Welcome to Photographic Memories, our little corner of the world where we talk about what we do, show a little behind the scenes work, and occasionally throw in random thoughts about the weather, Florida, and what's on our mind. Come back often to check in, and be sure to leave us comments!
Out of Camera vs Fully Edited, or, Why Investing In Our Pro Team is Worth It
The bride and groom say, "Let's get some pictures by the water!" The sun is so low that the available light is questionable. But why not? With some setting adjustments and thoughtful posing, the potential for a great shot arises. Remember that word : Potential. So we hike across the parking lot and make our way to the wooden dock. Light is fading by the second, and flash isn't really an option since we want to keep the background visible as well, not just have a glowing bride and darkness behind her. We have ideas, but this is a public area, and tired beach goers are tromping up the steps and trudging to their cars. They smile at the couple but don't stop or stay out of the way of the obvious photography session. That's okay, we're used to constantly changing our setup. Wedding photography is a fluid thing. If we're not willing to be flexible, we can't expect our clients to be either.
And the light continues to die. Finally! The dock is clear, but there are more people headed our way. The bride knows she wants a pretty picture, but isn't specific. We often find that clients have big general ideas of what they want as an end result, but aren't always able to convey that. "I don't know where to look." "I don't know where to put my hands." "I don't like to smile."
This is where training, experience and confidence come in. We consider our surroundings, consider our subject, and then make the best decision for posing and gear. And all the decisions are made on the fly. When the couple, moved by love or whimsy, decide to run down the stairs and kiss on the beach, we run with them. We are framing in camera, seizing the opportunity, envisioning what we'll have to work with when we sit down to edit.
Professional photography is so much more than just showing up with some nice cameras, taking a thousand pictures, and praying that a hundred or so nice ones shake out. We don't get up on Saturday morning, laze around sipping coffee while the house elves replace batteries, test equipment, discuss the shoot and load gear. When we show up for a wedding shoot, we've researched the venue, carefully prepared our equipment, chosen the components to bring with us, and discussed at length the various set ups and poses we feel will work. A wedding party of sixteen is not the same as a small group of four. All of these things need to be considered. When a bride says, "Make me look beautiful," she's not just asking for a snapshot that will be run through some cellphone editing app. She's expecting a great return on her investment. A quality image that she'll be proud to hang on her wall and share with family, friends, and visitors. That quality image starts in the viewfinder and ends after careful, thoughtful editing that we do ourselves. We were there. We know what pictures matter to you.
They matter to us as well. We produce images that we are proud to deliver, proud to put in our portfolio, proud to put our name on.
We're Not Just Photographers
We're parents too. We've been pointing cameras at them since they were born, and sometimes they let us know they are over it. But you know what, we're not sorry. We're glad we caught every snapshot, every unguarded moment, every formal portrait. We can put no value on these treasures, and we're sure you'll feel the same way. We enjoy revisiting the memories, putting ourselves right back in that moment.
Now that our youngest is embarking on his final year of high school, we anticipate a whole slew of picture taking heretofore unseen in our household. No regrets. And you shouldn't regret it either. These days, they go so fast. Don't let them pass you by.
What's Your Style?
We go to a lot of weddings, and we see a lot of different styles. We've seen Gator bridal parties, seaside motifs, Fourth of July colors and sparklers, beautiful fall flowers. It can be overwhelming to decide just what to choose to make your day just right. That's why there are professionals, right here in Central Florida to help you!
Are you a blushing bride? Did you know that subtle pinks, nudes and beiges are in? Are you a high fashion wedding couple? Pretty bride, are you going to show off your lovely shoulders? Maybe you are going to knock trends and go for something uniquely your own. School colors. Favorite colors. A wedding in a garden. In the back yard. At the courts.
We'll go where you go and we'll capture your fab style forever in images that you can revisit again and again.
You've chosen your photographers (thank you, we're delighted!) but you still have questions. There are many resources available to find out about seating arrangements, food, traditions...We are fond of the following blog. We know a thing or two about photography, but we'll leave the rest of it to the experts in their fields.
Check this out: http://www.weddingpartyapp.com/blog/
Something Old Into Something New
Wedding dresses have a lot to live up to. They are dreamed about, obsessed over, there are even television shows devoted to them. But what happens after the big day is in your memory? Many brides have their gowns preserved, where they sit in a box forever more. Some ladies save them for future daughters or daughters-in-law. Some brides share the love by lending them or repurposing them. One of Deb's sisters borrowed her dress, a classic twenties styled drop-waist sheath, for her own wedding. Families pass them down. Deb's mother had her beautiful traditional gown and cathedral length veil remade into her younger sister's communion dress. Have you considered what you will do with yours? We've been looking at different websites and forums, and there are Pinterest boards with endless suggestions.
You can turn something old into something new.
Or consider donating yours, giving it even more special meaning.
Adding That Personal Touch
We see a lot of terrific decorations, place cards, and party favors.
