A Wedding Photographer Reviews the Leica Monochrom by Chris Williams

“Be quick, but don’t hurry.” – John Wooden, former UCLA basketball coach

I love this quote and I think it fits perfectly with photography.

I started out with Rangefinders in wedding photography. Partly because those are the tools I had but also because I loved the intimacy I could achieve with a Leica due to it’s small size.

I’ll probably get some flack for this from film lovers (hey, I’m one too) but with their new Monochrom  - black and white 18mp digital Rangefinder, Leica has put the “Tri-X” back into digital photography. Perhaps they’ve even put the tried-and-true love of black-and-white back into wedding photography.

I think there’s a different thought process with black-and-white photography versus color photography. With the Monochrom, I don’t have the mindset, “I’ll just convert to black-and-white during post processing,” which can sometimes be lazy. I find myself taking time to think about the image before creating it, just …

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The Pro Photographer’s Guide to WPPI by Jason Aten

Headed to WPPI this week and next? Like 15,000 wedding and portrait photographers, you are headed to one of the biggest gatherings of people from our industry, that you’re ever likely to encounter. Whether you’ve been a dozen times, or are headed out for your first time, the entire experience can be a bit overwhelming (to say the least). Between the platform classes, master classes, impromptu classes, shooting experiences, mentoring, and of course – the parties – there’s a lot happening. Want to come back in one piece?

Here are my WPPI Survival Tips:

1. Don’t try to do everything. You’ll hear this a lot from many people who have been there, but seriously – DON’T try to see everything. You can’t. It’s too big, and you’ll end up robbing yourself of the benefit of what you DO take in. Be picky about where you spend your time. You’ll get the most …

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Shooting for Story: How to Make Your Portrait Sessions Tell a Complete Story by Katie Botel

I love shooting for, designing and selling albums to my family portrait clients (and then visiting their homes and seeing them proudly displayed on their coffee tables.)  In my third year in business, over half of my clients opted for an album and many ordered “bundles” – multiple copies to gift relatives and/or leave at the office – and I anticipate those numbers growing.

I’ve been told that what made my albums such a hit is that they tell a story. As a former television writer, my scripts had a clear structure, bookended by “Fade In” and “Fade Out.” When I transitioned into portrait photography and found myself producing album after album, I realized that I needed to shoot like I wrote, and approach each session like a day on a television set to ensure that a clear, beautiful and loving story would be told.

I constantly hear from clients how much their …

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What ONE THING Would You Change? by Katelyn James

Now that 2012 has come to a close, hopefully you had some much needed  reflection and R&R and are ready to dive headfirst into 2013. When you think about your successes and mistakes over the past year, are there things you wish you’d done differently? Probably. But that’s the beauty of a new year – it’s a fresh start!

To get you started, we asked YOU to share ONE THING you’ll do differently in 2013. Every week, we’ll be spotlighting one photographer and the ONE THING that they’re doing differently this coming year.

What will you change? Here’s what wedding photographer Katelyn James said:

 

About Katelyn James Katelyn James is a Wedding Photographer & Blogger based out of Richmond, VA. She started her business as a sophomore in college and has been shooting for over 4 years. She’s married to her high school sweetheart and is slightly obsessed with their new puppy, Bokeh. Yes, …

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6 Ways to Affect SEO: Part 1 by Joel & Amber

Photo by Flickr User SuperBoreen

For many of us, getting viewers to our site from a search engine is one of the best ways of finding new clients. Here are six ways that you can affect the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of your site in order to get a little bit closer to that coveted first page on a Google search.

But before we start, let me make a note about keywords. There is much talk about keywording, but in simple terms, this is all you need to know: what searches do you want to be at the top of?

In other words, what will people be looking for when your site shows up at the top?

For example, Amber and I want to be at the top of a Google search when people search for “Huntsville Wedding Photographers.” So those are our three main keywords; Huntsville, Wedding, Photographers. I don’t want to show …

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How to Make One Kid’s Year by Just Taking a Picture by Jeff Inglis

Jane Goodrich has a simple question: “Can I actually make one kid’s year just by taking a picture?”

