Category Archives: photojournalism

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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I Do! The ceremony by creativefreedomphoto

This blog is in a four part series,Getting Ready,The Ceremony,The Intimate session and the reception.,so stay tuned!

If you are having an outdoor wedding,hope for the best but always prepare for the worst.make sure that you have a back up plan!! If you have your heart set on getting married outside,go with the flow,have lots of umbrellas handy,incorporate your wedding colors. Do keep in mind that overcast is  best for portraits

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As far as ceremony sites I have seen it all in my twenty four years of photographing weddings nationwide.From elaborate castles in Germany,to beach blankets in Key West .Make it your own.There are no rules!

 

I am often asked about timelines.The best light for photography is when the sun is low in the sky. I would say ,if you are having an outdoor wedding,look up the time of sunset for that day and schedule your ceremony two hours before time of sunset.Allowing plenty of time afterward for your group shots and saving the very best light about a half hour before the sunset for your “intimate session” the photographs of just the two of you alone .Dont rush your photographer through this,give them at the very least a half an hour.Remember these are the photos you will probably be hanging on your walls.

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Some couples now a days have a “first look” before the ceremony. This helps take the edge off, (good for nervous couples).Also a wonderful time for your photographer .Also a great Idea is the “first look” for Fathers and daughters

 

I always ask my couple,”what is the most important photo to you” 99% of my brides and many of my grooms will say (or better say) the first time I see my bride!This is such an important shot,I never miss it!!

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During the ceremony look at each other! believe it or not I have seen couples who look at the notary the entire time.

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I absoulutely love shooting candid during the ceremony,there are so many emotions.Another favorite are capturing kids at this time.

 

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The most important kiss of your lifetime is your first kiss as husband and wife. I always have a second shooter and we are both getting this most important moment from two different views. I would highly recommend that your photographer have a 2nd shooter/assistant,especially for the larger weddings

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Available for weddings worldwide

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

TIME IS ON YOUR SIDE/WEDDING TIME LINE ADVICE By creativefreedomphoto

  I am always asked these question and I am happy to help in fact, your photographer is the best and most valuable person to go to to help you plan the timeline. Photography IS 50% light,50% composition.
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  I am also asked how many hours of coverage should you need. Let me put it this way more coverage = more quality photographs, dont rush your photographer.
  How much coverage depends on a few things, is your wedding big with over 100 people, does it have several locations,or is it a small intimate wedding.
  Getting ready/So much happens during this time,try very hard to have the guys nearby you dont want to miss this part of your story,the contrast can often times be hilarious!
 Keep in mind if you have two locations for guys and girls the photographer will need allot more time to go to two location,driving time,finding parking,packing and unpacking equipment etc that takes allot of time and can take time away from what is most important,capturing your wedding day.When I have the guys and girls at the same location, I just go back and forth, if mot much is going on with the girls, I check out the guys. During this time is not only about “getting ready” doing hair putting on makeup and getting “the dress” on its about the details, have them ready when the photog comes in, your rings, an invitation, newspaper something with the date, wedding vows,your grandmas necklace,Have the flower there as well, whatever it is you want photographed. During this time if I am at one location the entire day (best option ) I will usually go into the reception room and photograph the set up,the venue itself the atmosphere is also very important. The set up for the ceremony and then back to the brides room to spend some quality one on one time for bridal portraits
 Have hair and makeup come to you ALWAYS!. Brides, DO NOT be the last to get ready,allow more time for everything than you think it will take.Get ready early, if you are last and its almost time for the ceremony, not only will I not have enough time for bridal portraits,you will feel nervous and rushed and it will show on your face, again I stress this do not rush your photographer! The ultimate time for me at the beginning of the story if everyone is at one location is about three hrs. It is a very important time with so much going on and so many wonderful photo opportunities also a good time for me to get to know family and friends of the couple.
 THE CEREMONY:
TIME- If outdoor wedding,two to three hours before the time of sunset. Two if you dont have a million groups shots and the ceremony is very quick,three if you have allot of group shots with a long ceremony.Group shots take more time than you think. Again allow more time for everything
 Most important leave the last half hour or more of light (The magic hour) the best lite of the day for just the two of you alone, I call it the “intimate session” plan a cocktail hr for this time your guests will be fine and it will be the only “alone “time you might have together all day. Out of this time comes the most beautiful portraits of my couples capturing their relationship and the love they have for each other, this is absoulutely my favorite time to photograph, DO NOT miss this time, do not rush your photographer or cut it short, I have had couples after we have disused this only give me five minutes, you will never get this time back!
Reception-
   Again will there be a huge party with dancing   bouquet toss,cake cutting sparkler send off/parting shot, do you want the entire reception covered,if not push up the most important moments to you. If so, remember photographer, D.J all of your vendors should be fed,treat people the way you would want them to treat you. While everyone is eating take care of your vendors.People dont look their best when they are eating!
  My full coverage (the time I need to tell the story is about eight hrs. You can always add more if your photographer is up to it.
  If it is a small intimate wedding on the beach with just the two of you and a few close family members, I have a minimum of two hrs and have it on an off day, most photographers are booked on the weekends or wont take a two hr wedding on a Saturday.
  I do hope I have helped and answered allot of your questions.Keep this in mind, I am an award winning international fine arts wedding photojournalist with a very unique style, I travel worldwide  http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/
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Wedding Photojournalism/The Story Teller by creativefreedomphoto

