Category Archives: candid photography

“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!!

HERE COMES THE GROOM

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Everyone always gets so carried away with the bride,what about the groom’s?

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I always ask my couples to get ready at the same location.I like to go back and forth between the guys and gals to get both sides of the story.

The brides room is usually chaotic,a mess,full of emotion,makeup,hair spray,chocolate, and mimosas everywhere. The contrast when you put the two together is hilarious. The guys are just hanging out and having a good time with their buddies. The only stress they have is how to pin on the boutonniere ,.

I always ask my couples separately “What is the most important moment to you” 90% of brides will say “When he sees me coming down the isle”When I ask the guys the same question most will say,”the first time I see her coming down the isle as my bride”

I always make sure I get this shot,I am usually shooting behind the bride and her Dad focusing on the grooms reaction between the shoulders of the bride and her Dad/Mom or whoever is walking her down the Isle. I have a student/apprentice have another camera focused on the groom from another angle, I teach my student (this is usually their first lesson on capturing emotion) do not turn around keep you focus on the groom at all times, you will know when he see’s her and I want a series of shots. Its very rare that a groom will not show any emotion , the most beautiful shot to me is when the groom cries. Guys try so hard to hold in their feelings.It is   an amazing moment/

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Shttp://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/ay “YES” To the engagment session!!

Benafits of having an engagment session

1. Get yourself some sweet photos!

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Sounds pretty obvious, right? But as time inches closer to the big day you start to find yourself getting busier and busier. Early in the engagement is the perfect time for an e-shoot; while the excitement of the proposal and visions of the future are still fresh in your mind, that emotion will be clearly evident in your photos.

 2. A chance to let loose and get creative.

You have an opportunity to take some truly unique photos, different from any you’ve had before, so make good use of it! Start with the location and pick a place that means something to both of you. It can be where you got engaged, a first date or just a verymemorable date, where you met (maybe your highschool/university). It can be any place that puts you at ease, something familiar that naturally makes you feel good, such as the zoo, a beach, or even your regular coffee shop. Where ever you decide, make it mean something to you.

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Fred Howard Park,Tarpon Springs

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Your photos are actually pretty useful!

Speaking of creativity, your photos aren’t limited to the confines of a picture frame! Many savvy do-it-yourselfers are using their e-shoot photos in many crafty ways. Use them for save-the-date cards, receptions seating charts and table indicators, wedding programs, guest books, or even just a really awesome coffee table book for home.

 

Practice for the big day .http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

Chances are you haven’t had your photos taken by a professional before, so how do you know what to do? On your wedding day you’ll be surrounded by cameras, not just the one you hired. With everything that is going on during the day, it’s great to have one less thing to worry about.

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Whether you are camera shy or a photogenic vixen, the e-shoot s a great opportunity to instill confidence and build comfort in front of the camera. It can be daunting to have a camera follow you, it happens to all of us, and it’s best to get that anxiety out of the way in advance. In no time, you’ll stop focusing on the camera and more on each other. Your nerves will calm and your stress will float away. Your interactions with each other will become more natural and you’ll learn to avoid the innate reflex to stiff up and smile directly into the camera.

 

 

 

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If you want to really make it a true dry run, try coordinating your e-shoot with your hair and makeup trials; it will allow you the chance to see how they show up in photos.

Letting your photographer get to know YOU.

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Not only is it good practice for you, it’s also a great trial run for your photographer. It allows him/her to see how you interact; to learn if you are timid or big on the PDA. They will learn about your personalities, whether you are goofy or serious, and how much direction you’ll need or want. It’s a great time to learn about your love story, chat about your wedding plans, and push to see how affectionate you can get in front of the camera. The opposite is also true, you’ll be able to communicate what you like and don’t like, as well as your preference for angles, expressions, lighting, and editing styles. All this will allow them to tailor the photos to make your images more personal and memorable.

Getting to know your photographer.

