Wedding tips, ideas & stories, from The Photographer

Advice

If You Don’t Have An Album, You’re Doing It Wrong!

Have you ever asked yourself, “What do I really need a photographer at my wedding for?”

Photo copyright of Vincent David Johnson. http://www.VincentDavidJohnson.com

 

“You Can’t Print An Excuse”. It’s been almost 20 years since I heard those words for the first time. It’s what every photo editor, at any publication will tell you if you don’t get the shot, or miss the assignment all-together. Hopefully for your wedding you received photos and not an excuse, but chances are you’re like so many couples today who stopped at “getting photos” part of the process and didn’t move onto the “print” part.

 My wife & I paid for the majority of our own wedding, so I understand budget reasons when it comes to getting a heirloom quality album you can pass on to future generations, but if you’re thinking just sharing them on the internet is good enough, then I have to tell you “you’re doing it wrong“.

Putting all snark aside, I’m not suggesting you need to get an elaborate album like the one I just finished for a couple who’s wedding I shot last year (above photo). Believe it or not, while my wife has put together 3 small albums with various 4×6 photos printed out, ten years later we still have nothing close to the amazing albums I make for my clients, but we have something that is tangible.

What I’m really getting at is your phone, or laptop are no way to show off your wedding photos when you have guests over, or once your children are born and old enough to look at them. I bring this up because it just so happens that the day I was shipping off one of my latest albums, I also read an article from a journalism school on how text is making a transition to mobile, but photography might be getting skipped over.

Why spend all that time on picking out the perfect locations, design pieces, cake, dress and more? Securing a good photographer for your wedding day is a waste if you never print up the images beyond a few photos for your wall, or office desk. Beyond the love & vows of weddings, the day itself, above all else, is a spectacle and is designed to be photographed and displayed larger than the palm of your hand.

 

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 www.VincentDavidJohnson.com

 


Off Topic: Photo Contests

If you like taking pictures (professional, or not) and maybe you take a cool photo once in a awhile. Please be mindful of entering contests. I would guess 90% of contests I see not run by a photographic organization (aka a random business) are just looking to get free photos they can use in advertising, social media & elsewhere.

Sure it might be cool to win an award, or get a photo published, but that’s what they prey on. Meanwhile you save them money on what they would have ended up paying a agency, or photographer for the photo they wanted, and they also can turn around and sell every photo, even the ones that didn’t win, profiting off of you and everyone else who entered.

Don’t believe me. Here’s the fine print to a contest someone share with me today:

“By entering this Contest and submitting an Entry, Entrant hereby grants Sponsor and its affiliates and subsidiaries a perpetual, irrevocable worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, and display the Entry in whole or in part, in any media now existing or subsequently developed, for any purpose, including but not limited to Sponsor’s photo contest, and the advertising and promotion of such photo contest.”

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to show off a great photo, and a lot of people say “so what”, but imagine how you might feel if you found out a landscaping company was billing your elderly neighbor every time you cut her lawn out of the kindness of your heart. More, or less thats essentially what these contests are doing.

 


Are You Getting All You Paid For; Full Frame vs. 8×10 Prints

How would you feel if you were only getting 15-20% of the photos that you paid for?

Well chances are it’s happening and in most cases it’s not your photographer’s fault. The 35mm film & digital SLR camera take photos with an aspect ratio that prints out fully when on 8×12 paper, but losses between 15-20% of the image because it must be cropped to fit into an 8×10 print (see the comparison below).

The difference between full frame printing & 8×10.

 

Considering 35mm film & digital cameras have been the dominate camera format since the 1960′s, I’m not sure why the 8×12 hasn’t taken over from the 8×10. The good news is more and more printing labs are offering 8×12 and other options large & small to fit full frame. A short list of the most popular full frame sizes are shown below. If you used me as your photographer, you’ll be happy to know beyond being able to order full frame prints, you’ll have the option to get frames custom made to fit your full frame prints. (Orders can be placed here http://vincentdjohnson.zenfolio.com/)

 

 

 

Find Vincent David Johnson on
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 www.VincentDavidJohnson.com


Happy Valentine’s Day: Desire in a long term relationship (TED Talk)

The Secret to Desire in a Long-Term Relationship

One of my favorite things I have discovered on the internet has to be TED Talks. If you haven’t found them yet, please check it out. They’re like a college lecture series made up of people with unique experiences from all walks of life, sharing ideas and knowledge. It has included people like Bill Gates talking about energy, to parents talking about raising their children. They are usually between 5-15 minutes long videos. And while you couldn’t possibly watch them all, you will always be able to find something that is interesting.

In the spirt of Valentine’s Day, the TED Talk to day is about keeping things passionate even after you’ve been together for a while.

Happy Valentines day.

Vincent D. Johnson


I’ll Photograph Your Wedding With an iPhone

 

I could shoot a wedding with an iPhone if you wanted me to.

Here’s my offer; I’ll show up at your wedding and take pictures with an iPhone for $150. Email me your wedding date & ceremony time and I’ll let you know if I’m available.

Don’t think it can be done. Well check out these images taken at the Olympics by from fellow photojournalist Dan Chung  , or the portraits of the New York Yankees shot using the Instagram app that are licensed by Getty Images.  The iPhone is being used in amazing ways and I know several professional wedding photographers, including myself, who take a handful of cell phone photos at weddings. It’s really more of an experiment, or a chance to be arty, but it could be and I’m sure it has been done already a way to shoot an entire wedding. So why not your wedding?

