Archive for the ‘Beginning Photography’ Category


Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. You want to capture every moment for you, your friends, and family to cherish for the rest of your lives. Planning for excellent photography can help you remember the details about your wedding. For example, the careful steps you take walking down the aisles, or the long kiss you enjoyed while sticking the cake. They set the stage for adorable photos that make you the envy of your single friends.

But come back here for a moment and let us prepare your plan for having great photos at your wedding.

Hire a Professional
If you want to have quality photographs, you probably want to hire a professional. Even if your great-uncle is a good amateur photographer, you are better off hiring someone who regularly shoots at weddings. When you are hiring a professional to do the shoot, be sure that he comes well recommended. Ask to see wedding photos this person took at another wedding. If the photos are not your style, find another photographer. You can find many photographers in the yellow pages or ones your friends have hired in the past.

Consider Your Budget
Before you make a final decision on your wedding photography, you need to consider you budget. Remember that your pictures will last a lifetime, whereas other party goods such as cake, flowers and expensive party drinks will only last a short while. It may be wise to spend a bit more money on your wedding photographs, so you will have pictures to preserve everything about your special day.

Be Specific with Photo Must-haves
Even if you have a competent photographer, you should specific about the pictures you want taken. Even if you think that your wants are common, mention them to the photographer. This can serve as a checklist so the photographer will not miss a moment you consider special. It is usually best if you sit down and come up with a list of photos that you want taken at your wedding.

Of course, you want to allow the photographer free reign to use his imagination. But you must clarify your objectives before the shoot begins. Specific photos that are important to most brides include family pictures, “the kiss”, the first dance together, wedding party photos and walking down the isle.

Get Guests Involved
Even though you may have a professional doing your wedding photography, it is often a great idea to get your guests involved as well. Passing out disposable cameras at the wedding reception can be great for getting great photos that are spontaneous and fun. Your guests will enjoy having the opportunity to catch cute snapshots for you. Some may surprise you and others may make you wish you were somewhere else. But it is a good way to make your guests feel at home on your big day.

Photos are a way that you can preserve the memories of your wedding day for years to come. You also want to have the best photographer and pictures you can buy.

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The photography area should be large enough to accommodate the lighting, the main table that the food items and accessories will be placed on, and possibly a background. A second table or surface will be handy for prepping and assembling the food items. Cooking, if needed, can be done on the second table, with a portable burner, but a separate kitchen area for cooking and washing is ideal.

Having the proper tools to prepare the food is essential, and everything that would be found in a working professional kitchen should be available. A food stylist normally brings most utensils needed to prepare the items. It’s also important to have ample foodstuffs and supplies to complete the assignment. For instance, if the image requires fresh tomatoes, then a good selection is needed to find the best-looking ones. This also applies to a product that is prepared off-site, such as bread, pies or any ready-to-eat items. Photograph the one that represents the product at its best.

The goal should be to make the food look as fresh and appealing as possible. To begin with, the best method is to use a “stand-in” sample that is an approximation of the item to be photographed. This is because many foods, after being served and sitting a while, will drip, settle, or just stop looking as fresh as it could. With the stand-in on the set, decisions can be made as to the best camera angle and height, which props add or detract from the shot, and if the lighting is enhancing the subject properly. The test shots can be scrutinized, discussed, and modified as needed. Then the “hero” food item – the one that will actually be photographed — is brought in. The photographer can now concentrate on taking the pictures quickly, and possibly with variations of angles or lighting effects.

The lighting will contribute greatly to the overall mood, and therefore appeal, of the food. Shooting in the studio will give a polished, professional look because it offers the most control over the environment, from a lighting standpoint. That’s not to say that you can’t get great results on-location, but it does involve more work to control the surroundings. Most professional photographers will use multiple off-camera flash units, sometimes with diffusion between the flash head and the subject.

Proper lighting can place shadows to give the image dimension. Some foods benefit from glistening highlights, which make it look fresh and juicy, and this is achieved with precise light placement. A bright background can give a “sunny morning” feel, while dim lighting may best portray an intimate dining experience.

After the first shot, the rest of the food shoot usually becomes the most productive portion, as everyone settles into the workflow. Having a variety of products or food items to choose from, a lighting style matching the use of the image, and an efficient team to keep the photos moving forward is the key to a successful food photography assignment.

You can view a sample of some of the techniques mentioned in this article here :

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Beginning with the end in mind. Amidst the steady stream of photographers launching new businesses, it’s refreshing to find something original – especially when it’s something so simple.

Photographers take hundreds of pictures at an average photo shoot, and then spend hours editing the photos to make them look just right. But what is just right? Black and white? Sepia? Color with blown out saturations? Cropped traditionally or using alternative, edgy styles? Effects or no effects? Do consumers know exactly what they’re looking for when they select a photographer? Or do they leave these decisions to the discretion of the photographer?

Enter “This Photo Story” based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Before Mindy Peterson, owner, takes a single picture at a photo shoot, she meets with the client with one goal in mind – to figure out how they’re hoping to use their pictures. She begins with the end in mind. If the customer is looking to decorate their child’s bedroom, wall colors help determine outfit selection, pass times determine the content, and personality influences the style. If they’re looking for something in their living room, then home décor and empty space helps determine the size and mood of the pictures.

Mindy Peterson also gives her clients the option of an extended session to include a home planning session. She comes to this additional 2 ½ hour session with sample collages to hang on the wall, mattes and photo samples to determine the size and style of frames that look best in their space, and a whole lot of creativity. Scheduling a photo shoot is often the easy part. But when it comes to arranging pictures on shelves or hanging them on walls, it too often means a lot of trips back to the store to return items that weren’t quite right. With this mobile, hands-on work station, Mindy helps her customers find the solution they were really hoping for delivering much more than just the pictures.

This Photo Story. A new business concept based upon something so simple – learning what the customers are really looking for before trying to provide it for them. Sometimes they just want a picture. Often, they’re looking for more. They might want their room to look like the one in the latest Pottery Barn catalog. Or they may want their house to feel more like their home.

Think Martha Stewart meets photography. And you’ve discovered This Photo Story.

Mindy Peterson, Photographer, Grand Rapids, Michigan