Stories from the Heart
Blue Ridge Wedding Photography-Intimacy
Blue Ridge Wedding Photography-Intimacy One of the Pillars of Personalization
Blue Ridge Wedding Photography-Intimacy. For us, Intimacy in wedding photography is one of the pillars of personalizing the day for our clients. Of curse intimacy can have different meanings for different photographers.
For us the definitions vary. Let’s take a look…
For a ceremony shot like this many people would think intimate would not be a characteristic of what would be captured, but take a look at every single member of the bridal party. While this is a public ceremony it is also undoubtedly intimate.
Love the gorgeous venue above? Check out The Historic Tate House. You can see more of them HERE:
For the above image as the bride was completing her getting ready, her children came in to see her. The scene turned incredibly emotional but also intimate.
Just hands right? Hardly. The image above shows the bride and grooms first look after they clasped hands along with the tissues each had for wiping away their tears. A moment we categorize as both emotional and intimate.
The images above show a bride in reflection and in single, silent prayer before the ceremony, then being joined downstairs with a dear friend for a final prayer shared before the procession.
This image is from a post shoot with the bride and groom. I have worked with many photographers just getting started who have stated they simply don’t see how intimacy can be involved in a planned and post wedding shoot. If you have read our past blogs where we talk about connection with your clients it is in our opinion necessary to be allowed “in” for moments like this. Often those intimate moments are caught between directed posing.
Like the above image? You can check out the fine folks at The Gardens at Kennesaw Mountain HERE:
You can tell that we love moments such as prayer. Now let me stop here and clarify something. In our Super 1 day class we were asked once how, as Christians, we could shoot during the prayer? The answer is we actually pray with the group and simple take a few quick images as quietly as possible.
For a destination wedding it is hard to beat gorgeous historic Savannah. You can check them out HERE:
Te above image has been a favorite of ours for years. After the ceremony and the first dance the couple stepped out for a breather after a long destination wedding day. While vaguely aware of us following, they were quickly lost in the moment with each other. That brief beautiful moment certainly qualifies as intimate.
First dance images can offer intimacy, but your timing must be superb. This quiet, fleeting moment was in full view on the dance floor, but to capture it you had to feel it coming. I would point back to that most important client connection. You can see where we have spoken about this more HERE:
This last image was taken in the middle of the final getting ready moment between daughter and Mom. Their relationship was one that was preternaturally close. In the final moments the bride turned to her mom and was in tears and very emotional. It was a perfect intimate moment. One you felt blessed to be allowed to shoot.
In closing intimacy, along with emotion are a few of what we consider the pillars of quality wedding photography. We strive for images that stand the test of time and evoke not just what we all looked like, but what it FELT like.
We are John & Tamera Webb. We own and operate a wedding photography studio in Blue Ridge Georgia. We shoot with our hearts on the shutter, and it looks like this…
Blue Ridge Wedding Photography- Why Emotion is King
Blue Ridge Wedding Photography-Emotion. Why Emotion is King (for us)
Blue Ridge Wedding Photography Why Emotion is King. It seems to go together, does it not? Your shooting a wedding day. The day, this particular day, is full of emotion. With so much emotion going in it would be tough to miss it right? Actually you would be surprised how those key moments CAN get missed.Blue Ridge Wedding Photography- Why Emotion is King…and should be.
Listen we all have different styles and different approaches. It’s what makes the world go around. But there are times when the photographer or the couple do NOT want to be photographed showing emotion.
So what do you do with a client request like that?
We turn them down.
That’s right. We decline.
We feel so strongly about the importance of those unplanned burst of emotion we won’t document a day where we are told to avoid them.
I ran across this article a few days back. I could not agree more with one of the brides assessment of one of her images. “at first I hated those pictures of me crying, but now I treasure them.” — Katherine (and Sam)” Check it out below.
Best Wedding Moments
This all came to mind after a wedding we were guest at a good while back. We weren’t working it. When the bride made her entrance the groom was visible emotional. It was, to us, a beautiful and tender moment not to be missed.
But it was.
Now whether that was couple stipulated or the photographers style we can’t say. But what a shame that years into their future there won’t be any professional images to document such a huge moment.
Life is made up of a good deal of moments where we are so busy taking care of the business of living that emotional peaks are few and far between. But make no mistake those emotional peaks are the anchors that tie the rest together and make the living not only worthwhile, but cherished.