Ok, I’m not really expecting to have any takers on this offer and if there are please know I don’t have an iPhone and that isn’t a real offer. The reason I made that offer is to show an extreme of what a lot of people are thinking these days. That just having a good camera is what you really need from a photographer.

The reason those iPhone photos are so amazing is because the photographers using them are not just professionals, but craftsman at what they do and they could make great wedding photos with a disposable camera from Walgreens.

The best advice I can give for finding a photographer who truly is great at their craft is:

  • Ask to see at least 100 images from a single wedding.
  • look at their non-wedding work
  • go for someone with at least 5 years of professional experience
  • look for a background with formal training, basically more than just “self taught”
  • Ask if they shoot film and if you can see samples
Now, this isn’t a perfect metric and I will say there are great self-taught photographer and lousy professionals with 5 years of experience, but this is where I start when I’m looking for photographic talent.
And if you really want me to show up and shoot your wedding with an iPhone, I will add it in to my normal package for free. Just mention this blog post.

 

Find Vincent David Johnson on Facebook / Twitter /Google +

 www.VincentDavidJohnson.com


15 Questions for a Wedding Photographer #15; Choosing Between Black & White

15 Questions Brides Want to Know About Wedding Photography #2

One of the interesting parts of being a professional in a field for a while is you get requests from the media for comment on events, or topics relevant to that field. Recently I was asked to answer some questions for an upcoming book geared towards future brides.

I was one of several professionals who were asked questions specifically for wedding photography, so I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything by revealing my answers, since I’m sure they’ll use others for some of the 15 answers, plus I wasn’t asked anything about catering, or how to preform a traditional religious ceremony.

I’ll be sure to post up link when the book is published, but for now I’ll be spreading the questions and my answers (plus maybe a little extra) out over the next 15 days.

Question #15

Is it possible to get black and white photographs as well as color photographs, or do couples typically have to decide between one or the Other?

 

Any photo taken in color can be changed to black & white with ease in the digital age. My web galleries allow couples to order photos in B&W, or a slew of other color shades if the photo was originally taken in color.

 

Choosing black & white for this photo was an easy call. The drab decore in the bathroom didn't do anything for the image and the purple dress was a distraction from some nice lines in the photo.

 

I've always been a bit torn on this image to go black & white because I like the small pop of yellow color, not to mention the image has a B&W feel to it even in color, but its the extra colors over the bride's hands that made me do it. The best part about most print ordering services today is you can do either as long as the original was shot in color.

Coming up tomorrow

Bonus Questions

I take a look at a couple of key questions I think were missed in my interview

Previous Questions

#14 Do prices typically vary for off-season or weekday weddings?

 

www.VincentDavidJohnson.com


15 Questions for a Wedding Photographer #14; Off-season pricing

15 Questions Brides Want to Know About Wedding Photography #2

One of the interesting parts of being a professional in a field for a while is you get requests from the media for comment on events, or topics relevant to that field. Recently I was asked to answer some questions for an upcoming book geared towards future brides.

I was one of several professionals who were asked questions specifically for wedding photography, so I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything by revealing my answers, since I’m sure they’ll use others for some of the 15 answers, plus I wasn’t asked anything about catering, or how to preform a traditional religious ceremony.

I’ll be sure to post up link when the book is published, but for now I’ll be spreading the questions and my answers (plus maybe a little extra) out over the next 15 days.

 

Question #14

Do prices typically vary for off-season or weekday weddings?

Yes, but not by much. You’re still paying for talent and experience and that doesn’t change with the weather. Neither does the insurance & maintenance on the equipment, along with advertising, light bills and the cost of the album to the photographer all stay the same in December as they do in June. Typically you can see 10%, sometimes more, but don’t expect to see 50% off. Last minute weddings can also see a discount since photographers know the likelihood of booking an open wedding date just a month or two out is rare.

If you are getting married when there's a good chance snow will be on the ground, or the middle of summer in a southern climate, chances are you might get a discount, but don't go looking for half-off Groupon style deals.

Coming up tomorrow

Question #15

Is it possible to get black and white photographs as well as color photographs, or do couples typically have to decide between one or the Other?


Previous Questions

#13  What equipment should a wedding photographer have?

 

www.VincentDavidJohnson.com


15 Questions for a Wedding Photographer #13; What Equipment Should A Photographer Have?

15 Questions Brides Want to Know About Wedding Photography #2

One of the interesting parts of being a professional in a field for a while is you get requests from the media for comment on events, or topics relevant to that field. Recently I was asked to answer some questions for an upcoming book geared towards future brides.

I was one of several professionals who were asked questions specifically for wedding photography, so I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything by revealing my answers, since I’m sure they’ll use others for some of the 15 answers, plus I wasn’t asked anything about catering, or how to preform a traditional religious ceremony.

I’ll be sure to post up link when the book is published, but for now I’ll be spreading the questions and my answers (plus maybe a little extra) out over the next 15 days.

Question #13

What equipment should a wedding photographer have?

 

If you paying for a professional, they should have professional gear and they should have backups for the most essential parts. No less than 2 cameras, 2 flashes and at least as many lenses if not more. There are sensor sizes, mega-bytes sizes and specs for lenses & camera bodies that could take up a whole page. This doesn’t mean they need the top of the line and newest gear though. Essentially having the best camera in the world won’t help make a better photo and at the end of the day, you’d rather want talent behind a consumer camera, than a dud behind an expensive one.

