Making File Sharing EASY!

We are all about sharing products and tools that work well for us and that we love!!! Here is our latest Tuesday Tips & Tricks that has made some areas in our business much more easier and efficient! One of the most biggest complaints we hear from vendors is that they never get images from photographers. As photographers it does take a little more effort and time to do this, but it is SO WORTH IT. After you have gone through all of the work to pull out the images for the vendors, the next biggest hurdle is to actually get the files to the vendor easily so they can use them on their blog or website. You can send them in the mail but then you have to burn a disc, get a nice case, package it nicely, put the address on and then finally make a trip to the post office. OR the other option is to email the images, but then not only do the files clog up your email but also their inbox as well. What a pain! You can use FTP programs or have them download them from your site, but sometimes that can be a little cumbersome. There IS a another option… We have a great, FREE solution we would like to share with you that we have been using for the last six months to send images to vendors, brides, companies, family, and even to each other. Friend and fellow photog Kristine Neeley introduced it to us and it has been awesome! Introducing…. Dropbox! Dropbox is a single, secure place on your... Read More

What’s in Our Camera Bag, Part II

Welcome to Part II of What’s in Our Camera Bag! Via the goodness of our HD flip video camera we continue on with the contents that we carry in our main camera bag to weddings. If you missed the first half from last week CLICK HERE. Enjoy :) Constant lighting for this video provided by Westcott’s SpiderLite TD5. To find the products mentioned in this video click here! ___________________ On another note… … it’s that time to start talking about workshops again!!!! We are releasing dates & locations soon for our fall IN-CAMERA workshops!! Make sure you are signed up for our photographer Newsletter to have the opportunity to be the first to register for our Nashville classes 24 hours before anyone! … Not close to Tennessee? Well, we have something special coming up just for you peeps!… You might just have a say where we bring our out-of-state workshops to! Stay tuned to our blog for more details :) If you have any questions or comments, we enjoy hearing from... Read More

What’s in Our Camera Bag, Part I

Welcome to the latest rendition of the blog! This week we bring our tips and tricks via the goodness of our HD flip video camera! We decided to take you guys through our main camera bag that we take with us to weddings! Enjoy :) Constant lighting for this video provided by Westcott’s SpiderLite TD5. To find the products mentioned in this video click here! If you have any questions or comments, leave ’em below! Check back next Tuesday for Part II as we share the rest of what is in our camera... Read More

Time better spent!

Today’s post is all about saving you, the awesome photographer, time, which is your most valuable asset. Time is the only thing you can’t get more of in this life, so you need to use it wisely. Sometimes as photographers we just trudge along in many activities within our business and never think about how much time we are actually spending on certain tasks that we do. If you know Jody and I at all, you know that we spend very little time in actual post-production because we work very hard to shoot our images how we want them right in the camera. We do that because we want to spend time with each-other, time building our business and time enjoying life, and not be stuck behind a computer all day editing photos. It’s all about having the freedom to do what you want. It is really important to not just look at the bottom line at the end of the year to see how “well” you did, but really look at how “well” you are doing per-hour of time worked. It is cool if you can make 100k a year, but not at the expense of losing your personal life and neglecting those that are most important to you and those that need you. Most of us can be scared to look at what our hourly wage might be, but need to do so. When you do, you realize what your time is really worth and what things you should be doing, and more importantly, should NOT be doing! We could write an entire blog post on just this... Read More

The Beauty of the Expo Disc & White Balance

Don’t you hate it how sometimes you spend FOREVER in Lightroom or Photoshop trying to get the stinkin’ correct white balance for your images?  Waste time no more!  These next minutes will forever change your editing time, and therefore will change your life. Guaranteed. Read on :) When we first started shooting professionally back in ’07, we (well, really Zach :) stumbled across this awesome little guy called the ExpoDisc, and it truly has changed our editing and edit time.  You know how we’re big advocates of shooting everything in camera so your edit time is next to nil and how we show clients images as we are shooting because they look so great right on the back of our cameras?  Well, the ExpoDisc, my friend, is a HUGE part of this. The ExpoDisc is essentially a gray card.  Just smaller and more accurate. For those who like to read the detailed information of its workings, you can visit the ExpoDisc web page on Expo Imaging’s site. The Awesomeness of the Expo Disc: – It’s small and comes with a strap where you can wear it around your neck or in a little carrying case that attaches to your belt.  SWEET. – Allows you to get a custom white balance, set it in your camera and all the following images will have beautiful color!  Try showing your subjects your images as you are shooting – they will FLIP! – If you forget to get a custom WB (which it really takes about 5 seconds and doing it beforehand is the way you want to do it :) then you... Read More
Nashville, TN Wedding Photography

