- Starting Out as a Wedding Photographer
- Car Photography Techniques With Famous TV Show Vehicles
- The Inspirational Life of an Iconic Street Photographer
Posted: 25 Aug 2013 04:41 PM PDT
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There has been such a huge influx of people wanting to make a living through wedding photography these days that I almost get as many enquiries from people wanting to become my assistant as I do enquiries from people getting married.
I’ve worked as a photographer for over twenty years and have specialised in wedding photography for the past six, shooting between 35 and 40 weddings every year. The number of wedding photographers setting up in this area has massively increased in this time, which may be partly due to the amount of redundancies.
With the interest in digital photography being so high, all that an out of work banker, civil servant, estate agent, or recruitment consultant has to do is spend some of their redundancy money on a DSLR camera, build an affordable website, and sign up for Google AdWords. Hey presto, a new wedding photography career is born!
Or is it? The first big problem is the lack of a portfolio. To get anyone to hire you on such an important day, you’re going to need images to show what you can do. But to get a portfolio together you’ll need to be photographing real weddings. One way to do this is to get invited to as many weddings as possible and take your camera with you.
I often have aspiring photographers flanking me at weddings in the hope of getting precious shots to build their portfolios. I also get grilled on everything from which kit to use to marketing techniques. I’m usually happy to advise, although the key thing to remember is not to get in the way.
It’s also not advisable to shoot during the actual ceremony, as there are often strict and detailed rules that apply, and these are discussed and agreed between the pro photographer and the priest/registrar beforehand. A rogue guest wielding a DSLR, (full flash blazing or not) can often bring a halt to proceedings, with an embarrassing reprimand and blanket ban on all photography to follow.
Another way that many try to gain images and experience, is to try to become an assistant/second shooter. Many offer to do this for free, but there is a big difference between assistant and second shooter, and working for nothing can have problems. An assistant is expected to carry the bags, park the car, hold the umbrella, etc. but quite often wouldn’t actually get to hold a camera other than to change the batteries. One or two fifteen hour days of doing this for free is usually enough.
A second shooter is usually be expected to photograph lesser aspects of the wedding (guests arriving, table details, flowers, etc.) However, there can be issues with whether you’ll be allowed to actually claim the shots to use as your own. This is something that should be discussed and agreed upon beforehand, because if you’re using the photographer’s equipment, many pros whisk the camera and disks away for editing, and that’s the last you’d see of them.
However, there is another way of gaining the confidence of your potential clients, which is often missed. I suggest that instead of aiming to go headlong into photographing weddings–with the aim of a fast track to big money bookings–aspiring wedding photographers should concentrate on portraiture first.
Become a seriously good photographer before even contemplating taking on a wedding. Too many new wedding photographers think that they can learn the basics on the job. Consistency is key. A mistake that many make is just getting the odd good shot and collecting them over time, giving themselves (and others) the impression that they are really good photographers. But if you can’t achieve a high standard every time you use your camera, you’re not ready.
Once you have reached a high standard and you have a wealth of consistently high quality and varied portraits, you’ll start to create a style and not only be able to charge commissions for portrait shoots, but you’ll be in a much better position to convince a pro that you’re up to the job of second shooter, gaining vital experience of working at weddings.
With this combination under your belt, you should be ready to take on a real wedding by yourself. But make sure that you’re completely open to the clients about your experience.
Essentials to have in place before photographing your first wedding:
• Contract–make sure you’ve clearly outlined your terms and conditions, what you’re offering, and payment details in a contract, which should be signed by the client
• Insurance–you must have three insurances in place: public liability, professional indemnity, and equipment coverage for loss or damage
• Back up equipment–a second camera charged and ready to use, plus lenses, flashes, batteries, and memory cards
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Posted: 25 Aug 2013 03:08 PM PDT
We all know the intro music and the tv stars behind classic shows, but most of all, we know the cars. The A-team and Knight Rider have two of the most famous cars in television history. Mr. T and his team had their GMC van, loaded with guns and ammunition, and Michael Knight had the high-tech intelligent Trans Am. In this video, photographer Douglas Sonders has the chance to photograph both of these iconic vehicles (for those of you reading this by email, the video can be seen here):
Sonders, armed with his Phase One digital camera, has incorporated several creative techniques to arrive at his final images. Here are a few of the things he does to make his images pop:
Go to full article: Car Photography Techniques With Famous TV Show Vehicles
Posted: 25 Aug 2013 12:12 PM PDT
William Klein, who is known as a pioneer of street photography, is not satisfied with the ordinary. His images evoke a sense of the photographer being a part of the world he’s documenting, rather than a passive observer. In a documentary entitled, The Many Lives of William Klein, the influential photographer and cinematographer looks back on his past and shares some of the history of his career (for those of you reading this by email, the video can be seen here):
After serving in the US Army, Klein studied art in Paris and remained there until Vogue magazine’s interest in his abstract images brought him back to his hometown of New York City in the 1950s. While there, he broke new ground when he created a book of black and white images depicting life in a city that was “always trying to sell itself.” Klein was unable to find a US publisher to buy the book. Now a collectible, the New York book showcases a distinct style that features harsh framing, blurring, distortions, and close up candid portraiture.
Later, when Klein entered the fashion photography scene, he didn’t give up his love of street photography and drive to create something new. He experimented with techniques that played with the idea of reality. He used telephoto lenses and mirrors, and he made waves by putting his fashion models into street photography situations–something no one else was doing at the time.
Still toting a film camera around at the age of 85, Klein contributes to such publications as the fashion world’s Harper’s Bazaar. His big personality, highlighted in the documentary, shows us a picture of a vibrant artist who doesn’t stop creating new and beautiful work. His bold way of interacting with the world is an inspiration to photographers of all genres.
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Go to full article: The Inspirational Life of an Iconic Street Photographer
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