Archive for the ‘Engagement Photography’ Category

April 15th, 2012

Unique Moments

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I’ve been talking about negative space this past week and wanted to show what it looks like in an engagement image.
This couple received the benefit of a new location that I found.
Basically, it’s just a vacant lot but with the perfect amount of wild mustard and uneven terrain.
I utilized my 15mm lens on my 7D which means it’s not quite the full 180 degree view on a full sensor, but wide enough to create the illusion of space and isolation for my couple.
In reality, there’s a major roadway about 20 feet away, but this image lets the couple be an island unto themselves.
I’ve composed this frame with the couple in the extreme lower right and surrounded them with the sea of wild mustard and other assorted plants.
I’m always reminded of Sting’s, “Field of Gold,” which according to a friend, it the most romantic song ever written!
Negative space does bring balance to the universe, just like Anakin.
Be inspired!

Michael is the author of, “Take Better Photos Now,” and, “Mommie Pics,” ebooks that help everyone become better photographers through tips and secrets that he has learned during his more than 25 years of experience as a professional photographer and photography teacher. He currently is an adjunct professor at Cal Baptist University in Riverside, California. To purchase either ebook, click the links. CLICK HERE FOR “TakeBetterPhotosNow!

April 10th, 2012

Stay the Course

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A while ago, I spotted this faded arrow on the street near my home.
It was tough to see and I thought probably even tougher to see driving by at 40 mph.
A great metaphor on how it’s easy to stay the course.
Sign posts are sometimes faded and hard to see as we whiz by as life speeds by us.
How do we stay the course?
It’s tough, but photographically speaking, it can be tough to remember where we are going.
I’ve always tried to make a plan with 3 or 4 main points and try tp review that list as much as possible to stay the course and keep myself focused.
Composition, check.
Lighting, check and capturing moments, check.
Otherwise, it’s easy to go chasing after the latest greatest technique of the day.
Have a plan, review it often and stay the course.
Be inspired!

Michael is the author of, “Take Better Photos Now,” and, “Mommie Pics,” ebooks that help everyone become better photographers through tips and secrets that he has learned during his more than 25 years of experience as a professional photographer and photography teacher. He currently is an adjunct professor at Cal Baptist University in Riverside, California. To purchase either ebook, click the links. CLICK HERE FOR “TakeBetterPhotosNow!

April 3rd, 2012

Layering

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Today’s image is from a recent engagement session and illustrates layering.
Creating dimensions in a 2 dimensional medium can be daunting, but with a few pointers, it can be easy to make a 3 dimensional image with layering.
Notice how there’s a foreground, mid ground and a back ground in this image?
That gives the image depth and dimension.
Placing the camera low, helps to create the illusion of a foreground by shooting through the high grass.
Likewise, the couple is in the mid ground of the image and finally, the background helps give the image it’s final amount of depth and dimension.
Regardless of whether you use a short or long lens, the techniques are the same.
Bring depth and dimension to your images with layering.
Be inspired!

Michael is the author of, “Take Better Photos Now,” and, “Mommie Pics,” ebooks that help everyone become better photographers through tips and secrets that he has learned during his more than 25 years of experience as a professional photographer and photography teacher. He currently is an adjunct professor at Cal Baptist University in Riverside, California. To purchase either ebook, click the links. CLICK HERE FOR “TakeBetterPhotosNow!

April 2nd, 2012

Engagement Session

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I love engagement session where one or both of the couples are super animated.
It makes my job so much simpler.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of photographing a girl and her fiancé who were exactly that. Animated!
I’ve known the bride-to-be for years and it was so much fun to see her giddy in love.
This shot was near the end of the session and they had been reclining on the ground for a bit.
Their emotions are very evident in this image and it just speaks volumes too me.
I placed a lot of negative space to balance off the couple who are in the upper left and left vertical of the composition.
I also chose to show the moment in black and white to ensure that just the emotion leapt off the image for the viewers.
Romance is good.
Be inspired!

