Using Flash For Wedding Photography

The usage of flash in photography has always been a sticky subject among wedding photographers and even non-photographers as well. In fact, there are actually some photographers who despise the idea of using flash or even light modifiers as they feel either they are “unnatural” or just not comfortable using it.

However, there will be instances when flash is necessary to use in certain situations. We shall further look at those situations here in this piece as to what would warrant them for the use of flash.

At Wedding Venues and Reception Areas

Wedding ballrooms, churches and reception areas are prone to have less than ideal light for photographers to take advantage of. Thus, the flash helps create a primary source of light that is brighter and more pleasant than the dim ambient light. It has to be noted though that in a number of cases, churches do not allow using flash during ceremonies, so you have to discuss using artificial light with the church personnel before the ceremony.

To help diffuse the harshness of the flash, if there are white ceilings in the area that are not too high, you can mount flash on your DSLR and bounce light off the ceiling or nearby white walls. Alternately, you can use what is called a bounce card which (with the flash) will enable your image to have a much better light source than direct flash.

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Photographing Details Indoors

For wedding photographers like Steve Burton, part of the job is to photograph well the details that highlight the theme of the wedding or other interesting details. Sometimes, the light in the venue would suffice, sometimes they would not. If it is the latter case and you wish to save some time photographing details faster, a flash on top of your camera bouncing off a white card might suffice.

When subject is poorly lit outdoors

Most photographers do not bother with flash outdoors, with natural light readily available. Unfortunately, that light is not always available, especially once the sunset arrives. Much like photographing indoors, you may need to use artificial light source, such as flash.

Fill Flash – when shooting backlit

Shooting subjects in a backlit setup can create a nice separation and bring more depth to images. But if the subject is heavily backlit (say with the sun behind), the opposite side of the subject which is facing the camera might get underexposed. Fill flash can help in this situation; single diffused light positioned away from the camera would do the job.

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Overpowering the sun to avoid hot spots and intense shadow

While the sunlight can be a good friend for outdoor photography, there are times, usually in the afternoon, when the light can be too harsh on the photo as the sun is directly overhead. Setting up an umbrella or a softbox with the flash helps get around that problem and you get beautiful photos as a result.

Avoiding environmental color casts on your subject’s skin tone

Sometimes when working with natural reflectors, you get to run into a problem where your subject will assume the color of the reflective surface. You can reduce this effect by using a reflector right next to your subject or use fill flash (umbrella, softbox or other modifier) to illuminate your subject, which will more or less isolate him/her from the rest of the background and reduce color reflections.

Final words

Flash helps provide dimension in your photography, allowing you to solve or at least get around the problems you sometimes face in photography. Just remember to leave some room for creativity to get the best results as possible in your photos.

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Getting Started As A Wedding Photographer

Wedding photography is one of the most profitable yet highly competitive industries out there. The number of weddings being held every year provides an opportunity for a would-be wedding photographer to be able to make a mark, so to speak. On the flipside however, there are a lot of wedding photographers out there you have to compete with in the process.

If you are someone who is trying to start out in wedding photography, don’t let this bring you down. Despite of the challenges, you can still make it in the industry. With some knowledge and skills, you can make it as a wedding photographer. We have shared here some tips to help you get started and grow as this field.

  1. Create an online presence
http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-wedding-photographer-image1233056
http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-wedding-photographer-image1233056

In this day and age, it is no longer an excuse for photographers to not have a place to showcase their works. While some photographers are content to use social media to do that, it will give you an advantage if you have your own website to showcase your output, as well as what you can do. Also, having your own website increases your brand, giving you an edge as some clients tend to look favorably on photography businesses that have their own websites like Rafe Abrook. It does not matter if you have your own domain or you made it through a free site creation platform like Blogger or WordPress. The content is what matters the most.

