Friday Finds!! Our favorite Sling-over Camera Bag | UNDFIND

“We are taking time off awaiting baby Gray, but have put together our favorite Friday Finds from the last year for us all to review!”  Welcome to this week’s Friday Find..REVISITED! Happy Friday! Today we want to share one of our latest finds with you that we absolutely LOVE!!!!! If you are looking for a camera bag for yourself or a friend, this may be exactly what you are looking for! A few months ago we got the One Bag and Waist Shooter from UNDFIND and it is by far our favorite new bag to carry our lenses in when we take them out from our Think Tank roller camera bag. What makes UNDFIND’s One Bag the bomb-dot-com: – It’s an all-in-one bag: I (Jody) love the versatility of the bag.  If I don’t want to use it as a camera gear carrier, I can take out the center part (photo insert) and put books, my travel pillow, snacks – whatever I want!  This has become my travel bag whenever we go anywhere!  Once we start shooting it transforms back into a camera bag. – The multiple pockets: I love how there’s a space for my wallet, pens (yes, this gets me very excited ;o), and other nooks and crannies. There is even a netted cover on the flap where I can put MORE stuff.  I love pockets :) – Comfort: The shoulder strap is awesome!  It’s not only padded well but also has give to it when I walk. Love, love, love. – Different Looks: Of course here are swappable DESIGNER covers!! – Different Size Options: You can... Read More

Tuesday Tips & Tricks | Creating the Image

“We are taking time off awaiting baby Gray, but have put together our favorite Tips and Tricks from the last two years for us all to review!” Welcome to Tuesday Tips and Tricks REVISITED and the newest installment in a series we call “Creating the Image!” Today we are breaking down a series of images taken at a recent wedding in Franklin, TN of the amazing Amy and Brian. We shot images of them in a number of different places from out in a beautiful field, in a garden and in front of the historic Carnton Plantation home where they were married. As we walked by this little dirt road between locations, we noticed a great line of trees and some nice light and decided to set up a quick series of shots here. There are always a few elements that we look for when shooting the portraits of the bride and groom, and one of those is some real interaction between our couple. So we go through 4 simple steps to make sure that we get some great candid shots of them. Ready? Here we go! Step 1. Light The first thing we need, especially for candid shots, is great natural light that we can put our couple in so that we have a photo friendly environment. This location had some soft, directional light coming towards our clients, so we decided that this was an ideal location for some candid-style shots.     Step 2. Guidance Over years of shooting countless couple’s we realize that most great images are created, not just captured naturally. So we set up... Read More

How to get the bride in a better lighting situation

When photographing weddings, everything happens very fast and it is critical as the person in charge of capturing memories, that we anticipate what is GOING to happen next. When we are out shooting a wedding we try and think ahead about what will soon happen (like the bride getting into the dress), and start thinking about where the best place for that to happen might be so we can shoot it really well. We rarely have ideal conditions for capturing moments and when we were out shooting Bret & Jillian’s wedding in AL a few weeks back, it was no exception. We want to talk about two situations where the bride was not in an ideal location, and how we moved her to better lighting or a better place for moments to happen organically.   Scene One: Make-Up The bride was getting her make-up done in this chair near the only decent light source in the room. As I walked over to chat with the bride and asses the lighting and composition situation, I noticed that the make-up artist was standing in the light and blocking it from hitting the bride in a flattering way. I also noticed that the center of the light source (the window) was not above the center of the eyes which means the shadows on her face would be pushed off to one side too heavily. The first thing I did, was simply ASK. I said hi to the make-up artist and told her her work was looking amazing! Then I asked her if she minded scooting over to the side so we could... Read More

Our FREE 5 Week Photography Course is HERE!