Michael is the author of, “Take Better Photos Now,” and, “Mommie Pics,” ebooks that help everyone become better photographers through tips and secrets that he has learned during his more than 25 years of experience as a professional photographer and photography teacher. He currently is an adjunct professor at Cal Baptist University in Riverside, California. To purchase either ebook, click the links. CLICK HERE FOR “TakeBetterPhotosNow!

March 17th, 2012

Wedding Details

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I wanted to show 3 examples from a recent wedding event.
Detail photos really make the difference in any event.
They move the story along and insert more information for the viewers.
I was able to make 3 quick images that vary greatly, but that each can stand on their own.
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After the first image, I turned the flowers around and used the stems as elements.
I placed the rings in the lower right area of convergence to strengthen the composition.
Finally, I utilized the pins as compositional elements.
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I was able to make these three images relatively quickly.
During a wedding, shooting anything needs to be done quickly and efficiently.
These shots took about 2 minutes to create and capture, allowing me to return to covering the events of the days, but only after capturing detail images of the couples rings.
Be inspired!

Michael is the author of, “Take Better Photos Now,” and, “Mommie Pics,” ebooks that help everyone become better photographers through tips and secrets that he has learned during his more than 25 years of experience as a professional photographer and photography teacher. He currently is an adjunct professor at Cal Baptist University in Riverside, California. To purchase either ebook, click the links. CLICK HERE FOR “TakeBetterPhotosNow!
CLICK HERE FOR MOMMIE PICS

March 17th, 2012

E-Session Portrait

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Engagement sessions or E-Sessions are like a discovery phase for photographers and for the couples.
I always do e-sessions to explore my clients and see how they react in front of the camera and likewise it’s a great chance for the couples to see how I am as their photographer.
A lot of couples never consider the personality of photographer, remember you’re going to be spending a lot of time with this person on the day of your wedding.
Hopefully, you gel with them, otherwise, it’s going to be a long long day.
The e-session gives everyone a chance to get to know each other and develop some chemistry.
I try to get the couples to forget about me and just have fun and relax.
Most of the time they’ve been concentrating on getting their to-do lists done, that they haven’t relaxed in a long time.
This day is about that, relaxing and being themselves.
My post a few days ago talked about harsh light, I used that same technique to utilize the beautiful soft even light created by this back lit situation.
If you can get your couples to relax and forget about you for just a few moments, you can be rewarded with some great moments.
Be inspired!

Michael is the author of, “Take Better Photos Now,” and, “Mommie Pics,” ebooks that help everyone become better photographers through tips and secrets that he has learned during his more than 25 years of experience as a professional photographer and photography teacher. He currently is an adjunct professor at Cal Baptist University in Riverside, California. To purchase either ebook, click the links. CLICK HERE FOR “TakeBetterPhotosNow!
CLICK HERE FOR MOMMIE PICS

January 28th, 2012

Capturing the Moment

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Today’s post is about capturing the moment.
Anyone can take a picture.
In fact, cameras are everywhere and tons of people have access to a camera at their fingertips.
Not everyone can make a great photo.
Capturing a great moment, makes a huge difference.
Let’s talk about how to do that:
1. Be ready.
Not everything or everyone is going to be considerate enough to wait until you have your camera up and ready to push the shutter. Be prepared. Think about what you want to try and capture and have your camera up, set and ready to go.
2. Consider your equipment.
Besides price, there’s a lot of difference between a DSLR and a point-and-shoot. One of the main things is the delay between when you depress the shutter and when it actually makes an image. Know that and be prepared to anticipate the action.
3. Dream Big.
What’s the best thing that could happen at the event that you are trying to photograph? Say it’s a wedding. The bride being lifted up in the air on a chair? Well, since you aren’t the main photographer, how about standing on a chair so you aren’t blocked by everyone else? Think ahead and prepare.
4. Connect
Make a connection with your subject and let it show in your photograph. Look at the example for today’s post. I was shooting an engagement session in San Francisco. Great background, but I let the couple forget that I was even there and they just started to have fun with each other. Pretty soon they were lost in each others eyes and I had my photo.
Take these tips and start to incorporate them into your shooting style and you’ll be capturing moments like a pro in no time.
Be inspired!