Turns out she can – and you can help too, by supporting her work and sick children who need us.

Jane loves photographing children so much, she’s made a career of it. She specializes in portraiture of newborns and children. And as an identical twin herself, she particularly enjoys making images of twins. (Turns out parents of twins are often reluctant to have a photo session, fearing it’ll be twice as crazy as regular studio appointments; Jane makes house calls to help simplify things for families.)

Lately, though, she’s engaged in a project that has become almost as dear to her heart as her DNA-matching sister.

Jane had known for years that her grandmother (and namesake) died of lymphoma in the 1950s. (It’s a type of blood cancer.) In the late 1990s, the daughter of a …

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How Photographers Can Take Their Sites from Functional to Unforgettable by Spencer Lum

The problem with most websites isn’t that they don’t look good. It’s that they don’t work well. Sure, you can see the portfolio, you can find the information – that’s all there. But being professional and fulfilling the basic functions of a site are the worst standards imaginable. These things should be the bare minimum a site needs to work, not the measure of success. The real question is how photographers can take their sites from functional to unforgettable. The most important question is, “How well you are connecting with your potential clients.

When it comes down to it, if you’re going to run a business, you’ve gotta do the legwork. Period. It’s all about going beyond where others have gone. In a competitive marketplace, where everyone is gunning for the same, good enough isn’t going to be good enough. Mind you, that’s not to say you have to blow through …

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Meeting Client Expectations You Didn’t Know Existed: Part 1 by Peter Carlson

Most small businesses realize the importance of meeting and exceeding client expectations. But when we strive to do this, it’s based on the expectation that we, as a business, have established. 

How do you react to clients who have expectations that you weren’t aware of, or expectations that seem unreasonable? Where do clients get these expectations?

In my experience, these types of client expectations come from four sources:

The market norm The client’s first exposure to the type of product or service you offer Confusion caused by your business’ complicated structures Poor communication between you and the client During my next series of blog posts, I will share these sources with you, show you how to contend with unknown expectations, and outline how you can stop perceiving your clients as difficult, irrational, or crazy. Win-win! Today, we start with the first source of potential client confusion – the market norm.

Part 1: Contending with the Market Norm:

When enough …

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Big Lights: One Solution to a Midday Wedding by Doug Levy

It’s the middle of the summer, you get your questionnaire back from your couple and it reads, “Ceremony 11:30-12, cocktail hour and group photos of our 16-person bridal party from 12-1.” Panic. Or at least that’s how I felt when I first saw this message a few years ago. Then, I started praying for clouds and shade.

Obviously, clouds and shade would make this an easier task, opening up infinite possibilities. Obviously the weather gods don’t always cooperate though, and as professionals we must be prepared to deal with the light we’re given. The excuse, “It was too sunny, that’s why your photos are ugly,” doesn’t make sense to non-photographer clients. And it’s just unacceptable.

This summer, though, when confronted with this exact situation, I had a solution. Big lights. Lots of power.

Let me preface this next paragraph with the following – this is what works for me, and it’s a look my clients …

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Wedding Day Problems: How to Troubleshoot Them! by Debra Kapustin

When I started second shooting at weddings, one thing became incredibly apparent. The well thought-out, fine-tuned, photography timeline often went south. The shooting environments, which could have been ideal, were often impossible to utilize for a variety of reasons. And I discovered that detailed consultations with the bride prior to the wedding were often not enough. Although my mentor handled these situations with grace and professionalism, I vowed to address these problems with my brides before their wedding day and develop a plan of action in case it not only went south, but blew out the window with hurricane force.

1. The Hotel Suite: I Can’t Find the Bed

Have you ever walked into a bridal suite to find beds covered in clothing, suitcases, shoes, you name it? The chairs, tables, and other furniture are also adorned with everything from cell phones to keys? I let my bride know that we often …

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