Lesson 1: Must-have Gear Essentials You are receiving the FIRST week of this complimentary 5-week course just for being an awesome blog reader! You can SIGN UP for the entire 5 week course HERE! Welcome to the first lesson in the Five Keys to Rockin’ Your Portrait Sessions! Over the next few weeks, we are going to cover must-have gear, finding the light that any client can look great in, how to get the best moments and expressions from your client, how to get free help which allows you to focus on your clients, and how to make more money on your sessions! So, get ready because here we go with week 1! Portrait Session Goals When we are out shooting a portrait session, we have one goal in mind – To make our clients look their absolute best! In order to do that it’s important to have the right tools. Today’s lesson is about the two most important things you can bring out with you to your portrait shoots – the right lens and the right reflector. MUST-HAVE GEAR ESSENTIAL #1: A PORTRAIT LENS You have the power to make your subject look their best or their worst simply by the type of lens you choose to shoot with. This is why, unless we are trying to go for a certain look, we are usually shooting with a portrait lens. What makes a portrait lens a portrait lens? Any lens that is approximately 80mm or longer (depending on what expert you ask) is considered a “portrait lens.” Likewise, any lens that is shorter than approximately 80mm is not a... Read More

Tuesday Tips | Lit Senior

I had the awesome privilege of shooting my youngest brothers senior photos last month. My (not so) little brother Noah is very possibly your typical 17 year old in that he doesn’t like to talk much, is pretty shy, and is very concerned with not looking cool. I shot images of our second youngest brother Samuel last year, and Noah assisted me on the shoot (he only did it because I paid him $20 an hour). Samuel is really outgoing, loves the camera and is the exact opposite to Noah, so you could say that he had his preconceived ideas about what a photo shoot was like because of watching me shoot Sam. And let me tell you, he voiced those concerns right away when we started his shoot! He told that it was crazy how long we shot Samuel’s pics (1.5 hours total), he asked me if I was going to make him smile (which he prefers not to do, at least on purpose) and that he didn’t want anyone else to see him getting his pics taken. Piece of cake!! You would think this would have been one of the hardest portrait shoots I have had to do, but it ended up being one of the easiest. I did two things to reassure Noah that this was going to be a cool experience. And remember, EVERYTHING is about the experience. It doesn’t matter how “cool” the shots turn out if my client had an awful time. They will never like their shots if they don’t feel good during the shoot. What I did first off, was simply agree with Noah every time he voiced a concern. If he said Sam’s shoot was... Read More

3 Keys to a beautiful couple shot

Photography, especially wedding photography, is unique in its own right in that a wedding photographer has to be proficient at many styles of shooting in order to get the job done. We have to know how to do portraits, photojournalism, architectural photography, product photography (for those little rings and details) AND do it all in .5 seconds! It is very difficult to do any of these types of photography well, let alone do them all in one day and shoot 1,200 final images that all rock our clients faces off. Whew!! Not an easy job! Sooooo, today we are going to talk about portraits (I hate that word and if anyone knows a better one, let me know) and a few different techniques in doing them. Our lovely models today are the amazingly hot Blake and Andrea whose wedding we shot in October. These guys are the bomb and we love them to death! :) Image number one! OK. So I dig this shot a ton that my hot wife took and would like to not only talk about why it rocks, but how we did it. We were shooting their session on their wedding day about 2.5 hours before sunset which is not the best time in the world to shoot because the sun is still pretty high in the sky. The best time of day to shoot is 1 hour before sunset, and the first hour of the sun rising because the sun is going through more atmosphere which disperses it wider and makes the light softer. The one and only thing that makes light soft and... Read More

