Now looking for Senior Reps to be the face of Scott Greene Photography’s 2013 Senior Class. If you are chosen… it only cost you a little bit of your time and you’ll have some great pictures to keep on disc with a print release license. Plus you’ll set the trend for all 2013 Seniors to follow :: If you or any upcoming senior that you know are interested just send the below information to email@example.com :: all entries must be received by January 31st to be eligible to be picked. Please copy and paste this into an email and send to firstname.lastname@example.org
What is your or the senior’s name? Age? Gender?
What high school do you or the senior attend?
What sports do you or the senior play for the school?
What is your favorite sport or the senior’s favorite sport?
What extra curricular activities are you or the senior involved in besides sports?
What is your favorite or the senior’s favorite subject in school?
What is your idea or the senior’s idea of the perfect/coolest senior picture?
What are some cool locations or ideas that you or the senior may have?
Why would you or the senior make a good senior rep for Scott Greene Photography’s 2013 Senior Class?
Please copy and paste this into an email and send to email@example.com
You may attach a picture of yourself or the senior if you like but optional only.
So every new lens that I buy, I always fine tune it to both of my camera bodies just to make sure I get that extra security that what I lock focus on will be sharp. I photog friend of mine just recently purchased an after market lens (the Sigma 50mm f1.4) great lens, but on her Nikon D700 it just wouldn’t focus like she thought the price said it would. I talked her through how to check to see if it was “back focusing or front focusing”: Back focusing and front focusing refer to the tendency of a lens – or sometimes the camera body – to focus slightly behind (back focus) or slightly in front of (front focus) the intended subject when using autofocus. After the problem was found with the lens, she found that it was back focusing so she compensated for it in the camera and now its as sharp as it should be… Nikon’s have a feature (most Nikon cameras anyway) that allow you to compensate for the front or back focus. There are a few other camera brands out there… one that starts with a C, but I can’t think of the name right off the top of my head…. but I believe it also may allow for in camera compensation. The below instructions are for Nikons but the same applies for that other brand too.. =)
attach ruler to light stand or tripod – tilt at a 45 degree angle to the camera lens plaine
i typically move my camera as close to the ruler as each of my lenses will focus. some photogs reccomend moving it back further, but whatever =) Find a point on the ruler and with your camera on a tripod take a picture and zoom in to the point you picked as your focus center… look at the lines and or numbers before and behind it. if they start to blur equal distance from your center focus point then your lens is okay, but if you have blur occuring closer to th epoint either in the back or front then you need to adjust accordingly to your preference.
below is the menu on a Nikon that shows where the fine tune option is and what it looks like… always turn “Fine Tune” ON of course if you are doing this feature =)
I hope this helps if you are having focusing issues especially with after market lenses.
How important is Photoshop in your final images? I view Photoshop the way I view salt: it’s the perfect way to flavor a delicious meal, but too much can ruin the main course!
On my flight back from Vegas this past week… I read an article in one of my magazines and it featured a photographer that I follow a good bit. She was asked the question above and responded the best way that I could imagine a great photographer could respond. I think I am going to adopt this same analogy in some of my classes. There is a lot of truth in that answer….
Photoshop is a great tool and I consider myself somewhat of a master of it… I have worked in Photoshop everyday for the last 9 years. My day job requires me to work in Photoshop designing advertising ads and such. I LOVE Photoshop and I personally think its one of the greatest software’s that has ever been made, but with that being said I totally agree with the photographer’s answer above. Once your in the photography business for awhile… you can almost tell how new a person is in the industry just by looking at their finished product. Usually the newbies discover “Photoshalt” and use it a little too much or over flavor their images…. I used to do this b/c it was fun to see what all I could do to an image. Overtime I grew out of that… with some helpful advice of some highly admirable photographer friends.
It’s very easy to get caught up in all the presets, actions, plug-ins and all the other goodies that are sold to photographers for “image enhancement”. So to all starting out photographers in the biz… be weary of the power of “Photoshalt”… it can hurt an image more than it can help it if you get carried a way with it. The one thing that has steered me away from working all my images and using these “trendy” actions… is that they can actually date your work. My work flow has sped up so much in the last couple years due to getting it right on the front end (in the camera) which saves more time on the back end (the editing). This past wedding I shot at Piedmont Park… 2700+ images taken on Saturday… after culling them down I was done and had the disc made and delivered to client in 4 days and thats just working a few hours a night…. I only pulled 28 of them into Photoshalt to add a little extra flavor too. I do 90% of my editing in ACR ( Adobe Camera Raw ) basically its the same as Lightroom just in a different format, but it is a RAW processing software… All in all and I’m sure I can speak for other professionals out there… learn the art of the camera and master it first , then use Photoshop to boost your images rather than fix them.
So… as some of you know, I love to teach photography. I am no master of it BUT I do know the fundamentals plus some… or plus a lot =). I am starting this new segment of my blog that I will refer to as P2P or Photographer 2 Photographer. Anyway some of the best seminars and workshops that I go to, they sell these cheat sheet type of cards… it shows the shot then breaks down how it was done. Well for all of my photography enthusiast out there and my friendly local pro’s… ( see regardless of what my self promos promote… i love all you guys =), here is an insight to how I capture a lot of my shots using off camera light. WARNING: all drawings do not accurately represent subjects and or locations ( i haven’t drawn in years =). Check these out and keep checking back in for more to come:
ad·ver·tis·ing –noun 1. the act or practice of calling public attention to one’s product, service, need, etc., to get more customers by advertising.
