When taking pictures during a shoot, it isn’t very likely that all you have to do is point the camera and snap the picture. One of the things that contributes to the way that your picture comes out is the angle. You have to find the angle that fits your vision of what you want the photo to look like. From one angle the subject’s head might be too big, you don’t want that. From another angle you might be cutting of the subject’s feet, you don’t really want that either. There are really no rules to finding your angle, it is mostly whatever you envisioned your photos to look like. Your angles are what makes your photos unique.
Being a wedding photographer is more than just being a photographer taking pictures for the day. To be a wedding photographer you have to be friendly and make connections with people enough for them to feel comfortable letting you photograph the moments that they share. You are basically part of the family for the night. If the family doesn’t feel like you are part of the family, it might feel awkward to them when you try to capture the moments where the family is being the family, like the table filled with a mixture of the bride and grooms family having a laugh or someone burning the dance floor with their hot moves. The last thing you want as a photographer is people feeling awkward with you there, then the pictures are going to turn out awkward, fake smiles are the worst. Altogether, being a wedding photographer is a great job that many love because at the end of the day you end up with a bunch of new family members and great memories captured.
Currently on the east coast the temperature has been rising to nearly 100 degrees. But does that mean only do inside shoots? I don’t think so. Here are some ways I beat the heat and capture the beautiful summer glaze of the outside.
Get out early
Get up and start your shoot earlier in the day. Late enough that the sun is up but earlier than the heat the heat reaches its peak. I usually try to get out around 8 am to have plenty of time to get some great shots before the heat becomes too much around 12 pm.
Before you leave to be in the heat you should definitely have something in your stomach. The sun drains energy and food will help keep your energy up.
Keep Cold Water Around
Water is a must on a hot day. Maybe keep a bag with a few bottles of cold water in it. Staying hydrated is a big deal any day but even more important on a hot day. We don’t need a bunch of photographers passing out on the streets.
Bring a Travel Fan
The little fans that you see in the dollar store that you can wear around your neck come in handy. Things will get sweaty after a while and your clients look could be affected. With this little fan you can keep your clients nice and dry looking at least until the end of the shoot.
One of my favorite things to do in the summer is go on nature walks. I love to find a nice park that has a trail or even a creek somewhere. When the sun is really beating down, being under trees and around water is the best way to stay cool without having to stay outside. Nature walks are also a great opportunity to shoot some nice photos. As a lot of great photographers say, nature is the best subject. There is just something about the way the sun hits the leaves on the trees and the water in the creek that makes nature walks so beautiful. There is also always some interesting things happening in nature like old beehives or a family of ducks in the pond. If you are looking for a change of scenery I would suggest finding the nearest creek with a trail and taking a nature walk.
The perfect model for me is someone who is not shy around the camera. When I pull the camera out, they are ready right away. In my experience there have been models that will be timid in conversation but turn into a totally different person in front of the camera. There is no reason to be shy around the camera because all it is going to do is bring the beauty out of someone. The perfect model just makes photo shoots so much easier because I don’t really need to give any instruction, they just know how to work the camera and every shoot looks like it could be in a magazine. The perfect model is just comfortable with their self. Anyone could be the perfect model, including you.
Photography changes the way I see the world. After buying my first camera I got serious with going out and doing photo shoots. I figured out how different angles and lighting make things look different than how it looks at first glance. Now I have to take my camera everywhere I go because I ALWAYS spot atypical shots that are appealing to my eye and have to capture it. When people say they're feeling sad, I always tell them to start taking pictures of the beautiful things they see. If you are walking down the street and you see a funny looking tree, take a picture of it. Take pictures of everything that interests you and you will soon start to see how beautiful the world really is.
Get professional experience- Consider getting experience with another photographer first so you can learn the basics of starting a photography business.
Get your finances together- First things first, create a financial plan. Don’t start off with crazy purchases with things that aren’t necessary at the moment. You always want to make sure that the money you put into your business you can get back over time.
Get your gear up- In order to start a photography business you should have all the necessary equipment including but not limited to: cameras, multiple lenses, flashes, lights and editing software. It’s also a good idea to have backup cameras and lenses just in case something breaks or is malfunctioning.