The Perfect Ring Shot | Guest Post by Photographer Katelyn James

We are super delighted to bring to you a Tuesday Tips & Tricks post from a fellow photographer and friend Katelyn James! We met Katelyn a few years ago when she was new to the industry and now, four years later, her business is rocking and has been super blessed. Let us brag on her for a moment – she’s not only one of the nicest people you’ll meet, but this lady has killer branding that you need to check out and her work has been featured everywhere! From Professional Photographer Magazine to The Knot, Southern Living Weddings, Virginia Bride, to big, high profile blogs from Grey Likes Weddings to Style Me Pretty to Green Wedding Shoes, Wedding Chicks – the list goes on and on! Without any further ado, we bring you Katelyn! Well HELLO to all the wonderful Zach and Jody fans out there!!! It’s such a huge honor to be over here on their amazing blog today!! I’m Katelyn James and I’m a wedding photographer based out of Richmond, VA. I share life with my sweet husband Michael and our little Bichpoo puppy, Bokeh! …. Yes, I named my dog “Bokeh”… NERD ALERT! So when Zach and Jody asked me to do a little guest post sharing some tips and tricks, I was so excited… until I realized I had to decide WHAT the post was going to be on! This was QUITE the decision! Thinking back to my first year or two in business, I had numerous problem areas (don’t we all?!) but one area that always drove me crazy were the RING SHOTS! I... Read More

Nashville IN-CAMERA: Shooting & Post Recap | October 2012

We just finished up Nashville’s final IN-CAMERA workshops here at our home and we had an absolute blast with our attendees! Many pics were taken, lots of laughs were had and some great friends were made. We have loved doing this particular series of workshops and always enjoy opening our home to photographers. So now that this series of workshops is coming to an end, you may be asking, “what’s next?” We have a few things up our sleeves that are sure to be way different and really exciting! Stay tuned! In the meantime, check out the first day of our workshop Shooting and Post! We started off like we always do doing a Keynote teaching the how’s of what we do, then heading out for 3.5 hours to get the hands-on shooting time that really solidifies what we talked about. We both learn by doing, so we know how critical it is to shoot and sit with someone guiding you through as you encounter problems and work through different scenarios. That is the real benefit of a hands-on workshop that you don’t get by watching a You-Tube video or reading a book shooting. When I (Zach) first started out, I read loads of books and watched tons of videos online about shooting and lighting, but it wasn’t until I met Evan Baines and we shot together, shared and critiqued each others work, that I really started to become a good photographer. Those times of working one on one with Evan were invaluable to my career and that is a big reason why we do small, more personalized workshops... Read More

Studio Lighting | Perfect Separation on white seamless

So, if you have ever shot in the studio, you may have shot images on a seamless backdrop which is a simple way to get great looking images without much distraction from you client. You can also easily cut clients out from a seamless if you need to do a composite. Sometimes though, you need a classy, simple shot on a pure white or gray seamless, and although it may seem straight-forward, it can be very tricky to nail it.   There are tons of blogs, ideas and systems out there for shooting on a white seamless and getting the background blown out so it turns pure white or grey, but not blasting so much light back into the camera that it hazes out the images, or loses the contrast between your client and the background. Today I will show you the easiest way to get that perfect separation.   Some photographers say that you need to have your main light at f/11, then your background light at f/16 to blow out that background just right. Some say that you need to have them a certain amount of feet away from the background. Some say that you need to get your blinkies on the back of your camera flashing on the background and not your client, then it will be right. Zack Arias, on his Tumblr Blog, suggested using the blinkies, then adding 1/3 more or less and learning your system then checking them to see what needs to be adjusted. So which method is correct?   All of that can work with lots of guessing, but there is... Read More

Flash + Direct Sun

With our IN-CAMERA tour quickly approaching, we thought we would post some serious lighting tips!! When photographing any type of on-location portraits, whether for weddings, families, or even sometimes commercial work, we don’t always have the benefit of great natural lighting to help compliment our flash shots. Sometimes we are stuck shooting in direct sun, and that can be very problematic even when using flash. So, today we are going to break down a simple system that you can use to get great flash shots in direct sun!   There are two ways that we do direct sun flash shots and both are dependent on the time of day. If it’s NOT that time just before the sun is about to set (the golden hour) then we use this our sunny 16 approach, and if it IS that time just before the sun sets (but we still have direct sun on our client, just not as bright as mid-day) then we us our double metering technique.   Sunny 16 approach: If your client has the sun blasting in their face and it is NOT that last hour before sunset or that first hour of sunrise, then use this process. Step 1. Put your client and flash in desired position, power up your off-camera strobe to closer to full power. Step 2. Set your meter to ISO 100, 1/100th of sec, and meter ONLY the flash until it meters f/16. (note; if you meter the flash AND the direct sun together, it can throw the meter off and read incorrectly) Step 3. Set your camera to ISO 100, 1/200th of... Read More

