Category archive: Miscellaneous Photography
I had been dying to do some fun and creative photos lately so I called Nikki up and and we set up a photoshoot. I ended up doing her makeup…yes I can do makeup when needed (thank god I had a little sister growing up). Anyway I think they turned out fantastic and can’t wait to do some more fun photography with her in the near future…Details
The morning of my birthday I was out walking my sister’s dog and noticed that a layer of ice crystals was covering everything…needless to say I grabbed my camera and popped off a few shots around Missoula. This is what I got…
Information on Missoula Event
First off…a huge thank you to everyone who has volunteered to help out with this project! Back to business, the event will be held at the Missoula Headstart building (1001 Worden Ave over on the Northside) on April 29th from 5-8PM. Bring your own photography equipment…we’re hoping for good weather to shoot out on their playground but just in case be prepared to shoot in a gym or classroom.
Each photographer will have someone assigned to them to help with logistics. They’ll need to mark down on a clipboard the photographer’s name, each family’s name, the classroom their child attends, and the frame number for the first image…this will help keep things straight. I figure it would be easiest if I do the post processing so at the end of the night we can dump all the images onto my laptop (please take good photos in the cam and only shoot in JPEG…it will just make it easier).
The event will coincide with Headstart’s yearly Feed n’ Read event that has all the families come to the school for a dinner…in talking with the director over there this is the best time to do the portraits…it will have the best attendance (estimate 50-60 families) and we can pull families away one at a time. Each family will get a printed 8×10…as it stands we have to limit it to one per family (but I can give them a disc of the images as well if they’d like…though sadly most don’t have computers).
Finally as it stands we only have 1 makeup artist signed up to help…please if you know anyone who is skilled at all at making people look beautiful (don’t need to be professionals)…please have them get in touch with me!
Great Advice From a Wedding Expert
As wedding season quickly approaches I wanted to send an email that listed all the tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years. I’ve been photographing weddings for over 12 years, have been in and attended countless weddings and even planned my own last year…needless to say I’ve seen some of the best and worst of weddings. Here’s what I’ve learned:
- Register with Bed Bath Beyond. They are the only place I know of that will allow you to return gifts for cash back! That’s right no in store credit or gift cards…they will you give you cold hard cash back…you just have to ask for it (even without a receipt). If you’re like my wife and I, when we got married we already had a house and nearly everything we needed. As such, we ended up registering for stuff that we really didn’t need just to give people options. Granted we kept a fair amount of the gifts but ended up returning a large portion and getting cash for the honeymoon.
- The photos are the most important thing. A year after our wedding I can tell you this: the dress has stayed in the closet, we watched the video once, and we only ended up using about half of our gifts…but the photos are cycling through on a digital frame in our living room constantly reminding us of how much fun that day was. Everyone who comes over to our house comments on how great our pictures are and for those that were there comment on how much fun they had. Bottom line the photos are the one thing that will always remind you of that day.
- Hire a DJ or designate someone you trust to MC the reception. You absolutely need to have someone guide and move things along during the reception…things just go much more smoothly when someone is in charge. I can’t tell you how many weddings I’ve been to where there were long awkward spans of time where nothing was happening and guests were standing around and getting anxious.
- Delegate, Delegate, Delegate. You can’t do it alone…get some people you trust to help you out. It was very enlightening at our wedding of who actually helped and who just had a good time…there were some people who were a tremendous help at our wedding that we never would have expected to help. Just make sure that whomever you trust with helping, make sure you give them explicit details on how you want things. I’ve helped out at numerous weddings because the bride was trying to do everything herself and was simply overwhelmed (I’ve done everything from the bride’s makeup and hair to even putting together the bouquets and flowers for a wedding once). Bottom line help is there…all you have to do is ask for it.
- Make sure the Pastor/Priest/Officiant knows exactly what you want. Some officiants like to ad-lib if you don’t give them direction…whether your ceremony is completely non traditional or even very religious…make sure your officiant knows what you want. At our wedding we had planned to have our officiant quote the priest from the movie “Princess Bride” (for those of you who know that reference…Mawage), sadly he had the flu that day and forgot (we were just glad he showed up).
- Duct tape. Seriously…bring duct tape, scissors, a sewing kit and extension cords. These are the core things that are needed in every wedding emergency kit.
