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How To Photograph Children

Photographing children can be so easy and it can be so difficult that many photographers would rather not.

If you don’t it’s probably out of frustration because depending on the child’s age and disposition it can be easy or it can be a real challenge. Different children will have different energy levels or temperaments. However, even the same child will go through different stages over the course of a year or two. At age 3 and 4 he or she might be really animated and at 7 or 8 become more reserved.

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of taking photos of good looking little boy by the name of Stavros.

He was really well behaved and you could tell mom and dad take lots of pictures of him because as soon as I pointed the camera he posed and smiled for me. Not all children are this cooperative. You do have to be care in this case that you don’t get the fake “cheese” smile”. A sincere pleasant look is better than a fake smile.

 

 

 

 

 

To do this I play guessing games so he forgets that he is trying to “smile” as mom and dad taught him. I just want him to be himself. So what to do? Easy, wait a moment after his initial reaction which was to clap and smile. Patience is a virtue. I simply wait a moment till his initial excitement to my game subsides and then I take the photo.

Photographing kids is easy as long as you work or play with them and then wait till the excitement subsides to get that nice relaxed but attentive look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bride is not ready. Now What?

This couple was not only on time they did not mind seeing each other before the wedding.

Nothing guarantees the success of the wedding photography more than everyone being ready and on time. If you photograph weddings you probably have experienced times when the bride or groom were late.

Sometimes they are running only a few minutes late and sometimes hours late. Early  in my career I realized that the more late they were the more of a negative impact to the photography. Worse yet, the photographer is usually the one left holding the bag when the couple come back from the honeymoon.

Several years ago a bride asked me why there were no photos of her at the house. I almost started laughing but realized she was serious. On the wedding day  I waited with her parents in the living room for 2 hours. She returned from the beauty parlor 5 minutes before the church which was 20 minutes away.  She got dressed and we hurried out the door. No house photos.

Although rare this happens to me about once every 2 or 3 years. So what do you do?

1. Make a time schedule of when and where you need everyone on the day of the wedding. Do this about 2 months before the wedding. If she has a wedding coordinator do this before the coordinator does her schedule. Otherwise you might have to go with what the coordinator schedules. At the very least you’ll have to explain why your schedule is different than the coordinators.

2. When you get to the house make a point of announcing it. ” Okay it’s 3 o’clock the photographer is here. “Where is the beautiful bride?’This just lets everyone know you where on time.

3. If the bride is late don’t panic.  Explain she needs to get ready. Stay calm and be willing to go with the flow. In the meantime take photos of the invitation, flowers, shoes, flower girls,  and other details. After a 10 minutes ask how she is doing.

4. If sheNina and Andres is starting to run really late calmly tell her ” I don’t want to panic you but if you don’t get ready soon I won’t have time to take photos”.

5. In the rare event that she gets ready so late that it’s time to leave for the ceremony let her know that it’s her decision. “To take the photos I need ‘X’ amount of time. Do we stay and take the photos or do you want to leave for the ceremony?”

In doing this you are giving the bride the opportunity to decide what is important. Being late 10 or 15 minutes is one thing but in extreme cases you want to let the bride know that you were on time and did everything possible to do the photography.

Photography for a Good Cause

Your photography can have a tremendous impact on someones life. One day someone will remember you because of a photo you took. It might even be after your long gone.

 This past weekend I had the pleasure of helping Ryan Wakefield, the designer of this website, with photographing a weekend event. Once a year HPH Hospice holds a weekend event for kids that have had a tragic death in the family. Tragic because it usually is a parent or sibling.

These are good kids that have been sobered up early in life. The staff at HPH along with many volunteers and counselors offer these kids a way to express and deal with their loss.
My day rate for photography is between $1100 to $750 for an 8 hour day. I charge accordingly depending on the complexity of the assignment.

To help Ryan out I charged $100 from Friday evening to Sunday late morning. Both Ryan and I covered all the events and Ryan then put together a 10 minute slide show for the grand ending on Sunday. He stayed up the night to do this.

It really brings tears to your eyes to see smiles on their faces as they see themselves or their new friends on the screen. Once in a while there is a cheer or even some laughter.
Before they go home there is a balloon release ceremony.
I love photography

Fastest Way To Becoming A Great Photographer!

There is a specific formula to shorten the time it takes to become a great photographer.

Learn, practice, review, practice, review, practice, review, learn, practice, review, etc, etc.

This is the formula I used and in three years I was winning awards in professional photography at state level. This is not to brag and say I am a great photographer but I have reached a certain skill level. If you notice nowhere in that formula does it say buy the newest lens or camera.

Talk to any great photographer and he or she will tell you that the real photo is in your head. This is why you must first learn. Then, it’s just a matter of translating that mental image into a digital image. This is why you must practice and review. If you understand this then you will take it upon yourself to learn, practice, and refine your technique. You’ll soon find that you have developed a “style”.  In time so will others.

This is not to say equipment is meaningless. On the contrary, when purchasing equipment get the best. You’ll thank yourself later but don’t let the camera you have define you as a  photographer.

Welcome to this site where I will share some of the things I have learned and experienced.

 

Landscape Photography DVD

After months of planning, shooting and editing, our latest DVD is now available. Landscape Photography: Creating Visual Eloquence shows you how to use parallel thinking in order to get the most out of your landscape photography. Host Emanuele “Manny” Pontoriero also shows you why “The time is the place”. These 2 tools combined with lighting, composition, as well as lens and filter selection will give you the skills and confidence to take terrific landscape photographs. Manny explains, “I wanted to show people that you don’t have to go to some far off exotic place to take great photographs. You can use the rules of composition and lighting to get great shots in your own region or state.” Beginning Tuesday, December 6th, this set of DVDs is available through Our Store and Amazon.com.

Check out a trailer for the DVD

  

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