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

All We Want for Christmas Is…

Merry Christmas everyone!!!!!!! This is DAY 5 of our Christmas week of blog posts…. the final day of Christmas blog posting goodness! We hope you are enjoying the Christmas holiday and are spending it with loved ones…. and not reading our blog ;o) Lol. However, for those who are stopping by on this day where we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, we thought we would leave you with a little photo… Yes, we saw Santa and got our photo taken with him. Always good times with 2Duce2 :) “SAAAANTA’s COMING!!! I KNOW HIM!!!!” – Buddy the Elf Merry Christmas & Happy Birthday,... Read More

Part IV | The Big Reveal!

Welcome to DAY 4 of our Christmas week of blog posts! Now it is time to officially reveal to you our Beast of a Christmas Tree!! At the farm.. (thanks to Christmas Tree Adventures for the image!) In the homestead… Being decorated! aww… All lit up! :) For our housewarming we had people bring a Christmas ornament to add to our tree… We got some really funny ones, personal ones, and ginormous ones. Yes, folks, this ornament is about 14 inches…. ha ha And of course, what would this Christmas Tree post be without Eugene & Heather fab Nashville wedding videographers and dear friends of ours. Without them, we would not have our ginormous Christmas tree :) Lol… Merry Christmas Eve from us to you!!!!!! Does anyone else have a killer Christmas tree? If so, what makes it awesome? Woo... Read More

Decorating Our New Home for Our 1st Christmas

Welcome to DAY 3 of our Christmas week of blog posts! This Christmas is special for us, because it’s the first time we are celebrating Christmas in our new home! Now that we have FINALLY had our Housewarming, we will share pictures soon, but this blog post is to show a bit of the decorating that we did for Christmas!! We have never had a place where we can decorate outside so it was fun being able to do that! …Though it was COLD!!!!! We actually ran out of bigger Christmas lights… so the next day we had to buy some more… So this below shot is before we added the final strand :) The day we were decorating it began snowing and didn’t let up all day! It’s pretty rare for Nashville for it to snow this much and so long (almost all day) especially for this time of year. We thought we would take Starbucks and Beans out on our back patio and let them experience the snow… Good times in Nashville! Hope you all are having safe travels as you visit with family and loved... Read More

Part III | Decorating the Tree | Our Christmas Tree Can Beat Up Your Christmas Tree

Today we bring you part III in our Christmas posts … decorating our beast of a tree!! Welcome to DAY 2!! We picked the perfect day to decorate! … Snow falling outside… Eggnog coffee brewing… Fireplace roaring (as much as a gas fireplace can roar)… Christmas tunes playing… Does it get any better? 10 week old Beans had never experienced Christmas tree lights before… Our Christmas bulbs! Or as Zach calls them – ornaments… whatever :) Puh-tae-toe/puh-tot-toe… ;o) Hanging the first ornament! And the 2nd ornament! Ready to tackle the rest of the tree! Yes, we had to borrow a ladder (thanks Matt & Meg!!) to decorate near the top :) And what would our Christmas Tree Blog post be without a video of how we managed to decorate the top?? Oh this is good… talk about using our creative geniuses.. :) Enjoy! :) Make sure to check back for the big reveal!!!... Read More

Family & Friends… and climbing tree cats..

It’s Tuesday today! Our tip today is make sure that you are spending time with your family :) So get off the computer and spent time with your loved ones and enjoy this Christmas week! So we can’t leave you this Tuesday with no images…. In honor of our Christmas posts going up each day this week, we thought we would leave you with two images taken the morning after we put our tree up…. This is what we woke up to… Yes, as many of you asked, the tree was climbed by one of our cats…. the guilty culprit was Starbucks who had some sap stuck to her fur…. lol MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! See you tomorrow when we post how we were able to decorate this Christmas Tree Beast!!… Did we succeed or is the lower half only decorated?... Read More

