Your Personality is More Important than Your Camera

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Do you wonder sometimes how other photographers’ clients look happy and beautiful at the same time? Are you sick of deciphering technical photography jargon? In the next five minutes, I’ll teach you how to make your personality your strongest tool. Don’t think you have what it takes? Trust me, you do.

I. Surprise your clients by redefining the process

Many people would argue that having their picture taken sucks. It’s awkward and you have to get all dolled up for no reason. Well, this is a challenge I love taking on every time I pick up my camera. Use the following tips to redefine what it means for your clients to have their pictures taken.

1. Make sure your gear is more compact and less intrusive. 2. Your personality rocks, so use it. 3. Keep things lighthearted and moving quickly. 4. Have an assistant help direct people.

II. Comfortable means profitable

Photographing people is inherently intimate. Whether you’re …

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Creativity Under Pressure: How to Shoot More (Creative) Wedding Details

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As a wedding photographer, your job is to create amazing images of all the wedding details. However, it seems like there’s a conspiracy again shooting these images – the cake is delivered late, the centerpieces and bouquets haven’t arrived! Delays drastically shrink your time to capture the amazing details. Suddenly, sixty minutes of scheduled shooting time turns into six minutes. How do you overcome this challenge and still deliver creative images?

My unique solution is to have a formula that allows me (and my team) to systematically shoot all the details quickly and efficiently, while still keeping our creativity high. These formulas keep our detail images consistent and creative. I believe creativity is not only about WHAT you’re shooting, it’s also about changing your perspective and composition while you’re shooting. Our goal as creative wedding photographers is to show the unique way that we viewed the event.

Here are my “Foskett Formulas:”

(Above …

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11 Tips to Bridging the Gap between Photographers and Wedding Coordinators

Debra Gulbas Photography

As a wedding photographer, some of the most important relationships you can build are with wedding coordinators. If you are just getting started in the wedding world, these tips are a fantastic way to make a great impression on wedding coordinators. If you have been in the wedding industry for awhile, these tips will help you strengthen your relationship with wedding coordinators. This will also help your shoots go much more smoothly!

I recently sat down with two successful wedding coordinators in Austin, Texas, to discuss the relationships between coordinators and photographers. Thank you to Rosa Gibson, of Austin Wedding Planners by Rosa, and Amy Mader, of Amy’s Platinum Weddings Coordinating and Consulting Firm for their help and advice.

1. Send a Welcome Email

Ask your client if they have a wedding coordinator at the initial consultation. Once the client books with you, email the coordinator to tell them you’re excited to work …

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Case Study: Why ShootQ Makes Sense for Anne Almasy

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Photo: Anne Almasy

Anne’s search for a solution that would streamline her growing photography business led her to ShootQ. Because of ShootQ, Anne has been able to set up a faster booking process, better contract management, and streamlined business operations.

In this case study we’ll explore:

• Why early investments in your business do make a difference. • How keeping track of your business in one place, with access from anywhere, streamlines operations. • Why it’s important to find the best solution to manage a thriving photography business. • How to quantify the savings ShootQ provides.

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Why Every Photographer Should Lose “Weight”

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If you do wedding photography year after year, the physical labor takes a toll on your body. Photographers often carry multiple camera bodies, along with multiple lenses, flashes/studio lights, tripod/monopods and other accessories. Wedding after wedding, we’re carrying fifity to sixty pounds of equipment – plus we’re on our feet all day long!

I remember carrying all my gear and hiking half a mile to a mountain-top ceremony in Muir Beach. It was exhausting, and I knew I couldn’t carry on like this for years. So, for the past few years, I’ve focused on shedding equipment weight and improving efficiency, while delivering the same quality (or better) results.

Here’s what my toolbox looked like in 2010:

Bodies: Nikon D3, 2 Nikon D700, D300, D90

Lenses: 24-70, 70-200, 17-35, 35, 50, 85, 105 Macro, 18-55, 19-35

Flashes: 3 SB-900, SB-800 and SB-600

Accessories: Tripods, monopods and other accessories

As you can see, I had overlapping lenses and camera …

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A Simple Wedding Workflow Checklist

A Simple Wedding Workflow Checklist for Professional Photographers

You’ve just finished shooting an amazing ten hour wedding. Two cameras, perhaps even a second shooter. Total clicks are in the range of 3k-5k. Even though you’re on such a high, in the back of your mind you’re thinking, “ugh this is going to be such a long edit!”

