4 Wedding Photography Tips for Second Shooters

tips-for-second-shootersWhat’s a second shooter, you ask? Then you clearly haven’t taken on any truly grand affairs. You probably haven’t been following our blog for long, since we’ve featured real-life second shooter advice before. But, to clear things up, here’s the lowdown. Big weddings usually require more than a single photographer, which is when the secondary one, also referred to as ‘the second shooter’ steps in. Today’s post brings a list of tips for second shooters, which we believe  to be relevant, since this position is usually filled by a beginner. It can be complicated to work in wedding photography as part of a two-person outfit. Photography is usually a solitary line of work. However, with the right mind frame about communication, a dash of chemistry, and our advice, we believe second shooters can truly shine and make the whole experience profitable and enjoyable for everyone involved.

Tip #1 Don’t work with a main who doesn’t trust you.

Our list of tips for second shooters starts even before the actual wedding takes place. Typically, you’ll be able to spot a main photographer who doesn’t trust you (or other photographers in general) right from the get-go. They tend to be generally self-centered, second guess you, or leave you no room to express your own views and always feel the need to micromanage… everything, you included. Suffice it to say, such a working experience will not work. The main photographer’s sole task is to manage the coverage of the wedding. If they’re too busy to snap gorgeous pictures because they’re bossing you around, everyone’s likely to end up feeling miserable and exhausted by the end of your first wedding photographed together.

Tip #2 Do your research.

Whenever you decide to work with someone else on a second shooter position, research the photographer’s approach and study their style. Before heading out to a wedding with them, ask to see a full wedding they’ve shot. Check out their portfolio and make note of details you see recurring in the photos. Study all the images they’ve produced and are available to you. Ask questions, if something strikes you as particularly unusual. It’s important to have a good grasp and strong intuition about a particular main photographer’s style, because your own work is going to have to merge with theirs without any major style breaches.

Tip #3 Ask more questions.

Remember how we advised you to ask questions above? Well, after you’re done doing that, make sure to ask even more questions – and make them as specific as possible. One of our main tips for second shooters is to know what’s expected of you. Some like to grant their second shooters a lot of autonomy, while others really expect them to act as gear-carrying assistants, only shooting every so often. Ask them what you should be focusing on: macros, close-ups and details, or, on the contrary, wide shots? Candid portraits? How open is the main photographer to your own artistic input, vision and ideas?

Tip #4 Help out

That’s what you were hired for, right? Get down to the specifics beforehand. Know where the main photographer expects you to be stationed during the ceremony. Make sure you understand their gear organization system and respect it. Take care of their bags and equipment. Make it a point to know where every lens, grip, lens cap or hot-shoe is during the actual wedding. Lend a hand during group portrait sessions, because this tends to get real hectic real fast and is one of the most complex moments of any wedding photographer’s job. Be in position and take the shots you’re expected to take during the ceremony – never forget that these are unique moments you’re there to capture and you don’t get a do-over. And relax: it’s not as complicated as it sounds.

Tips for Mommie Photogs: Shooting Weddings While Pregnant

shooting-weddings-while-pregnantSome women can’t wait to go on maternity leave once they find out there’s a little one on the way. Along the same lines, shooting wedding photography with a pregnant bride can be one of the most endearing, delicate, and special experiences you’ll have as an artist. However, today’s post is about neither one of those scenarios, but about what you can do if you’re shooting weddings while pregnant. Since wedding photographers are largely freelance, many female professionals choose not to abandon their business, or put in on hold, while pregnant. If you’re about to face this situation, you might wonder how you’re going to be able to manage it all – the baby that’s on the way, the business, and the actual, physical challenges of working when you’re a few months away from giving birth. We’ve scoured the web left and right and checked out some true stories from photographers who have gone through this. We’ve come up with a list of resources and tips you might find useful.