Wedding Experience Workshop

REGISTRATION IS OPEN! Classroom Session + Wedding – SOLD OUT BOOK YOUR SEAT NOW Registration is officially opened and it is first come, first serve basis. For more details and information on this workshop and to register, visit the The Wedding Experience portion of our workshop website. The Wedding Experience Summary: In this two-day wedding workshop, called The Wedding Experience, attending photographers will gain insight into our approach to the client experience that we give our couples. This ranges from the first contact we have with potential brides, to the client meeting, through booking the couple and maintaining the relationship up until the wedding and even after. We will also cover the logistics of the wedding from scheduling, to marketing yourself at the actual event in a way brides LOVE, the sales sessions that we hold after the wedding, and so much more! AND THEN, after all of that goodness, we invite five photographers to come and photograph a real wedding the entire day right along side of us. Watch how we shoot, interact with our couple, and handle the day from start to finish. The Wedding Experience, is taking place January 7th and 8th, outside of Cleveland,... Read More

Part II: Our Christmas Tree Can Beat Up Your Cmas Tree | Getting the tree in the house…

Welcome to our week of Christmas goodness, DAY 1! On Friday you saw us picking our GINORMOUS Christmas tree… (if you missed it, watch it here! or scroll down to Friday’s post).. and today you shall see how we got the thing in our house… Enjoy.. :) Thanks to Eugene & Heather for their muscles, blood, sweat & tears in getting this bad boy up… :) he he he… Come back Wednesday to see how in the world we decorated the tree… ha... Read More

Friday Fun | Our Christmas Tree Can Beat Up Your Cmas Tree :) Part I

Have you ever stared into the eyes of a Christmas tree and been afraid? Has a tree ever given you goose bumps because its overwhelming size made you feel so inferior you thought you could not go on living? Has a tree ever been so big that it blocked out the sun and made you feel that your life was just a never ending void of darkness, a bottomless pit of despair? Well, ladies and gentlemen of the blog universe, our Christmas tree has done none of those things, but it sure is big! As many Americans know Christmas has nothing to do with good will towards men, giving, or any of that Jesus stuff, but has EVERYTHING to do with who has the biggest and baddest of things, and we here at the Gray residence decided to not only “keep up with the Jones'” as they say, but to utterly BLOW, THEM, AWAY!!!!!! Let us introduce you to Rockefeller Center’s biggest nightmare: The Beast! Of course, we are totally joking, but earlier this month thought to ourselves “man it would be fun to get a 150 pound tree, strap it to our car, drag it through our back door (with the help of two friends), set it up, have it fall over after our cat Star decided to climb it, set it BACK up again, then decorate it with 600 twinkle lights and 145 ornaments only to have it almost be Christmas by the time we are done and then have to do it all in reverse for tear down” Whew. We am tired just writing all this!... Read More

Starbucks Trip Adventures | San Francisco

We just got back from our latest trip and have been able to add another Starbucks city mug to our collection! For those of you who may be newer to our blog, we have begun to collect the city/state specific Starbucks mugs for each place that we go to, as a conversational piece in our home and just something fun to remember where our travels have taken us! ZACH San Fran was super fun and my absolute favorite part was when we got to go to Valencia Street and eat at Luna Park! The food was absolutely amazing and not only was it classy looking, but the taste was right on! We had a molten cake ice cream thingy for dessert and it literally melted in your mouth! San Fran = awesome food. JODY Up until this trip, I had never been to San Francisco. For me this trip wasn’t necessarily about the city, but the people. Granted, it would have been nice to have a little more time to visit the city, but we’ll do it again, I’m sure. My favorite part of the trip was meeting the people there. It is so great to spend a few days with people, some who have traveled far and wide, and get to know them, their stories, and make new friends. Thanks to all of you who came out and made us better people, teachers and photographers because of these last few days. Yay for San Francisco! (It was raining and a little chilly when we took this awesome iphone pic... Read More

A Country Music Hall of Fame Wedding | Brittaney & Jimmy Are Hitched!!!

We had the awesome pleasure of shooting Jimmy & Brittaney’s wedding this year and what a great day it was!! The theme of their wedding was the Enchanted Forest, and of course since the wedding was taking place in Nashville for this out of town couple, there was a country theme as well! Jimmy & Brittany got married at the Country Music Hall of Fame, which held personal meaning for them and Brittaney’s family, which was really sweet. We had a great day, with great weather, great people, and of course, great wedding vendors. Enjoy the images !! To view Brittaney & Jimmy’s wedding images for their online gallery, CLICK HERE to sign their virtual guestbook. Yes, friends. This cake has TEN layers! Jay from Maples Wedding Cakes killing it again! You have seen the photos, now watch their killer video by Nashville Wedding Videographers, 2Duce2! Vendors Who Made this Day Happen: Nashville Wedding Videographers: 2Duce2 Videography Venue: The Country Music Hall of Fame Lighting: Nashville Event Lighting Florist: Ilex Designs Hair/Makeup: Charity of Eye Candy Salon Cake: Maples Wedding Cakes DJ: Red Carpet Entertainment Live Band: Thom Shepherd and the Nashville Songwriters Band Getaway: Sugar Creek Carriages Photo Booth Nashville Programs and Signs: Hatch Show Print Ambassadors Formalwear by Gilda Planner: Ann... Read More

