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Shooting Your First Wedding? Follow these Steps

If you are preparing to shoot your first wedding (or have been shooting weddings but lack a standard process) then this post is for you. I encounter many photographers who are just breaking into wedding photography or are simply shooting an upcoming wedding as a favor to a friend, and have no idea what they are getting themselves into. Considering the many steps involved with the task of successfully documenting a couple’s special day, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. I was certainly in their shoes years ago, and have learned that planning is key to ensuring success. Instead of innocently thinking to yourself, “How hard can it be? I’ll just show up and feel it out,” I suggest you have a set plan that spans from your first conversation with the bride and groom all the way to showing them their photos after the wedding. This post will focus on that process. Four Crucial Steps To Include In Your Process Here are a few crucial ways you can increase the likelihood that the couple will be thrilled with your work. It will also make your life so much easier. 1. Get to know the couple. Their story will be the centerpiece […]

Portrait Tip: Provide A Road Map

Have you ever gone on a little road trip or a hike with a friend and they didn’t tell you where you were going or how long it would take to get there? Not knowing these kinds of details makes it difficult to know what to pack or how to schedule your day and it would probably make you a little frustrated. Similarly, most folks don’t know how a photo shoot is supposed to go, and maybe the last shoot they were in was done differently than the way you do things. If you provide a road map for the shoot, your clients will be more comfortable and much more cooperative. Before the Shoot Whether you’re a pro or making pictures for your neighbor, your subjects expect that you know more about what’s going on than they do. You should provide some tips to help them get ready for the shoot. Models will ask if they should be camera-ready or if there is an MUA (makeup artist) and stylist. Take that as a cue to tell your client some suggestions for clothing and styling. Send an email a few days ahead of time and suggest they wear makeup (if they […]

Gear Tips for the Traveling Photographer

I am always looking for new ways to save space or weight in my baggage, or to ease the challenges I face with my camera gear. I am sure many of you are just like me, so I put together this list of “Gear Tips,” in hopes that some of these tips may prove helpful. None of the photos accompanying this post would have been possible without one or more of the items listed below. Gear Tips I travel with camera battery chargers that are smaller and lighter than the chargers that came with my cameras. I bought my chargers on Amazon, and typically take three with me when I travel. My Fuji cameras go through batteries quickly.  (Check out my earlier post on packing extras when you travel.) I usually include a small international surge protector power strip in my suitcase. The power strip turns one electrical outlet into three, which is of particular importance when there is only one or two outlets available in a room I am sharing with a roommate, and we both have lots of batteries, cellphones and laptops or tablets to charge. (If you are traveling internationally, it may still be necessary to use an adapter to plug the power strip into […]