Advertising… what a lot of you guys don’t know about me is that I graduated with a degree in Graphic Design and for my “full-time day job” I am a Creative Director for a large advertising company. In the past few months I have been questioned by some of my “aggressive” self promo ads. I target certain clients in some, certain types of sessions in others and I even target the some of the mind sets of my clients in my markets. If you know me…. you pretty much know that I LOVE photography and it is my true passion. Also if any of you really know me, you also know that I teach photography classes and in a lot of those classes are up and coming professionals. I love to talk, teach, shoot and show photography.
Aggressive…. yes some of my ads can be very aggressive and edegy. Contrary to what some of my ads may target ….. I love all photographers and I love helping all photographers but at the same time I am going to push and protect my brand. I look at it like a car commercial… they are going to advertise their product in the best possible light and bring to front the deficiencies of their competition. I more the less try to educate through advertising that my brand is professional, exceptional and different than the norm…. So to all of my local photographers… amateurs, semi-pro and or professionals I LOVE you all. I really do… anybody with a passion for photography can talk to me for hours.
I also believe and have seen first hand working in the advertising profession for almost 7 years now that competition drives business for all parties involved. It allows the producers to raise their quality and affordability while giving the consumer options…. it’s a win win for everybody! I mean just 7 years ago I was right there in some of your shoes… the drive of competition is what got me to where I am now. To be honest, my self promo ads spawn from me having to play it safe in advertising for real clients 9 hours a day everyday… so when it comes time for me to design or promote myself… well the raw and edegy finds its way out to the surface… Anyway, to my tri-county photographers out there…. in the words of 2Pac… ” I’m wit cha, I ain’t mad at cha. Got nuttin but love for ya, do your thing “.
To see my wide variety of self promos… please visit either my Facebook page and Self Promo Album or got to my Facebook Fan Page and see my Sessions • Specials • Promotions Album
So I’m not sure why a lot of people ask me what gear I use… though good gear is a big part of a photographers repertoire but it doesn’t completely make the photographer a photographer. With that being said if you are spending good money on good photography, then maybe knowing the gear that a photographer uses will reinforce the idea that this photographer is serious about his work and it’s just not a hobby… that’s maybe the only reason I can come to that clients ask me what gear I use…. and by all means not every client ask… only a small percentage do. Anybody that knows me knows that I LOVE to talk gear and techniques, so this is for that small percentage and anybody else that would like to know what goes on behind the scenes =)
Camera & Lenses
Nikon D3 (discontinued, Replaced by the D3s)
Nikon SB-800 (discontinued, replaced by the SB-900)
Compact Flash Cards – 20GBs
Computers & Software
MAC Book 15″ (2009 model)
Adobe Camera RAW 6.3
On March 6th I am adding to my “Trash the Dress” and “Rock the Dress” portfolio. Thats where you come in, if you are and new bride, an aspiring model or know anyone that would fit the two previous descriptions… this session could be for you or them! You must have a wedding dress of some sort at your disposal, no fears of getting a little dirt on it and surrendering all creative freedom to me! A husband, boyfriend and or male friend in wedding day attire is a PLUS! (doesn’t have to be a tux, just dressy wedding attire with tie). In return you get a disc of all images fully edited with a print release license. To “apply” for the 3/6/11 session… email me and just let me know. ONLY SERIOUS INQUIRIES PLEASE! Limited number of spots are available…. all it will cost you is a little time and a lot of FUN!
Email me your Name, Age, Location and Picture. Open to anyone that is willing to have fun with a wedding dress and take some creative pictures.
for more information on what a Trash the Dress and Rock the Dress is:
WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER SKIMP ON WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY
Let’s face it. Weddings are crazy expensive. I’m all about finding ways to save money, and there are lots of ways you can do so. But if you only splurge on one thing for your wedding, LET IT BE PHOTOGRAPHY. That’s right, I’m a venue owner and a stationery designer and I’m not telling you that your splurge item should not be one of those things, but photography. Why? Because its true! Chances are you know someone who is a “photographer” and its tempting to hire them for cheap or even have them shoot your wedding as a wedding gift to you to save money, but hear me now and believe me later, DON’T DO IT!!! Here’s why:
1. You will not get this chance again.
This is your wedding. Hopefully you will only be having one. Isn’t it worth the investment? The #1 regret I hear from brides about their wedding day is that they are not happy with their photos. Don’t be one of them. Besides, when else will all your family and friends be gathered in one place? Probably never, except for at your funeral, and by then you won’t care. My own sister had a very mediocre photographer at her wedding. Within a year, both my grandma and my mom passed away. Those are the last family pictures we will ever have, and they are not good. The value of that now far exceeds the $1,000 or whatever money was saved on the photographer.
2. It’s not just for you, its for everyone who loves you.
Your uncle couldn’t capture this with his Point and Shoot camera! Of course your wedding day should be all about you and your fiance, but don’t forget how much time, effort, and money your family and wedding party have put into it as well. They deserve some nice photos to remember the occasion by. But even more than that, think about future generations. Won’t your kids and grandchildren want to see these? What girl doesn’t love seeing old wedding photos of the generations before her? This is the one aspect of your wedding (aside from your marriage itself) that will last forever.
3. A wedding photographer can anticipate what will happen next.
This is why you should not only get a great photographer, you should get a great wedding photographer. The word “photographer” encompasses a variety of people- family photographers, fashion photographers, commercial photographers, etc. Being good at one area doesn’t necessarily mean you are good at another. If you hire someone whose livelihood is shooting weddings, there is a pretty good chance they have done this enough times to not only know where they need to be in order to capture certain moments, but also random things like what kind of light will come through a stained glass window at 5:00 in May, etc.