 

Having the best equipment doesn't matter if you don't have a backup.

 

Coming up tomorrow

Question #14

Do prices typically vary for off-season or weekday weddings?


Previous Questions

#12 How should a couple determine their wedding photography budget?

 

www.VincentDavidJohnson.com


15 Questions for a Wedding Photographer #12; Determining Your Budget for Photography

15 Questions Brides Want to Know About Wedding Photography #2

One of the interesting parts of being a professional in a field for a while is you get requests from the media for comment on events, or topics relevant to that field. Recently I was asked to answer some questions for an upcoming book geared towards future brides.

I was one of several professionals who were asked questions specifically for wedding photography, so I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything by revealing my answers, since I’m sure they’ll use others for some of the 15 answers, plus I wasn’t asked anything about catering, or how to preform a traditional religious ceremony.

I’ll be sure to post up link when the book is published, but for now I’ll be spreading the questions and my answers (plus maybe a little extra) out over the next 15 days.

 

Question #12

How should a couple determine their wedding photography budget?

 

There is no magic number here. It’s really about how important photography is to the couple and it can also come down to what a couple wants from their wedding photography. I tell each couple there are three things that last after your wedding; the rings, the photos and your love for one another. Basically nobody is going to remember in a year if you had the top shelf liquor at your wedding, but you’ll remember if you didn’t get the best photographer you could afford, so it really should be the last place you try to save money at.

 

 

 

Coming up tomorrow

Question #13

What equipment should a wedding photographer have?

Previous Questions

#11  What should a couple beware of with certain wedding photographers?

 

www.VincentDavidJohnson.com


15 Questions for a Wedding Photographer #11; Beware of Certain Photographers

15 Questions Brides Want to Know About Wedding Photography #2

One of the interesting parts of being a professional in a field for a while is you get requests from the media for comment on events, or topics relevant to that field. Recently I was asked to answer some questions for an upcoming book geared towards future brides.

I was one of several professionals who were asked questions specifically for wedding photography, so I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything by revealing my answers, since I’m sure they’ll use others for some of the 15 answers, plus I wasn’t asked anything about catering, or how to preform a traditional religious ceremony.

I’ll be sure to post up link when the book is published, but for now I’ll be spreading the questions and my answers (plus maybe a little extra) out over the next 15 days.

 

Question #11

What should a couple beware of with certain wedding photographers?

 

While rare, although not as rare as I’d like, the biggest concern would be that the work the photographer is presenting as their own, is actually copied from other photographer’s websites. This however can be extremely hard to find out. A more common bait & switch is performed  by studios who show work from photographers who no longer work for them. The other is when a photographer is really only good at one, or two types of photos.

A great way to flush both of these pitfalls out is to ask for samples of at least 100-300 images form a wedding that is completely their work, or the work of the photographer you’ll be working with. I have seen a lot of wedding portfolios with great artistic colored details shots of flowers, but lack any real candid moments. A couple who recently booked me mentioned that several of the photographers they looked at seemed more concern with the skyline in the background of the posed photos than the bride & groom.

 

Here’s a great post from Chicago Tribune photojournalist Alex Garcia, giving 7 solid tips on things to look out for when hiring a wedding photographer.
http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/assignment-chicago/2012/02/photographers-you-shouldnt-hire-for-your-wedding.html

 

 

Coming up tomorrow

Question #12

How should a couple determine their wedding photography budget?

Previous Questions

#10  What should a couple look for in a wedding photographer?

 

www.VincentDavidJohnson.com


15 Questions for a Wedding Photographer #10; What to look for in a Photographer

I could shoot a wedding with an iPhone if you wanted me to.

15 Questions Brides Want to Know About Wedding Photography #2

One of the interesting parts of being a professional in a field for a while is you get requests from the media for comment on events, or topics relevant to that field. Recently I was asked to answer some questions for an upcoming book geared towards future brides.

I was one of several professionals who were asked questions specifically for wedding photography, so I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything by revealing my answers, since I’m sure they’ll use others for some of the 15 answers, plus I wasn’t asked anything about catering, or how to preform a traditional religious ceremony.

I’ll be sure to post up link when the book is published, but for now I’ll be spreading the questions and my answers (plus maybe a little extra) out over the next 15 days.

 Question #10

What should a couple look for in a wedding photographer?

 

The first thing they should look for is an actual photographer. Photography is an art, you shouldn’t first talk to a sales person, then meet your photographer after you picked your package. Once you find a photographer who’s work you like, find out if you like the photographer. I tell couples all the time, if you like my price & my portfolio, but don’t like me… Walk away. You’ll be with your photographer more than any other person on your wedding day and if you don’t feel you have a connection, think twice about booking them.

In the era of online reviews I have had less & less requests for referrals from my past couples. While chances are a photographer isn’t going to refer you to a person who had a less than perfect experience, you’ll still be able to get a feel from the little details in the conversation. If someone you know gives you a good review about the photographer they used, look into it even if it’s a little over your budget. Better to pay 10-15% more on a photographer with a personal referral than to have bad photos.

Word of mouth is often the best way to find a photographer. If you have a photographer personally recommended by someone treat it like a golden ticket.