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 In the limo

Dont just keep pressing the shutter and hope that something sticks,wait,watch,observe.Do not ask people to do anything,allow life to happen .There are moments at a wedding like the dances that you are just about guaranteedfws1-003

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that there will be plenty of emotion to capture.Shoot like you are using film.If you are just starting out,I suggest that you use film. One of the best angles for capturing candidws is above,do take advantage I always look for this vantage point

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…A great wedding photographer is a great story teller. . Get to know your clients,meet with them, do an engagement session, it is very important that they feel comfortable with you, the more you know them the more passion you will feel.

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As a wedding photojournalist, I allow the story to come to me.I very rarely tell people what to do (unless I am doing the group shots,my least favorite because I feel I am missing out on the “real moments”) I ask my clients to keep the group shot list to a minimum. They didint hire me for a bunch of posed group shots but for my ability to “capture emotions” To me weddings are by far the easiest because they tend to be a field day of emotions.

  •  At the beginning of the story,remember to photograph the place,the details,the venue.These are all important to the couple and are a part of their story.

Mecedes Benz Super Dome New Orleanswedding details

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I ask my clients to have the guys nearby so that I can go back and forth between the guys and the ladies, You want to get both sides of the story!

Try to be a fly on the wall, wear black not bright colors.You want people to forget that you are there so that things can happen naturally. I long zoom lens is a good Idea for candid s at weddings.

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Keep in mind that there are two sides of the story,during the ceremony for instance,its not just about the couple but pay attention to the audience,know who the parents are,most often the Mothers will shed some tears.

 

The most important shot during the ceremony most often it is the grooms reaction when he sees his bride for the first time

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My students often ask me what do you photograph during the reception when everyone is eating. Good question, it is not flattering to photograph people eating,but children can be adorable during this time.It is also a good time to shoot some of the details.Also the atmosphere,the musicians if they do have live music

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A great story has a beginning,middle and an ending, think of a parting shot,it could be a back shot of the couple walking away in the sunset or grandma asleep at the reception,most often I dont think, I just allow things to happen naturally.Sometimes my couple does request a specific parting shot .

Super dome wedding

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Most important,dont pose people,allow them to be themselves,stand back,remember you are there to tell the story and to capture all the emotions

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New Orleans SUPER Dome wedding/by http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

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I have the most amazing job! I get to travel to incredible places like New Orleans (one of my favorite) To capture one of the best days of someones life!

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Last year I had the honor and privilege to photograph Leah and Gregory Orys wedding in New Orleans. The venue was at the Mercedes Benz super dome Club XLIV/ENCORE

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CLUB XLIV / ENCORE

club XLIV is a private lounge, named to honor the victory by the New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl XLIV. The club is located in the heart of the Square with an entrance next to the stage, and its built-in amenities include modern furnishings, illuminated bars, specialty lighting and advanced audio/video technology. Encore is connected to club XLIV by oversized sliding doors, and the versatile, plush interior is customizable for any event. Combined, the two prime spaces provide nearly 18,000 square feet and can accommodate up to 1,000 patrons.

Leah and Gregory stayed at the magnificent Hyatt Regency New Orleans

http://neworleans.hyatt.com/en/hotel/our-hotel.html

New Orleans hotel near the French Quarter offers easy access to the Super dome

What I loved about this hotel was the spectacular views of downtown! The room was surrounded by glass windows

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Kiss and makeup (love the name) did a beautiful job with hair and makeup.although the ladies where all naturally beautiful http://kissandmakeupbeauty.webs.com/services.htm

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New Orleans is an artists dream,I happen to come across this incredible The scream mural and had to stop to take a photo of Leah before the ceremony! It also helps to “”scream:”before the ceremony!

