Stories from the Heart
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.
Blue Ridge Wedding Photography Jamie & Amber
A Blue Ridge Georgia Intimate Wedding
Jamie & Amber’s wonderful wedding included some rain and some fast incoming cold. We encourage ALL our couples to think seriously about a 2nd shoot. Sometimes that is due to weather, sometimes just to expand the amount of images that are JUST about them! With a nod to personal choice, here is why we always suggest a “shoot 2”.
The pressure is off. You are not worried about timelines or feeding your guest or whether Uncle Charley is happy. It’s just you two, your photographers and some grand fun!
Personally I am a huge fan of the getting ready portion. So much happens that, in my opinion, is spiritual in nature due to the enormity of the day.
The ceremony was held at Salem #2 Baptist Church with Pastor Randy Hooper Presiding. The Reception immediately followed.
You can check out those wonderful folks HERE:
Shoot 2 was held at a new venue in Mineral Bluff Ga. As of yet I have not been notified of the name. (Yes, it’s THAT new!)
When shooting the couple, you can direct them insofar as locations etc. but try to leave enough of a “hands-off” approach where they can be themselves…shooting with a slightly longer lens can get you out of the immediate vicinity yet pull you close enough for those all important moments of chemistry that often occurs BETWEEN the poses. Be ready for them!
Jamie & Amber are a quiet couple. But, given some directions, time and some trust and you get wonderful emotion between them!
We love to balance our approach with our award winning photojournalism, true intimate, emotional moments and distinctive “WeddingScapes” that become cherished one-of-a-kind wall art.
As previously mentioned, we do some light directing then we move as far away as possible and let the chemistry and the moment take over between the couple. Watch closely. Have your antennae up and a quick finger on the shutter.
Blue Ridge Wedding Photography, the importance of the Reception cannot be overstated.
At the all important reception you can see some photographers start to dial back and slow down. I would challenge you that the reception is one of the most constant moving areas of shooting you will have at the wedding.
Remember that when shooting the wedding reception it is a time to stay fully in tune with the emotions and timing. Some beautiful expressions can pass very quickly. It is your job to have excellent timing and to shoot with a heart that is in tune with your clients.
As cameras and equipment continue to evolve it is easier than ever to get wonderfully exposed, pin sharp images. The question is that what is always called for? Personally we, and our clients, see the beauty in allowing and even encouraging movement that shows the kinetic energy of the wedding reception.
The above images were shot at The beautiful Marlow House.
You can check them out HERE:
Keep in mind once the first dance is done that other special dances can follow, and those should never be treated with any lessening of importance. Fathers, Mothers and even family reactions in the background can frame a wedding reception image and show its enormous importance.
The above images were taken at Gorgeous Indigo Falls.
You can check out these fine folks HERE:
and at The Historic and Magnificent Tate House
You can find them HERE:
I personally like to pack and keep battery operated fairy lights available. Shooting through these can give a different look and texture. You can see by the above images in some motion was accentuated by dragging the shutter and rotating the camera.
The speeches portion along with any celebration that is not something that is scheduled on the timeline i.e. think of everyone surrounding the couple….in cases like that do not shy away from motion and step up and shoot overhead. Celebrations where the groom bride or both are hoisted above may pass quickly. Keep yourself involved and shoot as quickly as possible.
You will notice in many of our images that we really utilize the family and friends as the background. After all, that is the best background of all.
In closing, the reception is NOT a time to lean against the bar, eat peanuts and congratulate yourself on a job well done. Stay in touch. Stay in Tune and look for peak emotions that usually pass very quickly but leave an undeniable impression.
We are John & Tamera Webb.
We are A Day in The Life Photography.
We are Storytellers.
We shoot with our hearts on the shutter and it looks like this.
Rockmart Georgia has some wonderful spots for wedding photography. But there is a location called “In The Woods”that is truly unique and special. This wedding venue is an absolute must see gem. Owner Catherine Castleberry has created something so special it really must be seen and experienced to fully appreciate it. Kathie Schramm is the Wedding Coordinator and day of magician that keeps everything on-track with a gentle firmness and a beaming, genuine smile. These images are from the Rockmart Wedding Photography at In The Woods for Remington & Kara Anne, a very special couple whose model beauty is only matched by their huge and sincere hearts which were on full display on this day like no other.
We hope you enjoy the wedding photography album for Remington & Kara Anne at In The Woods Wedding and Event Venue
You can check out more about our friends at In The Woods Weddings & Events HERE:
The Mother of the bride, Ms Rhonda Hilliard was the drive, heart and focus behind all the planning and a beautifully carried out wedding.
The getting ready is always, to us, a very special and spiritual time. You can feel it in the atmosphere, the anticipation of something special and of enormous importance about to happen.
First Looks are always special, memorable and different. In this the Brides Grandparents and brother and Nephew see her fully adorned as a bride to be, and for the last time as a single young woman. Emotion and true moments trump poses, we believe, every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
Minutes before the ceremony offers the precious, small moments that help show the story.
It is difficult to find a more picturesque location for the ceremony and the vows than In The Woods offers. What makes this venue so unique is the obvious thought Catherine Castleberry put into the layout. Spread out, yet somehow all connected with plenty of room for people to feel relaxed.
If you are fortunate enough to have a couple who trust you and “let’s you in” then you get a rare glimpse of who they really are. That is so very apparent with Remington & Kara Anne. From the palpable love you could feel they have for one another, to the overwhelming joy from their family and friends. This was a magical night.
Not every love story at a wedding is about the new couple. Some are 20-30-40 or even 50 years or more in the making. If you’re lucky you to get to see those celebrated as was the case here!
If you are in the market for a gorgeous, unique, well thought out event venue, check out In The Woods Wedding and Event Venue. You’ll be very happy you did!