 

Coming up tomorrow

Question #11

What should a couple beware of with certain wedding photographers?

Previous Questions

#9 At what point in the wedding planning process should a couple book a wedding photographer?

 

www.VincentDavidJohnson.com


15 Questions for a Wedding Photographer #9; When to start looking for a Photographer

15 Questions Brides Want to Know About Wedding Photography #2

One of the interesting parts of being a professional in a field for a while is you get requests from the media for comment on events, or topics relevant to that field. Recently I was asked to answer some questions for an upcoming book geared towards future brides.

I was one of several professionals who were asked questions specifically for wedding photography, so I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything by revealing my answers, since I’m sure they’ll use others for some of the 15 answers, plus I wasn’t asked anything about catering, or how to preform a traditional religious ceremony.

I’ll be sure to post up link when the book is published, but for now I’ll be spreading the questions and my answers (plus maybe a little extra) out over the next 15 days.

 

Question #9

At what point in the wedding planning process should a couple book a wedding photographer?

No later than 6 months out, but preferably a year to 9 months, especially if you have a hot date like 9/10/11, or are getting married in peak seasons.

 

 

 

 

Coming up tomorrow

Question #10

What should a couple look for in a wedding photographer?

Previous Questions

#8 Why is there such a large price range among different wedding photographers?

 

www.VincentDavidJohnson.com


15 Questions for a Wedding Photographer #8; Price Gap Between Photographers

15 Questions Brides Want to Know About Wedding Photography #8

One of the interesting parts of being a professional in a field for a while is you get requests from the media for comment on events, or topics relevant to that field. Recently I was asked to answer some questions for an upcoming book geared towards future brides.

I was one of several professionals who were asked questions specifically for wedding photography, so I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything by revealing my answers, since I’m sure they’ll use others for some of the 15 answers, plus I wasn’t asked anything about catering, or how to preform a traditional religious ceremony.

I’ll be sure to post up link when the book is published, but for now I’ll be spreading the questions and my answers (plus maybe a little extra) out over the next 15 days.

 

Question #8

Why is there such a large price range among different wedding photographers?

Talent and advertising. Some of the best photographers have a following where brides know they want to use them, even when they are still single. Those photographers can start around $10,000 to $15,000. A lot of amateur photographers with regular weekday jobs are trying to make side money on the weekends, so they can survive on just $300-$500 a couple of times a year. Most professional photographers haven’t reached that rarified air of the $15,000 wedding photographer and would go dead broke charging $500 a wedding. In a market like Chicago which has over 700 listed wedding photographers, advertising is a must to stay ahead and that often means between $200 to $1,000 a month to be listed in magazines & web sites. The Knot.com <http://Knot.com> alone costs a photographer $250 a month just for a basic listing (not the  front page).

 

 

 

Coming up tomorrow

Question #9

At what point in the wedding planning process should a couple book a wedding photographer?


Previous Questions

#7 What is the customary deposit to put down, to reserve a photographer for adate?  When is the balance typically due?

 

www.VincentDavidJohnson.com

 


15 Questions for a Wedding Photographer #7; Deposits

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15 Questions Brides Want to Know About Wedding Photography #7

One of the interesting parts of being a professional in a field for a while is you get requests from the media for comment on events, or topics relevant to that field. Recently I was asked to answer some questions for an upcoming book geared towards future brides.

I was one of several professionals who were asked questions specifically for wedding photography, so I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything by revealing my answers, since I’m sure they’ll use others for some of the 15 answers, plus I wasn’t asked anything about catering, or how to preform a traditional religious ceremony.

I’ll be sure to post up link when the book is published, but for now I’ll be spreading the questions and my answers (plus maybe a little extra) out over the next 15 days.

 

Question #7

What is the customary deposit to put down, to reserve a photographer for a date?  When is the balance typically due?

Customary deposits can range from 25% to 50% of the total balance. Since a lot of what can be included in my larger packages is album pre-pays I like to limit my deposit totals around 50%, or the amount I’d be losing if the wedding was canceled at my lowest package rate. It is a deposit and I have certain criteria where it may be returned, so the smaller the number is the less I have to worry about covering if I need to do a refund.

Balances are typically due at, or around the signing of a contract. If the wedding is over 6 months away, I typically ask for a deposit within 2 months from the date the couple signed the contract. The final payment in almost all cases is due the on or before the wedding day, with some exceptions to albums & print options.

I’m pretty laid back and I don’t want to stress out a couple with deposit dates. As long as we stay in contact and I know what’s going on, I’m not going to book another wedding on that day, but I’m not every photographer. Not paying your deposit by the due date could open you up to losing that photographer and on a popular date like 6/7/08, you might have a hard time  finding a talented replacement.

A deposit should be enough to cover any material charges a vendor has ahead of the wedding, as well as enough to ensure if you back out they aren't out completely for that day.

 

Coming up tomorrow

Question #8

Why is there such a large price range among different wedding photographers?

 

Previous Questions

#6  What types of wedding packages do photographers typically offer?

 

www.VincentDavidJohnson.com


15 Questions for a Wedding Photographer #6; Packages offered

Screen shot 2012-03-02 at 3.09.47 PM

15 Questions Brides Want to Know About Wedding Photography #6

One of the interesting parts of being a professional in a field for a while is you get requests from the media for comment on events, or topics relevant to that field. Recently I was asked to answer some questions for an upcoming book geared towards future brides.