It’s great to have your photographer get to know you, but it’s more important that you get to know THEM. Get a taste of their shooting style and learn how they direct you. It will be very similar to how they direct you on the wedding day so you’ll know exactly what to expect. Chat with them about your wedding plans and get tips about planning out the schedule. Your photographer has seen it all and probably has a ton of advice on how to organize the day and minimize rushing and delays.

Lastly, think about this, you will likely see your photographer more than anyone else on your wedding day … including your fiancé! The e-shoot is a perfect ice breaker to transform your photographer from a ‘stranger’ taking your photos to a ‘friend’ taking your photos. Establish a relationship with your photographer (and all your vendors for that matter). Get to know his personality & hobbies to the point where you feel comfortable enough with them that you’ll look forward to spending time with them on your wedding day.

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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.

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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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CHILDREN AT WEDDINGS/www.creativefreedomphoto.com

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I started out as a child photographer,to me a wedding is colorless without children!

if you’ve invited children to your wedding you can be sure of one thing – there’ll be lots of cute photos for your wedding album.

Children of all ages make great subjects for wedding photos. Parents love the proper posed photographs of them dressed up in their best clothes – and these do make lovely portraits – but it’s the natural, candid images (when children are just being children) are the ones that always raise the biggest smile.

Little ones chasing ducks, picking up the thrown confetti,  or simply running to give grandad a huge hug, there’s a timeless picture just waiting to be taken.

a123rlisolba   GROWTH B SIOS

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Have a look at these photos of children at weddings 1 a sisters toung LITTLE BOYS      flower girl walking psa1-003   a1rsfws aafws9          akis

kids       ws 6

 

 

And you’ll see what I mean…….http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

FOR THE LOVE OF STREET PHOTOGRAPHY ; part 2/creativefreedomphoto

    I am known as a wedding photojournalist, but my true love is street  photography . I have allot to say about this subject I will most likely have several blogs on the topic of street photography.
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     . Whenever I am sent on a destination wedding to places like New Orleans (one of my favorite places)  I try to at least have a day for myself where I can explore and shoot for my soul.Of course being a “people photographer,New Orleans is magical to me, .I stopped using a zoom lens, on purpose  It has forced me to be up close and personal, to talk and get to know my subjects, most times this is more rewarding to me.. there are still moments where I see a shot and take it very candidly,getting up close would loose the feeling  .There are no rules here, it depends on the subject.Sometimes standing from a distance and just allowing     life to happen, Or,,finding a great spot with just the right light and composition and just waiting for a subject to walk into it. other times
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meeting an artist , musician or character
on the street  and talking while I am photographing him./her,getting to listen and enjoy their stories.Below I ventured into “musicians village in the upper 9th ward in New Orleans and met this wonderful musician named David who invited us into his home and just loved to tell us his stories . Musicians village is a magical place

The village, a development of Habitat for Humanity, was started after Hurricane Katrina on a vacant piece of land once occupied by a school, with the notion of creating a new, affordable neighborhood that would welcome home New Orleans musicians and others displaced by Katrina.

With support from homegrown musical celebrities like Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis, the village has blossomed into a neighborhood of 72 new homes and spurred the renovation of previously existing homes along its perimeters. I am dreaming of an “artist village right next door,I would move in a heartbeat”!

 

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“The best asset that any photojournalist has is the ability to schmooze—the ability to relate to somebody else, the ability to talk to somebody else and to make them feel comfortable. If they’re comfortable with you, your pictures will clearly show it,” “You can’t be shy if you’re going to play photojournalist. You have to talk to people.”

Explain yourself. Be polite, smile and say sorry if somebody is offended you took a photograph of them. Offer to e-mail the photograph. It takes practice being comfortable in this style of photography, but the results are very true to life and worth it.

Although I love photographing people,street photography doesn’t have to have people in it,sometimes its the details, I found this tile a child wrote and stuck it on a fence in Greenwich village after 9/11

 

And always remember this,
“A mime is a terrible thing to waste”
"A Mime Is A Terrible Thing To Waist"

FOR THE LOVE OF “STREET PHOTOGRAPHY” PART 1 /creativefreedomphoto

I have a lot to say on the subject of street photography so I am going to have several blogs on this subject,I post approximately once a week, sometimes more when I have the time.