Behind the Image, Salt Barn

Jody and I just got back from Toronto where we were guest Keynote Speakers for the Exposure Show and now we are back and rockin out today’s tips! Today, we are going back to a series we started last fall where we take images from weddings and workshops, and break them down for you guys so that you can do them as well! Ready? Here we go!!   So this image above, although it can seem crazy looking, is actually not that difficult to pull off and the entire look was done all in-camera with zero Photoshop! Images like this are something that we do for workshops, for engagement sessions and for bridal shoots (or if we shot senior sessions, this would be something we would rock out) because we have a little bit more time to set them up and light them. The above shot was taken later in the afternoon (about 45 minutes before sunset) in front of this cool salt barn that is just near our house in Franklin. Here is how we did it.   Exposure Settings on the 5D Mark 3 with 24-70L 2.8 lens ISO 100, 2.8, 1/100th of a second Here is an image that we took of the barn with a down the middle exposure trying to capture a little detail in the sky and a small amount of detail in the salt barn itself. As you can see, it is MUCH brighter in the sky (the sun was setting behind the salt barn so it is back lit) and much darker in the foreground of the composition. We wanted to... Read More

Behind the Image

Welcome to this Tuesday’s Photography Tips and Tricks! Your place to get the inside scoop on running your photog biz, shooting stellar in-camera images and more! Today, we are breaking down an image from our January wedding we shot of the amazing Taylor and Matthew. These two were a JOY to work with and we got to shoot so many awesome portraits of the two of them! We are going to break down one of the more difficult scenarios that we had to deal with, and show you exactly what we did to make sure the final result was something our couple would want to hang on their wall. After we had shot their portraits and after the wedding ceremony was over, Matthew and Taylor wanted a few shots in one of their favorite spots in town, the Nashville walking bridge. This location was tough to shoot at because it was freezing cold (24 degrees out!), has cool light on the bridge, but no lights on our couple, AND had the potential to look less than dramatic if not shot right. So we made sure to bring our Elinchrom Quadra lighting rig (our gear list can be downloaded HERE) with our new Elinchrom Deep Octa 39 to rock this out! This is the before.. Here, in this natural lit photo above, you can see just how awful the existing light was. The lighting is flat, has no (good) contrast on it, and their eyes are dark from the direction of the light. This image was also shot at ISO 6400 at 1/60th of second, and the noise is getting... Read More

Monday Giveaway! | Westcott Lighting Parabolic Umbrella!

For this month, every Monday we will be doing a giveaway with either something of ours, or a giveaway from one of the companies we love and use!!! We are going to kick things off with Westcott Lighting. Are you ready to win one of the coolest lighting modifiers on the planet?! Since we began shooting with off-camera lighting, Westcott lighting modifiers have always been a part of what we have used! Here is your chance to win the 7-foot Parabolic Umbrella from Westcott Lighting! Check out what it can do in this past post HERE or click on the image below!!         Here is an image from the umbrella from this past springs IN-CAMERA: Light workshop in Sacramento.   Here’s how you can enter to win: 1. Follow us (Zach & Jody) on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/ZachandJody) 2. Follow Westcott Lighting on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/WestcottCo) 3. Sign up for our Photographer newsletter for free monthly exclusive photo tips & tricks (http://tinyurl.com/yhudaqt) 4. Tweet the following message: Text for you to copy: “WIN a @WestcottCo 7-foot Parabolic Umbrella kit w/ @ZachandJody!! More Info – http://tinyurl.com/63dtlw3” ABOUT THE PRIZE: Three Umbrella Options: White Diffusion Umbrella White Black Umbrella Silver Umbrella [iframe: width=”560″ height=”345″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/jpEjmXVbNSE” frameborder=”0″] Info about the current parabolic umbrella special: Westcott has paired each of the 7′ Parabolic Umbrellas with a mounting bracket and stand this fall for $149.90!! The promotion only lasts until October 31 or while supplies lasts! Winner will receive: One, 7 foot (yes, you read that right – SEVEN FEET) Parabolic shoot-through Umbrella with mounting bracket, stand, and travel case from Westcott! Value: $149.90... Read More