I was one of several professionals who were asked questions specifically for wedding photography, so I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything by revealing my answers, since I’m sure they’ll use others for some of the 15 answers, plus I wasn’t asked anything about catering, or how to preform a traditional religious ceremony.

I’ll be sure to post up link when the book is published, but for now I’ll be spreading the questions and my answers (plus maybe a little extra) out over the next 15 days.

 

Question #6

What types of wedding packages do photographers typically offer?

Typical packages range from a build your own approach, to tiered packages that have added savings as you increase in price. Most packages start with a single photographer and a set maximum hour and build on the number of photographers, album options, and usage rights for digital prints (getting a CD of images). Some can even go as far as including the videographer, or charges for destination weddings.

Want to see what’s offered in my wedding packages as compared to photographers you’re looking at VJ Wedding Packages 2012 link

 

Coming up tomorrow

Question #7

What is the customary deposit to put down, to reserve a photographer for a date?  When is the balance typically due?

 

Previous Questions

#5 What are the pros and cons of hiring two wedding photographers to take pictures at a wedding, as compared to only having one photographer taking Pictures?

 

www.VincentDavidJohnson.com


15 Questions for a wedding photographer #5; 2nd Photographers

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15 Questions Brides Want to Know About Wedding Photography #2

One of the interesting parts of being a professional in a field for a while is you get requests from the media for comment on events, or topics relevant to that field. Recently I was asked to answer some questions for an upcoming book geared towards future brides.

I was one of several professionals who were asked questions specifically for wedding photography, so I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything by revealing my answers, since I’m sure they’ll use others for some of the 15 answers, plus I wasn’t asked anything about catering, or how to preform a traditional religious ceremony.

I’ll be sure to post up link when the book is published, but for now I’ll be spreading the questions and my answers (plus maybe a little extra) out over the next 15 days.

 

Question #5

What are the pros and cons of hiring two wedding photographers to take pictures at a wedding, as compared to only having one photographer taking Pictures?

First, don’t hire photographers from 2 separate companies. Chances are they will only be stepping on each others toes to get the same shot and it might actually cost you more. The pros are, if done correctly, you’ll have more images of the groom and guests, as well as multiple angles for key moments like the kiss, the bride entering the ceremony, garter & bouquet tosses and so on. If you are concerned about your main photographer getting sick, or worse, dying on your wedding day, a second photographer is an automatic backup.

The cons are; all to often a second photographer isn’t a second photographer and is really just an assistant, or apprentice learning the ropes so they can shoot weddings on their own for the studio in a year or two. Especially when you’re dealing with large studios who have multiple photographers, make sure you get to see the first & second photographer’s portfolio before you commit to a contract. Photography is an art, and talent and style differ greatly from photographer.

When you get a second photographer, are you paying for a seasoned professional, or an assistant?

 

Coming up tomorrow

Question #6

What types of wedding packages do photographers typically offer?

Previous Questions

#4 What is a proof and what are the advantages of the different types of Proofing?

 

www.VincentDavidJohnson.com


15 Questions for a Wedding Photographer #4; Photo Proofs

Screen shot 2012-02-15 at 6.10.07 PM

15 Questions Brides Want to Know About Wedding Photography #2

One of the interesting parts of being a professional in a field for a while is you get requests from the media for comment on events, or topics relevant to that field. Recently I was asked to answer some questions for an upcoming book geared towards future brides.

I was one of several professionals who were asked questions specifically for wedding photography, so I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything by revealing my answers, since I’m sure they’ll use others for some of the 15 answers, plus I wasn’t asked anything about catering, or how to preform a traditional religious ceremony.

I’ll be sure to post up link when the book is published, but for now I’ll be spreading the questions and my answers (plus maybe a little extra) out over the next 15 days.

 

Question #4

What is a proof and what are the advantages of the different types of Proofing?

 

A “proof” is traditionally a slightly corrected image printed out for a couple to preview before purchasing as a larger image, or including it in an album. With the advent of digital most proofs now consist as a web gallery where a couple can order, view or share photos from. If your photographer is going to place images from your wedding in a web gallery, but is offering a proof book as well, see if you can get a discount for not getting a proof book, as this is really a hold over from the days of film, before the internet and may be a hidden cost in your wedding package.

If you have a digital gallery (web or DVD) having a book of printed proofs is a waste of money.

Coming up tomorrow

Question #5

What are the pros and cons of hiring two wedding photographers to take pictures at a wedding, as compared to only having one photographer taking Pictures?


Previous Questions

#3 Is it better to book a wedding photographer who uses film or digital equipment?

 

www.VincentDavidJohnson.com

 


15 Questions for a Wedding Photographer #3; Film or digital

15 Questions Brides Want to Know About Wedding Photography #3

One of the interesting parts of being a professional in a field for a while is you get requests from the media for comment on events, or topics relevant to that field. Recently I was asked to answer some questions for an upcoming book geared towards future brides.

I was one of several professionals who were asked questions specifically for wedding photography, so I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything by revealing my answers, since I’m sure they’ll use others for some of the 15 answers, plus I wasn’t asked anything about catering, or how to preform a traditional religious ceremony.

I’ll be sure to post up link when the book is published, but for now I’ll be spreading the questions and my answers (plus maybe a little extra) out over the next 15 days.