Create a portfolio- Put together a portfolio/website to showcase your work to your potential clients. This way your clients can also understand your photography style as well.
Think about pricing- How much are you going to charge your clients? Usually companies charge by the hour, so figure out how much your time is worth, including the time it takes to edit the pictures.
Advertise- Get your business out there! Post your company on social media, go to networking events, collaborate with other companies so you can gain clients through other connections.
The energy in the room is a big part of how the pictures are going to come out. It is a good thing to always make sure that everyone is having fun during the photo shoot. When there is weird energy in the room then the pictures are going to turn out weird. Here are some ways to keep the energy happy during your photo shoot.
Make sure your client is comfortable- You should ask your client what kind of pictures they would like and keep them updated throughout the shoot. Ask if they feel comfortable doing any pose that you suggest.
Be friendly and approachable- If you are being kind of stand-offish and not really listening to what your client is telling you, this can make for a weird atmosphere. Be happy and open to different ideas.
Have fun!- If there is anything else to remember during a photo shoot is should be to have fun. You can’t look like you’re having fun unless you actually are.
Timing- The best time to take your maternity pictures would be when your belly is nice and big, but not so big that you look like you are about to pop. You should schedule your shoot for when you are around 6-8 months pregnant.
What to wear- Wear something that shows off your belly like a tight shirt or dress. It is also important to wear something that makes you feel radiant, you want to look like the life giving goddess that you are.
Family- Bring the father and if you have other children bring them too! These pictures are all about love and the life you give. It would be beautiful to have your other children interacting with your belly as well as the father of the child.
Find a spot- Get to the venue early and look around for places that would be great to take pictures of the bride, groom and their family. This location should be full of light.
Details- Make sure your photos have a lot of detail. You want to make sure the clients can look at your pictures and remember everything, even the flowers on the table.
Snap great moments- During the reception you should be roaming around looking for great photo opportunities. People laughing at the table and kids dancing on the dance floor are classic examples.
Bring a second shooter- You can’t be everywhere at once. You could be taking a picture and miss a really great moment in another part of the room. When you bring a second shooter it’s like being in two places at once. You are shooting elegant portraits, they can be shooting nice off guards.
Deep primary colors- The best colors, beside black and white of course, to wear for your photos are deep primary colors, like royal or navy blue, deep red, and mustard yellow, not too bright but not too dull.
Stay away from greens- If you are having a photo shoot with an outside setting, you should probably stay away from green to avoid blending into the greenery like trees and grass around you.
Dress for the season- If it’s fall you should wear fall attire like hoodies and vests. It would look pretty silly for there to be a fall background with leaves that are changing colors and the people in the photo are all wearing shorts and sandals.
Coordinate- A lot of people have broken the tradition of the family portraits with everyone wearing the same shirt and pants. Now people just coordinate, you don’t all have to be wearing the same thing but you should have a theme color. If blue is the theme, everyone can just have a hint of blue in their outfit and everyone will get the idea.
Clothes that fit nicely- Baggy clothes and pictures don’t work well together. Unless you want to look the size that the clothes actually are, I would recommend clothes that fit to your actual size.
Have you ever gotten to a photoshoot to discover that the person you are taking photos of is shy around the camera? If you don't know how to make your clients more comfortable and feel like themselves, your photos will read LACK OF ENERGY all over them! Here are a few helpful tips on how to keep your clients comfortable.
Befriend -Introduce yourself befriend your client so they are comfortable enough to share their thoughts on the shoot and what they will like to see more/less of.
Communicate -While you are shooting, don’t leave the client clueless on what’s going on. Always offer words of encouragement like “you’re doing great!” or “that looks awesome” just to let them know how everything is going.
Give them a sneak peak- After every few shots, let the client see how things look. This way they have a chance to tell you if they like that look or would like you to do something a little different. This will also give the client an idea of how they would want to pose.
Be confident -If you aren’t confident in yourself, your client isn’t going to be confident in you. It's as simple as that! You want your client to be sure that they chose the right photographer and they are going to get pictures that they are happy with.
