I mean in reality, to walk out my door and provide my bride with the images she expects, what are the bare essentials I really need?
On September 12th, Matt and Heather Koehler were set to get married in Michigan. Just before they were about to walk down the aisle, they found out that the photographer that they had hired to shoot their wedding was a no-show. With nothing else to do but move forward, they went through the rest of their wedding without a professional photographer.
You have your gear, you have your shot list, so you're ready to go out and shoot the perfect eight-hour wedding, right? Wrong! Being prepared for a wedding day is about more than just having your camera ready to go. Before leaving for your wedding shoot, you need to be prepared to perform at your best. A big part of that is developing a routine, similar to an athlete, that places you in peak performance and the best position to succeed. When I walk out the door for a wedding I have two main things on my mind other than the images that my client needs. One is that I am now a living breathing ambassador for my brand and the other is that the content for this shoot, and every shoot, is future marketing material.
It is no small thing to know how to pose your clients. In fact I don't feel like it's unreasonable to say that it is the hallmark of a competent, professional photographer. Especially when dealing with couples. Most client take comfort in being directed. It helps remove doubt and awkwardness while yielding a far more professional end product. For this reason, posing can be just as important to your final images as knowing what camera settings to use. Besides, it's always more fun for everyone when you can keep the atmosphere carefree, through confident direction and fluid action.
Capture One has been known amongst high-end retouchers and commercial photographers for quite some time, the main reasons probably being its powerful tethering and color editing tools. Wedding photographers seem to think Capture One is not tailored to suit their needs. At least, that is what I thought. After a full year using only Capture One to process my raw files, I wanted to share with you why I stopped using Lightroom.
A few months ago I wrote a two part article on branding for photographers. In this article I will continue with branding for photographers, and why you should keep your brands separated. The most common thing I see are wedding photographers combining their wedding work with their family, baby, senior, and even commercial work. While I completely understand the tendency to not only simplify your marketing, but also the concept that by showing your multiple talents you will increase your value to clients, combining genre's is one of the biggest things hurting the growth of your business.
A little over a year ago, I got to live out one of my worst nightmares. I had a day where the personification of my anxiety sprouted legs and ambled right into the middle of a wedding ceremony that I was photographing. Mr. Anxiety-Incarnate snuck into a church, and like a biblical plague, snuck right back out and took something precious with him. Never to be seen again was $12,000 worth of gear that was stored in my roller bag. That’s right, I lived out the photographer’s terrifying dream equivalent to showing up to a high school class naked.
October in New Orleans means wedding season. This weekend was a double wedding weekend just like most of the next few weeks will be and I just finished what would be considered a timeline disaster, but the marquee images were not missed in large due to experience and meticulous planning. In this article I will go over methods to prepare for the unexpected and how to make sure you get everything you need despite the inevitable busted timeline.
Are you as stealthy as a fog horn? Do you have all the grace of a dirigible in a sudden windstorm? Certain genres of photography — wedding and wildlife photography in particular — require a certain physical tact, an ability to be unseen. Check out our tips on how to capture the focus of an event without becoming the focus of the event.
In the world of photography, preparation goes a long way. From creating mood boards weeks in advance, communicating with everyone who will be on set, to making sure your gear is in proper working order, there is a lot to do before you even shoot. Whether you are shooting in the studio, working on a large scale shoot, or just going for a photo walk with some friends, here is a simple list of steps to make sure you are ready the night before a shoot.
I’m sitting at my desk on a Friday and I get a phone call. It’s Saturday’s wedding venue, and they’d like for me to sign my life away. In what’s becoming an all too common practice, the venue has decided that for me to be allowed to photograph my client’s reception I should grant them a waiver of liability that allows for their potential future negligence to go unchallenged in court, even if it results in my death. Seems like a pretty fair deal for the guy showing up to take pictures, doesn’t it?
Wedding photographers often tell me how annoying it can be to get a consistent white balance across the images of the day. Shooting weddings almost every weekend during the summer myself, I used to have that problem as well. With a white dress for the bride and a white shirt for the groom, it should be easy though. The problem is I like my images to make my couple look good. Meaning I like having the same skin color and tone on every picture. During the day, their skin might change color a bit because of the sun, the emotions, and the alcohol. Switching to Capture One this year I found the perfect solution to avoid this issue: setting my white balance based on skin tones and not on a gray card anymore.
When people first get into wedding photography, one of the main pieces of advice they will hear over and over is, “You can’t reshoot a wedding." This instantly leads to photographers asking, “How do I protect my images?" Image backup and cataloging is sort of like baking a cake. Every photographer is going to have a different recipe to how they do things. Over the years my process has evolved into what it is today. This process came about in part from learning by fire, and another part came from learning from others. If you don't want to use my entire process, I at least hope part of it can become a helpful addition to your workflow.