4. A great photographer can turn an ordinary wedding into an extraordinary wedding.
I have seen this first hand on multiple occasions. A couple is on a tight budget and doesn’t have a lot of money for decor or fancy extras at their wedding. But they hire a great photographer, and lo and behold when you see the photos you would think the wedding cost twice what it really did. The photographer captures everything at its best, and everything that is wonderful about the day, and when you look at your photos you remember your wedding day fondly.
5. If it doesn’t turn out well, you don’t want to have hard feelings with a friend.
This is a big one. If you hire (or ask a favor from) a friend and the photos don’t turn out well, it can seriously damage your relationship. Every time you see that person for the rest of your life you will think of how s/he “ruined” your wedding photos. It may not be intentional, but you will. Its kind of like if they ran over your cat with their car tire. You know its not intentional, but you can’t help but associating them with this one unfortunate act.
So how much does a great wedding photographer cost? This depends on what all is included. Some photographers quote their rates for shooting only, while others quote packages that include both shooting and prints, albums, digital images, etc. When you are researching photographers you should keep this in mind and make sure you are comparing apples to apples with regard to pricing. That being said, I know a couple of great photographers whose coverage starts around $1,000, but you should not be startled at a base price of $3,000 either. Sure that’s a lot of money, but what you get in return is priceless. How can you argue with that???
As my senior year approached I knew I wanted more than just the standard high school pictures. I was looking for something different than the normal. Scott Greene did not only make my senior photos, he made it an experience I will never forget. I felt as if I was his only client with all the attention and great ideas he had coming my way. His photography is more a work of art than just regular photos. I would highly recommend him to anyone and everyone. After the photo shoot we were able to receive a sneak peek of the photos online at Facebook.com. After receiving the sneak peek, Scott had my disc ready in a couple of days. The disc is not just a typical disc with your name on it. It has a picture of you on it. This is a step above all other photographers. Scott is the best photography and there is no dough that I will use him in years to come. Great Job Scott!
My experience with Scott was superb, in all aspects. Right from the beginning of the shoot he allowed me to express my ideas of what I wanted, but he also gave me many suggestions that I liked and took. He was very flexible with where we shot the pictures and did not have a set studio to fulfill the session. I had never heard of a photographer doing so before. He also approved of me bringing my dog, Bud, to get in some of the shots and liked the idea to incorporate him. Throughout the session he was patient with Bud to get the shot he wanted and was with me as well. After the shooting part was done, he finished editing the pictures in just a matter of days. It literally was 3 days after my session when I viewed the album. Not only did he give us really good deals on buying pictures from him, but he also sent us a CD of ALL the pictures he took during the session. This allowed me to go and print the pictures at my will. Convenience. I would highly recommend Scott Greene Photography to anyone who needs pictures to be taken for any event or occasion. I plan to use his services for any future events I have myself.
HA! I thought this title would get some attention! I have always been about learning from others and teaching when i can…. I also like to save money when i spend it. So this is to my fellow photographers or anybody that stores AA batteries in bulk. Well as you all know our hot shoe flashes and other various electronics eat up some AA batteries. Well I used to keep all of my batteries piled in a bag and I would draw from the bag when i needed new batteries… well meeting with one of my photographer friends one day at lunch…. I was complaining about now matter how many packs of new batteries I bought, they always seemed to run down a little quicker than normal. He then asked me how I had them stored and I explained my simplistic way of the bag method. He opened my eyes… being stored like that… they are constantly toughing ends with each other and even though there is no actual device drawing energy from them… they are using energy just from the + and – ends touching….. WOW! So that sent me on a mission to find some battery cases… I bought 4 really cool cases from my local camera shop that hold 8 batteries. I was excited when i found these at $7 a piece…. Its get better, read below the picture…
I was all happy with my purchase… I just spent about $30 on cases that will store 32 AA batteries. Awesome right? Not so much… I am a avid hand gun enthusiast as well… I guess i just like to shoot things whether it be cameras or handguns. Well I was at my local gun shop over Christmas break and I just happened to stumble across the reloading section. My uncle does a lot of reloading his own bullets so i was curious to see the equipment and prices. Low and behold the clouds parted and i spotted a small case that had 50 slots and they looked to be about the size of a AA battery. I ran to my truck grabbed a AA and tested my theory. It WORKED… this small case holds 50 AA batteries… now what was the price your asking…. you ready… $3.99. WOW! This cartridge case made by Plano will fit into my gear bag and hold 50 AA batteries at a price of $3.99. So that’s my inside scoop to you!
So I’m sitting here at 1:10am thinking and brainstorming…. Among all of the stuff running around in my crowded mind I was thinking of something clever to post for my 100th blog post! YES, 100 blog post… WOW my English teachers from high school would not have ever believed that I could have written this much. Anyway, I had this brilliant idea (or at least it sounded brilliant to me)… and if you know me by know on Facebook… you deff know that I have a very creative design oriented mind… I also love to market myself, to aggressive sometimes in my self promos I think, but that is partly what makes me … me! Okay so back to this “brilliant” idea of mine. I have decided to start a monthly visual/image post of my month in the form of a magazine cover. Welcome to SGPN (scott greene photography news). Cheesy I know but re-runs of Sport Center are on right now and well…. I’m easily influenced for ideas and just so happens ESPN is the foundation for the creation of this design ( thank God Jersey Shore is not on right now, no telling what the name or design would look like)…. so here it is. SGPN! This is the first release with what I hope are fun monthly covers. Basically how it works…. it is a visual illustration in the form of a cover of a magazine of what is whats going on in or around my life and work at the given time… what I may be thinking or planing all in the shape of a magazine cover. Here is January 2011: drop me a comment and let me know what you think.
