Beautiful wedding photography for Lovers

Inspiration inside Scoop

I found Christina Greve of Divas and Dreams via Chic Critique forum. As a photographer I find it fascinating to read about what other photographers have to share. Christine is a portrait photographer and make the most beautiful images. Her mantra is it is not the camera who makes the image but the person behind it. No bag full of gear to prove that she is professional but the bare minimum. I like that and I love to share the magazine that she created.

Here you can read the first volume of Inside Scoop. Have fun.


The backup

Category: Photographers

Storage seems to get cheaper and cheaper every month. A terra-bite would cost thousands of euro's a couple of years ago, now you can purchase 1TB for less then 100 euro on a disc that is hardly larger then a credit card. But with the large files that come out of a camera and need to be stored, the available space sometimes seems to evaporate.

I like to have multiple instances of my images and store them in different location. So I now purchased the ultimate storage for my backup. It is the G-drive from G-Technology which is power by Hitachi. It looks and feels like a complements the Apple family perfectly. It is completely recyclable and all aluminum. I am amazed by the speed of the Firewire connection. So I am looking forward to storing many images on it.

See for yourself doesn't it look cute.

In Camera Lighting Workshop: Zach & Jody Gray part II

So here a more detailed recap of the In Camera Lighting workshop that was organised by Anouschka and her husband Ray. They managed to set this whole workshop up in less than two months from initial contact with Zach and Jody to making sure nobody was hungry or thirsty during the workshop. They took care of everything.

We started with the theory behind lighting, different lighting styles, lighting the scene and artificial lighting. Then on to studio strobes, metering and posing tips. We learned all about how to use a light meter and how we can make sure no photograph is waisted (this is really true no photograph waisted!). We then got to the hands on part as the models Stephanie and Angela came to the workshop.

The group was divided into two smaller groups which gave everybody the chance to set up a scene and shoot it and to see all the other attendees set up a scene to learn how to do again and again to make sure it sticks.

When we were en route the temperature was not that bad but as the afternoon went on the temperature seems to drop a couple of degrees. We went from the square near the workshop location to the Binnenhof and as we had big (I mean really big) soft boxes we were also an attraction to all the tourists in the Binnenhof.

So here a number of behind the scenes and result photographs! Never thought I could pull off images like these, showing you how fabulous this workshop has been.

Every one got the chance to set up a location

The softboxes were about to fly away they were that big but look at that light!

These were taken around 15.00 in the afternoon but the drama was created by the light (85mm, F4.5, 1/200, iso100)

Zach was very connected with the Dutch ground. Taking amazing images from this position.

One of my favorites

The amazing red mega heels of Angela.

Shot with my 85mm.

Angela forgot her coat and she was so cold but still managed to look amazing.

All of the images were edited using Zach Lightroom routine and I managed to edit them all (144 images) in less than 10 minutes! Whew what a huge time saver this will become.

In Camera Business & Marketing workshop: Zach & Jody

Here we are for day two of the In Camera workshop of Zach and Jody. Today we have focused on Business & Marketing. Yesterday flew by. What a day, packed with information and hands-on training and ended with a nice dinner with all the attendees and Zach and Jody. Even during dinner they could not stop giving us all sorts of tips and tricks and we got the chance to talk with other photographers.

During the Business & Marketing workshop the group was extended to 14. Zack and Jody let it all out. In a fully loaded 5 hour workshop they shared everything from how they started their business, first contact with their clients, how they use marketing, the various media, to pricing and explaning the Zach and Jody experience.

There was so much information that my head was buzzzzzing all through the afternoon but they gave us so much to work with and we will be implementing a lot of it during the coming week, months, years. Off course we could not leave with a fan photo and they were so nice to take one with us. Yay!

We have said it so many times during the day but Zach & Jody we had two great days and thank you, thank you, thank you! You guys rock!

If you ever get the chance to attend any of their workshops, take it and you will not be disappointed!

In Camera Lighting Workshop: Zach & Jody Gray

A short blog post today and I will have a more extended blog post on this topic soon because there is so much to tell! First of all how awsome Zach & Jody are in person and as photographers. I was looking forward to their workshop ever since we registered for it and it has not dissappointed in any way.

We started indoors with introductions and the story of Zach and Jody and then a lot of info on Lighting. We started with a lot of rain and fortunately the weather became dry and the sun came out just a bit and so we could get out and shoot. And shooting is what we did in the heart of The Hague in the Binnenhof. Hands on.

Here a behind the scene's of the first shooting location.

Tilt shift Effect

In photography you should keep post processing to a minimum as much as possible. I agree totally, it is so much easier than fixing it in Photoshop later. But I also like to play around with Photoshop and to try new things, see here a dilemma. No not really, starting point is alway that I try to capture the best image in camera but if I can enhance it with post processing I definitely will do it. What I like about Photoshop is that it can simulate all sorts of effects. For example tilt shift.

Tilt shift is often used to photograph buildings, landscapes but also to create miniture scenes from real life situations as the tilt shift lens allows for selective focus of the photograph. But tilt shift is also used a lot in wedding and portrait photography. As tilt shift adds foreground blur it draws in the focus of the viewer to the subject.

When you do not own a tilt shift lens and wonder what it would look like in your photographs there is an easy option to create tilt shift in Photoshop. The result of this CS feature is amazing. This is how you can create this effect.