- Set up a free website for your wedding. You can easily set up a free website on www.theknot.com months before the wedding. This can be a great place for you to post info about your wedding…where you’re registered, directions to the reception, where people can stay, desired attire, etc. Basically anything you can think of that would be handy for people to know. You can even reference it on your save the date’s and invites.
- Send emails to guests. This is the easiest (and cheapest) way to pass along information about your wedding to guests. For our wedding we actually sent our save the date’s as an email. The easiest program to create and send mass emails is www.mailchimp.com (what I use to send these emails). It’s free and allows you to create professional looking emails…did I mention it’s free!
- Don’t get carried away with tanning. I know that every bride wants to have a nice even glow to them the day of their wedding…just keep in mind especially if your wedding is during the fall or winter you don’t want to be the only one who is tan. The rule here is make it look as natural as possible.
- Make sure you have enough makeup. If you’re doing your own makeup make sure you put on a little more than you would normally (don’t get crazy). Makeup that is a little more dramatic makes for great photos and I can assure you that regardless of how much you put on it will be nearly gone by the end of the reception (maybe sooner if there are tears or hot weather).
- You will always be late the day of your wedding. I have yet to see a wedding go exactly as scheduled…which is fine, it happens to everyone. Just roll with the punches…everything has a tendency of coming together and working out in the end. Just enjoy your day.
- Relax. I know how stressful this all can be…just take a few breaths and relax. Everything always seems to work out on the actual wedding day. From a photography perspective…the more relaxed and comfortable you are the day of your wedding…the better the photos will be guaranteed.
I’m a member of a group called Help-Portrait. If you haven’t heard of it you really should watch the video below. It’s an amazing organization that allows photographers and makeup artists to provide beautiful portraits to people in need. I’m currently working to set up a large event for Headstart families. My mom runs the Headstart program here in town and I constantly hear about the hardships facing all the families with children attending Headstart. I’m extremely fortunate in so many respects especially having a job that allows me to do what I’m passionate about. This event will allow me to give back…it’s the least I can do. It’s about giving photos…not taking them.
If you’re a photographer or makeup artist and would like to help (you don’t need to be a professional) by all means pop me an email…I’ll send you details of the event. Currently it is planned for April 29th in Missoula. If you can help at all please contact me.Details
Should you have a friend take your wedding photos?
There is a frightening trend occurring lately where I hear couples say that they’re going to have a friend take their wedding photos, or worse yet they figure that all the guests will have digital cameras and they can use all their pictures as their wedding photos. Sure it seems like a good idea, how can saving money not be?
I can’t even begin to tell you how bad of an idea this is…your wedding photos are the last thing you should ever cut corners on with your wedding budget! They are the one thing that will last forever and will be the lasting memory of that special day. Would you let a friend do the electrical wiring in your house? Replace the head gasket in your car? Or worse yet, remove your appendix? Of course not…these are all jobs that should be left to the professionals. Individuals in those professions have had extensive training, years of experience and the equipment necessary to get the job done right. Wedding photography is no different, and should be left to the professionals. I can’t tell you how many weddings I’ve attended as a guest where the “friend” photographing the wedding looks lost, is obviously struggling and is completely overwhelmed. Some in fact got so bad…I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t step in to help. There is simply no substitute for a seasoned veteran with years of experience and the right equipment to get the perfect photos you deserve on the most important day of your life!
Still not convinced…here’s a list of the Pros and Cons of having a friend take your wedding photos…
1. You will save money
2. Since you know the person you may feel comfortable around them
1. Your photos will never look as good as a professionals’!
An amateur simply can’t produce the quality of photos you deserve. Your wedding photos should be works of art. A trained professional will be able to capture all the moments of your special day in exquisite detail and style. Even if your friend happens to be a professional landscape photographer for example, weddings are a whole different ball game. Wedding photography is extremely difficult and takes years of training and real world experience. Additionally, a pro photographer is there for a job…what happens if your friend gets drunk and just wants to enjoy the party rather than take pictures?
2. Who will edit the photos and with what software?
This is key…because if you hire your friend to take the photos…they will inherently be of much lesser quality and will need extensive editing. Years of training and thousands of dollars in equipment are vital in editing photos. Is your friend a Photoshop expert…I’ve been shooting/editing weddings for over 12 years and I still don’t consider myself a Photoshop expert.
