about us series, volume 1
I hate the "About Us" portion of website work, entrepreneurship, promotion, whatever you would like to call it because I basically don't like to talk about myself, hence one of the reasons I like to "hide" behind the camera. Which, when you are a transplant to a community and trying to build a business, brand, and reputation, can cause you some issues.
So, as we are currently working on a website revamp (I totally realize how bloated and convoluted the site has become, and I am sorry) and I have come to that period in time where I have to formulate the About Us section in a way that is clear and concise (not my strong suit as you will find out), why not use the blog as a way to explore our photography, ourselves, our philosophies, and use it as a tool to tell you a bit more about us and how we view and do what we do. Then, maybe I will be able to condense something down into a quick tidbit suitable for all the website developers that constantly contact me about my "web presence."
So why not tackle that short bio page with a rambling dissertation on seemingly every random thing our business touches upon? Now I am beginning to understand why virtually every journalist is said to be taking Adderall for focus? And with that, here is the first installment.
"There can be a time and place to overshoot"
Digital definitely has it's advantages, one of which is the ability to shoot to your hearts content as long as you have enough memory cards. But that is also a double edged sword, because when it comes time to edit, you can have a whole lotta photos to go through. Sometimes, it can give the impression that a photographer may not know what he/she is doing. And sometimes that may be the case. But, you have to look at the end result to make that determination. It is not always simply about getting "The Shot." Sometimes it's a series of photos that are the only thing that will do justice, it's just knowing when to let that happen. With that experience and training lets you know the times should you fire of a single, a triple or simply just let the shutter fly in order to tell your story. It's just digital after all.
For some parents a photography session can be a nightmare because, if we are honest, kids can just not give a &%$# sometimes. As a parent myself, I have felt that pressure too, but really, as a photographer I have no judgement and actually enjoy shooting kids exactly because of that attitude. And the fact they're not mine helps too. Now to clarify "kids" and their age range, basically right before they are walking to about 4th/5th grade. That baby range is too young, essentially at that point they are just a prop in the basket/blanket/toy airplane or whatever else people are stuffing babies into these days, and around the 5th grade they have unfortunately discovered that they should "look" a certain way and stop being themselves. But in between, they know nothing but love and simply react to and express themselves to the world in a way that is generally awesome to photograph.
Now we have definitely entered that stage of self awareness and the "importance" of looking great for each picture which can be exacerbated by the pressures of social media. This is one reason we recommend a full photo session with us as this helps relax that barrier because it's hard to keep that up for a full 2 hour session. There is also the advantage of Rachel assisting during the session as she has already had the hair and makeup time to establish a rapport and set the groundwork for the session. We love it when a parent comes along with us as they can often relate a story that get's our client going, such as you see between Alissa and her mom below. While not necessarily of "The Shot" variety, the relaxed personality of clients can come out and loved one's can really connect with.
Weddings, the mother of all sorts of shot varieties. Candid, staged, posed, group, individual, intimate, you name it, a wedding is a veritable cornucopia of shots. In trying to stay focused, below are two style examples of having your camera ready to fly in setting up for a posed session and two from a posed scenario.
Part of photographing a wedding is understanding the relationships between the attendees and identifying those that are going to give you photography gold. I had the opportunity when shooting Pat and Tim's wedding to see the arrival of her sisters earlier in the day and I knew immediately that relationship was going to be one to keep an eye on. In setting up for some post ceremony shots, they certainly did not disappoint and the love, silliness, and personalities of the ladies shown through.
The last two of Cayle and Spencer and Pat and Tim is a favorite set up of mine. I often ask the bride and groom to take turns whispering in each other's ears about uh, well, their thoughts on the evening ahead. Invariably, whatever the groom has to say creates some rather genuinely funny expressions.
Well, that's the first installment. A little bit of everything, some techniques, tips, and thoughts around what we do. If you have any questions or comments that you would like to share, or would like some deeper exploration of our thoughts on photography, weddings, portraits, hair, makeup, you name it, I probably have an opinion on it. Feel free to drop us a line with the form below, and no worries, we'll take your comments and questions but won't publish any of your personal information.