The checklist for shooting weddings while pregnant

  • Flip flops

If you’re the kind of photographer who cares a great deal about looking professional at all times when working, this might be a bit of a challenge for you, but it’s probably unavoidable. Chances are your feet are going to start swelling as your pregnancy progresses and if you want to keep working, you’re going to have to find yourself one (or several) nice pairs of flip flops to change into, in order to keep your feet from killing you. Shooting weddings while pregnant does involve a lot of standing, you know?

  • Back support

The same pretty much goes for back aches. They’re very difficult to handle for some women, even if they’re not up on their feet and running about, taking pictures all day. Those women who want to keep shooting weddings while pregnant might want to invest in Maternity Support or a similar form of support for their back.

  • A breast pump

There’s no way around it: if you want to keep working during and immediately after the pregnancy, you’re going to need a carry-on with a special portable breast pump.  Alternatively, you can opt to breastfeed at weddings, if you’re comfortable with this. Most wedding guests are tolerant about it, according to several real life mommy wedding photographers. However, if you can’t afford the downtime, or just want to pump for whatever reason, then an “on the go” breast pump is your best bet.

  • Water & protein

Much like you are going to have to feed the baby on the go, you’re going to need to nourish yourself, too. If you’re a newbie wedding photographer, don’t think there’s going to be any time for you to snack at the wedding party – there usually isn’t. And keeping hydrated and well-nourished while pregnant is essential, both for your health and stamina, as well as for the baby’s well-being. As such, make it a point to never leave home without plenty of water and protein bars, to keep you up on your feet all day long.

  • An assistant

Yes, it’s an added cost, but one which might just save your wedding photography business while you’re carrying. The assistant will help carry your gear and other bags – and they also come in mighty handy when it comes to remembering that you actually have to eat those protein bars if you want them to have any effect.

  • A backup

We’re talking an alternate wedding photographer that you can call on, if need be. Someone you trust is able to step in at the last minute, in case anything goes wrong with you and you need to step down from an engagement. Always have the phone number of such a trusty friend on hand, you never know when you might need to use it.

The One Trick to Get Your Wedding Photography Clients to Follow the Rules

Have you ever had to deal with those kinds of nightmarish wedding photography clients that you just couldn’t convince to follow the rules, no matter what approach you took? You tried sweet talking them and they just got even more relaxed about the rules. You tried to be more firm about your principles (think punctuality, clear-cut decisions about locations, make-up, etc.). They failed to take you seriously – or, conversely, gave up working with you altogether, because you had turned ‘dictatorial’. If such conundrums sound familiar to you, you’re probably also wondering if there’s a way out of them. We’re here to tell you that there is: you can get your wedding photography clients to become more rule-abiding, with the aid of this single simple psychological trick.

Reverse that psychology on your wedding photography clients

wedding-photography-clients-rulesIf you’ve ever visited Trafalgar Square in London, you may have noticed the big signs that say “Please, don’t feed the pigeons – they cause damage and nuisance to the square”. Even if you have, even if you haven’t, try to imagine what such a sign would rouse in you. Be honest about it. Would you be tempted to do the exact opposite of what the sign would ask you? If so, it’s not because you’re particularly naughty or have a penchant for disobeying: it’s because rules like this one tell you two things. 1. That it’s not good to do a certain thing. And 2. That a lot of people are doing it anyway. So, the basic takeaway from this lesson, is that if you want your wedding photography clients to follow rules, you need to word them right.

As the old adage goes, people are social creatures. If a group of people does a particular thing, chances are others are going to follow in their footsteps. It’s the principle of social proof, deeply ingrained in our mentalities, which tells you that if other people are doing it, you should probably be doing it, too. Psychology has countless examples in this sense: for instance, when the IRS announced it was hiking tax penalties because tax evasion had been rampant during a particular year, tax fraud actually increased the next year. Because, hey, “if everybody else is doing it, why can’t I?”, right?

How to formulate rules your wedding photography clients will actually respect

If you’ve been following this post up to now, it’s probably quite clear to you. Combine reverse psychology with the principle of social proof and you’ve got yourself a good rule on your hands, which people are going to want to abide by. Here are a few examples and counter-examples.