The Newest Addition To Our Family

Alright so there have been some rumors circulating about us being prego… We do have a new addition to our family, and no, this time it is not a lens, and it’s not a kid either :) Sorry! However, it is small and cute…. watch below! Yay! Beans has adjusted nicely to our little family. Starbucks wasn’t too thrilled with having him around at first, but she has warmed up. (Star is in front… little Beans squished in back :) We also have trained Beans pretty well… he knows what’s good for him!... 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

Happy Birthday Babe!! | Zach’s Birthday Top 10 List

It is December 13th and you know what that means? It’s Zach’s Birthday today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Aw, look at how cute he was as a wee little lad…) In honor of his birthday, I have created a Top Ten List. And now I bring to you….. Drumroll please… (drumrolls always make things so much more dramatic!)… The Top 10 Reasons Why My Life is Better Because of Zachariah Gray 10. I don’t have to kill any gross bugs 9. I get to eat the best grilled steaks made just for me 8. I have someone to share the latest chef show with 7. I am always up to speed and constantly being educated about the newest and latest fun gadgets to make photography & life easier 6. I never have to clean a toilet again in my life 5. The business that I am a part of today would never be what it is 4. I never have to go to things by myself 3. I have higher hairs standards to keep up with, thus challenging me to have good hair constantly ;) 2. I never have had to edit a photo in my life And the #1 reason why my life is better because of Zachariah Gray… 1. I have been accepted and fully loved – flaws and all. And that, my friends, is worth it right there. I’ll even clean toilets and kill bugs for this if I have to :) Thanks for making my life better, Babe! I love you! (image by the talented Mike Larson. For more Zach & Jody picture goodness, visit his blog here) Leave... Read More

Friday Fun | Our Sky Mall Christmas Lists

It’s Friday, and we have just gotten back from our travels, so you know what that means! It’s Friday Fun with Sky Mall! In honor of the Christmas season, we are going to be putting a twist on this Sky Mall blog post. Instead of showing how Sky Mall can make your business better ;o), we have challenged each other to find ONE thing out of Sky Mall to put on our Christmas list… ha ha ha. ZACH Delonghi Exlusivo Espresso/Coffee Maker I LOVE coffee and have unfortunately been through 4 different machines trying to get the right brew, only to find myself wanting with our current one. This machine though, is the mac of mac daddies and does exactly what I want which is make me a totally real, totally legit cup of espresso while doing all the hard manual work for me. It slices, it dices and it even makes Julian fries!! I want this baby bad and the price tag is to match! I’m talking pure awesomeness! $1,499.99 for a machine that will actually grind the beans for you on demand! We always say that you get what you pay for, so if anyone wants to be on my “I love you forever “ list, then order me one cup-o-joe please! JODY Normally, I’m pretty practical when it comes to the family asking me what I would like for Christmas. You know, I could use a book light, or we have been meaning to get a new spatula, and of course, who can’t use more socks come Christmas time! Ha ha. But if I had to... Read More

IN-CAMERA: Light Recap | San Francisco Photography Workshops

Monday was the second day of our IN-CAMERA photography workshop series in San Francisco, California and we had an amazing time! The second day is all about creating your own light on location via one studio strobe. The class attendees were awesome and we all had a blast shooting up a storm and getting some amazing images with our fab models! We had 15 shooters for the light workshop and 3 light rigs set up shooting around the city. It was super fun and we hope we get to come back here again sometime soon! Check out some of the shots below! A little behind-the-scenes from the shot above… the awesome Eddie working his mad assistant skillz. For the grand finale, we decided to do a shot we don’t normally do at these workshops. We set up a 3 light set up (in the most difficult terrain we could find) and did something way out of the box. Everyone got to see how this was set up and lit and we all took some awesome shots! Here is the whole team that came out! We miss you guys already!! Thanks to our assistants for the day, Chloe Jackman and Eddie Marroquin, and to Lindsey Freitas for being our 3rd lighting expert... Read More

IN-CAMERA: Shooting & Post Recap | San Francisco Photography Workshops!

