brandy sniffer??

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by fertile_myrtle, Feb 15, 2007.

  1. Hi all!
    My daughter is newly engaged and I'm taking on the task of hiring a photographer. This will be my
    wedding present to her and I want to surprise her with only the best!
    I'm finding it hard to find a photographer that will put her picture with her new husband in a brandy
    sniffer. I have even looked quite a bit on the Internet and haven't seen any posted on the websites of
    photographers who otherwise seem to be very talented.
    My daughter and I have our hearts set on this classic look.

    Thank you for any help you can offer!

  2. You will be hard pressed to find any wedding photographer who will do this for you. I would say some wedding photographers probably have never seen this image, which was popular in the 60s and 70s. Back then, it was done by double exposing an image of the brandy glass with an image of the happy couple, in the camera, using masks in front of the lens. I have done this the old way, and I have done it the new way, which is combining these images digitally in Photoshop. It is much more successful the latter way since you have much more control. You may be able to find a photographer willing to do the two parts and then combine them in Photoshop, given that you can find a good example of the image to show that photographer. Any photographer handy with Photoshop should be able to do it. However, since most photographers have much disdain for "cheesy double exposures", you will have to ask around. Photographers capable of doing the Photoshop work may not want to do it. Maybe you have such an example in your wedding album?
  3. Christmas theme wedding. Just shot this one December 17, 2006. Russ
  4. Myrtle,

    Can you tell us where you're located?
  5. In fact, if you find a photographer willing to do this, I would volunteer my brandy glass shot--I probably have it around here somewhere. I did such a shot some years ago on the request of a bride interested in re-creating some of the "cheesy" shots from her mother's wedding album, shot in the 60s.
  6. This isn't too hard to do, I did it with silver toasting glasses.
  7. This is a brandy glass...without the people. I put the couple in using Photoshop. Anyone interested can have this image if you e-mail me.
  8. Wow thanks for the replies! What do you pros call this style? I absolutely love it! Technology
    is a wonderful thing!
    This is exactly what I was looking for. As a matter of fact I did have a portrait of my own shot
    in this same style but sadly my wedding album went missing when I moved several years ago.
    I'm located in Eureka, CA. I think I will show these images to prospective photographers. It is
    truly a dealbreaker for me and now I can easily convey my vision.
    Its a delight to see all the examples of beautiful shots!
    ("Fertile Myrtle" is a nickname my children gave me because I have quite the green thumb!)
  9. It may help in your search to know that it is a Brandy "Snifter" not a "sniffer."
  10. Heh, I could do it (as many other could too I'm assuming) but I'm a little far away (though closer than I thought at first). If you get desperate, I'm in Southern BC, Canada. It's only a day's drive away :p
  11. Hi Fertile ... How about a brandy snifter in a glass with a full moon? Why Not! Best Wishes to you and the families.
  12. Nadine,

    Can I have that image? I can't find your email address, but I'm interested. Thanks!
  13. Hello again!
    What a beautiful image Mr. Morgan! It's very romantic with that extra touch of class. I think
    my daughter will really love it. She specifically wants me to find a photographer who
    specializes in "romantic moments" and "telling a story" so I think she'll be thrilled with
    such an emotional image! You can just feel the love between the bride and groom in that

    Thank you all again for your advice. It will most certainly help me in my searches knowing
    that it is actually a "snifter". I believe I will take what I've learned here and search in my
    area for a local photographer with these talents.

    Seeing all the variation I can't help but wonder... what other wonderful wedding images
    might be created with the magic of computers? The Christmas ornament theme would be
    darling for Christmas cards. The wedding is planned for October- perhaps the happy
    couple in a pumpkin? What fun!
  14. Sarah--I'll e-mail it to you.