I hope everyone has had a great Christmas and will hopefully have a great and safe New Years… as I post this last post of 2010… i have been doing a lot of reflecting on the past that is helping me to plan for the future. If I had to sum it up in one sentence…. Remember where you’ve been, don’t forget how you got here and always keep looking ahead. That is pretty much a moral compass that I plan to follow for 2011 and it also makes for a good personal mission statement for any photographer in the business.
The “don’t forget how you got here” part from the above statement can mean so many things to so many people, but for me… one aspect of it other than remembering the advice, help and info that I have received and still receive from other great photographers ( many thanks by the way ) is the fact that I used to carry my camera around with me everywhere that I went. I was always looking for a “picture”. My goal is to try and go back to those roots because I think that’s when I developed my creative eye. Most of the times I shot inanimate objects such as buildings, plants or whatever caught my attention… it is good every now and again for me to shoot for me… meaning just having some fun.
Well with that in mind… a “great mundane” ( oxymoron ) opportunity presented itself. My wife and I had to wash our comforter, well she did because I have no idea how and would probably ruin it. She asked me if I wanted to go to the laundry mat… I was like sure I’ll go not knowing what I would really do there, BUT then I actually grabbed the ol’ Nikon and out the door we went. Yes… I was that weird guy that is now topic of conversation in about three households right now, because i was walking around taking pictures of washing machines and driers. As I started shooting I remembered the times that I used to always be that weird guy with the camera…. I actually liked it and vow to do it more in 2011…. so if your ever within 40 miles of Jefferson, GA… be on the lookout for a weird guy walking around aimlessly with his hat turned backwards and a big camera shooting “stuff”. Here are a few shots and they are by no means anything close to good, but it was just fun for me and I just felt like sharing a little bit of my lazy day today:
By Elizabeth Hood.
As my husband and I just celebrated our first anniversary, we did a great deal of reflecting on our wedding day. In fact, I think I thought back to our wedding each Saturday along the course of the year, and said, “Let’s do it again!” to my husband! I often find myself looking through our wedding pictures, and smiling to myself. I wanted the day to be perfect, and it certainly was!
I would consider myself a very traditional bride…I wanted to throw the bouquet, have my Dad walk me down the aisle, serve a seated dinner after cocktail hour, and most importantly not see my groom until the church doors opened! I did all of the above plus some, with the exception of seeing my husband-to-be before the ceremony. This was a very tough decision for me, which took months of toiling over and over-analyzing! I wanted to do the “traditional” thing, and wait for “the moment” when I would first see Todd at the altar – along with 300 of our closest friends and family, a wedding party of 15, two photographers, and a wedding planner…with my Dad in tow, as well as all of my emotions! Sounds perfect…right?? Not quite! In fact, the tradition I was so desperately clinging to, in support of not seeing each other, was started to keep grooms from fleeing after seeing their not-so-appealing brides before an arranged marriage ceremony. That certainly was not the ambiance to my wedding day that I was looking for!
Weeks before the wedding, my photographer Scott, had asked me for a schedule so that he could make his plans accordingly. As I sat at the computer stressfully looking at my meticulously planned wedding day, I could feel my head spinning. I had made Option A which included not seeing my groom, Todd, prior to the ceremony. In another file, I housed Option B, which I had only drafted to humor a few people, and it included a First Look session with Todd before the ceremony. I’m not quite sure why I made the decision that I did at the time, but I gave in and sent Scott Option B before I could change my mind! I thought I would later regret it, but it turned out to be the best decision I could have made!
Our wedding day went amazingly well! I had heard horror stories of things going wrong, and I was prepared for something horrible to happen on mine knowing my bad luck, but it didn’t. I had put so much effort into making such a small decision about when to see my groom. I thought the decision to see Todd beforehand would have major repercussions, and it didn’t! If anything, I would have regretted the decision to not see Todd until the ceremony, an idea I held so tightly to for the several months we were engaged!
On our wedding day, I remember getting ready, and being so excited to see Todd for our First Look so early on in the day. I wouldn’t have been able to wait until our late afternoon wedding to see him! I was freshly dressed, primped, and ready to go when we arranged to see each other in the chapel. Luckily, the craziness of the day, people everywhere, and hundreds of pictures had not had enough time to wear me down! We shut the doors to the chapel and I walked down the aisle as Todd waited at the altar. I remember all of the exact feelings I wanted to have at that very moment, and I was not disappointed! Seeing my groom for the first time was more than I could have imagined, and it seemed to be magnified since it was just us! We were able to have a private moment all to ourselves, even in the midst of a hectic day. Furthermore, I was able to hug Todd, get his reaction to my dress, exchange our wedding gifts, and catch up on all of the morning’s happenings in those moments. It was so nice to be alone with each other, and make wonderful memories! If we had seen each other for the first time at the altar, our first moments alone on our wedding day would have included blistered feet, hungry bellies, and a whirlwind of thoughts late into the night! Seeing each other before the wedding allowed all of the emotions that had been brewing inside of me all morning, as well as the pre-wedding jitters to leave my body, and allowed us to be relaxed during the remainder of the day. We were able to have such an emotional and sentimental time together before moving on with our day, and it seemed to put us both in the right mindset for our quickly-approaching ceremony. In addition, our wedding party and guests appreciated not having to wait for us to finish post-ceremony pictures in order to eat dinner and open the dance floor. And, to be honest, I enjoyed not missing cocktail hour either! I needed a glass of wine; my feet were hurting!