WHAT IS STREET PHOTOGRAPHY?

” Street photographs are mirror images of society,displaying unmanipulated  scenes,with usually unaware subjects”
street musician,french quarter,new orleans at dusk
 Street photography shows a pure vision of something,like holding up a mirror to society.Street photography often tends to be ironic and can be distanced from its subject matter,and often concentrates on a single human moment,caught at a decisive or poignant moment.On the other hand,much street photography takes the opposite approach and provides a very literal and extremely personal rendering of the subject matter,giving the audience a more visceral experience of walks of life they might only be  passingly familiar with.

 

Growing up in New York,It was my first photography class in ninth grade.My Mother would drive me into the heart of New York city ,she was very impatient and I had to roll my window down and shoot from the car, she would say “shoot,Shoot,life is happening fast “! .I wish I still had my work from that time,I do still have these photographs in my mind; angry faces of NYC cab drivers cursing at the traffic,   old ladies looking at the world from the safety of their windows.I have just one photograph from around that age.
 the Bowery NYC,1972
I started to take the train into the city by myself and wander down into”the bowery” a “very bad neighborhood” I was told to stay away from, of course that  intrigued  me!    I started talking to the street people, back then they called them”bums” I asked this old man, bottle of whisky between his legs,sitting against the tire of an old truck ,wisdom and pain displayed on his many wrinkles”Hey,Whats going on,how are you doing today”that would  strike up  a conversation, He then started to tell me a bit about his life while I listened and photographed him,periodically putting my camera down.
      I would bring the film back to class and develop it in the darkroom watching the photo  come to life before my eyes in the developer, in those days I had to wait a long time before I could actually see the photograph .
     I was born with amblyopia and only have sight in one eye), I learned much later in life this is a good thing, close your eye and see the world with one eye, after all that is what the camera does
   ,My photography teacher loved my work,at that time in my life I did not have any confidence in myself,(coming from an abusive home ) it felt strange to me to be complimented, I did not believe in myself all I knew was that I fell in love with photography,It was a way for me to not only express myself but a way to capture a moment forever..I was hooked!!
There seems to be a sentiment out there that somehow “legitimate” street photography involves only candid shots. I began with candid shots myself. It was when I began interacting with my subjects, however, that my photography truly began to stand out. By involving your subject in the process, you can not only compose your shot better, but also reveal more of the subject’s personality.
   I tend to do both,it depends on my subject
 New Orleans Lady

Start in a crowd.

I encourage new street photographers to start with a busy public place such as a street market or an outdoor event as a comfortable start.  You are more invisible in a crowd and can more easily overcome your fear of photographing strangers. Street performers are excellent street photography subjects to start shooting. After all, they are there to be seen and are used to being photographed plus they are part of the culture of the place you are visiting. Buskers perform to make a few bucks, so shoot away, and be generous with what you toss in their hat!

Jah Bless

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I photographed the shot above of a street  vendor  at the Goombay festival in Key West. There is always that one face in the crowd that stands out, that particular day, this man was the one face.At that time I was photographing for the newspapers.

nola-2

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Now that I am older,I enjoy getting to know my subjects,getting up close and personal and listening to their stories.

I was starting out in my career,not as bold as I am now and shot mostly candid with a 300mm zoom lens.I walked up and down the crowded streets that day,hoping for that one shot that would capture this colorful Caribbean festival. I kept my eye on my subject waiting for just the right moment. I had my camera ready and zoomed in on him,a tourist stopped by his set up and asked to see a particular item, that is when he stuck his head through the beautiful material that framed him perfectly with abundant color,that was it!, the photograph that captured the festival, even though I was using film and couldn’t see it right away, I knew in my heart that I had gotten “the one”!

New Orleans,streetmusician

The street musicians of New Orleans among my favorite subjects to photograph (in my favorite city on the planet!)

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“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.”
~ Imogen Cunningham