For us as professional wedding photographers we are documenting a day that is not only special, but sacred. Ensuring we are ready to capture key and peak moments will become a families treasured heirloom.
To be successful you will need to be in the moment, have incredible timing and let your heart hit the shutter.
We are John & Tamera Webb. We own and operate a professional wedding photography studio. We shoot with our hearts on the shutter. We tell stories of the heart.
And it looks like this.
Blue Ridge Wedding Photography-The Details with Heart
Blue Ridge Wedding Photography- The Details. Details with heart.
Blue Ridge Wedding Photography-The Details. Weddings are wonderful things. Full of emotion, heart and once in a lifetime moments. Wedding photographers are hired to capture that day and of course, the day includes the details.
If you peruse many featured on-line weddings you’d think the details were the stars front and center of their respective weddings. Image after image of the cake, the setups, the flowers and the rooms.
Flowers like these can be found with one of our favorite florist A Delicate Petal. You can check them out HERE:
And you know what? That is perfectly fine. It isn’t how we shoot details or how we choose to backdrop them. We have always taken the approach that wedding photography is like so many things, taste and preference drive it. Our choice in cars, clothes, homes, food and even friends is highly individualized. The same is true for wedding photography.
The weddings above were all shot in the downtown Marietta area. You can check out some of those spots like the fabulous Strand Theater . You can check them out HERE:
We also love the Marlow House. You can check them out HERE:
We love all the images above. At the very top is what would be mostly considered more standard detail shots. Even though the details are emphasized a few things become obvious. The images are carefully shot to make use of available light. The interplay between light and shadows creates the desired mood. You will also notice these images are not the bright (overly so in my opinion) overexposed images that have become quite popular.
In the second and third set of images you see more of what we strive for. These are details, but details with a human element. Showing the brides choice of veil or garter is still done, but done with the bride in the image.
Probably the best way to define our approach to details is that we shoot details with a human or mood element. We also take the approach that people trump things every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
We also love to show details that help tell the story. A great bottle of Champagne, a puppy saying happy wedding day or a necklace displayed far prettier around a brides neck than sitting on a table or in a box. Each image has the human element of the person or a unique story.
When choosing a wedding photographer we always state for the couple to ask to see a wedding from beginning to end. That includes the details and the approach to them.
We are John & Tamera Webb. We own and operate a wedding photography studio in Blue Ridge Georgia. We shoot with our hearts on the shutter and it looks like this.
Blue Ridge Wedding Photography Timing in Portraits & Client Connection
How timing and the client connection affects portraits
Blue Ridge Wedding Photography Timing in Portraits & Client Connection, How timing and the client connection affects portraits. Last week we discussed timing and the client connection. This week we are discussing how timing can affect client portraits.
In the days of photographers “silver” era, it was considered that a great portraitist captured not only the likeness but the character, personality, spirit and essence of their subject.
Like so many things lost in the digital era of photography, this skill and approach can still be valuable today.
When trying to find true photographers we strongly suggest starting a search at The Professional Photographers of America. As the world’s largest, non-profit trade association for professional photographers they offer terrific resources for couples searching for professional photographers. You can check them out HERE:
Instead of an endless seam of images shot in a second, a more deliberate approach that assess who our subjects are and the skills required to have that presented are needed.
In our Super 1 Day Classes one of the questions we hear the most is “how many images do you shoot in a wedding”? The short answer is, until we are done! While image number for us is connected to hours of coverage, in a 12-15 hour wedding day we may shoot an average of 1,500 images with delivery somewhere in the 500’s. The key is to capitalize on those moments and literally pounce on opportunities where your clients show their true soul. So then we are not “machine-gunning”our way to a wedding album or wall art, but are purposely awaiting key moments, expressions and interactions where our clients can see their true selves.
We live in an era where the historical legacy skills of a true photographer is largely lost. Where the skills earned by experience is not valued when weighed against so many photographers in the market place who offer cheaper and cheaper services. Photographic budgets can be easily made when the tool is valued more so than the artist. While the digital era combined with smartphone cameras and their continued improvement has made better images available to everyone, the true photographic craftsman is more and more difficult to find.
In closing, we advocate for experience, taking the time to get to know your clients, for shooting with a slower pace and with purposeful intent to show your clients their true nature.
We are John & Tamera Webb. We own and operate a wedding photography studio in Blue Ridge Georgia. We shoot with our hearts on the shutter, and it looks like this….