I wouldn’t change one thing about my wedding day, and I think that is a huge accomplishment in itself! Not many newlyweds can say that! The pictures that came out of our First Look session are a wonderful reflection of the precious moments I was able to share with my husband on our wedding day. Had I chosen to go with tradition, we wouldn’t have these gorgeous pictures hanging on our bedroom wall!
8 Question to ask a Wedding Professional before booking them!
Hiring the right team is critical to planning your dream wedding…and it can also be quite stressful.
How do you find the right match for you? How do you know who to trust? Where do you go for advice?
First of all, this is not an easy task and it’s totally normal for couples to feel overwhelmed, frustrated or confused.
It’s not like you plan a wedding every day! This is all probably brand new to you, so be patient with yourself.
A few tips to finding the right ones for you…
- Do Your Homework. You’ll get much more out of a meeting or conversation with a wedding professional if you do a little background homework first.
Spend some time on the internet or talking to friends who’ve recently been married. Find out the average prices in your area and what services are available. Get an idea of what you like and don’t like. Wedding websites and chat rooms can be a great resource. This way when you meet with a wedding professional you’ll be able to ask better questions and have an idea of what to look out for.
- Meet With Them. An in person meeting is the best way to interview a potential wedding vendor. It lets you get the full experience of their personality, style and professionalism. If that’s not possible, have a phone conversation.
- Ask Questions. There are no stupid questions! Make sure you get clear, specific answers to your questions. If you aren’t sure what something means, ask them to clarify. Keep asking questions until you completely understand.
If a wedding vendor has a problem with you asking questions, they probably aren’t the one for you. The best wedding professionals are patient, understanding and take the time to help you make the best choices for your wedding.
- Listen. Don’t just hear the words they say, really listen. Watch the vendor’s body language. Are they confident and comfortable with their response? Do they look and sound nervous? Do you get a “funny feeling” about them? Take all the sights, sounds and feelings into account along with their responses; if your gut tells you something isn’t right, it probably isn’t.
- Check References. Portfolios are hand-picked to show off the best work, but they may not represent the “average” wedding performance. Videos are edited for the optimum presentation. But real referrals from satisfied clients are hard to fake.
Call up both client and professional references. Ask questions and use those listening skills. Even if they give a rave review, you’ll often be able to “read between the lines” if there were any issues or problems.
Ask around and search the internet for reviews. Check the Better Business Bureau for any outstanding complaints against the business. Weigh all of this information into your choices.
Here are 8 Must Ask Questions to ask ALL your potential wedding professionals before booking:
- 1. How many weddings do you do per year? How much experience do you have?
This is an extremely important question. Ideally, your wedding professional should have ample experience specifically with weddings. Not only will they be more skilled in their craft, this also makes them a valuable source of information and ensures that your wedding day goes smoothly.
- How much do you cost?
Price is often relative, especially when you factor in experience, reputation and expert skill. Generally, the most talented professionals have a higher price tag because they are worth it.
- 3. How much is the deposit?
- What specifically is included in that cost?
Because packages often vary, it’s likely that you won’t be able to compare one vendor exactly to the next without doing a little figuring. The lowest cost isn’t necessarily the best deal; some higher quotes include services that you have to pay extra for in other packages. Make sure you take this into account.
- What happens if I cancel? What happens if you cancel?
Find out if your deposit is refundable under any conditions. Does the wedding professional have a back up plan if something happens to them?
- Do you use a contract?
If the answer is No, RUN! A contract is designed to protect both you and the wedding professional. Don’t settle for a verbal agreement that won’t hold up in court.
- Are there any additional fees?
Taxes, service charges and travel fees can add up quickly. Make sure you understand exactly what is included and if there are any other fees you’ll have to pay. This should be clearly defined in your contract.
- Do you carry liability insurance?
The answer you’re looking for here is Yes. This protects you in case an unfortunate accident should occur on your wedding day. It’s also a sign that this is a reputable business, since most “fly by night” operations don’t invest in insurance.
If chosen wisely, with the right wedding vendors you get expert help and advice…for free!
The digital revolution has brought amazing flexibility and ability to control various factors during the image taking and making process. Photographers, the hobbyist, the professional, the amateur all benefit from this ability to manipulate pixels. However, with flexibility comes a price. Digital camera equipment is still considerably more expensive when you factor in its’ lifespan, the need for additional resources for processing those images, the time it takes to get a usable image and the effort that goes into creating a work of photographic art. We all know that you can go to the local Walgreen’s and pay a $1.99 for a print – as a client you may wonder why you may pay upwards of $50, $70, $90 for a custom photography print. Photographers hear this statement every once in awhile:
“How in the world can you charge $60 for an 8×10 if it costs me less than $2 to print at x store?”
The truth of the matter is the answer to this question is multifaceted. Much of the cost of a photographic print produced by a professional photographer has a lot to do with the time, equipment costs, artistic vision and reputation of the photographer not to mention expertise and the usual costs of running a legitimate business. The cost of TIME Approaching it from a time standpoint, let’s imagine that you have hired a photographer who has work that you love. This photographer is traveling an hour to your destination to photograph your session. Here is an example of a time break down:
- booking time: 30 minutes to one hour (client contact time + paperwork)
- pre-session prep time (30 mins – 1 hour, includes equipment and back up equipment checks + vehicle checks)
- one hour travel time TO session
- 15-30 minutes prep time at client’s home
- 90 minutes-2 hours with client photographing subject
- one hour travel time FROM session
- 30-45 minutes uploading time from digital cards from camera to computer
- 30-45 minutes time spent backing up the original images
- 2-5 hours editing time to present you with a diverse gallery of edited images
- 1 hour prep time getting ready for ordering
- 2-3 hours time with client for ordering images
- 1 hour sorting through and checking order
- 30 minutes-1 hour prep time for delivery
- 30 minutes-1 hour getting order shipped
- any additional phone time or time needed for add on ordering, shipment issues, quality issues
In this example, the time spent per client can range from just under 13 hours to 19 hours – dependent on the photographer’s level of service. This is time dedicated only to ONE session. When the photographer charges $150-$300 for the photo shoot (aka SESSION FEE) you are not just paying for the two hours of session time, you are paying the photographer for 12-19 hours complete time for your session.