  1. Harness the power of social media

Earlier, we have stated the importance of having your own site over just using social media. Still, social media remains an important part in promoting your business. In fact your website and your social media accounts complement each other in a way: your website establishes your brand while social media enhances and promotes it.

With that said, use social media to your advantage in promoting your business more effectively. You can advertise your brand or do something simple as sharing some of the photos you have taken as a marketing strategy, promoting them as viral content. If you can, try to learn about social media marketing to effectively promote your business.

  1. Get connected with as many people as possible

Reach out to as many people as possible about the business you offer. Start by promoting your business within your inner circle: your family, relatives, and friends, not to mention encourage to share that information to others in their own circles. If you are ready to move on to a bigger market, take advantage not only of online venues like social media but also offline venues that provide opportunities for you to introduce your business to others. Some examples would be photography events or trade fairs where photographers can participate in.

  1. Keep up with new concepts and technologies

Technology and knowledge these days progress in fast-changing pace. How well you can keep up with new concepts and technologies, as well as your ability to adapt them is important for your business’ growth. Make it a point to keep yourself updated with new trends and technologies in photography. Also, make sure you highlight to your prospective customers whatever latest knowledge and technology you may have that will not only make a good impression, but also will help gain more trust for your business, especially from a growingly sophisticated customer base.

  1. Improve on your skills by being an assistant to more experienced photographers

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If you are someone who is fairly new but is determined to learn more about wedding photographer, one thing you can do in your free time is to work as an assistant for a more experienced photographer during weddings. For one, you are able to learn new concepts and techniques from the experts in a real life situation nonetheless. Also, this helps expand your network especially if the master photographer takes a liking to your attitude and work ethic that he may recommend some possible clients for you.

  1. Create value in your service

Valuating your service can be a sticky issue to address as you strive to strike a balance between profit and customer satisfaction, especially with regards to the price. Thus, it is important to always be flexible in this matter. Do not be afraid to put a premium price tag on your service as long as it equates to better value as far as your photos are concerned. Strive as well to go the extra mile with making sure your customers are satisfied with the service they will get. The value you provide must equate to the level of service and quality you are giving to your clients.

 

 

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Why Choose Raw Over JPEG in Wedding Photography?

There is a war that has been going on for quite a while in the realm of digital photography. To be specific, it is a war as to which is better between two digital image file formats out there: RAW and JPEG.

As far as usage is concerned, JPEG has a clear advantage as it is the default image file format used in digital cameras, as well as in other devices likes computers and smartphones. Being the default system, many users, especially casual photographers, have adopted it, mainly for the sake of convenience.

But being widely used does not necessarily mean it is better in terms of quality. And if you ask many avid and professional photographers, RAW provides the better image quality hands down.

NOTABLE QUALITIES

But what makes RAW the better digital image format than JPEG quality-wise? We have listed down some of its notable qualities below, especially as far as wedding photography is concerned

  1. Great level of detail

An image recorded in the RAW format provides a greater level of detail. For instance, it can process billions of colors compared to mere millions a JPEG file can process, adding more nuances of color shades in an image.

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In addition, RAW records brightness levels ranging from 4,096 to 16,384 far more than the 256 levels in JPEG. What this means is that you can make more and better adjustments on your image without sacrificing overall image quality. And we’ll talk more about editing RAW images later.

  1. Complete image information

Every image contains a lot of data which take up a huge amount of file space. And in RAW, every information available in the image is recorded, from the metadata to the most minor aspects of the image, which explains why RAW files are larger in file size. In contrast, JPEG compresses the image file itself. While this is helpful so that the image will not take up significant storage space, some information gets also lost in the process, notably information in the image which have provided greater detail of the image.

  1. Better, non-destructive editing

As noted earlier, RAW files have the advantage of providing more and better adjustments that can done to the image without sacrificing greater image quality. In addition, RAW files are unprocessed so you can use more tools like sharpening algorithms that would provide better output as opposed to the tools built in JPEG that does some processing beforehand but may have resulted in less than satisfactory level of quality.