Example #1: Late bookers

BAD: Don’t book me two weeks before your wedding! It’s annoying, unprofessional and messes up my schedule!

GOOD: Most clients I’ve worked with successfully in the past had booked me right after setting the date. This gave us a lot of time to get to know and understand each other, figure out all the details and come up with great ideas for photos.

Example #2: Sharing photos with no watermark

BAD: Do not share my photos on Facebook without a watermark on them!

GOOD: All clients receive a set of watermarked images, which they are more than welcome to share on Facebook. In fact, I love it when wedding photography clients share my work, because this basically works as free advertising for my business!

Example #3: The chronically late

BAD: If you’re always late for shoots and appointments, I’m going to become really annoyed and frustrated working with you.

GOOD: Most clients do their best to respect the set times of our meetings and this helps us work better together, since we’re all more relaxed.

4 Best Practices for Wedding and Event Photography

best-practices-for-wedding-and-event-photography01During the past few years, the recession and economic turndown notwithstanding, it’s become ever clearer that event photography in general, and wedding photography in particular, have turned very competitive. It’s not just the fact that money is harder to come by generally speaking – there are now more hobbyists turning pro than before, since (semi-)professional DSLR cameras have gotten more affordable and accessible to handle. So we though a guide of best practices for wedding and event photography was in order, which is why we’ve collected some of the most essential advice on this topic that we could find on the web. Check it out and let us know if you think anything essential is missing from our list.

The selection is up to you, not the client

Events (and weddings in particular) are occasions for shooting non-stop. You fire away and, before you know it, your memory card is filled and you’ve got hundreds of photos to choose from. Curating the entire raw material and selecting the best photos might sound like a drag, a bore, and a chore, but you still need to do it. It’s up to the artist to select their best photos and present them to the client; allowing customers to wade through dozens of blurry, out-of-focus or otherwise inadequate pictures is entirely unprofessional.

Market yourself with deadlines

The above principle might sound counterintuitive, but it’s all about marketing your photography business properly in the digital era. You see, the Internet is altering purchasing mentalities as we speak – clients are much more prone now to put off a buying decision. However, with the right attitude and best practices for event and wedding photography, you can counter that. Set a deadline for yourself, create a special offer which expires after a certain date, and watch how your clients respond. Chances are many of them will react to this sense of urgency.

Business is business

Among the best practices for event and wedding photography is the fact that you need to remember you’re running a business. Sure, you may have gone into photography because it was fun, enjoyable, and you are passionate about it. However, at the end of the day you still have bills to pay, a studio to maintain, and equipment to purchase. Tailor your products and service cost planning according to your financial needs. Understand your market segment: take a good look at what sells and what doesn’t and always keep improving.

best-practices-for-wedding-and-event-photography02Build relationships

Photography is, to a large extent, a people-oriented field. If you work exclusively in non-wedding event photography, you probably already know how important it is to create a good relationship with your returning customers. The same applies for wedding photographers that regularly collaborate with a particular MUA, wedding planner, or wedding planning agency. So, what’s the best way to hone a successful professional relationship? It’s as simple as being personable, sociable, and friendly. Get people talking about you. Create word of mouth and work consistently toward building a reputation.

Looks like a pro, walks like a pro, talks like a pro…

Don’t dismiss the final item on our list of best practices for event and wedding photography as superficial. It’s important to present yourself as a professional photographer whenever you come into contact with (potential) clients. This means keeping your gear in good shape, having business cards prepared, and pitching your business – but not excessively and ad nauseam. What you want to achieve is to make (potential) clients understand that they need you. You will want them to seek you out, not the other way around, so do your research on trends, take part in wedding expos, and put your best foot forward, both in terms of professional attire, as well as in terms of professional portfolio.

