Archive for 'Love'
January 5th, 2013. Dan proposed to me in the middle of the woods, in a snowy clearing. He had been carrying the ring in his shirt pocket for the entire day, waiting for the right moment to get down on one knee. Of course I said “YES!”, and wedding planning almost immediately commenced.
Since we got engaged, the one question I keep getting asked is…
“Who are you hiring to be your wedding photographer?”
Good question! Haha. I was a wedding and portrait photographer before joining HHP, and I always knew it would be a tough decision to hire a photographer for my own wedding. But, my experience also gave me insight on what to look for in an excellent artist.
So, if you want to choose a wedding photographer like I did, here are the things to consider:
1. THE ARTIST
First, no matter who you’re hiring for your photographer, you’re hiring a PERSON. This person sees the world with a unique lens, and they are drawn to certain moments that other people aren’t drawn to. At the same wedding, two different photographers would capture it totally differently. One might choose more smiling, kinetic moments, and others might choose the quieter moments. One might capture a tear rolling down your cheek, and one might wait until you laugh at yourself while you’re crying to take the shot. It all depends on who that person is, and what’s real to them. It’s the first step to developing your own style as a photographer- trusting your choice of the moments you capture.
Personally, I love photos that show joy, kinetic movement, and beauty in small things. When choosing a photographer, I:
- looked at their portfolio to make sure I agreed with the moments they choose to capture,
- checked out their blog to see that they present their business in a positive, professional way, and
- made sure I felt comfortable and happy when I met them.
That PERSON is going to capture YOU. So you should agree with how they approach you and your life. It will show through the camera!
As a commercial photographer, I’ve also learned that you can make a photo ‘say’ certain things about a subject. If I shoot a male subject from below, I’m making him look ‘epic’ and ‘powerful’. If I shoot him from eye-level, I’m presenting him as approachable and straightforward. If I shoot from above, I make him look friendly. The angle a photographer chooses in a split second can make all the difference!
Similarly, the photographer’s equipment and post-processing conveys their style. Some photographers use a prime lens to really blur the background, and some like to keep the background a part of the story. Some photographers take an image and make it colorful and bright, and some photographers make it darker and contrasted. Some photographers add a ‘haze’ or filters to photos to make them seem hyper-real. The specific moment, combined with the way the moment is captured, combined with the way the image is processed makes the finished product.
Here are some examples of completely different (awesome) styles:
- Andrea Hanki captures weddings with an emphasis on creative angles, epic moments, and darker, contrasted processing.
- Marta Locklear captures weddings with straightforward angles, romantic moments, and soft processing.
- Mike Ash captures weddings with heavily conceptual moments and dramatic, cinematic imagery.
- Jay Eads captures weddings with an emphasis on personality and honesty. This is my friends’ wedding…you’ll see me in there!
For me, I wanted my wedding to be captured in a classic, timeless way. I wanted it to be bright and colorful, and as joyfully captured as possible. So, I chose a photographer that captures the day as it is, with a preference for the joyful moments, that processes on the bright, minimal side.
A fact of wedding photography: receptions under white tents are AWESOME for lighting. I was so happy whenever I heard the reception would be tented. The tent acts as a huge softbox and never fails to produce a soft, even glow on subjects when you set your flash off. On the flip side, it’s much harder to consistently light subjects in a reception venue like, say, a barn with dark wood. There are so many more variables to think about when you’re trying to light your subjects because you can’t rely on that soft ‘bounce’ you get from a tent.
I give that example to highlight the fact that professional wedding photographers should have the experience and equipment to handle tricky lighting situations like a high, dark ceiling. If their portfolio has just as beautifully-lit photos in a dark barn as they do in a tent or country club with white walls and ceilings, you’re good to go. You should also consider their use of natural light- backlit photos, front-lit photos, and photos in a rainy or overcast situation.
When a photographer shoots skillfully, their camera is like an extension of their body. They change positions, exposure, and ISO intuitively. They are able to react to a fast-paced, ever-changing event confidently. They can focus on what’s happening in front of them, instead of what’s happening in their hands at the moment. You want a photog who knows their stuff!
You get what you pay for in photography, generally. If a photographer sticks to their business policies and doesn’t heavily discount their services, you know they’re professionals who will produce a consistent product for you. Most photographers will work with you to customize a pricing package that fits your day. Local photographers are a cost-effective choice, as you don’t have to worry about their travel fees.