Our Favorite Lenses Part 2! 100mm Macro

Last week we talked about Zach’s favorite lens and why he loves using it. Today, its my turn!! I love using longer lenses and sneaking into moments from a distance so that our brides do not even know I am there. One of my favorite lens is the Canon 100mm Macro 2.8. I like to shoot in really tight. One of the coolest things about this lens is that you can do that easily while still maintaining a nice distance from your subject. A lot of wedding photographer’s go-to lens for makeup shots is maybe the 50mm 1.4 or even better, the 50mm 1.2. The cool thing about the 50mm 1.2 is one can shoot at a really low aperture where everything but what you’re focusing on becomes really soft, but there’s two problems with that – 1) you have to get right up in the bride’s business to get that close up shot, and 2) you have to be at least 1.5 ft away to focus. So it’s hard to get that tight shot because the lens can’t focus that close. Boo. What I love about the 100mm Macro is that if I want, I could get in as close as 5.5 inches away from our bride… not like I would want a shot of literally just her eyeball, but you get the idea :) This lens is also GREAT for ring shots. Because it’s a Macro lens and it can focus as close to 5.5 inches away from any subject, you can literally fill the frame with a ring if you want and get in REALLY close!... Read More

Our Favorite Lenses! 16-35mm

Using the right lens for the right job is critical in not only getting the shot you want or need, but evoking a certain type of feeling when you do. There are many things to consider when it comes to purchasing and using certain lenses, and some of the things to look for in a lens when buying are how it affects the look of your shot, how fast and easily it focuses (without good focus you won’t get the shot), how clear is the image you produce with it and how does it represent the color of the image. Today, I want to talk about one of my favorite lenses and why and how we use it! Let me introduce you to the Canon 16-35mm L 2.8 Oooh! Ahhhh!! This lens is great for the photographer who wants to get everything in the shot from a close distance and create high drama. This lens really distorts reality by stretching everything on the sides and drawing it into the frame. I love it! Check out some example images from a wedding we did last fall to see what this baby can do! In using this lens, composition becomes all the more important because you really can see EVERYTHING in the shot.  What you put in the frame becomes vital and can either add to the shot or actually distract the viewer’s attention from the main subject.  You also want to make sure you avoid putting anything you DON’T want warped near the outer edges.  For example, take this shot I took of Jody awhile back: This shot is not... Read More

Camera Neck Strap vs. the Hand Strap

There are certain accessories that we use that make our jobs a lot easier and this post highlights one of those pieces! Ever find yourself on a shoot and for convenience you have your camera strapped around your neck?  The problem we run into is sometimes when we turn the camera the strap falls in the way and it becomes just plain annoying.  It’s long, can get in the way, and not to mention the strain it can cause your neck after hanging there all day. Enter the solution – the Canon Hand Strap! People see these hand straps on our camera and we often get asked what they are and if we like them.  Well, wonder no further. The hand strap helps control and support the camera and you can even use it if you have a battery grip on your camera…. and yes, we love ’em!  The hand grips are adjustable too and you can fit them to whatever size your hand needs :)  My hands are a bit smaller than Zach’s so I keep mine not as taut so my fingers can still reach the buttons on top of the camera when changing around my settings.  The hand strap doesn’t get in the way of your shooting and if you want to set your camera down it’s as easy as slipping your hand out.  It’s also nice as well because it is well padded and doesn’t irritate your hand as you’re shooting through out the day. You can find and buy these hand grips online at Adorama and Nikon also has a hand strap that you... Read More