Select a photograph and create a new layer with ctrl J or command J. Then select the quickmask tool.

Select the gradient tool and draw a line across the photograph where you want the blur to start. I use the lineair gradient option but the reflected gradient is also used a lot.

When you release the selection the part that should remain sharp now has become red.

Click the quick mask button again.

The red is gone and a selection remains. Now select Filter>Blur>Lens blur>

The following screen appears. Adjust the settings according to your liking. I have selected shape Octagon (8), Radius 45 (the closer this one is set to 100 the blur you see),

The result is instantly visible in the preview window. If you are happy with the result you can press OK button and the blur effect will be added to the photograph. After pressing ctrl-D or cmd-D the selection is removed and you can see the result.

So with couples the effect will be completely on the them. Here the result of the before and after.

Digital Wedding Photographer's Planner

I had to make a decision today which sometimes comes very easily for me. I see it, I want it and there a decision. Other times though I have lots of difficulties with deciding, should I keep that sweater eventhough I have not worn it in five years? What shall we have for dinner tonight? Or how will I call this blog post? Things I love Friday installment or Ways to learn? You see what I want to post about it is really a bit of both.

For one it is Friday, no denying that, and second of all I like ways to learn. You see my dilemma? So I decided to give it a proper title and do right to what I want to talk about. Because today is for photographers but for brides as well. Wedding planning is all about the preparation and the better prepared you are the best way you can anticipate what is ahead. Planning a wedding not only goes for the couple it goes for the photographer as well, the wedding day that is. When planning your wedding one of the main things is the timeline of the wedding day. Some have a small timeline while others start at the crack of dawn and end way into the night. For a photographer the timeline is the lifeline to the day and determine show much time we get to capture all the events of the day.

Kenny Kim, an esteemed wedding photographer, has written a book on this subject (and more) from the wedding photographers perspective called Digital Wedding Photography Planner. It starts with the client meeting, the engagement shoot, equipment, the major milestones of the wedding day and more. The book is full of gorgeous images and a lot of hands on information, shot lists and details.

As Kenny states planning makes perfect and that is a fact. The digital wedding photographers planner is a nice book. Not only does it contains a lot of great images, some information is straight forward but this book has some great tips on handling awkward situations, must have shots and workflow. A nice read for photographers mostly but also very insightfull for bride, especially the ones that find photography important.

Zach and Jody Gray

I was surprised when I received their Twitter message that they were a follower. Can you believe Zach and Jody Gray following me? Well I couldn't and send them a reply that I was honored to have them as part of my twitter friends. Well and guess what I found out, the Grays are coming to the Netherlands for a workshop! Of all the countries in Europe they choose to come down to the Lowlands. How cool is that! So we secured a seat for January. Can you believe that we not only get to meet and learn from Zach and Jody but we will be shooting on location. Can't wait for this workshop.

If you want to find out more about Zach and Jody go visit their website here.

Book review: Lights, Camera, Capture

When I ordered Dane Sanders book a couple of weeks ago I included this book as well. Lights, Camera, Capture is written by Bob Davis. May I say a veteran in the photography industry. A photo journalist first and wedding photographe second. He is now the wedding photographer of the stars and works with his wife Dawn, who is an amazing album designer. Lights, Camera, Capture mainly focuses on finding the light. If you learn to look for the light, assess it and then use it, this will have a big impact on the photo's you shoot, Bob shows. Even when you are not capturing images he advises the reader to keep on the look out for the light so you can become a seeker of light.

The book is filled with lots of photographs and their EXIF but almost every photograph has an overview of where the subject is, where additional light sources are and where the camera is positioned to give the reader a better understanding of how the photograph came about. This is very helpful. The book does not only contains wedding photographs but a lot of portraits as well. Bob shows us what is in the bag for a big shoot and what he always takes along just in case.

The book comes with a DVD with workshop material which is a great addition. The book is very informative, gives a lot of insight on how Bob works and the gear he uses (and that is a lot I can tell you). Bob is not pushing anyone to buy extra gear but just showing what he has got and what he can do with it. I found it a very nice read and learned a great deal on how to use lighting. Bob uses a lot of off camera gear during wedding ceremonies something that I do not yet see myself use but he is so used to working with alternative light sources it is probably second nature to him and something he can set up quickly.

So if you want to learn from the master of light? Read this book.

Book Review: Fast Track Photographer

Finally the new and revised version of Fast Track Photographer from Dane Sanders is available. Dane has become an industry leader and a much sought after Wedding photographer that has a weekly show on which is a very informative half hour show for everyone who is interested in the business side of photography.

Fast Track Photographer contains great insight on the photography industry and with the use pDNA test to show you can determine where you stand as a photographer whether amateur or professional. It also gives the story of Dane Sanders and his journey into photography. If you ever toyed with the idea of being part of the photography industry or are a photographer this is must read material. It helps you decide if you want to be freelance or signature brand photographer and describes the pro's and cons of both.

But what I like best is that Dane has the ability to talk to you via this book as if he is talking to you in person. Like he does on every week. Like you have your private mentor who is trying to help you by having you take a closer look in the mirror and assess what you see. Who is looking back at you in that mirror and help you be the person you were intended to be.

It is a fascinating read and I really recommend it. However if you are looking for photography how to's on how to shoot a perfect image this is not the book, as Dane states in the beginning, so you are warned early on.