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What’s better about editing images in RAW is that even if a Los Angeles Wedding Photographer made a mistake in correcting an image, you can still go back to the original image and “correct” it from there. That is because RAW does not actually let you make adjustments on the file itself. Rather, any adjustments you make are being translated into a set of instructions as to how the file will be saved in another format like JPEG for instance. This is in contrast to JPEG where any adjustments you make are saved on the file and you cannot undo them once they are saved.

STORAGE CONSIDERATIONS

As mentioned earlier, RAW files take up a lot of space, something that has been a source of concern for quite a while. However, things have changed in recent years. While in the past, limited storage was a primary consideration for some to be hesitant in adapting the RAW format, this no longer holds true today. Affordable storage options like hard drives and memory cards offering large storage space are now prevalent in the market.

The availability of these storage solutions today has made the RAW format a more attractive format of choice than it was a few years ago.

MORE RAW-CAPABLE CAMERAS

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Another thing going for RAW these days is the availability of cameras in the market that can now capture images in RAW. While cameras that can shoot RAW were limited in the past to DSLRs, now this capability has been extended to other camera types, some of them even point-and-shoot ones. Thanks to the capabilities of these new cameras, more users are becoming aware of RAW and its qualities and is becoming a popular image format especially among budding photographers or those who want better quality on their photos.

A FORMAT FOR PHOTOGRAPHY

RAW is a file format specially made for photography, providing the most accurate and detailed information of an image. For photographers, every detail is important even the tiniest one. So it is important that these details are represented as vivid and true as possible, something a format like RAW provides very well enough.

If you are someone who is serious about wedding photography or at least would like to get better quality on the images you shoot, then going for RAW is the most logical option without a doubt.

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Wedding Photography: Capturing Great Memories

wedding photographyWe all know how hard it is to organize a wedding. A couple need to spend long hours in preparing for the wedding ceremony as well as the wedding party. They need to look for a wedding venue, prepare the guest list, hire wedding professionals like a wedding photographer and look for suppliers for different wedding items.

And since too much effort and time are spent for the wedding, it is rightful that this occasion will be recorded and the memories be preserved. And what is the best way for a couple to preserve the memories of their wonderful union? Yes through wedding pictures!

Importance of Wedding Photography

We all know that a wedding generally cost a lot and it takes a lot of time to settle everything just to ensure that the wedding will run smooth. After the wedding, the best thing that will remind us of this momentous event is the wedding album which contains captured images of what transpired during the wedding.

This is the main reason why wedding photographers are important to hire in this special occasion. A professional wedding photographer can capture great memories of our wedding that we will surely treasure for a lifetime. And as years pass by, we will something to look at to reminisce this magnificent day.

Choosing the Right Wedding Photographer

If you are keen in hiring a professional wedding photographer, you need to do a background check and make sure that you hire the right one. Ask recommendations from friends and family then set an appointment with the candidate. If your talk goes well, request to see the photographer’s work portfolio as well as wedding albums of his past clients. Check his style of photography as well as his consistency in the way the images are captured. If you are impressed, then check the packages and sign the contract.

Preparing a Wedding Shot List

Now, what will the wedding photographer shoot at? Well, you can prepare a wedding shot list that can guide the photographer on what pictures you expect him/her to take. He can also add his ideas into the list.

The wedding venue should not be forgotten when preparing a wedding shot list. A lot of people worked to make the venue look grand thus this should not be missed by the wedding photographer.

Deciding on What to Shoot

Individual as well as group or family portrait shots are also a great way to remind the couple of who came to their wedding. Even as years pass by and some of their former guests are no longer around, they can still remember how the guest played a big part in their wedding.

Candid shots during the wedding party can also show how lively the event was, how the parents reacted during the exchange of wedding vows and how the guests felt when the couple kissed and delivered their speeches. There are just too many things that we want to remember and keep through the wedding pictures that our reliable photographer captures.