Lighting a Mountain Top

Today  we are out holding our workshops in Denver teaching shooting and business & marketing workshops. However, we did want to share a cool image that was taken yesterday at our IN-CAMERA: Light workshop and show the set-up! How did we get this awesome shot with the our fab model, Chad? First, we want to show you what the natural lighting looked like. During Sunday’s Shooting &Post workshop we went up to this amazing spot at the top of a mountain here in Golden, CO, and found this awesome overlook where we could see the sky. We had this amazing rock formation that was really cool, but unfortunately, the lighting was pretty dark since this area was shaded by a tree, and when we exposed for our models face, the sky ended up being blown out. The below shot shows you what the natural light was doing…   Once we made it back to this same location for our lighting workshop, it was late in the day. We knew that the ambient light was really dark in this area (because of some trees around), but also knew that it had awesome potential if we could add some light to it! The background sky was beautiful and we really wanted to capture that in the image. So, we set up a background light (just a 580EX Speedlight on a stand with a Pocket Wizard triggering it – power at full power) to give some lighting to those same rocks our model was standing on the day before, and put an orange CTO gel on it for some added color and... Read More

Composition Part 2

Welcome to part 2 composition posts! Composition, we believe, is one of the hardest things to master in photography in general, especially in wedding photography because everything is moving so fast and sometimes you literally have seconds to nail a shot. Plus, you are not just shooting people, but products like the shoes and rings, architecture like the reception locations, and you are shooting candid and posed shots all in the same day. Oh, and the lighting is all over the place with all kinds of varying other conditions. Not an easy job to begin with and definitely not easy to think about the perfect composition in the midst of all that! So, today is one more simple technique that you can easily use and remember to help add that extra wow factor to your wedding shots. Today, we are going to be talking about Leading Lines.   Any time that we can grab our couple, the shoes, the bridesmaids and bride and so on and create some dramatic lines that lead us into the shot we are doing, we do it! Finding lines that point to our subject and lining them up to do so is a great technique that really makes our images much more interesting and dynamic. So, less talk and more pics! Let’s break down a few different styled shots and see how the lines made the images that much better.   The below image was shot at the Montaluce Winery north of Atlanta back in 2009. It rained the entire day and Jody went out onto the balcony of the estate room the bride was... Read More

Composition Part 1

What up everyone?! We are super excited to be talking about an awesome topic today that we just love! Composition! What you choose to include (and sometimes more importantly, not include) in your images will result in you not only being able to tell the story of what is happening in a much better way, but it also makes your images much more interesting to look at! We are going to go over multiple composition techniques in this series, and today we are going to start with some portrait composition ideas that you can use right away to help give your images a unique edge.   Today’s tip, Layered Composition:   Layering is a great way to add depth and dimension to an otherwise average looking portrait of your subject. Using more than one layer can take an image from looking very flat and boring, to looking like it has tons of depth and can even give it a “Photoshop” effect, since many times this is done in post-production by blending different images together. Let’s take a look at two different images and show you what we mean.   In this first images which Jody and I shot back in July of 2008 (we had been shooting for about 1 year pro at this point) and although the image has some cool elements to it with the lighting and the blue sky, it can be taken to the next level by layering the image.   Once we had shot this image, we decided to try and layer the image more by adding some foreground elements to give the image... Read More

Rockin The Ceremony!

