Tag Archives: photography lessons

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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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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PHOTOGRAPHY LESSON/VANTAGE POINT

by http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

One of the most common mistakes an amateur/novice photographer makes is to take the majority of their photos standing up with the camera held near chest or eye level. Although this is the most comfortable/natural orientation it’s not the one that is going to yield impressive or unique photos. Everybody else is doing it and if you’re interested in taking photos that are going to impress an audience outside of friends and family it’s time to get down & dirty, climb, contort & twist your body all over the place

1) Look Up / Look Down

As mentioned previously, taking photos from chest or eye level is what 90% of other photographers are already doing. Start noticing what’s going on up & down. You might notice a man shaving nearby an overhead window or a cute dog scurrying about at ground level. Try taking photos of somebody climbing up steep steps from an overhead perspective. The next time you take a portrait of somebody have them sit down and look up towards the sky or ceiling before taking their shot from an above perspective. Try capturing architecture or a statue from a close-up perspective pointing your camera upwards to capture a distinct or select element.

2) Climb a Mountain, ladder, tree or just some steps

One of the easiest ways to change your perspective is to shoot from a higher vantage point. In other words, be prepared to get physical and do a little exercise climbing a mountain, ladder, tree, or just some steps When shooting above and looking down it’s almost as if you have a bird’s eye perspective of what is going on below. From a higher vantage point you can take great shots of parades, crowds, traffic or scenic valley views. The rewards of doing this are that ‘many’ other photographers are simply too lazy to ‘climb’ something. This is a tip that can’t be underestimated: putting in a bit of grunt work

ALL BRIDES ARE BEAUTIFUL!! by http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

(  A lesson for future brides and for wedding photographers )

  I believe that being a woman has an advantage when it comes to wedding photography.Most brides do feel much more comfortable around women, especially during the “getting ready”  time. I also believe everyone is their most beautiful when they are happy!!

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  Dont skip the “getting ready” session with your photographer. A great wedding photographer is a great storyteller. To me the beginning of the story is so important,. all of the chaos the emotions and the alone time that I spend with the bride getting the bridal portraits.
   Also try to have the guys near by,you do not want to forget the other part of the story. Having several locations is not a good Idea your photographer will have less time with you,with the guys, and you will have less photos and might even miss out on allot of great moments. The best case scenario   is when you can have everything at one location for instance,rent a beautiful house   and have all vendors come to you ,it really does cut down on the stress level. .
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  I feel one of the most important part of being a great wedding photographer is getting to know your couples, if you can meet with them or have an engagement session do it! If not, often times my couples are from out of state or country, get to know each other through e mails and phone conversations. By the time the wedding day comes, my brides are so happy to see me,they are 100% comfortable and it shows through the lens! Being comfortable   with your wedding photographer also cuts down on the stress.
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  For brides and grooms, dont try to pose,let your emotions flow ,try to forget about the camera and just enjoy every moment.The photo below,”the grooms reaction” is usually the most important moment for both the bride and the groom.
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Environmental portraits lesson/www.creativefreedomphoto.com

As a Photojournalist for several newspapers, environmental portraits are a must.They tell a story. The photo below was the morning after hurricane George hit Key West.

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Above a sign turned up side down,one of the weirdest things I have ever seen!

What exactly is an environmental portrait, how does it differ from a typical portrait?
An environmental portrait, also called a location portrait, uses a person’s surroundings to tell more about that person. Sometimes this environment is directly connected to who they are—it’s that person’s home, place of work or community. Other times the environment has little or no connection but helps create a mood that contributes to an understanding of that person.

Below an old Cuban man making hats out of psalm fronds in Key West Fl

“Thats What Fronds Are For”

Thats what fronds are for!!

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Why do I prefer environmental portraits?

  • they give context to the subject you’re photographing
  • they give points of interest to shots (something you need to watch as you don’t want to distract from your subject too much)
  • they help your subject relax
  • they often give the viewer of your shots real insight into the personality and lifestyle of your subject

Backgrounds

There should be some background detail, to add character to a picture, but not so much that it overpowers the presence of the person in the shot. The idea behind this method of photography is that the background subtly adds to the feel of the portrait yet does not become the main feature. If you find the background to be too distracting, try using a wider aperture to blur the background so you can still make out what’s there but the eye is immediately drawn to the person instead. You could also try cropping the shot when you’re back at your computer or simply move your subject to a place where the background isn’t so distracting. Remember, you want your location to relate to your subject and add interest to the shot without actually pulling attention away from your main point of focus.

One of my favorite photographs of my son in his teenage yrs

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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.”

An artist in his gallery in New Orleans

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REFLECTIONS in photography/http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

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Few things are more inspiring than reflection photography. Reflections are incredibly beautiful, and once you start looking for them, you’ll be surprised to discover that they are all around us.

Piano man

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Using reflections in photography can lead to some amazing effects and beautiful images. Using water, windows, mirrors or any sort of reflective surface can change an image into a work of art. The wonderful thing about using reflections when taking photos is that they can completely alter the image from something fairly straightforward to something richer or abstract or otherwise more artistic.

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Sometimes reflections can be annoying and certainly not artistic. But

creativity and good-quality photos depend on the photographer being able to see things differently, rather than seeing only one part of a larger whole.For a pristine reflection, you can’t beat something really flat. Calm water or glass are the old standbys. But, finding something with a little texture can add contrast and drama. A lumpy piece of metal might not be as flattering as a flat, shiny piece, but it might be more interesting. Also, you can mix rough textures with smooth in the same image to add even more drama. Shoot a reflection in a puddle, but try including some of the surrounding pavement to frame the reflected scene. You can also drop a small rock or into the water to create ripples and see how that changes the resulting image.

jazz ps

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Find a Reflective Surface

The first step in reflection photography is relatively straightforward – you must find a reflective surface. Once you train your eye for it, you’ll realize that reflective surfaces are literally all around us. Some of the most beautiful reflections are found on the surface of water. Any bodies of water including tiny puddles are perfect for reflection photography.

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Find a Unique Subject

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Once you’ve found a reflective surface, the next stop is to find an interesting subject for your photo. Of course, you should always include your subject in the reflection because that’s what the human eye will be paying attention to. If your subject is not found in the reflection, the viewer probably won’t even notice that there is a reflection.

Go Out there and see how many interesting reflections you can find!

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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”!

 

David from the ninth ward_JMP7382
“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"