lighting

Lynchburg, Virgina Photographer | Katey

One of the things I love most about photography is that you really cannot 100% master it.  There is always something new to learn and be challenged by. 

I've had the opportunity to shoot a lot more weddings this year - 2nd shooting some and leading my own.  What I love most about second shooting in particular is that I can just learn from those who have been doing this longer.  So for one of the weddings I second shot, the lead used off camera flash.  For some reason the idea of off camera flash scared me.  But when I saw her setup, I realized that it probably isn't as difficult as I thought it is.  

Literally the next day I bought some triggers, stands, and more lights and I had a light kit. Then I got a few people to volunteer and model for me. 

Katey was my first one.  I've had classes with her during undergrad.  She's super talented and loves being in front of the camera as a broadcaster, so obviously she's natural and comfortable in front of the camera.  We went to Randolph college at 8:30 in the evening so that I could figure out proper lighting direction and power.  It took a bit, but we definitely got a few good shots! 

Here are a few of my favorites!

O'Donnell Wedding

This has definitely taken far longer than I had anticipated, but I am really glad to finally be able to post a blog about this wedding!  I feel most comfortable with natural light so when I found out that this wedding was going to be taken place outdoors I was really excited about it!   

I second shot this wedding with Ashley of Ashley Wiktorek Photography on a pretty warm Sunday in September.  I had the opportunity to meet the Bride and Groom, Ryan and Emily the night before the wedding.  They were very relaxed and you could tell first hand that they loved each other! I knew the wedding was going to be a blast! 

Like always, I want to get started with some of the details!

Emily had a really beautiful dress.  I've never gotten detail shots of a wedding dress before, so I was really glad to have gotten these!  

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Simplicity was definitely a strong suit for their wedding! They decorated with Mason Jars and flowers! It looked amazing! 

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I absolutely LOVED how they had a carnival themed wedding. They had corn hole and cotton candy! How does that not scream fun?

 

Here are few of my favorites from the Bride and Bridesmaids getting ready! 

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Emily's nephew was about a few months old at the time of the wedding! He was so peaceful! ImageImageImageImageImageImage

 

Here are a few of my favorites from when Emily revealed herself to her father! It was very sweet! Their relationship is precious!ImageImageImageImageImage

 

I also loved Ryan and Emily's first looks! I just love how their excitement shows through these!ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

The bridal party was a very goofy bunch! You could tell that they all enjoyed being around each other! 

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Then of course there was the ceremony and the reception! This was definitely my favorite part (I mean, why wouldn't the wedding ceremony be your favorite part?)

 

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The first dance was amazing! I feel as though the shots that I got from here were my favorites from the whole wedding! It was definitely hard to choose which ones I wanted to put here, so I practically included all of my edited ones!ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

 

I really liked the concept of doing the Father/Daughter Dance and the Mother/Son dance at the same time.  I feel as though it brought a lot of unity to both families! They danced to Ben King's "Stand By Me"  ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

 

I had a blast shooting this wedding! I wish Ryan and Emily the best! 

Making more investments

Things have been super crazy over the past few weeks. Between shooting two weddings, taking super time consuming classes, attending numerous amounts of meetings and fulfilling RA duties, my life is definitely swamped.  Not psycho crazy like it was last semester, but definitely crazy.   But in the meantime, I am glad that I have had to opportunity to make some investments into Photography and possibly videography.   I managed to get a really good deal for Beats Pro Headphones.  They're originally priced $400 ($450 if you want to add tax) and I was able to get it for $180. I got them so that I could have better quality sound for my video editing purposes.  I will be editing a LOT this semester, so the better equipment I could have, the better.

I bought a new macbook pro.  Man,  I've been wanting it for YEARS.  I just enjoy the interface so much better than PCs.  The programs also run so much more smoothly on the Macs than they do on PCs.  I think working with Macs would be so much better for photo editing purposes.  

 

Then for the actual execution of my photography quality, I was finally able to buy an external flash.  It's an off-brand speedlight and from the reviews that I have seen from it, it is a very good one to have.  I managed to test it out for a couple of minutes and I am already impressed with it.  I am excited to just get out there and master the flash.  I know that this is definitely the next step that I could take in shooting better quality photos.  I never realized how vital it was until I happened to shoot 3 weddings within the past 3 months.  Coming into a place where there is such low lighting really hits your camera hard. I was so used to using my 50mm at very low aperture and shutter speeds.  But when I had absolutely no choice but to raise my ISO (to 3200 in some cases), the quality really suffered and I hated it.  Especially when the on camera flash wasn't doing what I needed for it to do.  I also got rid of my kit lens specifically because of the lighting issues.  That was probably not the best move now that I think about it.  Shooting with a 50mm all the time gets really difficult when you are shooting groups, which in the case of shooting weddings, is a very hard thing to avoid.  I know that I will have a very good return on the investments that I am making for my business.  I am really excited about it and I can't wait to see where God takes me with it.  

New Year

I'm sitting here reflecting and thinking about how everything is going throughout the past few months.  I titled this "New Year" simply because I am just now starting my senior year at Liberty.  It's crazy because as I am sitting back reflecting as to what the next steps would be for my life, I just find myself gaining more and more opportunities with photography.   When I first started, I wanted to keep it as merely a hobby, but as I'm going around, as I'm learning and developing myself as a photographer, I find myself being able to really have a shot at this! ;)

The opportunities that I have been getting are amazing.  Within 3 months, I will have shot 3 weddings, meaning that I will have 4 underneath my belt.  Now, I would really say that shooting 4 weddings is necessarily a lot, but I do now have more than enough to have a fairly strong portfolio.  Especially now that I am learning more and more each time. 

I am pretty excited to be second shooting alongside my friend Ashley for 2 of them.  It's crazy because each time I shoot, I am faced with a new set of challenges.  Learning more about lighting (let's be honest, it's probably my weakest point of my photography).  But I really like being thrown into challenges.  It forces me to be quick and creative.  

Well, in the next few weeks, be on the lookout for some wedding bliss!