Monday morning comes around and you start culling, but then your inbox starts filling up, Facebook is calling your name, and the dog is barking at you. What do you do?

As professional photographers, we’ve all been in this situation before. You need help. That’s exactly why I created this wedding workflow checklist. Feel free to use any or all of it to help you stay streamlined.

1. Download cards – 1 hour I personally don’t cull as I download, although I know a few photographers who do. Once downloaded, I point Aperture to the images on my computer, as this leads to the fastest workflow.

2. First-Round …

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Tips for Making the Most of Rainy Day Weddings

How Wedding Photographers Can Take Advantage of Rainy Days

While we all dream of gorgeous warm summer evenings and couples wrapped in golden hour light, sometimes Mother Nature has other plans.  As a wedding photographer working throughout Maine and New England, I’ve seen my share of challenging weather conditions, including shooting three beautiful hurricane weddings.

Some of my favorite images have come out of the dreariest and stormiest wedding days. I truly believe the limitations of rain push the edges of personal creativity. Rain can be challenging, but it can also take your photography to greater heights and bring incomparable emotional depth to your image making.

When rain starts to fall, something magical happens: the typical wedding day stress melts like an exhaling of expectations. Everyone moves into a more relaxed state and into the present moment. This can translate directly into your images. It’s no longer about being perfect or ideal.

The conversation shifts and sounds like this…”let’s make …

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Six Simple Tips for Creating Dynamic Ring Shots

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One of my favorite parts of shooting weddings is capturing details. Couples customize their wedding to reflect their personalities, so it’s important to capture these intricacies that say so much about them. Combining those personal details with the couples’ wedding rings is crucial to creating dynamic ring shots.

What you’ll need: a macro lens, rings, something from the wedding, off camera flash (with a modifier and light stand) or a video light. The number one mistake photographers make with ring shots is NOT using a macro lens. If you don’t have one, rent it!

Here are six simple tips for creating dynamic ring shots:

1.  Wait until all the “major stuff” is over – the first dance, cake cutting, bouquet toss, etc. It might take time to get the shot you’re looking for, and you don’t want to sprint across the venue to get back to something important (cake cutting, for example), only to …

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How to Get the Most out of Getting Ready pictures

Tips for Great Getting Ready Wedding Photography Images

When I started photographing weddings, I wondered how those famous photographers got gorgeous pictures of their clients getting ready on their wedding day. The shots seemed so “in the moment,” but also beautifully lit. When I walked into a hotel room, church basement or (gasp!) grandma’s living room, I wasn’t achieving the same results. Was it the location? Or the subjects? Sometimes.

However, there were often a few little steps I could take to get similar results.

Here’s How to Get the Most out of Getting Ready pictures:

1. Show up early. Standard start time for us is about one hour before the bride is in her dress/groom is in his suit. “Start time” is when we tell clients we’ll arrive. We actually show up 30 minutes prior to start time to park and do a bit of scouting before we walk into the room. Then with any extra minutes, we get …

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Tips for Booking and Rocking Same-Sex Wedding Shoots

© 2012 Cindy M Brown

© 2012 Cindy M Brown

Documenting the story of a same-sex wedding is really not that different from documenting the story of any wedding, at least from the perspective of a wedding photojournalist. In both, a photojournalist’s job is to capture the personalities, the emotions, the moments, the context and the details that work together to give viewers a sense of the love shared by the couple, their family and friends on that one special day.

© 2012 Sharon McMahon

So, how do I go about booking same-sex weddings?

1)  Seek this business only if you are truly supportive. If you have any reservations about the right of gays and lesbians to make meaningful, legal and sacred commitments to each other, that uncertainty will likely show when you meet with couples.

2) Make it clear on your website that you’re open to photographing same-sex unions. Show photos of same-sex couples if you have …

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