Blue Ridge Wedding Photography-Image Timing and Client Connection
Blue Ridge Wedding Photography-Image Timing and Client Connection. The critical connection between client connection and image timing.
Blue Ridge Wedding Photography-Image Timing and the Client Connection. When discussing image timing, especially in photojournalism, one thinks of those great captured peak moments. But when we are speaking of image timing in wedding photography photojournalism it is still peak moments, but those peak moments may well be more personal and personalized than standard photojournalism.
To successfully nail image timing that is valuable to your clients you need a strong client connection. You need to know them, know their story. It is important to understand what they see in each other. In short, you need to love your clients to the point you are inside their hearts and can anticipate great timing on their day. You can read more about how valuable client connection is HERE:
And where we have discussed it HERE:
There are two types of photojournalist image timing, in our opinion. One, is the generalist image timing in a peak moment that is public and generally understood for it’s content. The second type, and one we love, is the highly personalized peak moment. This type may well NOT be understood by general view but is highly important to the individual, close family etc.
These images happen when you have taken the time to be close to your clients and are willing to shoot what is important TO THEM.
Images for competitions and the iconic “hero shots” are awesome, but we never pursue those to the detriment of those sometimes quieter, smaller moments that speak volumes to our clients.
I would stress here that when speaking of those image timing moments and moments that may be highly individualized, not all may appear as unique. A bride and groom can finish their session, be about to walk back in and be introduced and if the groom grabs her and pulls her to him in an embrace and kiss that was not directed, that too qualifies as a client unique moment.
In closing, image timing should be married to the client connection. It is also why we refer to our work as “stories of the heart” and why we say we shoot with our hearts on the shutter, and it looks like this…
Blue Ridge Wedding Photography Wedding Photojournalism. We are John & Tamera Webb. We own and operate a wedding photography studio in Blue Ridge Georgia. Today we would like to talk about Wedding Photojournalism.
Whether you are in Blue Ridge Georgia or other parts of the country, what does Wedding Photojournalism mean to you?
Many people in our experience confuse the terms “candid” and wedding photojournalism. The dictionary refers to candid as “informal or natural; especially caught off guard or unprepared.
However, that same dictionary defines photojournalism as ” journalism that presents a story primarily through the use of pictures”
We can then see the relationship between the two terms. Wedding Photojournalism however is using a series of images to tell a story. Yes, many or most of those images are “candid” in the sense the subject is unaware of every image being covered, but the skill for the photographer comes from understanding how to weave the documentary aka “candid” with powerfully prepared images to tell a complete story.
In our opinion, I would further state that “candid” as the definition supports, could lead to a collection of haphazard images that do not collectively relive the day. A true and experienced professional photographer should capture images that are not only “candid” but truly photojournalistic to tell a story of a day filled with love and meaning.
Telling the story is a HUGE part of designing, building and delivering the wedding album. As you’ve read if you’ve been following our blog, what we believe is the very first family heirloom.
A trained professional wedding photojournalist is not just taking images that are “candid”. They are taking true photojournalistic images and building a story that will be timeless.
If you are searching for a professional wedding photographer that specializes in true photojournalism, check out some specific organizations such as the AGWPJA, or The Artistic Guild of Wedding Photojournalist Association. You can check them out HERE:
We are John & Tamera Webb. We shoot with our hearts on the shutter and it looks like this….
We are John & Tamera Webb, your Blue Ridge Wedding Photographer. Today we would like to talk about one of our favorite features when photographing your couple, the “Weddingscape”.
The term , and first example of this type of photography, that I ever saw was by the fabulous Marcus Bell.
You certainly can see other examples of that particular style in use by other professional photographers. What we try to do with our clients is to emphasize that the weddingscape is intended to be wall art, and large wall art at that. Think nothing smaller than a 16×20 and we much prefer 20×30.
One thing to keep in mind is that there is more to executing a weddingscape that just sticking your couple out there and shooting.
We like to prepare them with suggestions or hints that will trigger an action and reaction.
Once your couple is set-up, give them time to ease into the area and the interaction with each other. Go for a series of shots to capture the milliseconds of emotion and facial expressions etc.
One advantage you have is you will normally be shooting this, regardless of your lens choice, so far off the couple that their ability to relax and be themselves with each other should be pronounced.
I will often ask them to stay put while I check a few things, intentionally dropping my camera while keeping an eye on them. As soon as I get the moment I was waiting for, you quickly raise and shoot. It requires sensitivity to your clients, a good antennae and excellent timing.