 

Question #3

Is it better to book a wedding photographer who uses film or digital equipment?

The main difference between film and digital is the look and feel of an image created with one, or the other. I tend to shoot both at weddings, but at the end of the day though it really doesn’t matter anymore, most couples will still be printing the same amount of photos to hang on their wall and they may only see a real difference in their wedding album. If you are going with a photographer who shoots only film I suggest that you do so only with a seasoned professional. Film is not for the faint of heart. Their is a reason photography has become so popular now days and that reason is because even with a point you really need to know what you’re doing.

The top right & bottom left photos were shot on film, the other two were shot digitally. The matching images were both taken within a minute of two of each other and similar settings.

 

Coming up tomorrow

Question #4

What is a proof and what are the advantages of the different types of Proofing?

Previous Questions

#2 Why do wedding photographers copyright the pictures they take at weddings? Is this common?

 

www.VincentDavidJohnson.com


15 Questions for a wedding photographer #2; Photo Copyright

Copyrighted

15 Questions Brides Want to Know About Wedding Photography #2

One of the interesting parts of being a professional in a field for a while is you get requests from the media for comment on events, or topics relevant to that field. Recently I was asked to answer some questions for an upcoming book geared towards future brides.

I was one of several professionals who were asked questions specifically for wedding photography, so I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything by revealing my answers, since I’m sure they’ll use others for some of the 15 answers, plus I wasn’t asked anything about catering, or how to preform a traditional religious ceremony.

I’ll be sure to post up link when the book is published, but for now I’ll be spreading the questions and my answers (plus maybe a little extra) out over the next 15 days.

 

Question #2

Why do wedding photographers copyright the pictures they take at weddings? Is this common?

Copyright is common, because technically everybody who takes a photo, writes a poem, creates a computer program, ect. has a copyright under the law for what they’ve created. Professional photographers, musicians and movie makers are just a little more upfront about it because it’s part of their business. I get clients who tell me they want the “copyrights” to the photos without ever really knowing what that means. When in fact what they really want is usage rights.

Usage rights can allow a couple to reprint images as they see fit, but allows the photographer to be able to display the images (as part of their portfolio, or in an advertisement, as examples). Without writing a small novel, there are almost no reasons a couple should ask for the copyright to all the photos, over just getting usage rights. Asking for the copyright is like a Ford asking the Beatles to let them own a song just so it could be used in one car commercial.

 

 

Copyrighted

Can't touch this.

Coming up tomorrow

Question #3

Is it better to book a wedding photographer who uses film or digital Equipment?

 

Previous Questions

#1 What are the advantages of hiring a professional wedding photographer as opposed to having a friend or family member take the pictures?

 

www.VincentDavidJohnson.com


15 Questions for a wedding photographer. #1

15 Questions Brides Want to Know About Wedding Photography

One of the interesting parts of being a professional in a field for a while is you get requests from the media for comment on events, or topics relevant to that field. Recently I was asked to answer some questions for an upcoming book geared towards future brides.

I was one of several professionals who were asked questions specifically for wedding photography, so I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything by revealing my answers, since I’m sure they’ll use others for some of the 15 answers, plus I wasn’t asked anything about catering, or how to preform a traditional religious ceremony.

I’ll be sure to post up link when the book is published, but for now I’ll be spreading the questions and my answers (plus maybe a little extra) out over the next 15 days.

Question #1

What are the advantages of hiring a professional wedding photographer as opposed to having a friend or family member take the pictures?

I think the advantages really come down to how the couple values photos. My biggest job when I first meet some couples is convincing them that the images from their wedding day are not just for them, but for their family and possibly future children. There’s a huge difference between a cousin who can take 4 or 5 good shots out of 100, compared to a talented professional who can take 80-90 great shots out of 100. A truly talented professional photographer isn’t just some one with a good camera who knows how to pick the best place for a couple to stand. They’re going to know how to tell a story of that very special day with each click of the shutter. Simply put, a normal person takes photos, a photographer makes images.

 

Your wedding photos aren’t just for you, but for future generations of your new family.

Coming tomorrow

Question #2

Why do wedding photographers copyright the pictures they take at weddings? Is this common?

www.VincentDavidJohnson.com

 


Image Friendly Wedding Tip #5; Dress To Impress. Grooms.

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Image Friendly Wedding Tip #5; 10 Things Grooms Should Be Thinking About When It Comes To Attire

wedding tux for men
#8 Make it personal. My wife loves Audrey Hepburn, so if you’ve ever seen Sabrina, you’ll recognize this white Tux jacket. If you’re wondering why the odd look on my face, I was just told the DJ couldn’t find the processional music.

Gentlemen, I know its not easy. For months the focus seems to be on your bride-to-be, but when it comes to your clothing choice for the day, don’t just mail it in.

Sure you got her to agree to marry you, but that doesn’t mean you can just hit cruise control. People will be looking at you and feeling so-so about what you’re wearing shows up in photos. Here’s a top 10 list of things you should be thinking about when it comes to looking for your attire.

1. Put some thought into it. First are you even going to go with a tux, or will you be wearing a suit? Bow tie, or normal tie? Black, white or gray? If you’re getting married for the second time, or are doing a small low-key wedding, going with a suit might be an option. Getting married in Texas and want to show your inner-cowboy off, maybe you go with a bolo tie. Tuxes don’t just come in black, but as with all of these choices, talk with your bride-to-be the more adventurous you get. You want to look better than some schmo who picked something off a rack, not overshadow her.