Personally, I knew that the wedding photographer would be one of the most expensive things we paid for. It’s one of the only investments that lasts for more than 24 hours, so it was one of my most important considerations. While the food will be eaten and the band will only play until 10pm, I’ll have the pictures for the rest of my life. And Dan, of course. You get to keep your husband
Is that a ton of info, or what? If you want the easy list, here’s a summary of the above:
- Pick somebody awesome, who you would be friends with in real life. Trust your instincts.
- Agree with their style and way of seeing the world.
- Check out their skillz. Make sure you trust THEIR instincts.
- Expect to pay a little bit more for something you’ll have for the rest of your life.
After all that,
Who did I choose for my own photographer?
Megan Jane Photography. Bright, clean, colorful, minimally processed, happy, and I’ve worked with her before. She’s a local pro who’s worth every cent. Here’s some of her work (see what I mean about bright, clean, and fun?):
Isn’t she awesome? Yes, yes she is. Can’t wait to post my OWN wedding photos!
We’ve had some pretty gorgeous maternity sessions lately! This one is no exception. T is completely stunning, and it was such a pleasure to photograph her, her husband I, and their very well-behaved labradoodle, Rufus!
We started out in the studio for a few simple, clean shots against the window and with our wrap. T and I were so laid-back and fun, and even helped me try out a shot I’ve wanted to get for a while! Rufus patiently waited for us outside, and we headed to the park with him next. Normally, you hope for one good shot when you’ve included a dog in family photos. I didn’t have to worry with this one- he posed for group shots, sat patiently while I blurred the background, and walked alongside mom and dad like a pro. Of course, we compensated him for his time with treats.
T and I, we can’t wait to meet your little one! Congrats!
When we took these photos, K was 6 days away from her due date. This girl might just get valedictorian of being 9 months pregnant- she was stunningly beautiful, up for anything I asked her to do, and simply glowing alongside her husband, S.
It’s always a privilege to capture expectant parents, but this session seemed extra sweet. Any moment could be the moment they meet their baby, find out if they have a son or daughter, and become a family for the first time. The photos we captured show them as they were- totally in love, happy, and ready to meet their little one. S even surprised K with candy at the end of their session!
Congrats, K and S. Thanks for letting us capture you!
This is just part one of Grace’s modeling debut! Her individual, sibling, and daddy-daughter photos are still to come. Heidi created a gorgeous, brand-new set for Grace and Giuliana’s portraits, and I’ll give you one hint about how it turned out: the entire studio still smells like flowers!
I’m so honored to have been able to photograph their photos as an expectant family of three, and their first photos as four. Giuliana was just as excited as she was at Heidi’s maternity session, and even sang Twinkle, Twinkle to Grace for us when she got fussy! Such a great big sister already. Of course, my models made my job easy, being naturally gorgeous and happy and all.
We’re so happy to have little G in the HHP family. Stay tuned for Heidi’s post of Grace’s portraits!
This whole session was just…bright! Bright colors, bright smiles, bright little models, and a sunshiny day for photographing them. The goal of the session was to capture the real interactions between the girls and their family, and I’m so pleased with how it all came together. I really love the shots where they’re candidly interacting as siblings, as a family, or as mother and daughter.
The girls were shy for only a second at the beginning, and then burst into motion and smiles. Sweet little C wanted to do everything her older sister S did, and was pretty good at keeping up with all the running, jumping and laughing! I kept them moving throughout most of the rest of the session, and I’m sure they had a good nap that afternoon. Not before stopping by Sweet Indulgence, though!
C family, thanks for letting me capture you! Hope you enjoyed the cupcakes!
What a wonderful way to wrap up 2011! This is officially my last blog post until we return in 2012 and I’m so happy it is one that brings such a great smile to my face. This couple has been married for years, but you would think they just got engaged when viewing their happiness during our shoot! It was contagious. C and D were up for anything as we traveled the city together on a very chilly day last week. They didn’t seem to mind the cold one bit. We planned this shoot to capture their love in a fun and modern way. They didn’t have any updated photos together since their wedding and had no photos of D in his uniform so we set out to create portraits that highlighted both. Here is just a little sneak peek. Merry Christmas everyone, and we’ll see you in the new year!
I have been dying to share this preview all day! L was one of my college roommates so I was thrilled to be able to give this session to her and her fiance as a gift. They let me try out some crazy ideas and the two hours we shot for completely flew by! Enjoy your preview ;0)Google+
Four maternity sessions at the park scheduled in one week…there are about to be a bunch of adorable newborns in this studio! I have just loved shooting in the park these last two weeks and every session has been completely different from the last! The couple who came down today was so much fun. They were up for anything. Mom even laid on top of the bridge for one of my favorite shots from the session. After the park, we hit the studio for a few classics. Enjoy your preview mom and dad, can’t wait to meet your little man!