The guys,I photographed by the Super dome which reminds me of a huge spaceship

 groomsmen at the Super Dome

The ceremony and reception where held at Club XLIV.Inside it feels like you are in a very high class nightclub,very modern with gorgeous colorful up-lighting,takes you to another world!

At night they light up the Super Dome with the wedding colors and also put your name up on a billboard to congratulate you!

Super dome wedding

The following day, after all the stress is left behind is when I like to take my couples  on their “intimate session”just the two of them with New Orleans  as a background, (the world is my oyster) I do this for my destination weddings,I feel that the “alone”time during the wedding day is never enough.The day after session,my couple gets to  play dress up again this time without the stress!   Everywhere we go people are applauding and congratulating  them,they feel like celebrities! bride and groom in ew orleans

There are so many wonderful back drops!

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…And magical things happen. I met this musician by the river the previous year photographing another wedding. We just happen to run into him and he invites us into his home and insists on playing a song on the porch while Leah and Gregory dance.
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New Orleans feels like “home “to me.The nicest people on the planet,music ,art ,everywhere,my heaven made to order! The coolest place for a wedding!!
  At last before the sun sets we head off to the river
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Capturing emotion in Photography by http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

we often find that the most beautiful photographs are often the ones capturing the strongest emotion. After all, human emotion is something we all experience every day of our lives.

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Unless you’re a wedding photographer, where emotions are running high, and therefore are all over people’s faces, it’s not so easy to capture emotion. When they see a camera, people tend to freeze like deer in the headlights or they over react with big, cheesy grins or scrunched faces. This makes capturing raw emotion a bit tricky for any photographer. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, you just have to have some tricks up your lens hood. -Capturing emotion in photos is no easy task! It can be especially tricky when people know they are being photographed we all want something more from a photo… genuine emotion. As the photographer, it’s your job to help people feel relaxed and comfortable!a1-003http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

When you’re shooting street shots or candids, capturing genuine emotion isn’t too difficult because you’re recording moments as they happen and your subjects are often unaware of or unconcerned with the camera’s presence.It takes a little effort — mostly in the form of simply being a thoughtful photographer — but getting your subjects to display some unfiltered emotion is certainly an attainable goal and one with a huge payoff. The following tips apply whether your portraits are formal or spur of the moment, for pay or for fun.,

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Talk,Talk,Talk…is particularly important if the person you’re shooting is a stranger. Talking helps you, the photographer, get a feel for your subject’s personality and helps your subject forget about the camera. You can put them at ease by asking questions about themselves; don’t be intrusive or overly personal with your questions, but do express a real interest in their responses.

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It’s actually quite likely that some of the best photo ops are when they think you’ve put the camera down. The in-between moments are when your subject becomes authentic again. If you can sneak in a few photos during this time, you’ll be golden. When you pull this off will be spontaneous. If there is more than one person that you’re photographing, that spontaneity will be more likely to occur as they engage in conversation or an activity while you’re changing out your lenses. Stay on your toes and be ready for the unexpected!-

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Pulling emotion from people takes tack that comes more naturally to some than others. It helps to visualize a shoot before going into it. Imagine how and where you’re going to position them, the gear and equipment you’ll use, and how the actual images might look when done. Going into the shoot with a vision of how it would unfold will help you relax, which helps your client relax.fi1http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

saying ‘photography is done with the mind and heart’ continues to perfectly define the dividing line between an aficionado of the craft, and an artist.
The fascination with equipment and lenses is understandable; the same goes for passion for watches or cars, but all the best equipment or the best range of lenses in the world won’t do much to transform you into a great photographer.

When people argue over the grain of the photograph, or the lens that you really must use for this or that, they are losing sight of what is actually important: the content of the image, and the way in which the photographer sees his or her own reality. The first and essential thing needed to be able to argue above a photograph is to know what is actually being made. And in order to get something worth discussing, all we need is a camera and a lens, not the best camera and twelve lenses.

Hello world! I am a fine arts photojournalist with over twenty yrs of experience that I will be sharing with you! Whether you are interested in photography,want to start shooting weddings,planning your own wedding or just want to be inspired!

Hello world! I am a fine arts photojournalist with over twenty yrs of experience that I will be sharing with you! Whether you are interested in photography,want to start shooting weddings,planning your own wedding or just want to be inspired!.