The COSTS of Maintaining a Custom Photography Business:
Regarding equipment costs, a good quality professional camera with a selection of good optical quality lenses and digital storage mediums and computer set up can run from $10,000-$30,000 costs dependent on the photographer. Even though you can purchase a really good quality digital SLR for about $2100 there are still other costs related to photography. A good lens for portrait photography can run from $900 to $2500. A dependable computer system with software loaded for business and creative usage can run $2500 to $8000 dependent on the photographer. Then come lab costs for specialty products. A good photographer knows their professional lab is an integral part of their success. These labs often cost more and offer a range of products that allows the custom photographer to continually offer new, innovative products for the discerning client.
Discussion on other costs of running a photography business could take awhile so we’ll skip many of the intricate details. An overview: the costs of running the business, taxes, studio rental/mortgage if the photographer has ownership of a dedicated studio, vehicular costs, costs of advertising/marketing, costs of sample pieces that the photographer will likely bring to your session, etc.
APPLES to ORANGES to BANANAS: Often times clients will mention to their photographer that X studio in the mall/department store only charges $19.99 for an 8×10 “sheet” or they may mention other things related to discount photography chains. The fact is those discount chains make their money on volume, not on customized 1:1 service. In February 2007 a company who has leased photography retail space in a rather well known discount retailer closed down 500 of their portrait studios across the nation. The reason it happened is simple, you cannot make money on 99¢ “professional” prints if you do not sell enough of them. Interestingly enough – those same studios that offer the loss leader packages often charge much much more for their a la carte pricing vs. many custom photographers (as high as $40-50 for an 8×10).
A little history – the whole reason the big department stores began offering portrait services in the first place was to get you, the savvy consumer, in through their door so that you could spend more money with them in other departments. Your “PORTRAITS” are considered the “loss leader”. Your portraits that are meant to symbolize a once-in-a-lifetime stage in your child’s life are part of what a store considers a way to get you in there door to spend more money on goods that you might not really want or need but because you’re there “anyway” you buy.
Also keep in mind that when you go to a chain studio, as a consumer, you don’t have the benefit of 1:1 attention for 2 hours at your home where your child is allowed to explore, play and be comfortable in their home environment, nor do you get the experience that many custom photographers are known for as well as the lovely captures of natural expressions. You simply get a bare bones, “SAY CHEESE” experience.
REPUTATION/EXPERTISE of the PHOTOGRAPHER: There is an old story about a ship that cost a company millions of dollars. Something went wrong in the engine room and the ship was stuck in dock. They called various “experts” who spent weeks trying to fix the issue to no avail and at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars. Finally a older gentleman was called in who simply brought in his small tool bag and a hammer. He set about pinging on various parts of the vast engine with his hammer, finally settling on one area. He spent a few minutes pinging in that area, took out a few tools and fixed whatever what was wrong. After a few moments the man straightened up, looked at the captain and instructed him to “start her up.” The captain disbelievingly went to get the engines started while the man sat in the engine room listening as the engine roared to life. The man tipped his hat as he exited the ship to the staff who sat dumbfounded because they had seen all the experts come on board for days with their expensive equipment only to have the ship not fixed. This man did it in a few minutes with a few pings of his hammer!
A few days passed and the man sent the shipping company a bill for $10,000. The accounting department contacted him immediately. Why all the rumors mentioned that this man had only spent “a few minutes” fixing the ship “with his hammer and a few other random tools”. When questioned about why his bill was for $10,000 – did he accidentally leave an extra zero on the bill? The man confidently responded: “In fact the time was worth the $1,000. The other $9,000 was for the years of experience and the ability to discern the issue as quickly as possible for the company.”
Now I’m not saying that photographers fix large ships but being in demand, being well known for quality work, having a good reputation often costs time on the photographer’s part (years of practice, study, experience, etc). A photographer’s expertise comes at a cost, their time learning their craft and learning the intricacies of lighting and the commitment put forth on their end to create a persona about their business that oozes professionalism. A great number of photographers go a very long time from the time that they purchase their first good camera to making money at the business of photography. Many photographers, when first starting out, rush in thinking that the business will be easily profitable in no time, how expensive could it be to get a camera and use it to create their dream? These photographers often undervalue what they do because they have the realization that they do not have experience or expertise but are very adept at pushing the shutter on the camera. Many times these casual “professionals” neglect to factor in the cost of business, the cost of equipment, software, back ups, etc.. When you hire a photographer of sound reputation, you are hiring an expert, one that knows that they must always reinvest in their business to create the reputation of being top notch. To create good work a photographer possesses not only sound knowledge in the technical and creative aspects of photography but also good, reliable equipment and back up equipment.
The photographer who desires to be known as better/best/unparalelled reputation-wise knows that the most important thing they can do for their business is reliability and dependability. This is how reputations get built. Good work often is a wonderful side product of building that good reputation.