Reception Lighting Techniques

Have you ever showed up to a reception and started shooting everything in sight, only to look back later and see that all your images have some seriously orange color in the background? What is the deal with that?? One problem that photographers encounter when shooting indoors is that the color of their flash and the color of the ambient light (tungsten) does not seem to match.  Anytime lights in a room have an orange or amber tint to them, that means that they are tungsten colored. The color is measured in Kelvin degrees (which is what your digital camera understands) and different lighting situations will have different kelvin temperatures (or different white balances) usually ranging between 2200 to 10000 “degrees.” The lower the number (like 2200) the warmer the light is interpreted by your camera, and inversely, the higher the number (like 7500) the cooler the light is. So if you have your camera set to a pre-set (or auto) white balance for say, tungsten (2800 degrees kelvin), then took a photo outside when it was cloudy (7500 degrees kelvin), the color would come out really blue (or cold) since your camera is set to a warm light setting and the outside light is very cool. So, the problem with using any type of flash during a reception is that the color temperature of the flash is normally daylight balanced (around 5500 to 5800 kelvin) which is cooler than those darn tungsten lights in the reception (which are usually around 2800 kelvin or so). So when you turn on your flash and take a shot with that cool... Read More

Advanced Studio Lighting

Today we are going to take a look at an image that I (Zach) shot for new Squint recording artist Joel & Luke. These guys are really amazing and shooting them was a blast! Joel (who is in the shot below) and his brother Luke are incredibly talented and have an amazing sound. We will do a full post on their shoot soon so stay tuned for that! The image below was a complicated shot done with 3 lights on-location inside Healthways company in Franklin. This is simply an office space that we turned into a studio for the shot. Here is the set up. HOW WE DID IT: As you can see from the behind the scenes image, there were offices, signs, and tons of junk in the background that we did not want in the shot.  Also, you could also see right through the chains, so just lighting it from the front would not have been sufficient. I knew that lighting the back of the gold chains would create this highlighted effect with light shooting around in the background and would make the shot look like it was right out of the studio. We set up one light in the front that was almost straight on (glamor lighting) and used a huge light source that makes the light super soft  and gives it that painted on look. The soft box above is 5 feet in diameter and that is why the shot has this look. We then added two kicker lights (or separation lights) at 45 degree angles coming in and hitting the background to light it... Read More

Endorsement! (Plus A Perk for Workshop Attendees!)

We have been waiting to announce this and have decided it’s high time to share the good news! We have been selected as one of Westcott’s Top Endorsed Pros!  In other words, Westcott has decided to recognize us as one of the leading photographers and we now are officially endorsed by them! (We’ll let you know once their Endorsed Pro site goes live). For those who may not be entirely familiar with Westcott…. – “Westcott is a world leader in professional photography and video lighting equipment. Since Westcott entered the photography market over 83 years ago, Westcott has been a major innovator in devising professional light control products. With over 600 items for professional and beginning photographers as well as the scrapbooking and film/video markets, we have continued a long-standing commitment to product innovation.” We are super thrilled and honored to be a Top Endorsed Pro with many other great photographers such as Jeffrey & Julie Woods, Parker J Pfister, Ed Pierce, Scott Kelby, to name a few!  A big thanks goes out to Westcott and we are excited to partner with you guys! “So?” you may be asking, “That’s great and all, but does this mean anything for me?”  Well, my friends – as a matter of fact it does!  For everyone signed up to our workshops, we will be giving you a special discount code where you can receive $500 off the Strobelight PLUS Two Light Kit.  This product retails for $959.50 – this is a GREAT deal!  Talking about getting an additional value by attending one of our IN-CAMERA workshops!  Kelly, the VP of Westcott has... Read More

Our Latest Baby… A New Camera

Sorry, we are not pregnant but we did get something that’s about the same cost as having a baby! Welcome home our 5D Mark II! Ok, so we have had this for about a month but we’ve had so much other stuff going on to blog about that it’s better late than never! It’s like Christmas in the spring… So, why a new camera and what can it do? Pretty much everything except make us breakfast, that’s what! This camera is pretty awesome and shoots really hi ISO images (geek talk for the camera’s sensitivity to light) all the way up to 25,000, it automatically cleans dust off of the images by using ultra sonic vibrations, it takes 1080p high definition video and it produces ultra smooth 14bit depth images at a whopping 21.1 megapixel size. The camera also has many other cool new features that the old cameras do not have and all for a relatively low price in comparison to other cameras on the market. But what it really does well is this: Welcome home... Read More