Category Archives: award winning photography of New Orleans

ALONE AT LAST /the intimate session

part of a four part series on wedding photography. getting ready,the ceremony,the intimate session,and the reception  Advice for the client.

The only thing that I do insist on with my clients is an “intimate session” This will perhaps be the only alone time that you will have on your wedding day.I feel that these photographs are the most romantic and probably the ones that you will be hanging on your walls.

http://creativefreedomphoto.com/ Some people do not realize that photography is made up of light and composition.

When you are working on your timeline, leave at least a half hour or more in the best light of the day,the last hour before the sun is setting.Think about the background,are there some beautiful nature spots on the grounds of your venue? If not try to explore and find a beautiful nature spot nearby your venue

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Do not allow anyone to tag along,this is a distraction to you and to your photographer.Your guests will be fine, might be a good time to plan a cocktail hour. Always work with your D.J. and wedding coordinator and let them know in advance .

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When I am photographing a destination wedding,I sometimes plan with my couples for a “day after” session. using the destination as my background. My couples are always so much more relaxed the day after,I get to spend allot more time with them = more beautiful and interesting photos.

 

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GETTING READY! wedding advice

This blog will be in four parts,”Getting ready” Ceremony”., “The intimate session” and the reception.

Today I will be covering “getting ready”

I always get to the location early. The first thing that I photograph is the atmosphere of the venue,this is important to my couples,they have chosen this venue for a reason. After twenty five years of photographing weddings I have had the privilege of traveling to castles in Germany,the super dome in New Orleans,the Biltmore in North carolina,Hemingway house in Key West just to name a few.

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international fine arts wedding photojournalism

 

 

For my couples,try to have the ladies and the guys get ready at the same location,there are two sides to the story.I like to go back and forth.

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international fine arts wedding photojournalism

During this time I like to photograph the details,  have a go to person for your photographer. I always ask to have the details ready for me when I come in.The rings,the flowers,an invitation or newspaper,something with the date on it,shoes dress,vows etc…

Advice to the ladies,choose a room with the most natural light,remember that light is very important for the sake of the photos,you do not want to get ready in a room with florescent lite with no windows.Try to keep the room free of clutter.

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international fine arts wedding photojournalism

Leave plenty of time for some bride and groom portraits when you are all ready.For the brides do not be last to have your hair and makeup done.

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international fine arts wedding photojournalism

Try to get plenty of rest the night before and if you get nervous remember it is about the marriage. Dont sweat the small stuff,just go with the flow.

Improve your travel photography/advice from a photojournalist

 

My very favorite thing to photograph is travel/street photography. Especially when I see a place for the very first time.Being a “people” photographer No place on earth inspires me more than New Orleans.To me its the people that make the place!

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  My best advice.:
1) use a lens that cane do both wide angel and zoom.Invest in a camera backpack,limit the amount of equipment. Its NOT the equipment that capture the moment,its you.
2) Do not walk around alone.
3) Be fearless,go off the beaten path.While visiting New Orleans I went to the ninth ward. There is a magical place  called “musicians Village” that is were I met David
4) DO NOT go on a guided tour
5) Talk to people,get up close and personal
6) Street musicians are a good place to start,they never mind if you are talking their photo.
7)Pay attention to detail
8) think outside of the box,try interesting views,different angels and perspectives
9 ) Go out with your camera in the magic hour right after the sun comes up,right before the sun sets.After the rain,photograph reflections in puddles,take advantage of overcast light,makes colors pop and skin tones, even. Twilight immediately after the sun sets for night scenes.
10)Try to stay in the center of town,I shot this one from my balcony at three in the morning.
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11)Most of all, let the story unfold before you,enjoy the adventure.Its like when I photograph a wedding I dont think about it and put pressure on myself,the story unfolds before me, I am there to tell the story

“SEEING THE LIGHT” NATURAL LIGHT PHOTOGRAPHYhttp://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

232ee5Photography is mainly made up of light and composition, you can have the greatest composition but without the right light…bla,or you have the most amazing light but with out a great composition,it will not be a great photograph