    You may not like this type of image but it was popular during the 60s and 70s, so whatever you think of it, it is a fact, isn't a joke, and some people like these images, then and now. It does help to learn about the history of your craft and use that information to broaden your own horizons without prejudice, even if it is to say that you'll never do these. I personally don't like them either, just as I don't particularly like overdone PS effects, but I did these on my customers' requests.
  15. By the way, Myrtle, this type of image doesn't have a style name. Maybe say "traditional" wedding photography when describing it, or "double exposed". You will find many younger photographers will have no idea what you are talking about. Almost no one does this kind of thing as a matter of course any more--just for a specific reason such as the one I described above--a deliberate retro look.
  16. A few days ago I had a bride, during our initial meeting, ask for selective coloring of the bouquet and have the rest of the image in black and white.

    I merely said that's no problem ... she loved the idea which was evident from her request and expression and that's all that matters.

    Learning to listen to the bride and groom is an active, living and important process in wedding photography ... sometimes difficult to balance our personal taste with the client's desires but there's a lot of satisfaction when you see reaction and smiles.

    I'll add a bit of Gaussian blur and jazz the black and white a bit to add some zest and watch her smile and enjoy the art of her choosing.
  17. William said "Learning to listen to the bride and groom is an active, living and important process in wedding photography."

    I would agree with this, and note that it's a philosophy not just limited to photography, wedding or otherwise. Anytime you've got customers, they're the boss. Yes, you can *try* to steer them from bad ideas that simply won't turn out as good as they're imagining, but in the end, if they want it, you have to provide it. Even if you think it's a cheesy idea, take comfort in the fact it's not your mantle it will hang over, it's their's, so give them what they want.
  18. Thank you Nadine I was just going to say what you so eloquently stated that no one needs to belittle someone for wanting something that in not in the taste of others. After all if they like it thats all that matters.
  19. Fertile Myrtle, would you mind telling us how old your daughter is? Does she have a thing for the 60's and 70's?? Just wondering.
    I suppose she's having trouble finding a photographer who posts photos on their site like this for a reason. :)
  20. I think retro or vintage is pretty cool and so do a lot of young brides, at least in Europe.
  21. Fertile thoughts and ideas at any rate. I suspect that there are plenty of brides who'd simply love a snifter shot! There is so much in photography that's been done in the past and then forgotten. It'd be so easy to do with Photoshop. Heck, you could even do one in black and white with a single bright red rose on the table next to the snifter. Combine 1967 and 2007 styles!
  22. Hello again...
    Wow I'm so surprised to learn that people think this is a joke! I appreciate the help that
    some of you provided. My daughter is 26 and perhaps the joke is on me. I showed her
    some of the samples with which I was so kindly provided and she became positively
    devastated and I have subsequently lost my "assignment" of hiring a photographer.
    Apparently when she said "classic" and "timeless" she had a very different vision than
    myself. It appears she agrees with some of you that feel this look is dated and cheesy. Oh
    If getting your picture in a brandy snifter is as easy as some of you say it is, I'll simply
    procure my own set of prints for that sole purpose and find someone with a nifty talent for
    "photoshop". Then we'll both get what we want!
    Again, thank you for the help!
  23. Fertile, if you want to send the images to me I'll put this configuration together for you ... no cost.