We arrived here in San Francisco Saturday afternoon and dove right into our first day of workshops! It is always so fun meeting new people, and of course, walking away with new friendships. Today we had people here not only from the great state of California, but from, Kansas, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and even Hawaii…. and we can’t forget our killer assistant this week – Eddie Marroquin – who flew in from New Orleans, LA. We are super blessed to be using the studio of Joy and Jules Bianchi and it is such a fun space!! We used it for the class time in the morning. Anyway, day 1 went great even with all the rain. Yup, we said rain. And it didn’t just drizzle… it POURED!!! We fly to California to get away from the lousy weather in Nashville and it rains our first full day here. Lol. Nevertheless, the shoot time still went really great – our models were fantastic sports and the attendees rocked out their shooting!!! You should see the images these guys and gals were getting. It just goes to show that even if you have bad weather, or a gloomy and dreary day, you can still rock out the photography! Enjoy a few of the images from the day! First starting out. Us rehashing again, what we learned in the class time and actually demonstrating it now…. rain free! The resulting image! …AND the rain began and didn’t let up, but it’s the same with weddings. People aren’t going to change their wedding day due to rain, so you need to know how... Read More

Reception Lighting, Part I

It’s Tuesday!! Time to share some more goodness! Some of the biggest challenges in shooting a wedding is the dreaded RECEPTION! With low lit reception halls, or outdoor receptions with no walls or ceilings to bounce light off of, lighting can most definitely be not for the faint at heart… Today, we are going to tackle one part of reception lighting – how we shoot the details and get fantastic shots consistently and with some style. Pull up a chair, sit back and relax and watch us tackle Part I of Tuesday Tips & Tricks | Reception Lighting. Gear we referenced: 42″ 6-in-1 Reflector Kit Pocket Wizard Transceiver Westcott Lightweight Stand Westcott Adjustable Shoe Mount Canon 580EX Speedlights Micro Apollo 8″ **Make sure to come back next week for Part II, and don’t forget that once a month we are releasing exclusive Tuesday Tips & Tricks via our newsletter! Make sure you are subscribed to our photographer... Read More

A Gray Photography Team Wedding by Kristine! | Lukas & Mary are hitched!

We have another team wedding to share with you!! Kristine shot the wedding of sweet Lukas & Mary, and we are excited to share it with you below! Here are a few words from Kristine on the wedding day: What a lovely Fall wedding of such an adorable couple. Laid back and so in love, Lukas and Mary were a delight to spend the day with. From getting ready in a former county jail (I mean, how fun is that?!) to a sweet and emotional first look, all the way to fun with friends and family on the dance floor – Lukas and Mary had the kind of day that every couple dreams about. One that tells the story with all of the characters that make their love so special and unique. I felt welcomed into that story the day I shared with them shooting their engagement session awhile back and the wedding itself was just an extension of that feeling. I’m so grateful to Lukas and Mary and to their families for allowing me to help tell the story of a wonderful day! Blessings to the two of you for a lifetime of love to come :) -Kristine To view Lukas & Mary’s images once they become available online, CLICK HERE to sign their virtual guestbook. Enjoy the images! Congratulations Lukas &... Read More

(Part II) Exciting News! A Real Wedding Workshop with us in January!

You have seen us on video shooting a wedding (thanks to PhotoVision) but for the first time we are opening up a real wedding of ours for other photographers to take part in! In this two-day wedding workshop, called The Wedding Experience, five photographers will gain insight into our approach to the client experience that we give our couples. This ranges from the first contact we have with potential brides, to the client meeting, through booking the couple and maintaining the relationship up until the wedding and even after. We will also cover the logistics of the wedding from scheduling, to marketing yourself at the actual event in a way brides LOVE, the sales sessions that we hold after the wedding, and so much more! AND THEN, after all of that goodness, we invite you to come and photograph a real wedding the entire day right along side of us. Watch how we shoot, interact with our couple, and handle the day from start to finish. The Wedding Experience, is taking place January 7th and 8th, outside of Cleveland, OH. Registration Options: #1. Classroom Session + Wedding (only five seats) #2. Classroom Session Only: Can’t make the wedding day? Just come on out to the classroom time (only 10 seats). For more details and information on this workshop and to register, visit the The Wedding Experience portion of our workshop website. Registration is officially opened and it is first come, first serve... Read More