Timing for weather and light conditions is very important.
Adding weddingscapes to your portfolio and skill-set will offer your clients unique and beautiful wall art.
Remember to still shoot for the timing of emotion and moments and with your own heart.
We are John & Tamera Webb. We operate a Wedding Photography Studio in Blue Ridge Ga.
Shoot with your heart on the shutter and happy shooting!
What to Look for When Hiring a Wedding Photographer
What to Look for When Hiring a Wedding Photographer. We are John & Tamera Webb. We operate a Wedding Photography Studio in Blue Ridge Georgia. Recently we were contacted by a publication to give our take on what to look for when hiring a wedding photographer. While we do not fully agree with everything on the list that publication recommended, it did start us thinking, what would WE be looking for when hiring a wedding photographer for ourselves or our family?
- The very first thing we would be looking for when hiring a wedding photographer is if the individual or studio was certified. As we have previously discussed, it is true that there are excellent photographers who are not certified nor are members of any organization. However starting a search looking for a certified professional photographer guarantees that photographer has met a certain technical standard and passed a rigorous written exam and is maintaining educational credits to further their knowledge and their craft. This directly impacts the product they will deliver to their clients. Why does certification matter? Ask yourself this, is your Doctor board certified? They are not required to be but studies show patients have a greater trust and comfort in a physician that is certified. An analogy I really like is this; I have a drivers license but I am not a professional driver. With photography the tools are often confused for the results potential clients seek so the Uncle who has a new camera is considered fit to photography a wedding. Stephen King might have a Macbook Pro and so could I, but it doesn’t mean I can write like him…You can read more about certification for the professional photographer HERE: Legitimate organizations such as The Professional Photographers of America are an excellent place to start your search. You can check them out HERE:
- Love their style.. This seems like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised the number of photographers hired with little to no in depth review of their work. Often they are later asked to replicate styles on Pinterest or Instagram, or worse yet an assumption exist that has never really been discussed with your photographer. So dig in, View their work both in the past and more recent. If you don’t like what you see the chances of you ending up satisfied with your images and album are not good.
- Ask to see a few weddings beginning to end. Listen, I LOVE the hero shots, BUT, showing what will be seen beginning to end lets you see how the entirety of the wedding will be captured AND what will make up your album..which leads us to…
- DO NOT HIRE ANY PHOTOGRAPHER WHO IS NOT SUPPLYING AN ACTUAL ALBUM! If the photographer does not recommend and sell prints, wall art and albums then the chances are good they do not value their own art they are providing, and if they don’t, why would you? In other words if it’s just a disc or USB drive avoid it. The importance of printed , heirloom products cannot be overstated. As a matter of fact there is a whole movement about it. You can check it out HERE:
- Make sure you “click”. While you do have to love the style, ensure their technical skill-set, see that they value themselves as artist and true, professional photographers, none of it works if their isn’t a solid connection. Capturing beautiful, unique art requires access to people in an almost intimate way. They has to be trust and faith and the connection needs to be built where a couple can act almost if they were alone with each other while the photographer documents and creates. We spoke about that on an earlier blog post and you can see it HERE:
- The money has to fit! People are surprised that we understand budgets but avoiding budgets is avoiding reality. Money DOES matter, but it isn’t the first requirement to meet when searching for a photographer. Keep in mind the photographs are what is left after the dress is packed away, the flowers are dead and gone , the food and cake are eaten and forgotten, but the images, the images will last a lifetime!
We are John & Tamera Webb. We are A Day in The Life Photography. We live in Blue Ridge Ga. We shoot with our hearts on the shutter and it looks like this…
Blue Ridge Wedding Photography Why Learning & Practice Still Matter. Ongoing Education for the Photographer, why it is critical for your clients Part 2. In our last blog entry we discussed why ongoing education is critical for the professional photographer and your clients. As a professional who has shot from Blue Ridge to the Caribbean, I can qualify how ongoing education can change your business and your life, and how it changes what you provide your clients.
Learning & Practice and how it impacts your clients.
I can’t count the number of times when I have been discussing professional organizations such as the Professional Photographers of America Check them out HERE: The Georgia Professional Photographers Association Check them out HERE: an affiliate of the PPA and the Certified Professional Photographers Program See more about that HERE:
and have them be roundly dismissed.