How to Choose a Makeup Artist for Wedding Photography

Choose-a-Makeup-Artist-for-Wedding-PhotographyPortraiture and wedding photography are definitely the two photo niches in which you can’t possibly do without the presence of a professional Makeup Artist (or MUA). Now, the problem with knowing how to choose a makeup artist for wedding photography is similar to finding a good photog for a wedding. Just like anyone with a camera believes they can pull off a great wedding shoot, so anyone with a makeup palette is convinced they know all about professional makeup. Hint: they don’t. If you want to see great results and happy clients, you need a pro MUA, and here’s how you go about finding and hiring one:

1. Go to Model Mayhem

Aspiring pro photographers, who dabble in either portraiture, fashion photography, fine art, wedding photography or anything that has to do with setting up a setting that also involves people, need to know Model Mayhem. This is a great platform for finding models and MUAs, irrespective of your skill and experience level. If you’re just starting out, you can help the MUA build their own portfolio, while you also improve yours, through TFP (trading for pictures) instead of paying them for the work. If you’re a more experienced photog, seeking to improve their business, choose a makeup artist for wedding photography who’s worked with a modeling agency. Try to find someone who is not only like-minded, but similarly experienced.

2. Choose a makeup artist for wedding photography who is great

While there’s no such thing as the perfect MUA, a great wedding photography makeup artist does need to tick off a few qualities on a checklist. Here are some things to look for in an MUA:

-          Punctuality. Nothing spells professionalism (or lack thereof) more in this business than respecting meeting times and deadlines.

-          People skills. If you want to choose a makeup artist for wedding photography in particular, then you need to look for someone who understands they’re not working with professional models. They’re working with real-life, nervous, often stressed out couples to-be.

-          A flair for branding. And not just their own. The best MUAs are both adaptable and pour their own vision into each shoot. This means that they understand and respect your own brand of wedding photography, while also pitching in their flair and skills.

3. Gauge your chemistry with your MUA of choice

In fact, let’s take the above pointer one step further: as you work with more MUAs, find a few of them (three or four, let’s say), with whom you’ve got chemistry. Chemistry, in this case, can be defined as similar work ethics, similar creative visions, and respect for each other’s skill and experience. It also has a lot to do with basic human interaction: if the two of you generally get along and can share a few laughs, then you have yourself a winner. We can’t possibly stress how important this is. The last thing you want is a meltdown between you and an MUA during an (already charged) wedding shoot.

4. Create a money-making wedding photography team

As you evolve and your wedding photography business progresses, make sure to stay as consistent as possible, in terms of how you choose a makeup artist for wedding photography. Work with the same people as often as you can, if you’ve found some who meet your standards and the above criteria. Have a go-to list of MUAs that you know you can rely on and book for shoots. This way, you can have the comfort of knowing what to expect, in terms of makeup, so you can go ahead and focus on your share of the work.

Success Stories: How to Create Your Own Photography Niche

In a day and age where social media and other media consumption habits gear users toward a torrent of visual information, how does a commercial photographer go about creating a lucrative business? The answer, according to more than just one accomplished pro photog, lies in knowing how to create your own photography niche. This is, of course, about personal branding to a large extent, but it also has to do with finding what you love, catering to an already existing audience, and getting noticed (and paid!) for it. Easier said than done, huh? Well, it might take a bit of soul-searching, market research, and adapting, but it certainly is feasible. Here’s how:

create-your-own-photography-niche

Create your own photography niche by providing quality products to ideal clients

Do you happen to know at least one photographer who does it all? Product shoots, events, concerts, architecture, fashion, travel, babies – they know all about it and dabble in them all. While, on the one hand, it’s perfectly acceptable to sometimes step out of your comfort zone and try your hand at a type of photography you’re not entirely specialized in, this is not a very good business strategy. See, the reasoning behind such a ‘smorgasbord’ approach is that the photographers in question believe that if they have something to offer to everyone, then someone will surely want to do business with them. Key word: someone. Anyone. On the other hand, though, the process through which you create your own photography niche starts with knowing what you love to photograph and who you can sell it to, ideally.