We often get asked what our game plan is for ceremonies and how we shoot them together, so today we will dive into our mentality when shooting the ceremony and where we position ourselves to capture the important images from this all important portion of the day!   When it comes to shooting the ceremony, our overall goal is to stay out of the way, not distract from the events, and of course, get great images. The Game Plan: When the processional begins, I (Jody) am staked out in the aisle way, about halfway down, depending on how long the isle is. Usually I have the 24-70mm on, (or a longer lens depending on how far away the bride is going to be) which allows me to shoot the story and the faces of those in the audience as well as zoom in a bit, if I want a tighter shot.I am always looking to get a great expression on the brides face, because we know that our clients are looking for content in their images first and foremost. Zach is usually out in the atrium (wherever the bride is coming into the ceremony from) area capturing the final moments before the bride walks in and will also stand at the back of the church once the processional begins. Usually he has the 70-200L 2.8 or the 85L 1.2 on his camera. Zach’s focus is to shoot the shot of the groom’s face as the bride walks in. He will also capture images of the bride from behind as she and her dad walk down the aisle and will... Read More

Getting Awesome Preparation Shots!

We are out on the Pass Premier Tour bringing this to you LIVE from the good ‘ol state of Mississippi en route to Atlanta! We are having a blast getting to meet so many cool photographers and sharing stories of how we are all navigating this business together! For this week’s tips and tricks blog, we wanted to focus on a key area of shooting the wedding day – nailing great candid getting-ready images. So, on to the post! First things first: When we show up to shoot the final preparations, the first thing we do is start looking for where the good light is in the space we have to work with. If we can get our clients into the good light, then we are guaranteed to get great images of them doing their thing. We usually look for indirect window light and try and place our clients around 4 to 6 feet away from that light facing toward the window. We also try and make sure that the center of the window is around the height of their heads so that we get more light on the face and less light on the body and legs. This helps the dress of the bride to not get blown out and also helps the focus be on their cute little mugs as that becomes the brightest part of our shots. Second: We try and turn off all the lights in the room. This helps avoid mixed lighting where there is one color of light coming through the window, and another color light coming from a lamp or overhead light.... Read More

Guest Blogger Evan Baines!

We are starting a new thing today where every now and then we will be bringing in guest bloggers to share their expertise who we respect and admire! Our first guest blogger is none other than the oh, so talented, Evan Baines. Evan is a great friend of ours and in our opinion, one of the best photojournalistic wedding photographers alive today. Evan is a rare talent that we have both learned from personally and professionally. We are beyond excited to bring you his post, Noun/Adjective, that he wrote exclusively for our blog! Check it out and leave some love! Noun/Adjective by Evan Baines There are lots of techniques out there for portrait photography, where photographers can light or manipulate the scene to create their artistic vision. However, there is a common misperception that documentary photography (AKA “photojournalism”) is simply a matter of snapping away at whatever happens to show up in front of the lens. Nothing could be further from the truth, but the challenge is that the tools and techniques of the documentary photographer are intellectual rather than physical. One example of a technique that I focus on in my own work and discuss with my associates is something I call noun/adjective. Arguably the most important tool of the photojournalist (and perhaps photographers in general) is the basic decision of what to include and what to exclude from the frame. Few pieces of great photojournalism function with only a single piece of content, and the best photojournalists typically achieve remarkable effects through symbolism, parallelism, contrasting subject matter, and various other techniques that might sound more at home in... Read More

IN-CAMERA Noise Reduction!

