I know that I still haven’t answered everyone’s questions yet, sorry! Here are some answers to people’s questions about how I shoot. Thanks for all the great ideas, guys!
I want to knowâ€¦ what is your favorite moment to shoot at a wedding?
At the end of the ceremony, I follow the couple after they walk down the aisle. After they walk around a corner out of sight of their guests, there is usually a moment of shock and elation as they realize that they just got married. All of a sudden the formalities are over and it becomes real. It’s usually a few seconds of raw emotion, and easily my favorite moment of the day. I feel especially grateful that I am often the only person to witness it.
I would like to know how you get such crisp landscape photos. Mine always seem to be a bit washed out or â€œmistyâ€ looking and Iâ€™m wondering what setting I need to adjust to get a great landscape photo. Thanks! Love the blog!
The secret to great landscape photos (and photos of all other kinds, too) is the light. There are usually two times of day when I’m interested in taking landscape photos: just after sunrise, and just before sunset. Mid-day light creates that washed-out look. When the sun is low in the sky, colors are more vivid, shadows are more dimensional, and the contrast is higher.
Another point to consider is that digital photos tend to look a bit flat straight out of the camera. You might want to check your photos’ levels or curves in Photoshop, to see if you can add contrast in post-production.
How many pictures total do you usually end up shooting for a portrait session? A wedding (including getting ready, ceremony and reception)?
I’ll typically take several hundred photos at a portrait session, and a couple thousand during a wedding day.
How many photos do you normally show to a couple? i know it can depend upon the wedding, but just an average?
My final set of proofs is typically 700 for a wedding, and 75 for a portrait session.
Whatâ€™s the most recent picture youâ€™ve taken that, when chimping or going through them on your computer, you get that rush because itâ€™s The Shot?
This one. Traci was holding her daughter for the first time. The moment was perfect. I was so happy that I captured it just right.
Have you ever had any outrageous requests?
Not really, but I do try to present my style and personality clearly before someone chooses to hire me. I think most people that I work with have read my blog and know what to expect from me, so it works out great. The only times I’ve had difficulties have been rare occasions when brides have hired me because I’m just what they’re looking for, but their mothers have different ideas of what wedding photography should be. In situations like that, I smile, do what I’m asked, and then move on to something else. I’ve never been asked to do anything really weird, though! I have some funny stories, but you’ll have to buy me a latte to hear them. 😉
Do you try to frame your shots or do you take a hundred fast shots and some come out spectacularly? Iâ€™ve seen some photographers take pictures where they are snapping what sounds like a hundred shots or more a minute. Not that thereâ€™s no value in doing it that way, especially for fast-action shoots. but it seems like if a person always take pictures that way, something decent is bound to come of it sooner or later even if it was 1 shot in 10,000.
Both. I frame my shots very carefully, and I take hundreds of fast shots. You are assuming that it’s an either/or situation, but I very much disagree. Every picture I take involves thoughtful consideration of exposure, composition, and lighting. I am photographing real events that occur very quickly, and it’s my job not to miss important moments. I am also expected to make people look good in the process. I choose to take multiple frames of many moments, so that I can delete unflattering expressions and make sure that I don’t miss the crucial expression. I can always delete duplicates later, but if I miss an important moment, I can never recreate it.
Do you have any tutorials you recommend for picture tips and tricks?
Do you have any sort of timeline that you like to keep throughout the day?
Definitely! My husband jokes that I operate with military precision during a wedding day.
Several weeks before a wedding, I ask the couple for a detailed timeline of the wedding day, along with their photo request list. I combine that information to create my photography schedule. As I prepare this schedule, I advise the couple on the amount of posed group photos we can fit into the time they have allotted. If we won’t have enough time for everything they want, I help them choose additional times for pictures, or I give suggestions to help them cut down their photo request list. The couple approves the photography schedule before the wedding day, so they know what to expect from me with the timeline they have available.
When the wedding day arrives, I do not have to rely on the couple for any guidance. I know where I need to be, what pictures I need to take, and what will be happening next.
What is your take on first looks? yay, nay? a must?
This is a great question that couples ask all the time! I think it’s a tough decision for a lot of people. My short answer is that it entirely depends on the couple and their own priorities. I’m happy to work with any schedule that I am given, but I’ll make it clear to the couple what photos they can expect with the schedule they have chosen. I’m going to write a whole post on this topic, so stay tuned!