So, in your quest to create your own photography niche, start out by identifying the following:

  • The perfect picture. What segment of photography do you feel most comfortable with? Narrow it down as much as you want. It could be a particular type of wedding photography, or something exotic like pet portraiture. The important thing is that you’ve got the technical skills, gear, and experience, to create great pictures of this kind. Finding this segment will take an honest look on your part at your current portfolio. You can also gauge social media reactions to your photos, for an indicator, as well as ask for unbiased second opinions from your peers.
  • The perfect client. First and foremost, a perfect client in any photography niche is one that trusts their photographer and knows they’ve chosen the best person for the job. Then come the specifics. Perhaps you like to work with couples in your area, or with big brands, or not-for-profits. Whatever tickles your fancy is entirely acceptable.

In order to create your own photography niche, you need to find that point of intersection between the two narrowed-down groups above: the perfect product you are able to deliver, and the ideal person to pay for it.

The benefits of creating your own photography niche

There’s far more to gain from specialization in photography nowadays, than just mere monetization. Of course, this aspect is not to be ignored, but here are a few other things you’re likely to gain in the process:

  • Confidence. By working with and for people who appreciate the kind of work you do, you will also gain more self-trust in your own skills and value. This way, you’ll be able to price your shoots at a fairer value.
  • Identity as a photographer. When you stand out from the crowd, when you’re no longer just another photographer on the virtually endless list of online artists, you’ve got yourself a personal brand.
  • New business. This almost goes without saying – when you know what you’re about and what you can deliver to discerning customers, you will also know where and how to go looking for them. If it hasn’t already, you’ll start seeing your photography business take off.

Create Great Wedding Cinemagraphs in 15 Steps

create-great-wedding-Cinemagraphs

Image via PhotoJojo

What are cinemagraphs, you ask? Why, what a question! Essentially, they’re Graphics Interchange Format files, better known as .gifs. You’ve seen them all over your favorite entertainment websites online and you can even make them with nothing more than your smartphone these days, since, of course, there’s an app for that. However, there’s also a professional way to create great wedding cinemagraphs that will bring those unforgettable moments to life.

How to create great wedding cinemagraphs: A checklist

You’re going to need a camera that shoots video, a tripod, a video editing program and one version or another of Adobe Photoshop. And, of course, props, a model or several, and, most importantly, ideas for cinemagraphs.

#1. Plan out your scene. Shoot for subtle motions, moments and movements. In contrast, the rest of your scene should look great when still. Finally, aim for something that looks good when looped.

#2. Set up the camera as solidly as you can on its tripod and shoot away. You need 10 to 20 seconds of video tops.

#3. Make sure you’re shooting in the right format for Photoshop, i.e. either MOV or AVI.

#4. Import your video into Photoshop. You’re going to import the frames of the video into layers, and while more layers make for a smoother animation, anything above 100 layers is probably too much to work with.

#5. Check out the video frames, now imported into separate layers. Make sure you have all the layers you need.

#6. Go to Windows/Animation, to see the layers as actual frames in an animation. Play the animation to identify the moment you are going to be animating next.

#7. Once you’ve found the frames that display the portion you want to see animated. Bear in mind that some of the smoothness of the end .gif is going to be lost after you’ve deleted some of the layers, so choose them wisely.

#8. Choose your Alpha layer. That’s going to be the one layer that stays unchanged in the end .gif. duplicate it and place it over the other layers in the Layers window.

#9. Next, start creating movement in order to actually create great wedding cinemagraphs. This means that you need to start editing the Alpha layer with the aid of vector masks. These masks will effectively do away with the elements that are still in the Alpha layer, but that you want animated in the final version.

#10. Test out the animation, after you’re done masking the portions you want animated. Set the animation to loop Forever, then press play. Make note of any further edits you need to make, so as to make the movement as smooth as possible.

#11. Make sure your loop is smooth. There are several ways in which you can achieve this. One is by adding the Alpha layer plus the very first animation layer, right after the very last layer in the animation. Simply duplicate the last layer, then change what layers appear in it in the Layer window. For more complex animations, you’re going to want to loop some very specific frames in your Animation, that will help make the motion transition smoother.