2. Rent or buy? Just about every bride keeps their dress and just about every groom rents his tux, but it should be the other way around since, you’ll be far more likely to wear your tux again after the wedding. So you have to ask yourself, what are the chances I might need to rent a Tux again soon. The benefits to owning your own tux are limitless, but being 100% sure it fits perfectly is all you need to worry about now. Look for stores like Filene’s Basement, or other outlet stores that sell suits. I managed to find a tux for about $75 more than what I rented my wedding tux at. Even if I don’t find a black tie charity event to wear it at, I’m always solid on Halloween as James Bond.

3. Don’t just go with the first Tux the guy at the mall tux rental shop shows you. This goes back to my main point, you can’t just mail this in. It might be the one you go for in the end, but don’t just do what they say is the in style this year.

4. Do some research This goes back to the last point. Maybe read up on a few blogs and see if there is any advice for tuxes based on body type. Maybe do a few searches on the internet and see what the new trend is out there, or even better, don’t end up like those who got married in the 1970′s with baby blue ruffled shirts & cumber-buns, find something that is classic and will stand up to your children’s ridicule. Your hair style may be a different problem.

5. Try and find a store use to adult rentals, AKA not the mall. Not that being in a mall makes a bad rental store, but sometimes these places can be staffed with people who are use to dealing with a majority prom crowd.  This could lead to your fitting, or order not getting the full attention it needed because there were 150 other people renting tuxes that week. There are usually a few tux rental shops in downtown areas of larger cities. Try one of these places out. Chances are they’re use to dealing with adults who need the occasional tux for a black tie event and aren’t going to be over run during prom season. No matter where you go, its always a good idea to ask what their peak season is, so you can make arrangements not to get fitted then.

6. Read Reviews. Wedding web sites and consumer web sites like Yelp, are full of reviews on local businesses. Just because the tux you rented from a national chain for your friends wedding in New York was good, doesn’t mean their store in your home town is on point.

7. Stand out from the groomsmen. I did a white jacket while my groomsmen did black jackets. You can switch it up in several different ways. Vest color, tie color. I’ve even seen the groom wear a bow tie while his groomsmen went with a regular tie. What ever you do, make sure your groomsmen all stick with the same plan. Nothing looks worse than two guys wearing bow ties and two guys with normal ties. Dads, ushers and other tux wearing non-groomsmen have a little more leeway. While I’m not against groomsmen matching the bridesmaids color scheme, don’t make them wear teal green, purple, or some other less than flattering color. Black, grey, silver and other neutral colors won’t clash with the girls and the fact you’re putting some thought into it might help convince your bride-to-be not to put your buddies in pink bow ties.

#7 Going with a white jacket is a nice way to stand out from the groomsmen. It can also be as simple as switching up yoru vest or tie color.

8. Make it personal if you can. Did your dad and grandfather both have tails on their tuxes? Go with that if you can find the right style. My wife is a huge Audrey Hepburn fan and if you’ve ever seen the movie Sabrina you may recognize my white jacket. Custom cufflinks with a message or theme are another way to go.

9. Cuff Links. Yes Please. Two things I’ll say right now about cuff links, while they might not have always been the most popular, they have never gone out of style, or made someone wearing them look dated. Sure most rental places will give you standard cuff links, but why not go with something a little more stylish, or take a cue from tip #8 and make it personal. On top of adding just a little more style to your look, cuff links also make a great groomsmen gift. As a groom think about getting your own french cuffed shirt for your wedding day. Rental shirts have cheap cuffs, don’t always fit properly and you can always have your shirt tailored to fit you like a glove so it’s one less thing to worry about on the day of your wedding.

#9 Cuff Links Yes! At a recent wedding each groomsman had custom cuff links with an image of something that made them happy.

10. Make Sure You Feel You Look Good. I always say one of the top 3 most important things at a wedding is the dress. Why? Because if the bride doesn’t feel she looks like the most amazing person in the room, its going to show up in the photos. The same thing can be said about the groom. If you feel like you’re tux fit is to baggy, or to tight best, its going to show. Do you feel like it isn’t for you and was something you went with to make her happy.  Let her know long before the wedding so you can work it out. Either way, loving what you’re wearing makes all the difference in the world.

 

#1 Put some thought into it. Shoes are another way to showoff some of your own style.

If you are a former groom and have some dressing advice for future grooms, post in the comments section, or on my Facebook page.

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Image Friendly Wedding Tips #4; Classic Car

In this case the groom owned the Mini.

When most of us think of the bride & groom driving away from a wedding, it’s either in a limo, or in their own car (cans on strings from the bumper are optional).

I don’t have anything against limos, or your car, but let’s face it, limos make up for style with size and personal cars in most cases are something most have been hanging onto through college, not really great for photos.

So why not add a little charm and go with a vintage ride?

If you would prefer for the least amount of leg work, go professional. There are companies who rent out vintage cars with drivers, for everything from filming movies to driving around brides & grooms and they usually have several car options to choose from. If you’re in a rural or small urban area, as opposed to a New York or Chicago, you may need to go with this next idea.

If a car rental agency isn’t an option, or you’re on a budget, be sure to check out local car clubs. You might not have a choice of a 1937 Rolls Royce in 3 different colors, but finding classic cars from the 1950’s & 60’s shouldn’t be a problem.