So you’re on your way to shoot get some nice shots, whether it’s an event or just shooting on the street, you get all the way there and realize you are not prepared. This is one of the worst feelings, especially if you're new to the photography industry and not knowing what to do. Here is a starter check list to make sure you are always prepared.
Prepare the night before!!
You don’t want to get to your shoot, turn on the camera, get 5 minutes in and your camera is counting down to its death. Another reason to always carry spare batteries.
Clear memory cards:
Make sure you have enough space on your SD/CF cards so you aren’t limited to how many pictures you can take, or having to take time out of shooting to delete old pictures.
Pack your bag:
Pack all your equipment you need in a bag or two the night before. Lenses, camera bodies (at least two, main body and a back up), SD/CF cards, and lights. This also prevents the chance of forgetting anything or running around with your head cut off trying to find things.
Know the location:
You should know how to get there and how long it will take to get there the night before so you can give yourself enough time to get ready and leave comfortably rather than in a rush. Most professional photographers even go out to the location a few days before to get an idea on exactly where they plan to shoot, angles, lighting, sunrise/sunset, etc.
Create your vision:
Think about the set up and what kind of shots you would like to capture. Think about what kind of pictures the client would love based on your conversations with them.
Get in the zone:
When you wake up, do something that clears your mind. Whether it's a hot shower or your favorite tea and a scone. Whatever it may be, just get your create juices flowing and ready for your shoot!
It’s always best to be early to an event, to set up all of your equipment. This way if anything does go wrong, you have time to handle the situation.
Big camera companies like Canon and Nikon come out with a new version of a camera every year but does that mean you should upgrade your gear every year?
Unlike being a part of #teamiphone it is definitely not necessary to buy the new version of a camera every year. A lot of new photographers make the mistake in thinking that every time a new camera comes out they have to grab it. Consider this before feeling the urge to upgrade your camera each year:
Buying cameras each year can get pretty expensive, for example: DSLRs can range from $300 to $6,000. Imagine paying $6,000 for a camera just to use it for 12 months and never use it again! However, if you are working with an old/low quality camera, that may be the cause of low quality pictures and you may need to update your camera. Tip: cameras that are a few years older may disappoint in the ISO area, but as for the new DSLRs, they have more advanced technology to help with low light shooting.
Let the camera lens perform.
If you feel as if your pictures are coming out subpar, consider changing your lens first. This is the most cost effective way to getting high quality photos. When I was ready to buy my first camera I did some research and talked to a lot of people in different camera shops and they all told me the same thing, “as long as you have a good body (quality camera), you can just change your lens.” To get the photos you want, look for the lens that fits your view of your work.
With street photography it is all about carrying light and snapping a nice shot every time.
Prime lenses are ideal for street photography because they are small and compact.
Prime lenses have a set focal length, so that means no zooming. In street photography your legs are the zoom. Having a set focal length helps you think about what kind of shot you are going to get as soon as you want to take it. These lenses let you get up close and personal with your subject without looking very obvious. The most common type of prime lenses that street photographers use are 35mm or 50mm lenses.
Prime lenses are also great for portrait photography. They will give you a greater shallow depth of field due to the wider maximum aperture than a zoom lens at the same focal length.
Wide angle lenses are great for when you want to capture the environment around the subject. The most popular wide angle lenses for both Canon and Nikons is a Sigma 35mm f/1.4 (cheaper option is a Canon 35mm f/2 but keep it mind it's a tad bit slower in speed).
Telephoto lenses are what many professional portrait photographers use. These lenses allows you to get up close to your subject without any "fuzziness". These are also good lenses to use when you want to make your subject stand out from the background, which gives your photo a real 3-D effect. Some popular telephoto lenses are: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L, Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 or even the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L which is a great quality lens if your'e on a budget.
For landscape photography you want to ensure you capture the whole scene of the landscape. For this type of photography the best type of lens to use is a wide angle lens with a focal length between 21mm and 35mm. This type of lens allows you to take a close up without a lot of distortion.
So what's your favorite lens?