Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Anyone Need a Photographer?

I have seriously got to get back into finding photography gigs, so I can justify buying the Sony A900. Anyone need a wedding photographer? I did three weddings as the official photographer in 2006, and it is something I could see myself doing in the future as a more serious side business. At this point, we just call it "hobby income" on the tax forms.

But, you say, "I was going to invite you as a guest to the wedding, will you only take photos if we pay you?" No, of course not, but if you pay me I will bring the big cameras, haul around a tripod and lighting equipment, and not drink at the reception. I also do not feel right taking pictures of all of the other guests unless I'm official. Your "real" photographer would start glaring at me. So, when I'm just a guest I concentrate on getting fun photos of people I know already.

Here are some pointers for wedding photographers and the wedding party, no matter who is taking the pictures:

1) Do not let the lights in the reception hall get really dim. Cameras can't focus quickly and reliably if there isn't enough ambient light. My flash would do auto-focus assist, but not when I'm using it in bounce flash mode, which is the most flattering way to light your guests.

2) Do tell the photographer if one of his or her main subjects smiles without showing teeth. All of our wedding photos look funny because I didn't realize the photographer was forcing B to show his teeth.

3) There are many good reasons to not allow others to photograph during the formal portraits, that have nothing to do with greed. Some wireless lighting setups are disturbed by other flashes. Time is tight, and waiting for people to put away cameras, or "just take one" picture can waste that time. But most of all, other lenses draw the eyes and attention of the portrait subjects. Ever see a group photo where one or two people are looking off to the side? Yeah, that was cause Aunt Ethel just waved at them to take a quick picture with her disposable camera.

4) Don't bother with disposable cameras on the tables. It is so common for people to have point-and-shoot digital cameras now, these may not even be picked up. If they are, they may be handed to small children, and you will end up with a lot of pictures of food. Inside of mouths.

5) If you get digital files of your wedding photos, use an online printing service rather than an inkjet for your album prints. The results will be more archival, less expensive, and the colors will be properly balanced. I like mpix.com because they take DVDs in the mail, so I do not need to waste hours uploading data.

6) Photographers appreciate cake.

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