Hey all! Today we are hitting a cool topic that photographers often talk and think about all the time. The question? NOISE! The talk? How do we get rid of it?! So, today we are going to talk about two techniques that you can do to actually reduce noise in the camera! You know we are all about that!! Back in the film days, noise, or “grain” as they called it way back then (what was that like 5 years ago?) was actually part of the beauty of the final shot. Digital grain, at low levels, can look cool, but usually once it gets going it starts to look like someone left your photo out in a sand storm and is not all that appealing. So we do need to be able to control noise when needed and not have it blast the faces off of our clients! We have images printed in albums that were shot at ISO 6400 that are 10 inches high and 20 inches tall and they have zero noise reduction done on them. So the real question is, how do we do that without the latest and greatest noise reduction software? Let’s break it down! There is two things that we need to keep noise to a minimum. Exposure and a correct understanding of ISO. Exposure: Whenever you are shooting at low ISO, like 100 or 200, we always preach that if you are at all concerned about not having the correct exposure, that you should be sure to shoot it a little bit dark. That is because you have more room for error... Read More

First Dance Reception Lighting

Hey everybody! We hope that you all enjoyed your Christmas holiday and had a joy celebrating the real reason for the season :) For today’s post, we are super stoked today to be talking about a topic that sooo many of you have been asking about ever since we shared how we light and shoot details for receptions (Part 1, and Part 2). Today we will share with you how we shoot people images at the reception! There is a TON of ground to cover when it comes to reception lighting, so there will be a few posts to come including some exclusive content with video for those of you who are signed up to our Photography Newsletter. Are you on the IN List? If not, sign up HERE! OK, so today we are going to keep it simple and build our foundation for shooting the first dance. So, we walk into the reception and here is the scenario (in posts to come we are going to work our way through other scenarios that pose other lighting problems and how to conquer them). We have: – A dance floor with a stage or DJ in corner of the room – White ceilings and white walls – Our super hot couple about to have their first dance What do we do to get great looking images in this scenario using nothing but our bounce flash that is on our camera? 1. We find the best place to shoot from. The best vantage point to shoot from in this type of situation is NOT where the crowd of people are standing... Read More

Reception Lighting Part 2!

OK, so last week we did a post on gear that we use to get reception shots. You know, all of those little details at a reception when there is not any light on the cake or table settings AND there is no place to bounce light off of. So, today we are going to explain how we balance the light so that we get just the right amount of flash vs ambient light in the shot, get it every single time and do it REALLY fast! Here we go! Problem: Ever point your flash at a cake or person in a reception hall and the background is pitch black? Your flash is blasting out your subject but there is no detail in the background, thus losing part of the story. Solution: Lighting Ratios!! Hang in there :) So, where we like to start when shooting reception details and getting awesome shots, is a 3 to 1 lighting ratio. “Whoa!” you might be saying already, “did you just say ‘ratio’ and are you going to talk about math, going to make me read some schematics and make me more confused then when I started?” No sir! We say that because 1) we want you to think we are smart ;o) and 2) because all that means, is that our subject (in this case details at a wedding reception) are a little bit brighter in our image than whatever is in the background. Specifically, the subject is twice as bright as the background. So, how do we get there without a slide rule, without a hand-held light meter and without guessing?... Read More
Nashville, TN Wedding Photogragphy

Photoshoot DOs and DON’Ts

Photographers – when was the last time that you were in front of the camera? No, not for a quick snapshot with Grandma by the Christmas tree, but an actual photoshoot. Doing photoshoots is like 2nd nature to us because we do them all the time, but we often forget what it’s like actually being in front of the camera. For most of the clients we all shoot, it has been awhile since they have had their photo professionally taken (it may even be the first time for them) and many times they come to the shoot insecure and wondering what it’s going to be like, and worried that their photographer might not get a good shot of them (not because you as the photographer aren’t good, but because they don’t like how they look or they are worried because their fiance isn’t really into having a photo session done). Today’s post is not about how technically you can make the shoot better for your clients, but how you can make the EXPERIENCE awesome for them, which of course, results in not just better images, but images that really reflect the clients true personality. The DOs and DONTs of creating a great client experience: DO set the tenor for the shoot. DON’T expect them to know what you’re going to do. As mentioned above, more than likely your couple is going to be a bit anxious about their session. They have been planning all week what to wear, and it’s been forever since they have had their photo professionally taken. They have no idea what to expect and it’s our... Read More