We've seen bouquets made by dear friends, cakes made by a beloved aunt, table number signs made with photographs lovingly donated by friends and family that reflect the different stages in the couple's life.
Are you handy and creative?
We know of a great website with beautiful ideas.
Check it out, and get in touch with your inner creativity. Personal touches on such a special day of your life just means so much!
GROOMing Tips (See What We Did There?)
Believe it or not, the big day isn't just about the bride. The groom is just as important, and even though he may not be hunting up 'beauty tips' he still wants to look his best too.
Here is some solid advice:
They want to look just as good as the brides in their pictures. Share it with the groomsmen, too.
*if clicking the link doesn't redirect you, just copy and paste it into your browser
We Love You Just The Way You Are
Happy Wednesday Everyone!
Bridal beauty is a big deal, we get it. And even though we like to find the beauty in everyone and everything, we know that sometimes you want to enhance your assets with some gorgeous bridal makeup. Your wedding day is one of the biggest, most photographed days of your life, so why not get some advice on how to look your best?
We looked at some beauty blogs and websites, and we like what this one has to say.
Check it out here: http://www.makeupandbeautyblog.com/cosmetics/101-wedding-makeup-looks/
See you at the altar, Beautiful!
We've Got Our Eye On You. And The Kids. And The Dancefloor. And The Shenanigans.
Your big day is a busy one, and hopefully you are focused on every sweet moment. But there will be distractions, and while you are living through one of the best days of your life, we will be right there with you, watching for all the awesome things happening around you that you simply won't have time to notice.
A stolen kiss. A quiet moment. Flower petals strewn along the aisle. Shenanigans. Because shenanigans will happen.
We want to be able to relive all the things that were happening that day. That's why with two of us working as a team, we're able to cover more areas, capture more images, double your fun!
That picture up there? Yeah, that happened. Maybe the bride didn't see it. But we did, and now she can go back to it again and again.
And think of what you'll have for #throwbackthursday years from now!
A Little Food For Thought
I think we should go with "No Words Wednesday" and let the pictures speak for themselves.
(This deliciousness brought to you by the folks at the Hilton Cocoa Beach)
We were planning on starting this week out by blogging about great local venues for weddings. But this isn't about venues. Or even local folks. Today, let's talk about life handing you lemons. In a not so fun way.
Some brides plan their wedding for years. Others are spur of the moment, "Hey, we're all here on vacation, let's get married," type of ladies. This weekend we had the pleasure of catching both kinds. One we planned for, one we didn't.
We were sitting around on Saturday afternoon talking about dinner(!) when we got the call. A bride's wedding had happened in Cocoa Beach, and the photographer didn't show. The whys and hows aren't as important as the fact that there was a missed moment, an upset bride, and we were being given an opportunity to go in and catch as much as possible of what was left. The bride was, understandably, upset. We would be going into considerably unhappy territory.
We felt up to the challenge. At worst, the bride would be feeling so devastated that she would turn away from the idea of maybe recreating the ceremony and salvaging what was left. At best, they would be game for a do-over with photographers they'd never met. We kept these thoughts in mind as we changed into our super suits and threw gear in the car. On the ride to the venue we discussed how to handle the shots. We were losing daylight, but the evening was beautiful. The wedding party would be dining outdoors on the deck.
We messaged our contact from the parking area as we pulled cameras and lights out. They were aware we were on the property, but we were walking into an unknown.
Things turned out great. It's that simple. The lovely blue-eyed bride and her stoic groom were so much fun! The whole troop had come in from colder regions and had been enjoying the fantastic weather and everyone was sun kissed (if not a little burnt). There were children. Good friends. Family. Down on the beach the chairs were still in neat rows...so why not? Before we knew it we were shooting a Mulligan, and even though they were not the emotions of the original moment, they were the true emotions of the right now. So much laughter! Such good sports! Someone even wrangled a bystander into being the stand-in officiant. (We are gathered to celebrate this thing called life.) :)
Yes, a change of plans can be a bummer. You might think there's no remedy.
Lemonade people. It can be so, so sweet.
It's Not Always Just The Camera
"Wow, your camera sure takes great pictures!"
We hear this all the time. Although this is true — our Canon gear does not fail to astound — it doesn't quite tell the whole story.
Every shoot yields hundreds of images, and it's our job to comb through each and every photo to find the ones that best tell the story of the day. A sweet bride giving an over-the-shoulder smile. A groomsman sliding across the dance floor on his knees. But the cold truth is that often times, aside from the emotion or action captured, these photos look, well... unremarkable. Part of the skill set that we possess is the ability to look past this and "see" the potential true beauty that's waiting to be released from the image. Not unlike a sculptor walking around their untouched marble block, we mentally walk around these images, imagining what ways we can make it more special. Sometimes it's as simple as a tweak of color, contrast, or brightness. Other times it means multiple trips into various pieces of advanced imaging software for just the right effect, or even some true digital surgery to remove distracting elements.