#12. Color your .gif. .gif files unfortunately can’t hold as much color information as regular pictures, so you’re going to want to use an effect that works well with less data. You can either use a preset Photoshop action for a specific color effect, or colorize all the layers with a specific Photoshop mask.

#13. Save your final .gif in a resolution that’s suited for the web, i.e. not very large. You’re going to want your clients to show it off online and you’re also likely to showcase it in your portfolio. The typical resolution is 72 pixels/inch.

#14. Save the PSD project of the cinemagraph, then Save for Web & Devices.

#15. Enjoy the fact that you now know how to create great wedding cinemagraphs and don’t forget to show off your work!

Hell’s Bells: 7 Nightmare Wedding Photography Clients

nightmare-wedding-photography-clientsWhile every wedding photographer dreams of that perfectly cooperative couple, a dream to work with and easy-going, too – that kind of work assignment is rare. And, at the same time, while not every assignment is a disaster, the notion of nightmare wedding photography clients is certainly real. In today’s post we’re going to briefly outline seven of the most common issues that such clients are likely to pose (pun not intended).

#1 Nightmare wedding photography clients that ignore the schedule

Some people simply don’t understand that a photographer’s main resource is lighting. They blatantly disregard the wedding day shooting schedule, as they fail to grasp the importance of the time of day. Midday sun, for instance, casts very harsh shadows, in which most people won’t look good, so it’s important to avoid this time of day and shoot in the later hours.

#2 The chronically late/in a hurry

These nightmare wedding photography clients are a similar species with the ones listed above. While they do follow the schedule to a certain extent, they will either be late, or assume the shoot only lasts for 10 minutes. Make sure you approach such cases delicately and explain that it takes a bit of punctuality and patience of their side to get the shoot right.

#3 The uninvited second fiddle

A very specific type of nightmare wedding photography clients will bring along a relative with pro photo gear, who will insist to take pictures alongside with you. Yes, they mean well in most cases, but chances are they will also get in your way, ruin your official shots, and provide unsolicited advice. Try to approach them with kindness, but gently explain they should leave the picture-taking to the actual hired professional.

#4 The clients that hate the way they look in the photos

Some wedding photography clients don’t understand why it’s important to communicate with their photographer beforehand. After all, you’re a professional, so, in their view, you should be able to just guess how they like to look in pictures. Kindly ask all clients to show you pictures of themselves that they actually like before going ahead with the shot. Alternatively, you can ask them to explain what looks and angles they would like to avoid.

#5 The camera darlings

On the opposite end of the spectrum from the nightmare wedding photography clients who don’t enjoy picture taking at all there are those who love it a bit too much. You should always make sure to reassure the couple to be that a wedding day photo shoot shouldn’t actually take all day. The best wedding photos are those in which the couple and guests can be seen enjoying themselves, not cooking up elaborate, unlikely poses for the camera. This kind of thing can turn tiring very fast and will almost always end up looking artificial and phony.

#6 The last minute special

Most couples to be understand that booking a photographer early is just about as important as booking the venue and band in a timely manner. However, not all of them do, which makes some postpone the decision until the very last minute. This, of course, can tend to make them feel frustrated with their choice and usually leads to rushing through the whole photographing process, in order to make sure they’re getting all the photos they want.

#7 The trend addicts

Wedding photo booth? Sure, they want one. The Instagram hashtag? Of course they want you to take care of that, too! Some couples will just fall for anything that’s trendy right now, in terms of wedding photography – and no photog out there could ever satisfy their needs, no matter how skilled or versatile he/she is. Explain that great wedding photography is the kind that passes the test of time, not the kind that got 100k likes on  Facebook yesterday.

Second Shooter Tips From JD Delatorre & Jasmine Star

Guest Post by Topher Kelly

All Photos Courtesy of JD Delatorre & Jasmine Star

Becoming a profitable professional photographer is a long uphill climb. Those who are JD+JasmineHeadshotserious about bringing their dream job to life will do most anything they can to get started in a world that is already saturated with quality professionals. For most people, this often means starting as a second shooter for established photographers at weddings and other events.