Professional wedding photographers who have been in the wedding industry for a long time are already familiar with these wedding ceremonies. They already know when to shoot and what the important wedding shots are so you will have to put your whole trust on him/her.

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Common Tripod Accessories You Must Consider Buying

tripod accessoriesDo you know how important a tripod is for photographers? If you are an aspiring photographer who doesn’t know what a tripod is, then it’s high time for you to get one and learn how to use it. A tripod is perhaps the next important thing for photographers after their cameras and lenses.

Since 1840, tripods have been used by many professional photographers. It serves different purposes but its main purpose is to provide stability to a camera so there will be less movement when taking shots.

We all know that camera shakes or movement can affect the sharpness of an image. With a tripod, the image captured will not be affected by the shakiness of the photographer’s hand or by the unevenness of a location’s surface.

A tripod also allows a photographer to increase or decrease the height of the camera’s position thus allowing for more creative, unique shots. Pittsburgh family photographer loves to use a tripod for group portrait shots.

Professional photographers habitually look for the best angles to get a perfect shot. On the other hand, photo hobbyist and amateur photographers rarely use tripods for they lack the knowledge on how to use it. Some also think tripod is not that important in photography. But well, if you really want to become an effective professional photographer, then you should know what a tripod is and what accessories you attach or use with it to make it work well.

Carrying Case

Like cameras, a tripod must also be kept inside a bag or case to prevent from getting damaged. There are tripods that are lightweight while there are some that are bit heavy thus having a carrying case can help a photographer conveniently carry the tripod when traveling.

Landscape photographers certainly love to use a carrying case when they go on travel to high places for a shoot. These cases usually have foam inside to protect the tripod against damage.

Lens collars or mount rings

A lens collar or mount ring provides more support to cameras so it will remain in position. This is particularly useful when a long or telephoto lens is attached to your camera. The lens collar is fitted into the lens and directly mounted to the tripods head for better support.

L-Plates

L-plates are helpful for photographers to get more creative vertical and horizontal angles. With a L-plate, a professional photographer like wedding photographer hampshire can tilt the tripod head to its desired angle to get the shot he wants. You can change angles without decreasing the stability that tripod provides for your camera.

Quick Release Adapter

One of the most common problems encountered by a photographer who uses a tripod is the actual installation of camera on it. Depending on the brand or model, some tripods take quite some time to install; you have to manually remove first the tripod head, screw the camera into the tripod head and then re-attach again the tripod head back into its original position.

Now, if you have limited time to setup, these things would surely be a nightmare for you but with the help of the quick release adapter, you could easily attach and detach your camera from your tripod. There are new tripods though that already have a built in quick release adapter. But for those without it, buying one will surely save you time.

These accessories can help make you get the most out of your tripod. You can surely creative, sharp images when you use a tripod especially in unlikely situations.

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Effective Marketing Ideas for Photographers

photographerRunning a photography business is not easy. Even those who have been in the business for many years still struggle to come up with marketing strategies that will help their business grow. There are marketing strategies before that no longer work today. And since, there’s advancement in technology, the Internet is now a huge source of information by many people. You can make use of the Internet to promote your business.

The Internet is a good way to reach out to potential customers. Today, many companies and individuals spend more time in promoting their products and services online. Marketing online can be done for free or with no huge amount needed.

Here are some effective marketing strategies that you can use to promote your photography services online.

  1. Start your own website and blog regularly

If you don’t have a website, well it’s high time for you to start one. Your website must contain important information like the services you are offering, your background, physical location, and contact numbers and even the times you are open. Add also the best photos from the past wedding you have worked on. If you don’t know to start a website, pay someone to build it for you then inquire how you can maintain and run it.

It is also important for you to add fresh content to your website at least once a week. This can improve your search ranking and will also show potential clients that you are legitimate and dependable. Take a look at the website of wedding photographer hampshire to get ideas on how your website should look like.