  I have been asked many times, how do you learn about light. My answer is go out there and shoot in every possible light.
  The two “magic hours, the first and last hour of light.
Back lighting is my favorite (makes things POP,look three dimensional)
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When your subject is in front of the sun silhouette)
NOON the WORST time of day for portraits deep shadows and texture,however
 if that is what you are going for like the photo below I wanted her to look as if she were rising out of the ground (I call it up rising) would NOT have worked at all in the “magic hr”
UP RISEING
 NOW my FAVORITE is overcast makes colors POP, skin tones perfect,so dont freak out if it rains on your wedding day chances are the light will be great for portraits.
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Rain, protect your gear but DO get out there or right after the rain, puddles and reflections make such interesting photos.
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TWILIGHT, the 10 minuete window after sunset when the sky is not black yet and all the neon and available night light comes out,good to use a tripod at this time and perhaps a slow shutter speed.
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Now get out there!!

“GIVE ME THE DETAILS” Photographing wedding details by

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Like any event photographer, most of my wedding shots are of people, i.e. the bride, the groom and their guests. This, after all, is what a wedding is all about and what people mainly want to see when they open a wedding photo album. Weddings, though, are always packed full of other visual details besides the people. So much time is spent in preparation to make a wedding look beautiful that it would be a shame not to preserve some of this in the album. I find that sometimes the best way to achieve this is to make these details the subjects of some of my photographs, even if this means leaving people out of some shots completely.

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Efficient time management is a major factor in a successful wedding shoot, and it can be difficult to capture all the shots you require across the day. That’s why I always show up   early. I do this partly because it affords me the opportunity to walk around the venue – both inside and outside – and assess the lighting conditions on the day. However, it also gives me the chance to get some photos of the building itself and perhaps some of the decorations, flower arrangements and so on before any of the guests have arrived. I always remind my bride to have all of her details together for me when I come into the room where she is getting ready, flowers, rings, vows ,jewelry,shoes, anything and everything that she wants photographed. I challenge myself to find many creative ways of photographing  inanimate objects (since  I am a people photographer) this is always a challenge. I have been know to take an interesting painting off the walls and use it as my background. I try to stick with the colors of the wedding. Keep in mind all of this put together will want to look coordinated in a wedding album.

Of course, often we are asked to take photos of the bride, groom or both getting ready for the wedding. If this is in a hotel or other location far from the venue, it may be difficult to find time to turn up early and capture these detail shots. If so, don’t worry, there will be plenty of other opportunities. Try to spot details and photograph them across the day, and perhaps steal a bit of time at an opportune moment. An ideal opportunity is usually during the meal; most people don’t want to be photographed when they’re eating, so I take the chance to have a walk around the building and its exterior to grab some extra shots.

ALWAYS remember to photograph the venue and location. For destination weddings I might include some of my personal shots of the place I have taken before or after the wedding/

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The “Intimate session”Capturing The Love/http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

 I ask my students what is the”most important subject between the couple  or siblings that you are photographing.most dont guess the answer right away,it is the love,the relationship between them.

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.I ALWAYS insist on  that, I call it “the intimate session”NO ONE is to follow. I take them to a beautiful spot in nature, I try to schedule this session during the last half hr of sunlight”The magic hour” At that time,have a cocktail hour for your guests,they will be fine.This short time maybe the only”alone”time you will have on your wedding day,my couples of course welcome this.These are the photos you will cherish and have them framed and hanging on your walls.

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Sometimes at destination weddings (especially In New Orleans) I like to have a “day after session”, when the couple gets to put their wedding clothes back on and have a blast for about two hrs while I use the destination  for a backdrop, the couple is so much more relaxed, people are congratulating them,playing music for them,buying them drinks along the way everywhere they go,and they are getting the most interesting,romantic unique and fun photographs!! I also love to incorporate the people we meet along the way !

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CREATIVE FREEDOM FOR ALL!How to look great in your wedding photos!

TRUST THEM

Of all the wedding photographers I know, one of their biggest gripes is when a client hands them a detailed shot by shot list of every single thing they want photographed – the dress hanging in front of the window, the shoes, bride getting into her dress, dad looking proud… you get the idea. Trust your photographer. They’ve been doing this a lot longer than you and they will be well aware which shots to get .