Michael is the author of, “Take Better Photos Now,” and, “Mommie Pics,” ebooks that help everyone become better photographers through tips and secrets that he has learned during his more than 25 years of experience as a professional photographer and photography teacher. He currently is an adjunct professor at Cal Baptist University in Riverside, California. To purchase either ebook, click the links. CLICK HERE FOR “TakeBetterPhotosNow!
CLICK HERE FOR MOMMIE PICS

September 19th, 2011

Engagement Photography

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I was shooting an engagement session and wanted to play with a backlight situation.
In the first image the light is washing out the groom and the overall scene is too dark.
I asked the camera to start overexposing the scene to achieve the desired effect that I wanted.
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In the next image, I asked the camera to compensate and overexpose the image by 1 stop. The added another 1/3rd.
Finally, the effect that I wanted!
This technique makes good skin look great and great skin look perfect.
Try it sometime.
Be inspired!

June 20th, 2011

Engagement Photography

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Shooting engagement sessions is sometimes an after thought by some couples and worse, some photographers.
I think it’s an important piece of the whole process.
Why?
Engagement photography helps the photographer to truly see how the couple reacts in front of a camera and let’s me get to know the couple.
It’s one of those, “ah ha,” moments for a lot of people. “That makes a lot of sense.”
Another is to just let the couple’s personality burst forth during the session.
Some couples are so stiff and awkward, while others were born to be in front of the camera.
It’s my job to find out how to best let each couple feel comfortable and be real during their session.
That translates to an easier session the day of the wedding as both couple and photographer are more at ease during a hectic and emotional day.
I like to ask the couple to remind each other why the care about each other and to say in in words and by touch.
For some couples, that’s all it takes and we are off to the races, but then there are others who are still guarded and resistant to letting their guard down for the camera.
If that happens, then I might start asking them to be more physical. Walking, running and climbing are more physical and can break down the walls of inhibition.
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Finally, help your couple to have fun.
Translate that into your image and you will have a successful engagement photography session.
Be inspired!

June 18th, 2011

Celebrity Photography

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I was hired to photograph a benefit for a local charity, THINK together, that helps at risk children. It’s a great and worthy cause that helps kids gain education and the benefits that come from that. One of the main events of the night was Matthew McConaughey announcing that his charity, j.k. livin foundation, was joining the THINK together program in the Costa Mesa location.
Women in the crowd were obvious admirers of McConaghey as he spoke and passionately shared his vision.
It was actually refreshing to hear a well-known celebrity utilize his fame and star power to benefit at risk children.
He shared about his own childhood and his own children and how those experiences have motivated him to help kids.
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But for me the surprise of the evening was the key note speaker, Geoffrey Canada.
He stared the, Harlem Children’s Zone in Harlem, New York, an organization which states its goal is to increase high school and college graduation rates among students in Harlem.
I’ve heard a lot of speeches over the years, but Canada’s forty minutes were riveting.
He spoke of how our country is in dire straits because of the state of our educational system and the choices that have been made by our country and it’s peoples.
He spoke candidly and from his heart.
It was truly one of the most inspiring talks I have heard in a long time.
The first image I placed Canada in the extreme lower left area of the canvas and surrounded him with a sea of darkness. As he spoke he seemed to beat back the darkness of ignorance and gave hope in an era of hopelessness.
In the last image, I was asked to make a quick photo of the main players from THINKtogether creator and CEO, Randy Barth, Matthew McConaughey, his girlfriend, Camila Alves and Geoffery Canada.
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After years of shooting for a newspaper, arranging people for a photograph has been awkward in the past. Now, after doing it for a few years as a freelancer, I’m much quicker at it. I asked Camila to step in to the image and represent the foundation that Matthew and her set-up as a result of their children. Situations like this can be nerve-wracking, but it’s best to be confident and move quickly. Celebrities like dogs, can sense fear and indecisiveness.
They are used to being told what to do, but if they sense that you don’t know what you are doing then they are done.
I had already thought out how I wanted them to stand and why. I told them nicely but firmly where to stand and started shooting.
They agreed and were compliant.
That’s a good thing.
Next time you get a chance to photograph important people or people that are important for their celebrity.
Be firm, be confident and be inspired!