Nashville IN-CAMERA Light Recap | October 2012

The final Nashville IN-CAMERA: Light workshop is over and we are glad about how awesome the day was, but sad that it is over! :( We had an amazing time with our attendees and can’t wait to reveal what we are going to do next! Stay tuned! For now, check out the images and some behind the scenes from the day! We started off shooting in the worst lighting conditions there are. Direct sun in the face! We overpowered it with the flash and got the below image. In this before and after you can see the flash shot to the left, and the natural light to the right and what a difference it makes having great, soft lighting. Check our advanced off-camera lighting section of the learn page to see how we created this shot!  Here is the crew! Thanks guys for coming out and rockin some off-camera lighting with us! If your interested in attending one of the last few in-camera workshops that we are ever going to hold and learn how to shoot like this (Kansas City & Orlando are remaining), we still have a FEW seats available! Use the code “YAYimGOING” to get $150 off any seat! Put your code in HERE!... Read More

Going After Your Dreams | Business Book Review

We want to highlight one of the latest business books that we recently finished (thanks to the #15minutechallenge – join us in this!) and how you can take that and apply it to your photography brand right now.  Today we want to feature  The Go-Getter by Peter B. Kyne.   Excerpt from the back cover: ‘Do you want to be the one who lands the job? Who gets the promotion? Whose dream becomes a reality? STOP WANTING. START WINNING Dave Ramsey says, “No Matter how many times they fall or fail, go-getters get back up and keep moving towards their goals” No wonder Dave gives this book to every person on his team!’ This book was a quick read and quite a few different lessons are in this story. The one I want to highlight today is NEVER GIVE UP! One of the characters in this short story is given a task and he runs into every possible obstacle possible. What’s amazing about what he does is he doesn’t stop. He doesn’t abandon his task. Because of that he WINS! His dreams and goals are accomplished! How many times do you feel like giving up? How many times has someone told you that your dreams are impossible? How many times have you gotten the door shut in your face? How many times has someone told you, “Your prices are too high. You’re not worth it.”? How many times __________________ (you fill in the blank)… There are stories after stories of musicians, restaurateurs, businessmen & women, politians that faced all obstacles and never gave up. “Being a go-getting means, at... 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

The #15MinuteChallenge that could change your life

Zach and I have started something new, and we want to encourage you all to partake in the challenge with us! We all know it’s important to be growing and learning (the average millionaire reads one business book a month!), but it’s easy to let time get away from us. Zach and I are challenging ourselves with the “15 minutes challenge!” Every morning after breakfast and after spending time in the Word (the best business book out there), we are committed to spending 15 minutes reading a business book. By having a specified and defined goal (15 minutes every week day), we all will be taking baby steps to get some more awesome business knowledge in us so we can continue to grow our minds so we stay at the cutting edge of whats happening in the biz world. It’s amazing the new ideas that spark and fire us up as we dedicate a few minutes each day to learning and then discussing afterwords! Who wants to join us in this? Not sure where to start? Check out some of our top reads on Amazon and why we recommend them! **As you are reading great awesomeness each morning, Instagram/Twitter something that struck you with the hashtag #15MinuteChallenge so we can all be learning from each other! Now get to... Read More

Cows Never Win

80% of what we do day in and day out to become successful is business – and with 20% of our time we get to create art (shooting, editing etc). So this week, and a few time a month our business posts are dedicated to this all important area of our photog biz!   Today’s tip is entitled, “Don’t be a cow.” Cows love the status quo, they love chewing their cud and keeping their heads down. They have no idea when they walk into the slaughter house what’s about to happen to them. That is the opposite of what you need to do to be a success in anything in life, including your photography business. The alternative is to become a Rhino. Scott Alexander, in his book Rhinoceros Success, calls Rhino’s “large, focused, 6,000 pound charging machines that stop at nothing to get what they want!” They don’t stand for the status quo, they live in the wild and live free unlike their cow counterparts. So why do Rhino’s succeed and cows just get by? Because they are driven.   The Challenge So our challenge today is, where is your drive? What is your focus? Where are you going? Do you even know? If you don’t feel driven, don’t have direction and don’t know where you are going, here are three areas you can work on that could change that for you starting right now!   We become the product of three things: the people we associate with, the books we read, and the media we listen to. (Tweet this out HERE!)    Want to become a Rhino (someone... Read More

Happy 1 Year Anniversary Sunny and Neeva!