I hope this (lengthy) article helps shed some light on WHY a custom photographer is a better choice for your family’s memories. The photographs that are produced as a result of the professionalism and dedication that your photographer has will be cherished for a lifetime (or more) and great thought and consideration should be placed into hiring who is right for your family’s most precious investment.
content is inspired by discussions with other photographers, my own personal experiences and outline based on an article by San Diego Photographers Caught On Film Photography
Manual Flash Exposure
Most electronic flashes now come equipped with a great deal of sophistication – sophistication that is intended to make our lives easier. Ha! If you know me, I hold the same disregard for flash automation as I do toward the sophisticated automation offered by just about every DSLR on the market. The only thing all of this flash automation has done is increase most people’s anxiety towards using it. The manual that comes with most electronic flashes is upwards of 90 pages! Yet, there are usually just three pages written about using your flash in manual exposure mode, and these three pages may be the most useful in the entire manual! Sure, you want to learn how to tilt and rotate the flash head, put on colored gels, and attach a diffuser, but at the end of the day, the most important thing you want to learn is how to use your flash in manual exposure mode.
Most of my students who attend my workshops do own an electronic flash, yet most of these same students well report that they are afraid to use it! But by workshops end, the students are also quick to report that using their flashes in manual mode was such an easy thing to do and with guaranteed results each and every time. They now feel “armed and dangerous” because so many creative doors have now been opened!
I was recently hired to shoot a new band called WaldoBliss. After flying out to L.A., I met the band members and within a few hours, the shoot was underway. From 5:00 a.m. until 8:00 a.m., I shot the band members in alleyways, on the sidewalks, and on the beach. In each and every shot, I called upon my portable electronic flash; sometimes just one flash, sometimes two, sometimes with gels, sometimes without. I always worked with the strobes off-camera since I am a strong advocate of keeping my flash off the camera’s hot-shoe. This also meant I was using trusty Pocket Wizards ! And of course, 100% of the time, I was shooting in manual flash exposure mode.
Arriving at Venice Beach about 30 minutes before sunrise, a dusky blue pre-dawn sky greeted all of us. I was quick to ask all four band members to walk atop these short log posts that bordered a small parking lot at Venice Beach, against the backdrop of the palm trees and the dusky blue pre-dawn sky. With my aperture set to f/5.6, I was quick to adjust my shutter speed until a 1/2 second indicated a correct exposure. I then quickly set up a single strobe, atop a small light stand and after dialing in that same aperture of f/5.6 on the back of my Nikon SB900 flash , the flash to subject distance indicated was 11 feet so I then placed the stand about 11 feet directly in front of them. I asked them to now walk slowly and as they did, I fired the camera and quickly ‘jerked’ the camera upward during the very brief 1/2 second exposure. Since the flash was set for rear-curtain sync, I was able to record a ‘ghosting blur’ of the trees and band members, knowing that at the end of this quick 1/2 second exposure, the flash would light-up and ‘freeze’ the band members in perfect detail. This effect is often referred to as “dragging the shutter” and as you can see (above right) it is an easy effect, but it has been my experience, that it seldom works consistently with shutter speeds other then 1, 1/2 or a 1/4 second. Faster speeds do not allow enough time to record the ghosting effect and slower shutter speeds allow for too much ghosting to take place – so much so that the overall exposure looks muddied. You can click the image above for more detail.
A Tale of Two Strobes
Peter, the Bass’Meister’, from Austria, got his first taste of rock stardom at the age of 16. Austria quickly proved to be too small for this talented bass player and it was soon “America or Bust”. Peter now lives in LA and has played with a host of jazz musicians in addition to doing a great deal of music for radio and television commercials. Peter is truly a guy in love with music and of course a guy in love with his bass guitar. After stumbling into an alleyway just off of Venice Beach, I remarked that the red wall and the gargoyle figure would make a perfect backdrop to shoot a portrait of Peter. While Peter was retrieving his bass guitar from his nearby car, I asked Ray to stand in so I could shoot some test shots of the lighting set-up I had in mind for Peter.
As you can see, in this scene I am using two lights. The ‘rear’ strobe is off camera left and pointed to the wall and the gargoyle in the background. The front light is off camera right and pointed somewhat straight at Ray. Both strobes have diffusers placed over them and also light amber gels placed inside. Since I wanted the wall and gargoyle to remain somewhat ‘soft’, allowing Peter to be the subject in sharp focus, I chose to use an aperture of f/5.6. I than dialed up f/5.6 on the foreground flash and with my front flash being only about three feet from Ray, I was quickly dialing the down the power until 1/32 power indicated a correct flash exposure at f/5.6 from four feet. I then went to the flash at the back wall and determined my flash to subject distance to be about 5 feet, (I wanted to light the gargoyle and a portion of the wall around it) so again, after dialing down the power of the strobe, I found that a 1/16 power would allow me to shoot that wall and gargoyle at f/5.6 from a flash to subject distance of five feet.
With my camera and lens now set at f/5.6 I took a meter reading of the overall ambient light in the scene and an ambient exposure of f/5.6 at a 1/15 second was indicated. Since I wanted to impart a bit of lighting mood to the scene, I chose to set my ambient exposure about a 1 and 1/3 stops under-exposed, (f/5.6 at a 1/40 second) and as you can see in the actual exposure of Peter, that part of the red wall that is not lit by the flash imparts a somewhat moody feel to the overall exposure. As you can also see in this exposure, Peter is indeed licking the neck of his guitar. Like I said, the guy loves his bass!