A second shooter can be more than an opportunity to learn and gain experience. It can be profitable, too. However, there isn’t a ton of advice out there for people looking to perfect the art of the second shooter. That’s why I sat down with one of the most prosperous second shooters in America, JD Delatorre, to ask him for some of the tips he wish he knew when he first started. JD is Jasmine Star’s husband, and the quieter half of the successful wedding photography duo that has taken wedding photography by storm over the last several years. Once we got past the basics such as appropriate attire, offering to carry the main shooter’s bag, and checking your ego at the door, 3 really helpful tips that stood out:

1. Take Care of Vendors

During a wedding day, I usually don’t have time to cultivate friendships, but I always make sure to include every vendor throughout the day. If they need anything, I offer assistance. If the vendor dinner is served, I try to make sure everyone knows. It’s small things that ensure everyone feels like we’re on the same team… and there’s a high probability we’ll work together again in the future, so make sure to have everyone’s back.

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2. NEVER PASS OUT YOUR BUSINESS CARD

One of the first weddings Jasmine and I photographed together we had another photographer tag along with us. The night was flowing nicely until I overheard the third shooter pass his/her business card to a wedding guest… and passed his/her studio name along. I can’t explain how rude this is. On a wedding day, a second and third photographer is just that… an accompanying photographer to the main photographer’s studio. If a guest asks for a business card from a second shooter (which happens often!), the second shooter should always pass along the main photographer’s business card. Period. The end. If you want to gain respect from the main photographer, you can’t act like that at a wedding. Play your part in the event and if someone really took notice of your work, they’ll get a hold of you through the main photographer.

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3. Find New Angles

Don’t shoot over the main photographer’s shoulder! When I first started shooting with Jasmine, I shot behind her and captured ­­basically ­­the same photo as she did. Okay, just not as cool. She finally explained that she didn’t need another version of her photo…she needs an entirely different photo of the same moment. I’ll admit this is harder than it seems, but I know she appreciates creativity and a different photo from the exact same moment.

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If you are a second shooter looking to hone the art, take JD’s words seriously. For someone who rarely acts as a main shooter, his success has brought him to the front pages of magazines throughout the world that most main shooter’s could only dream of touching. He’s even teaching a free workshop on creativeLIVE August 6-7 with Jasmine. Who said a second shooter just stands in the shadows?

COURSE GRAPHIC

How To Sell An Unplugged Wedding

The bride slowly walks down the aisle with her dad. Its one of the happiest days of her life. But as she looks around her, she feels a bit unsure. She expected to see friends and family smiling at her. Yet it feels like a scene from a science fiction movie. All around her is a sea of computer screens. High and low, everyone fighting to get that one perfect shot. They jump out in front of her. Trip over the paid photographer. Talk during the vows. Even get the minister upset enough to send one guest back to his seat.

This isn’t what the bride had in mind when she played dress up all those years ago.

Yet in today’s world, digital is our life. Nobody goes anywhere without a mobile or tablet ready to go.

But is the paparazzi really the way to go for every experience we face?

How To Sell An Unplugged Wedding

Or is it time to pull the plug.

Having an unplugged wedding is definitely a sign of the times. And as a photographer, you can use this to your advantage.

Talk to your clients during the booking process

Unless your clients are CEOs of startup tech companies with mobile devices attached to their hips, they’ve probably experienced the “paparazzi phenomena” before.

Mention an unplugged wedding during the initial meeting. Talk about the benefits of having everyone enjoy the wedding – at least the ceremony if not more – without having a mobile device in their face. If you have horror stories, create mini albums showcasing examples. You can snap a photograph of Uncle Bob rushing up behind them as they have their first kiss. Or snap an image with the majority of hands in the air trying to capture the bride and groom with their phones and tablets. Prove the point – people are receptive when you have proof of bad outcomes. [Read more...]