It was one year ago today that we were outside of the DC area shooting the wedding of Sunny & Neeva! Congratulations, you two, on your one year anniversary!! It was a joy to b able to capture the memories of your special day. What a fun and memorable wedding to shoot! Cheers to many more years! Click here to see Sunny and Neva’s wedding day blog! Sunny & Neeva are wedding photographers! Click Here to visit their site and to leave some anniversary love on their... Read More

Dramatic Studio Lighting | Burst Shoot

A few months back we had the privilege to shoot a commercial gig for that happens to be owned by our dear friends Nathan and Jenni Oates. These guys were amazing to work with and we all had a blast on the shoot! The images are for their new promo material and for their 4 DVD set. The images needed to be very slick and styled, so we had to change up our shooting style to get the job done!   This shoot was a lot different then what we normally do for wedding images where our brides want that soft, pretty light that makes their skin look painted on. This shoot needed much more of an edge to it with the lighting, but also keeping some of that Zach and Jody style with the soft buttery look. So the first thing we did to achieve that look was to not use our typical 24×32 Wesctott soft-box that we use on all of our lit wedding portraits, and opted instead to use a 22 inch silver beauty dish from Paul C. Buff.   The real benefit and difference between using a soft-box (which is basically like having a big soft window), is with a beauty dish, you still get that soft buttery light when it is used in close, but you have much more dramatic shadows and highlights. Because of the design, it shoots out a narrow, 45 degree beam of light that allows the light to be shaped and placed much more specifically then with a soft-box. The cool thing about the silver vs buying a white... Read More

Orange County Workshops are Complete! | Re-cap | October 2012

Our Orange County Shooting and Post and Light workshops are over and Nashville is about to begin this coming weekend! We had an amazing time with our students there that traveled from all over to come and hang with us! We had students from the OC, Canada, and even Alaska come out to join us!   We started the days off talking through the techniques that we use to get our entire wedding workflow (downloading, culling, editing, building, proofing and ordering the album and uploading everything online) to just around 4 hours total. Then, we headed outside at the worst possible time to shoot to put it all into practice. Check out some of the images from the day below! (Most of the behind the scenes images taken on iPhone 5)   Here we are in this ugly little parking lot, and we are demonstrating how even the most unlikely locations can make for a great image. Just frame what looks great, and leave everything else out, then add some nice light and your in business! One of the attendees had this really cool Corvette, but it was not in the best location with the best light, So we added some of our own, cropped in to where it eliminated distractions, and we got a sweet image! Here is another example of how you can get cool shots in unlikely locations. We are always watching for good light, and textured backgrounds. As you can see in this behind the scenes image of the above shot, we found this nice textured fence which had some nice light bouncing in from... Read More

Glamour Lighting How-To

Lighting styles are the direction you choose to have your light hitting your client to create different styling, or looks on them. You can make a client look 30 pounds lighter (or heavier) just by your choice and direction of your lighting. These styles work with natural light, and with flash, but we are going to focus in on the flash side with this post. But do remember, you can simply replace “soft-box” with sun, reflector or any other light source you encounter.   Mastering the effect of some of the basic lighting styles will not only add some new tools to your photography tool belt, but will also give you much more confidence when you encounter a client that can seem more difficult to photograph. Some clients have round faces, or features that they want minimized, and it is our job as pro’s to help make our clients look their absolute best! So in this series, we are going to show you how to handle tricky situations, bring out the best features of your clients, and take ALL of the guesswork out of it.   When we are headed out to a session (either a wedding or an engagement shoot), one of things that we are thinking about is our “client lighting profile.” Meaning, what type of lighting is going to look great on my client and flatter them, and what type of lighting is going to highlight features that they are not stoked about? You can even go as far as to make some personal notes of lighting that you should, and should not use on that... 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