(Part I) Exciting News! We are London Bound | Speaking & Workshops

We have TWO exciting announcements to make today! The first being now, and the second being at NOON (Central) here on the blog. We are SUPER excited to announce (drum-roll please) that in January we are headed out to speak in London, England at SWPP (Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers), AND after that, we will be hosting portions of our IN-CAMERA workshops in the Netherlands! SWPP is the WPPI of Europe and in addition to speaking we will be doing multiple events with the team at Showit on the tradeshow floor. We are honored for this opportunity and look forward to meeting you all out there!! Our IN-CAMERA workshops will be held in the Netherlands January 18th, & 19th, and we will also be holding one-on-one mentoring sessions! Registration has officially opened and as of 8am this morning, seven seats have sold already – Do not wait! REGISTER YOUR SEAT FOR THE NETHERLANDS HERE. **At noon, we will announce the other winter/spring workshops that we have in place as well as a special event on January 7th & 8th, that registration will open for with only FIVE seats... Read More

A California Mountain Wedding | Will and Brandi are Hitched!!!

We are sooooooooooooo excited to bring you the California wedding of Will & Brandi! Brandi is a fellow photographer (you can visit her site here) and it’s always an honor when photographers choose us to shoot their wedding day! Will and Brandi’s wedding took place in the mountains at Pine Rose and was a chilly, foggy day which gave the wedding a totally cool vibe and feel. We loved loved loved the style and all the little details put into the day. To view Will & Brandi’s images once they become available online, CLICK HERE to sign their virtual guestbook. Enjoy the images!!! Aren’t these shoes awesome? We loved the bouquets, especially Brandi’s with the vibrant fall colors! Will and his guys totally rocked it. We loved all the blue and their boutonnieres were really unique and cool. W Will and Brandi chose to see each other before the ceremony. We spotted this dirt road right behind the ceremony site that had really great light and was away from the stream, pond, and rocks where we took the guy/girl photos earlier. Because we were so high up in the mountains (about 5,000 ft) we had this awesome fog moving in and out throughout the day (it was freezing outside though!! :). We went back to our dirt road with Will and Brandi, and got these smokey, surreal images of them. Love it!! Me grabbing a shot of Zach shooting… aw yeah. What a stud. :) As favors, Will and Brandi had different colored blankets for the guests. It was so cute (and they were needed :). Granny panties!!!!!!!!!!! This... Read More

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

IN-CAMERA Photography Workshops | Coming to San Francisco!

  Registration is open for the IN-CAMERA San Francisco Workshops coming December! For more information CLICK HERE to visit our workshop website. SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Registration is now Live! IN-CAMERA: Shooting & Post (Sun, Dec 5th) IN-CAMERA: Light 1 (Mon, Dec 6th) BUSINESS & MARKETING: Executing the Dream (Tues, Dec 7th) ALL WORKSHOP ATTENDEES WILL RECEIVE: 50% off their first Image Capsule album One year subscription discount to PhotoVision’s DVD teaching series save $20 on their mobile website by iFolios Save 30% off next pixel2canvas order 30% off your next Pixel2Canvas order MULTIPLE DRAWINGS WILL BE HELD FOR: One free year’s subscription to Album Exposure Free Expo Disc by Expo Imaging A Free Mobile Website by iFolios One Free year subscription to Showit Five Free years subscription to Showit Free video from PhotoVision 16×20 Gallery Wrapped Canvas by Pixel2Canvas 11×14 Aluminum Panel with Ice Block Stand by Pixel2Canvas IN-CAMERA: Shooting & Post Behind-the-Scenes Video Videos by the fab 2Duce2. If this is inspiring you to attend the IN-CAMERA Light workshop, we have reopened the Sold Out Nashville class to one more group. Only four seats are left! There is still space in the San Francisco workshop class. For detailed class descriptions as well as dates and pricing, visit the IN-CAMERA workshop... Read More