Nikon D300S, 24mm-85mm, f/5,6 @ 1/40 second, 200 ISO
A Little Help From a Friend
A blue wall, and a wrought iron fence; what more can you ask for? I asked Ray (Donna Summer’s guitar player among others) to stand against this blue wall, in the corner where the fence and blue wall met and asked Peter to help me with the flash. Help me how? Peter would become a ‘VAL’, (voice activated light stand) and with Peter’s long arms he was able to extend the flash beyond the wrought iron fence just enough so when the flash fired I would record some wonderful shadows on the blue wall as well as some warm sidelight on the wrought iron fence. In effect, I wanted to create the light of an early morning sunrise. (The nearby gate that would have allowed access behind this wrought iron fence was locked – otherwise I would have walked behind the gate and placed the flash on a light stand.)
I had already determined that Peter would be holding the flash about 8-9 feet maximum from where Peter would be standing with his guitar so I simply dialed the aperture wheel on the back of my flash until 9 feet was indicated and noted that the aperture for nine feet was f/11. With my camera now set to f/11 I took a meter reading of the ambient light and a 1/30 second was indicating a correct exposure. But, since I would be combining both flash and ambient light, I chose to under-expose the ambient by one stop in this case, as I felt the colors of the wall in particular would be a bit more vivid if under-exposed. With my camera and 24-85mm lens set to f/5.6 and my shutter speed set to a 1/60 second, I fired a dozen or so pictures, while Peter held the flash, pointing it back towards the wrought iron and Ray the guitar player. This is one of my favorite images of those 12 we shot.
There has never been a great scientific breakthrough without first doing some experiments, and the same is true with electronic flash – so get out there and start experimenting! Every experiment that doesn’t work moves you one step closer to the experiments that do.
All My Best,
Bryan F. Peterson/Founder
The Perfect Picture School of Photography
He’s your one and only true love, right? Then you’ll never need the dress again. And no, your daughter won’t wear it in 20-30 years. So you can either bury it in a closet, or have some fun by Rocking the Dress one last time, and get some great pictures while you do it! When brides are able to flaunt without worrying about getting a spot or two on their attire, the experience and results are so much better. It’s never been about destruction. It’s always been about creation. In the end, it really doesn’t matter what you call it- as the image usually speaks loudest. Welcome to the now, and I can’t wait to shoot you while you Rock it!
• What is a Rock the Dress Session?
Now that the wedding is over, you have two choices of what to do with the dress. You can suffocate it in a plastic bag and hope that your daughter will want to wear it in 20 years, or you can put it back on and have some fun.
• Do I have to really trash it?
Of course not! It’s just a fun session to do when you have more time than the day of the wedding or a situation you wouldn’t dare do the day of the wedding. Sure you can get a little risky with it, like splashing in water or standing in an alley since the fear of getting it dirty is over, but you don’t have to.
• Can I still do a session if you didn’t shoot my wedding?
Absolutely! I can certainly add a little spice to your wedding collection even if I didn’t cover the actual event. This is the perfect opportunity to add a different style to your wedding photos and some out of the ordinary locations.
• How much does it cost?
You can view my prices below or online. A typical session would require a Location Session which is anywhere within an hour of Jefferson, GA. Outside of this area special arrangements would be necessary.
• So what are you waiting for?
Contact me today to schedule your Rock the Dress session and give the dress one more run for the money.
Rock the Dress Session $250
-Printable digital negative disc
-License to print release included
-All images are post processed and enhanced
-Costumed designed case and disc cover
-Online gallery for a month
I have a lot of brides who cringe when I ask them if they’d like to see their groom before the ceremony. “It’s tradition. I don’t want to jinx anything,” is a common answer.
“I was completely against seeing the each other before the wedding, I simply wanted that moment of opening the doors and him seeing me for the first time, but I was torn because I also wanted to enjoy the reception and not make ppl wait while we took pictures so we compromised. Before we took any pictures the groom went to the sanctuary and I walked down the aisle to him, no family and friends just a moment for us. I get my moment and nobody has to wait after the ceremony while we take pictures.”
Q: My mother insists that I not see my groom-to-be on the day of the wedding until the ceremony. Is this customary in today’s weddings?
A: Most couples today have disregarded the musty old superstition of the bridegroom not seeing his bride before the ceremony on the day of the wedding. The superstition stems from the days when marriages were arranged and the groom might never have seen the bride. There was a chance that he might take one look at her and bolt – so it was often safer for them to meet for the first time at the altar! This, of course, is a custom that these days certainly does not need to be followed, unless of course it’s something you both feel strongly about.
So, since that really isn’t the case too often anymore, why not consider this taboo? Not only is it a great way to schedule your photos and ensure you enjoy your cocktail hour, but the moment when you first see each other is always magical- beyond words actually.
here are a few couples that decided to see each before hand and they say that it was the best decision:
Attention all 2011 upcoming high school seniors and or any parents or friends to any 2011 seniors: Its your last year of high school and a chapter of your life coming to an end…. what better way to remember it than to have some unique pictures of yourself in the moment. This time only comes once and with ScottGreene Photography all the pictures can now be yours. My senior package includes a disc with every image processed and enhanced for you to keep and print whenever you want. I am not one of those photographers that holds your images for ransom… every image is yours on a custom designed DVD and case. Included is a print release license that allows the power to print to be left up to you. While you can still order the highest quality prints and products through me…. you are no longer obligated to. Multiple locations, multiple wardrobe changes and all the time that needed to capture you and your personality and interest are just a click away. Contact me for special discounts and other products…. book now!
Welcome… my name is Scott Greene and this is my blog. I plan to share with you my shoots, events and just some fun aspects of my life on here. This is a nice complement to my website and the blog also allows the immediate glimpse into what is going on with my photography and design. I hope you enjoy and visit often.
ps- for those of you that do not know me… below are a couple of pictures of me. I tried to be a little artistically dramatic, not sure if it works well for me…lol