If you’re a seasoned wedding photographer, you already know that the last quarter of the season can get tough. Maybe you took on too many weddings this year, or maybe you feel a bit of longing with the end of wedding season in sight. Whatever it is, wedding professionals typically look forward to a little bit of a break come winter—except for those in warmer climates who are just getting started. In the Northeast, weddings in September and October are ideal because of the pleasant temperatures and bright colors. The last thing we want to give our clients is a tired-out photographer. Here are my tips for making it through the last stretch of wedding season.
2017 is a great year for photographers. Technology has advanced at such a rapid pace, and continues to offer some of the best tools available to do what we love doing. With all the options, how do you choose a primary camera system? Wedding shoots comprise a mixture of product, portrait and action photography—so how do you know which system works best for all these needs? I recently tested multiple camera systems to see which came out on top.
So many of you have taken the approach of simply kicking back and waiting to see what happens to your business “naturally.” Guess what? Virtually nothing happens naturally in this business, which is why God created marketing. And just like building your skill set, marketing never stops. Let’s come up with a game plan or at least a check-off list for you to work with the rest of the year.
If you’ve never photographed a dog before, it’s an experience fairly similar to photographing a toddler—except we think it’s way more awesome, because dogs give kisses and have wiggly butts. What makes photographing dogs different is that their bodies are low to the ground, they have fur of all colors, some listen better than others and, because of all these factors, we have to think a little differently about lighting.
In this issue, you’re reading exceptional advice on shaping light with strobes, softboxes and speedlights. But what if you’re limited to available, natural light? There are unique challenges. What you gain in reduced gear, setup and purchases, you lose in flexibility. Yet there’s a distinctive beauty in using only the sun. With care, it can produce timeless imagery.
Self-portraits are not easy. They’re hard mentally and emotionally for myriad reasons, and they’re hard physically (especially if you don’t use an assistant). Lighting doesn’t have to be difficult, though. On the contrary, lighting your self-portrait should be a fun challenge. I’m going to outline some ways I’ve lit my own self-portraits to give you a good foundation.
My first paying gig as a photographer was shooting headshots of doctors at a medical convention, packed into a tiny corner of a trade show booth. Back then I didn’t quite understand the impact that type of situation would have on my methods of lighting. Every technique I developed over the next decade was based around learning to shoot a great, professional portrait quickly and in just about any location. I’ve since refined the process, and have found that most of my lighting for high-volume headshots can be categorized into three main techniques.
We are currently going through a lighting revolution. Off-camera flash technology is progressing quickly. The technology for low-noise, high-ISO sensors has improved over the past five years. Flashes are becoming less expensive and coming with more features. If you are not using off-camera flash, there has never been a better time to start. Here are a few of my recommendations for equipment.
As a photographer known for my creative use of small “pocket” flashes, I long resisted transitioning into the world of larger studio strobes. But I did my research and became intrigued by Phottix's system. If you shoot like I do, Phottix may be your ideal all-in-one setup for powerful, portable destination photography.
If you’re overwhelmed by the technical side of lighting, don’t fear. You can try these simple approaches to wedding day lighting. As with every part of the wedding day, I apply in-studio lighting techniques to my photographs using my keylight (the main light), hair light (light that separates the subject from the background) and fill light (fills in the shadows). The mood I want to create changes throughout the day as the story I am telling changes, so my light sources vary from natural to artificial.