Look at the photo below.
It's a lovely shot of the first dance. His expression is gentle, pleasant, and completely focused on her. The rim of light on them both looks great, and they're nicely bookended between two wall sconces. Wwwaitaminnit... is that an exit sign above their heads? Yep. And not even off to the side — it's center stage! That'll have to go. The rest of the photo looks alright, but what can we do to enhance the focus of him on her? Maybe dim the lights in the rest of the room some so the viewer is just as focused as he is... and a touch of contrast. Let's see...
Perfect! The sign is gone, the lights are dimmed, the contrast is bumped. Now the focus is completely on the couple, not the exit sign or the random onlookers behind them. Feels like we found what the image was hiding, doesn't it?
For better comparison:
Now we repeat this process on the next photo. Then the next. All the way through to the end. This perhaps explains why we take a few weeks to return your fully edited photos, and why our job is SO much more than just showing up and snapping these pictures for a few hours.
So, yes, the camera DOES take great pictures. But hundreds of hours of education on techniques, gear and software certainly doesn't hurt either!
Monday, Monday Can't Trust That Day
How are you surviving the time change?
We were pretty excited to see the beautiful sunrise over the water this morning. It was so breathtaking that people were pulling off the road to take pictures of it. With their cellphones! (What'd we tell you about putting those to good use?)
Did you know there are all kinds of editing apps available for iPhone? There are!
You can check out some here:
We have Androids, and we have editing apps for those too, but today we'll just focus on iPhone and iPads. Every wedding we've shot in the last six months has had at least one person there either using their iPad camera or recording video on the iPad. Which is awesome; we get it. Just remember when you are doing that to make sure to abide by some basic rules of photography etiquette. Don't put the attention on yourself, don't get in anyone's way, stay unobtrusive. Unless you are part of the team hired for the event, do your best to work around them, and try not to confuse the bride and groom by calling to them to look your way. We'll get our photos and move out of the way for you to get yours. We understand that you want to get lots of candid photos for your records as well. We don't mind if you want to get your own shot of our setup, we just want to make sure that we have our subject's attention so that we can return to the them the best possible images of their day.
We can all work happily together! Go teamwork!
(And happy, sleepy Monday. Get out there and make it a great week!)
The Beauty Is In The Details
So much is going on during your wedding day.
We, as photographers, catch the obvious; the portraits, the reception, the exit for your honeymoon. But we also catch the details. We make sure to catalog the little things that happen. Someone bustles your gown. The kids are playing around off to the side. Your grandma is tearing it up on the dance floor. Go Granny Go! You may not see everything going on as your day zips by, but that's what we're for. And with two of us working as a team, you get more coverage for your investment.
Years from now, when you look over your treasured photographs, you'll be glad that you chose professionals to see what you didn't, and put it all together for you.
(The picture at left is from our Valentine's Day Wedding. Leah's beautiful dress is being bustled before her reception.)
Do you remember how old you were when you got your first real camera? Deb here- it was for my eleventh birthday, and I got a Kodak 110 Instamatic. Best. Present. Ever. I took that thing everywhere. I took pictures of the neighborhood kids, flowers, my feet. I had the vision, but the camera wasn't capable of what I was trying to elicit. When I got my first 35MM (a Yashica) I was in heaven. Lenses! A real flash! Settings! I was pretty excited.
I could spend entire weekends taking pictures. The seashore. Piers. Old houses. Friends. I shot for the yearbook. The school paper. All the while I was learning and growing. I acquired more sophisticated cameras and in the nineties I got my first digital! Mike got it for me and it was like gold. (You can see it there, on the left. Shout out to the shiny Olympus.) That opened a whole new world for us. No longer did we have to deal with messy darkrooms and the chemical smell (although I do still have a strange affection for it) or send film off for processing. Even with the advent of dropping off your film in the local Target or Wal-Mart, it still took too long and the color match was never quite right. Our first digital SLR was a Canon Rebel. I have so much love in my heart for that camera. We used it to document so many things in our lives. With digital images we were able to share photographs with friends and family near and far. Funny thing is, our current cellphones are actually better than that old Rebel, but I'm still nostalgic for it.
When we decided to make photography our business, we graduated to the wonderful Canon 5D. Mike did extensive research and we decided that the brand was worth the investment. That's what we're using today, and we stand behind the quality and dependability of the product. Hiring a photographer isn't just about having them show up-it matters if they are using quality equipment too.
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Recent PostsOut of Camera vs Fully Edited, or, Why Investing In Our Pro Team is Worth It We're Not Just Photographers What's Your Style? Expert Advice Something Old Into Something New Adding That Personal Touch GROOMing Tips (See What We Did There?) We Love You Just The Way You Are We've Got Our Eye On You. And The Kids. And The Dancefloor. And The Shenanigans. A Little Food For Thought
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