3. What happens if they accidentally delete your photos?
Professional photographers have a motto…backup, backup and backup once more for good measure…an amateur photographer (especially one nervous about shooting a wedding) runs the risk of formatting over your beloved images.
4. They don’t have pro level equipment.
The average photographer has over $20K in equipment…amateur cameras simply can’t compete. Pro photographers also have backup equipment in case something happens to their first setup…what happens if your friend’s camera breaks?
5. What happens if there is a change in lighting or weather?
There is always the chance of something happening and an inexperienced photographer won’t know what to do to still get great shots in any weather or lighting situation.
6. You may not get photos of all the things you want.
Seasoned veterans know exactly what comes next during a wedding and are proactive in getting every shot. What happens if your friend is changing lenses and misses the first kiss or bouquet toss?
7. They don’t know how to engage people and pose them.
Sure they might be able to push the button on a camera but can they get your aunt to smile or wrangle family members into a shot? Or worse yet, know how to pose a bride to make her look her best?
8. Do they have liability insurance?
All professional photographers have liability insurance to protect themselves if for example someone trips over their camera bag and breaks a leg. It’s sad but in the society we live in…someone will sue…regardless of if they’re friends or family.
9. The photos will not be cropped correctly.
A trained eye would be able to crop photos correctly and shoot at unique angles to get exquisite shots.
10. It’s just a bad idea…never mix business with friends and family!
You know the old adage of not lending money to friends or family because it invariably ends badly…the same rings true here.
Bottom line your wedding photos are simply too important to leave to amateurs! I know it may be tempting to save money but it’s not worth the risk…Don’t do it!Details
Top 10 Things To Consider When Selecting a Wedding Photographer
1. If they’re available. There’s no point in pursuing the photographer of your dreams if he’s already under contract with another bride. Ask if your wedding date is available first and foremost. The moral here is that all great photographers will book very quickly…so book them as soon as you can!
2. The photographer’s style. Is it posed and formal, photojournalistic, creative, artistic, etc.? More importantly, is it what you’re looking for? All the great wedding photographers are a mix of all these styles and will have a unique style and vision.
3. Are they in my price range? Photographs of your wedding are the last thing you should ever cut corners on with your wedding budget! Additionally, make sure you know all the costs associated with a photographer…ie is the package all inclusive, will we have to pay for prints afterwards (I’ve seen some photographers charge $12.00 for a 4×6), will we get a disc with all the edited images so you can print wherever you’d like, etc.? But never forget…you get what you pay for!
4. Do they work on an hourly basis? Again, trying to cut corners by hiring a wedding photographer for a few hours will only get you burned. Hire a photographer that will work the entire day…from the moment you start getting ready until the couple send off. Imagine what you’ll miss if the photographer goes “off the clock” and leaves before the first dances, cake cutting, bouquet toss, etc. Even if they do stay, you’ll end up paying more than if you’d booked a photographer that will shoot the entire day for a flat rate.
5. Who will be the one actually taking the pictures? Make sure the photographer you meet with will be the one who actually will be shooting your wedding. This first meeting will tell you a lot about them as well…ie. were they on time, well dressed, easily approachable. Ultimately decide whether you like this person…they will be with you the entire day of the wedding.
6. Do they have liability insurance? This will tell you a lot about their business. If they don’t have liability insurance they are either just starting out or don’t take it seriously enough to think it’s necessary…aka they’re not professional photographers! All professional photographers have this insurance as part of their business.
7. What is their experience? You need to know if they have a degree in photography, how long they’ve been shooting weddings, etc. Even if they have a degree (the minimum of what you should look for), nothing replaces years of experience in capturing brides on the most important day your life! A seasoned veteran will still know how to make you look beautiful even if something goes wrong…ie. a sudden change in the weather, or lighting situation.
8. When will we get our pictures? Most photographers can have the images edited and delivered within 2-3 weeks, but make sure to check reviews and references to see what past clients have to say.
9. Ask to see a complete wedding album. This is important because all photographers will have a portfolio of spectacular images they’ve taken over the years (some of which may even be taken with professional models they paid)…being able to see a complete wedding will let you know if they have the ability to capture the entire story of your wedding day.
10. Check their reviews and contact references. It is invaluable to have an outside opinion on a potential wedding photographer. Remember, your wedding photographs are the single most important aspect of your wedding…make sure you find the right wedding photographer for you.Details