Because this isn’t a full time business, some car owners may not have an exact idea of what to charge, or what will be required of them & their car.

Not that I want you low balling people, but a good dollar amount to start at is between around$100 for an hour or two. Owners who maybe have done this once or twice before may already have a price in mind.

Make sure you specify when & where you’d like the car to be used and who will be in it. Since the purpose of this post is about making better pictures, I’d suggest making sure the owner knows you’d like to be using it as a prop after the ceremony. Make sure you mention everything you have planned. Nothing will sour your mood more than finding out you can’t sit on the top of the rear seat of a convertible as you’re leaving the ceremony.

A few last tips:

  • Ask for the car to be at least washed and maybe waxed the day of or before the wedding
  • Ask the driver to dress accordingly and in a solid color (preferably black)

Want to see how cool a vintage car can make your wedding photos? Just Google for photos from the recent Royal Wedding where Prince William & Kate Middleton left in an Aston Martin convertible.


Save $$$ on Your Wedding, the Easy Way: Part 1

As someone who was married with in the last decade, I can tell you without a doubt the best way my wife & I could have saved a few hundred dollars, would have been by not spending $15 each on a handful of magazines and putting those $30 or $50 fancy wedding planner style trapper keepers/scrap books back on the shelf at Borders.

A lot if not most of the info in there can easily be found on internet wedding sites, by bloggers and know-it-alls like me. Also, we forget sometimes the best resources are right in front of us. Chances are you know at least a couple of people who have been married in the last few years. Especially if you are younger. If you don’t know any, chance are some one you know does.

While the popping up of sites like Yelp.com, Angieslist.com & the old tried and true Better Business Bureau BBB.org, are all great tools, nothing beats hearing it from people you know and can trust as opposed to possible fake reviews, or overly picky brides.

Be sure to ask “Would you use them again?” instead of  just “Did you like them?”, as some couples might have a different budget, different taste and hidden factors like their parents might have been paying some of the bills.

Also, if you are at a wedding take mental notes on how the vendors & their services were. Don’t be afraid to ask to see a couple wedding video or album, most will gladly show them off, but don’t assume if they don’t have it yet it’s the vendors fault. I routinely have couples who take between 4-10 months to get back to me on their albums.

In defense of magazines & planning books, they are way better organized than the vast wedding based internet. Lets face it, there’s a reason we say “It reads like a book”. If you really want your books & magazines, look for freebees. Vendors, Bridal Shows and other places have been know to give them away for free to potential clients (aka the Bride & Groom).

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Imagine Friendly Weddings #3 – Grooming For The Groom

On your wedding day most of the people & cameras will be focused on the bride, but chances are the groom will end up in more than a few photos.

Here’s a day by day list I’ve made up from tips from around the internet & personal experience on how to prep before the wedding.

Grooming tips for the groom

The Week Before

6 Days Out: Make sure you’re really on top of your game plan for your teeth. You’ll be smiling a lot, so it’s good to make sure not only that your teeth are clean, but your gums aren’t overly irritated. A good week of flossing once a day & brushing at least twice should keep everything looking good. Don’t forget to brush your tongue, you’ll be doing a lot of kissing and you don’t want bad breath. Teeth whiting & a professional cleaning are options you might want to talk to you dentist about at least a month before.

Brush your teeth

5 Days Out: Hair Cut. The rule goes, it looks best 4 days after the cut and for the following 4 days after that (days 4-8). Professional stylist recommend you test any color changes a minimum of 1 month out. This gives you time to change it back in case you, or the bride don’t like it. (Ask your barber/stylist to groom your eye brows (see 4 Days Out).

4 Days Out: Moisturize. If you never used the stuff before, it’s not going to work miracles now, but a twice daily cleaning regiment, followed by a facial moisturizer this far out might just save your skin from a blow up on your wedding day. Ideally, you’d want to have your products picked out & tested by this point, as everybody’s skin is different, so what works for your best man, might cause you to dry out or become oily. Don’t forget sunscreen, at least SPF 15, nothing worse than have a facial sun burn a few days before the wedding . Several companies make a moisturizer sunscreen (I like Aveeno), so you kill two birds with one stone.

3 Days Out; Body Hair. Eyes, ears, nose, back, whatever. If your stylist/barber didn’t groom your eye brows, now is the time. Don’t forget your nose and ears. Back & chest, while it won’t show up in wedding photos, think honeymoon. Wearing a three piece Tux in the summer? I’ve even heard it suggested that you trim arm pit hair to lower the area for order causing bacteria.

2 Days Out: Hopefully you don’t have to much wedding stress, but either way, let somebody else do the work today. Get a massage.

Manicure

1 Day  out: Manicure. I’d have slapped the hell out of any of my friends who suggested this when I was getting married, but as a photographer I can tell you there will be several close up photos of your hands so it’s not a bad idea. At the very least, trim & file your nails and scrub underneath those bad boys.

The Day Of: Take a good hot shower & shave. make sure to really soak your face with hot water before shaving & for god sakes use an after shave balm, not after shave lotion. Save the Old Spice for the honey moon.

There are of course several things you should look at doing at least 1 or 2 months out, but that’s a whole nother post.

If you have any thoughts on what to include in this list, post a comment below.

www.VincentDavidJohnson.com