Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lutz Wedding Photography

Last weekend I photographed a small wedding in Lutz. One of the challenges of a small wedding is that they are typically held in small venues. Rarely will you be in a big, stain-glassed cathedral. That's okay though because there are lots of places you can take interesting pictures, you just have to look around.

The boys got dressed upstairs in the back of the church. There was a tight staircase leading up to the room they were in which was perfect for the group shot.

I love a good "fish-out-of-water" picture and the church had a big kitchen. I love this picture because it's foreshadowing of things to come.... domestic bliss, etc..

Another shot in the kitchen. I love the red floor.

Windows can be your best friend when you don't have much available for background. Here, the bride is having glitter applied to her eyes.

Studio portrait? No, I just turned out the lights in the room and lowered my shutter speed so that the room went completely black. Then I posed her in front of a window.

As always, you can see a lot more photography from Tampa weddings on my website:

Monday, June 15, 2009

Portrait Session in Ybor City

Last week I headed down to Ybor City in Tampa to photograph Ashley. Ashley is a singer and musician so we decided to incorporate her guitar into some of the shots. From the very beginning I knew that it was going to be a great session because she is very easy-going, fun and inventive with her posing. I don't think I gave her detailed direction the entire time.... I just took pictures while she did whatever she wanted.

This picture was taken just as the sun was starting to set which gave me the great glow off the railroad tracks. I used off-camera lighting for the entire shoot so that I could have more control over the shadows. If I had to pick just one image from the day to keep it would probably be this one. Notice how the tracks curve down and lead to Ashley? This is a great trick to use when framing people for portraits.

Still at the railroad tracks. I cropped the tracks out of the shot because they were just too distracting to the final image.

I'm usually not a big fan of "selective color" in my photographs. I feel that it's been overused by photographers (especially wedding photographers.) Just because you can make something in the picture be in color while everything else is black and white doesn't mean you should. For this picture against a graffiti covered wall, I think it works. Usually, the thing that's in color stands out and becomes the focus of the picture. The difference is that in this picture, the color tends to make the black and white stand out because it is behind her.

My original intention was to have a sunset shoot but Ashley was running late and it got dark on us. So, I quickly started looking for ways we could turn the night to our advantage. In Tampa Bay there isn't a much better place for night photography than Ybor City with the lights and old Tampa feel (I love cobblestones). So, I put Ashley in the middle of the street, pulled out a second flash (lucky for me I tend to over-pack for photo shoots) and started taking pictures. As you can imagine, a picture like this takes a little more work than the others from the session. I have one flash to my left shooting through an umbrella and another on the ground under a car behind Ashley (see the bright flash on the right side?). Ideally I would have preferred to not have that back flash show so bright but I was hampered by space and the lack of a second tripod (wasn't planning for night shoot, remember?). Still, it works because it could just be light from a car. It makes a big difference in the picture because it puts a rim light on her legs.

Ashley changed outfits again (by the way, can I just say that the restrooms in the 15th street parking garage are cleaner than my house? Nice surprise...) and we moved to the curb. Careful observers might notice something missing from the guitar in this shot. It was distracting to me so I took it out with Photoshop.

It was getting late and we were ready to wrap but Ashley still had some stamina so we walked down to the main drag for a few more quick shots. I like this one because I was only using one flash but the car behind Ashley on the street acted like a rim light (see the nice halo of light around her head?).
Sweaty and tired, we called it a night. It was a fantastic shoot and a lot of fun! As always, you can see more wedding photography and portrait photography on my website.

Friday, June 12, 2009

How to make your photographer happy

This post should really be called, "How to make ME happy," since I can't presume to speak for all photographers.

Yesterday I had two client meetings. One was with a bride who has already booked me for her wedding and the other was with a potential client for dance recital pictures. Both of these meetings made me happy because in both cases I was talking to someone who "gets it."

My bride said, "I told my fiancee' that he could pick out everything he wanted for the wedding as long as I could pick out two things: The Dress and The Photographer." I can't tell you how great it is when I am working with someone who has a passion about the pictures that matchs my own. I'm fortunate that I still get excited with every job but when I'm working with someone who is equally excited and involved in the process I'm practically giddy.

The meeting with the potential client went well (I hope!). One of the things that no one mentions about being a photographer is that it's almost like going on job interviews every week. Unlike a business where you just deliver a quote and wait and see, photography is more personal and subjective. You never know what will be the deciding factor when someone is picking their photographer. Your images play a big role but so does your pricing, personality, client relations, customer service, etc. Yesterday's meeting made me happy not because I think I'll get the job (I have no idea) but because of something that the client said about my blog. She said that she saw my pictures and decided to contact me after reading my post about wedding albums. "I liked your philosophy," she said.
I never know if anyone is reading what I write and I have no idea if the like what they read so it was great to hear that someone had read that post and got from it a sense of what I am "about." One of the reasons I write this blog is so that people can get a sense of who I am. It made me happy to see that at least one person did.

Now, because I can't resist posting pictures, here are a few family pictures from a recent shoot. Enjoy!

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