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Creative people need “Creative Freedom”That is why I call my business creativefreedomphoto.When artist are told what to do, they  can loose their passion,it interferes with the creative process.When I was a photojournalist for newspapers they give you 100% “Creative Freedom”they trust your eye and talent to tell the story” That is why they hired you!

obviously if you have something particularly sentimental or unique that you’d like photographed (maybe a piece of jewelry passed down through your family or a DIY project that you spent days on) then be sure to let them know, but don’t hand them a blow by blow list of every single shot you want. Allow your photographer to do their job and to be creative. They’ll enjoy the day more which will result in better photographs.

THINK ABOUT THE LIGHT

This is another thing that couples tend to not consider (or not even know they have to consider) but be aware that the light changes throughout the day and different light will result in very different photographs.

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Usually two hrs befog the sunset will give enough light and time for group shots and the”intimate session. Even better,     do a ‘first look’ (where you see each other before the ceremony and get your photos taken then). If you’re not superstitious about seeing each other beforehand, this is a great option too.

When looking at venues think about the light in each room. Is the bedroom you’re getting ready in to small, if there will be allot of people in the room ,obviously you need a big room.does it have an abundance of natural light  ,DO NOT get ready in a locker room with florescent light.  Are the ceremony room walls covered in dark wood with small windows? Remember, photography is essentially painting with light and if there isn’t any, there’s only so much your photographer can do without using a flash.

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Getting ready: “Having about   two hrs with the bride before the ceremony would give me enough time to photograph all the details of the dress, shoes, jewelry etc as well as take some informal photos of everyone getting.  I always ask to have the grooms nearby,keep in mind if I have to go to two location you are missing out on photos I could be taking while I am traveling

Another thing to consider is to politely ask your guests to not take photos during the ceremony (you can do so in the order of service). Guests holding up mobile phones as you walk down the aisle or flashes going off throughout the vows are only going to be distracting for you and other guests (and/or ruin the professional shots).

LEAVE ENOUGH TIME

As I said, time is of the essence and the more time your photographer has the better. They are the experts so ask them how long they think each element should take. Group shots for example are notorious for taking longer than you expect. Having to round up a half-cut usher or a camera-shy aunt for the photos can take a while Give a trusted friend or relative   a list of the group shots you want, do not put down every combination of everyone,keep it simple, try to photograph the elderly first  and if possible delegate the task of helping round people up to a trustworthy usher or bridesmaid.Best to let them know beforehand.

reflections

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GET CREATIVE

Your photographer is not just there to snap away aimlessly. Wedding photographers are a super creative bunch so be open to their ideas and again, trust them! For your portraits, listen to their ideas and don’t be afraid to walk off that beaten path a little bit. These often result in THE MOST AMAZING PHOTOS!  Set aside as much time as possible for this part of the day. The more time the photographer has, the better the results will be.

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The “intimate session”I like to call it is probably the only time the two of you will be alone.leave the best light for these photos.I like to have at least a half hr,the last hr before sunset.  pick a beautiful location nearby,do not allow anyone to follow you and your photographer.This is a good time to have a cocktail hr.

Do not go out and get a tan,does not look flattering in photographs. Guys watch out for those racoon eyes. Try your best to get plenty of sleep and drink as much water as you can before the big day! Hold your bouquet down low it will elongate your waist . Never stand straight in front of the camera, turn your body and put weight on your back leg. If you are self conscious about back fat (yes I said it)  or your arms are not perfect, why not get sleeves 3/4 sowed in, I know it seems like all wedding gowns are sleeveless I dont know why ,if that wont work for you,do go with a veil or even a bolero jacket or a shawl depending on your style of dress. Do established a friendship with your wedding photographer,the more comfortable you feel the better,the less nervous you are in front of the camera the better,!  I always make a strong point of getting to know my clients,I have heard so many times that they felt so at ease as if family were taking their wedding photographs,believe me it really makes a difference!

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Most of all forget about the camera and enjoy the day!!

And do keep in mind I travel worldwide!

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