quality

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.  

1,623

1,623.... That's the number of pictures I managed to take in 6 hours at a wedding this afternoon.  I was asked on Wednesday if I would be able to help out and shoot.  Definitely something on a whim.  I really wanted to get some more wedding experience as well as build my portfolio so I went ahead with it.

So, what does the number have to do with anything?

Well, throughout those 1,623 pictures, I have learned so many different elements about wedding photography that I simply couldn't read about or learn from someone else.   Well, a lot of the things I have read about, but it's still not the same as just getting out there and doing it.

1. NEVER shoot a wedding with one lens.

 Right now, I only have a 50 mm 1.8. I know I need another one. While I and several other photographers would tell you that every photographer NEEDS to have this lens, I would say that it should not be the only one that you get. Especially for a wedding. I managed to get some pretty decent pictures with my 50 mm, but not a lot of closeups (To be honest, I had other limitations that prevented me from doing so, but that's fine).  I've seen it being mentioned, but the 50 mm also has focus issues.  I had to switch in and out from auto focus and manual focus just so I can get the shot that I needed to take

2. Get in the way

The first wedding that I shot, I pretty much stayed in the back.  I didn't want to get in anyone's way or be distracting to anyone.  Needless to say, I only really got one perspective.. which can get kind of boring.  This time, I moved all over the place.  Believe it or not, it was not that distracting to begin with.  Everyone is literally zoned in on the bride and groom.

3. Use the flash

I tell so many people that I HATE using my flash.  I mean, to be honest, I was being kind of lazy when it came to using it.  However, things got to the point where I HAD to use my flash.  To be honest, those were some of my best photos of the night.  I was very excited when I reviewed them.

4. Don't be afraid to bump up the ISO

Another thing I hate.  Bumping my ISO.. I would SO much rather have focus issues than grainy photos.  Well, this time, I had to deal with it.  On the real, it did not come out so bad.

5. Eat before you get started

I got blessed and was offered food during the reception.  But I don't think every photographer would be so lucky.  If you do a long wedding day, make sure you eat, because your judgment and creativity can easily be blocked.

6. The importance of having a second shooter

While I managed to get some really good shots, I felt as though my creativity had to become slightly limited just because I had to rush back and worth making sure I got the details that I needed to have.  I really think that having a second shooter can definitely be a major difference from having just one shooter

There were so many things that I actually wish I should have done differently and will do differently next time.  I'm just really glad that I was able to have the opportunity to add another wedding in my book =).  I will be posting a sneak peak up either tonight or tomorrow of the wedding.  It's time to go through my 1,623 pictures!

Summer Photography Plans

I'm really excited about this summer!  I'm going to take on a few projects that will definitely help take me to a new level as a photographer. To give you a start of what I have planned,  I wanted to show you this shot that I've captured.  I used a fast shutter the grasp the water form while a balloon was being popped.  I've seen pictures of it done before, but I never really expected it to be such an easy process.  

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I grabbed my sisters, filled up balloons and they enjoyed themselves too.   It was kind of nice to do on a pretty hot day.

Overall, I really do want to take this summer diversifying myself.  A lot of photographers do specialize in one area within the portrait, wedding, landscape, abstract, and architecture realms.  I want to explore all the options and capture as many things as possible.

I took on a photobooth project.  While it will be my first, I am really excited about it!

I am also going to take my first set of models out for reshoots! I was looking at a lot of my first shoots and noticed a MAJOR skill change from the time I've started until now.  The improvements have been so dramatic (in my opinion) that I kind of cringe looking at my older stuff.

So be on a lookout of some of this stuff in the upcoming weeks!

 

Graduation Session *Chelsea*

I went downtown again today with my lovely friend, Chelsea.  She was my RA during my sophomore year and we were in the same RA group for my junior year.  She is just an amazing woman after God's heart and I was happy to be able to shoot some portraits of her this afternoon. Well, Liberty University's 2013 Commencement is this coming weekend and Chelsea is, of course, graduating!  This shoot was perfectly timed because:

1. She really wanted graduation photos done and

2. I was just itching to do another shoot.

This was a fun session and I couldn't wait to get back to my computer to edit these photos!  Here are a few of my favorites!

 

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Spring Engagement-*Luke And Ashley*

So I was slightly behind on my photography assignments and needed a serious or engaged couple to shoot. Luke is an intern with me at the Athletics Marketing Department. He and Ashley just got engaged over Spring Break.  Because I was behind on work, and they haven't taken engagement photos yet, I was like "hey why not?"  So we found this abandoned school not too far from campus.  It was pretty fun.  I enjoyed shooting them!  

Here are a few of my favorites!

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