The rationale and reasoning you hear many times is that ‘it cost too much” or “my clients don’t care about that stuff”. We briefly discussed this in our last blog post which you can find it HERE:
When we assume that, how then do we develop professionally and artistically? Since maturation in art and business is very rarely known to grow and develop in a vacuum, what does the professional photographer use to learn, to grow, to develop, to mature?
I am of the opinion that your art starts to change when you are exposed to so many who are successful in their business and in their photography. We all develop at different levels and at various times. The next step in ongoing education is to take advantage of classes. These can be ongoing through the year, some are even available online and of course there is a bonanza of them at Imaging USA as both pre-convention all day classes followed by the briefer classes that run through the convention. Imaging USA just wrapped up for this year. You can check it out HERE:
The Professional Photographers of America isn’t the only association who puts some emphasis on education (Although it is my personal choice for association and education, degrees etc). You can check out the Wedding & Portrait Photographer’s International also known as WPPI. See them HERE:
The next and what leads to an ongoing final step is print competition. This alone will open up and rapidly expand your art and take it to new heights you hadn’t foreseen.
And it isn’t just your photography that develops. How you structure and run your business can have a huge impact on legal issues, profitability and sustainability, and yes those things do indeed benefit your clients.
So when I hear that there is no need for ongoing education for the professional photographer or that clients don’t care about such things I have to ask, what is your business ,your art and your clients worth to you?
If you genuinely wish to make a living at this, to be the best YOU at this, your chosen profession shouldn’t you be educating your clients as you should be yourself?
They deserve it. So do you.
So does the industry.
Push yourself. Learn. Grow. Be More.
We shoot with our hearts on the shutter and it looks like this.
John & Tamera
The importance of ongoing education for the professional photographer
How ongoing education affects your photography and what you offer your clients
Chances are when you decided to become a professional photographer it was because you loved the idea of creating images. You may have started because images you took of your friends, family or children were viewed by your friends with appreciation and with the mantra “You should do that for a living”. At that point the idea of ongoing education for a professional photographer likely had never entered your head.
There is certainly is nothing wrong with that. Many of us started that way. I myself started when my Grandfather who worked for Eastman Kodak would bring home film and cameras(or filim as he pronounced it. Keep in mind this was Rochester, North Chili to be exact) and I was exposed early to some wonderful, photojournalistic work that still shaped what I do today.
And no matter who you are that work you produce, especially when you step into the professional realm, it is going to change.
One of the most intimate characteristics of being a professional photographer is the pride but sensitivity your work generates within you.
So how do you go about getting better while handling criticism of your work that is hopefully constructive?
How do you get better without becoming nothing but an imitator?
The answer is, in my opinion, ongoing education.
I am writing this in a timely fashion right after Imaging USA, the convention and expo hosted by The Professional Photographers of America.
You can check the folks out from the PPA HERE:
And you can see and learn more about Imaging USA specifically by checking them out HERE:
It is the longest running expo and convention for professional photographers dating back to 1880. Since its inception it has never stopped growing, changing and adapting.
So why attend?
Why take classes?
Why learn, change and adapt?
Because I believe it is impossible to develop in a vacuum. I believe separating ourselves out retards the constructive, critical eyes we need to continue to develop.
That willingness, if you can develop it opens you up to people and places (and images) that can change the way you shoot…
If you let it.
Because we all develop differently and at different speeds one of the best platforms to accomplish this is by imaging competition.
You will here some photographers say “well the PPA cost too much and it is only about the money”. The PPA is a non-profit organization and while there are costs associated with it when you compare the many, many included benefits it really becomes an incredible value.
Then there is the discussion of degrees. Again, and I have heard this numerous times “it costs too much to take the CPP exam and maintain your status”. The truth is it is very reasonable and all funds are used to develop and further the program and education for CPP’s and professional photographers.
Lasty you will hear “clients don’t care about degrees and memberships”.
I would concede there is truth to that statement….however just as with a Doctor, who isn’t required to be board certified but does so anyway. It sends the message that this professional meets a certain standard. That the photographer understands photographic concepts and is reproducing those for his clients.
Finally, this all starts to have an impact on your own work, on your expectations, and on your pushing and developing yourself. This can and does show up as the work clients seek you out for, hire you for and become a referral base for you.
Ongoing education for the professional photographer is not only important, it is critical for success.
In the end Ongoing education for you, the professional photographers helps you be who you want to be.
It helps you BE MORE.