  1. Add your business in Google Local

Adding your business in Google Local can help your business get more free exposure online.  More potential customers in your area will find you when they search for a local photographer. It is for free so you won’t have to pay for advertising your business. Just make sure to enter the correct details like physical address and contact information.

  1. Share your best photos on Pinterest and Facebook

Since you are promoting your photography business, it is expected that you can deliver wonderful images. This means that clients are looking forward to seeing great photos online. Set up a Pinterest account and arrange the pictures you will present by “boards”.

On Facebook, set up a Facebook page, add relevant information about your business, tell your friends and family to “like” your page and share it for others to like. Post photos on your Facebook page from time to time especially if you have just finished an event. You can also share a status update if you have an upcoming public event that people might be interested to join in. Essex wedding photographer does this.

  1. Build an email list

Building an email list means getting the email addresses of potential customers so you can email them whenever you have a new service or product or any news that might be interesting for them. To get their email addresses, you can create a form on your website where they will add their names and email address in exchange of freebies like a discount on services, free item or similar interesting offers. Make sure you don’t send emails that appear spam for they surely won’t like it.

These are only some of the online marketing strategies you can do to promote your business. Don’t expect to get good results fast. Be patient and just continue being active online especially during off-peak season.

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The Best Nikon Flash for Wedding Is..

nikon speedlightLight is one of the important factors in photography. Light can make pictures brighter and
clearer. It can illuminate dark or dim locations. Most photographers get light from different sources. Some make use of the natural light such as sunlight while others use devices like flash to get their desired light.

Flashes are among the common sources of light used by photographers. While some photographers don’t like using flash because of the harsh light it sometimes produces but then a majority of photographers still use flash since they know how to bounce or soften its light.

Flashes are useful in so many ways. A flash can brighten a room with low light especially churches and reception halls during a wedding. An external flash can also prevent your camera’s battery from draining. Moreover, using a flash can help avoid red eye in pictures.

The flash that you can use for your camera will usually depend on the brand of your DLSR camera. Your camera and flash should be from the same manufacturer. Nikon flashes are suitable for Nikon cameras and same goes with Canon flashes which are best for Canon cameras.

Nikon is a very popular brand among photographers and their flashes as called “speedlight”. Nikon speedlight models are titled with SB followed by 2 or 3 numbers. These flashes are among the accessories made by Nikon under their Creative Lighting System (CLS).

Many flash photographers like this Wedding Photographer Birmingham use Nikon flash on top of their camera especially when shooting in low light. There are several Nikon flashes that you can choose from and the choices range from the simplest to the more powerful and advanced.

If you are looking for the best, then here are short descriptions of each flash and you decide which you think is the best.

SB-300 – is the simplest among the Nikon speedlights.  The head can be tilted upwards but not sideward. It uses three AAA batteries and it costs around $150.

SB-500 – this is the first Nikon flash with built-in LED light. It can be rotated from left to right and tilted upwards. Only 2 AA batteries are needed for this model. SB-500 is compatible with Nikon’s Creative Lighting System.

SB-700– is more advanced than SB-300 and SB-500. It replaced SB-600 which is now out of the market. SB-700 costs around $350 and the features include tilting upwards up to 90 degrees and rotation from side to side.

SB-910 –is another advanced Nikon flash that can tilt up to 90 degrees and rotate 180 degrees left to right. It is considered as Nikon’s top of the line flash because of its Commander Moder, Strobe and good recycle time. The price ranges between $500-600.

You can read more reviews about Nikon speedlights before deciding on what to buy. Consider your needs, budget and expectation when buying. If you don’t have any budget limitation, then get SB-910. You can also ask tips from essex wedding photographer on what flash is best for weddings.

One you have the flash, practice using it and make sure to learn the features and specification of the Nikon flash you bought before using it in an actual wedding or special event.

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