    Enjoy the wedding!
  24. I think retro or vintage is pretty cool and so do a lot of young brides, at least in Europe.
    Peter, you must be talking about a different part of Europe. If you tried to sell a 'brandy snifter' shot like this in London you wouldn't get much work... :) Classic b+w photography is definitely ultra popular (especially highly stylised shots like Harpers Bazaar or Vogue from the 60s) but not really this kind of thing.
  25. Neil--I wouldn't think anyone would want to make these kinds of shots their regular offering, and I don't think Peter meant that. I set the brandy glass up in the ultra campy-est way I could, remembering the masks I'd seen advertised by labs way back when. The whole thing, requested by my client was meant to be a retro look back at the kind of images in her mother's album so I laid it on thick. I also did some of the other camp images from that time--bride and groom superimposed on the sheet music from their first dance and bride and groom superimposed "looking down on themselves" over the ceremony. There is also the shot of the bride superimposed over the groom's silhouette. It all seems so dated now, of course, but I'm sure back then (even before my time) it seemed as exciting as whatever passes as trendy wedding shots now. Obviously they sold, too, since I looked at my client's mother's wedding album, and she had 8x10s in her album of those shots, and nobody gave away negatives then. Short history lesson in wedding photography for anyone who cares--apparently the king of double exposures was a fellow named Jack Curtis, who (I think) still lives in Santa Monica. He wrote several books on the subject with many examples of double exposures. He invented his "Curtis Combo" matte box (I have a set), which makes it easy to make double exposures with repeat-ability, because, as you might imagine, it was difficult to pull off good looking images time after time. This trend was following in the flow of taking static wedding images (your 24 black and white 8x10s in an album of mostly posed shots circa maybe 1940s) to the storytelling trend which gathered momentum over time and which blossomed into PJ today (in that one sentence I've glossed over several prominent wedding photographers who contributed to the flow). Who knows where it will go tomorrow--maybe we'll all end up becoming videographers. In other words, the photographers who took these kinds of images were trying to do the same thing we are trying to do today--show the sequence of the wedding day with imagery that elicited and showed emotion and told a story (this is definitely not a joke :^). And think about it--they didn't have Photoshop, digital or even modern cameras, lenses and modern film. Back to the actual act of creating double exposures--basically you had black masks which you hold in front of the lens. The mask blocked out part of the frame while allowing you to record an image on the unblocked part of the frame. Then you made another exposure on the same piece of film, using an opposite mask, blocking out the previously exposed part and exposing the then blocked part. The seam between the two images (you can do more than two) was feathered by controlling f stop and distance of the masks from the lens, and also depended on what kind of lens (wide angle vs. telephoto). I knew one photographer that used all kinds of things as masks--toilet paper rolls as snoots, pieces of cardboards--you name it. When you looked through the viewfinder, if you had an SLR, you could see a little of what the mask would cover, but because of the wide open viewing aperture, it would not be exact. Actually, when I did these, I was using a TLR, so I didn't have any indication of where the mask was except in my mind's eye, and sometimes the image was reversed (no prism on). And, since sometimes the images you wanted to put together occured at different times of the wedding day, you shot part of the double exposure on a removable back or second camera, then set it aside (preferably marked with what image, if you liked to take lots of double exposures) and then put the back on the camera when you wanted to make the second or subsequent exposure. Here is a double exposure I made a long time ago with the Curtis Combo matte box. It is very simple--just a half frame mask used two times (one reversed). Because you had far less control than one does in Photoshop (as to how the images merged), it was always a surprise when you got your proofs back--sometimes good, sometimes bad. I recall seeing a post by a digital photographer showing his superimposed image he'd created in Photoshop, very similar to this one (exterior of church, ceremony interior), and everyone oohed and aahed about how beautiful it was. Some of those double exposures made back then can still stand up to any Photoshop example today, Anyway, hope any interested people benefited by this info, and Mary, if this is too disturbing or excessive, feel free to edit.
  26. I just read this post for the first time today...and then I happened to be browsing CL San Diego and found this...

    Maybe there is a market for it still? :)
  27. Nice work, Nadine. It brought back memories. Awhile ago I found the matt box that I used to use on my Hasselblad, but now that's gone! Maybe I'll try rigging it on my Minolta Autocord because it's so easy to use for double exposures. I'm sure that there are plenty of brides around that have never even seen some of those old fashioned hokey looking pictures of 30 or 40 years ago. To them it would be new and exciting. Who would have ever thought that B&W would become cool again, the latest!
  28. Melissa--all I can say is, "Yikes!".
  29. Nadine, I would appreciate a copy of your image of the Brandy Sniffer. I too did not know where to find your email address
  30. Does anyone know the website to be able to order the Curtis combo Matee box/
    thanks, Jerry
  31. I am am an old retired film shooter and a product of Bill Stockwell seminars. I bought Curtis' book and made my own
    matte box from a lens shade from a Mamiya camera. I used glass slide protectors and used black dots to block areas
    to insert another object as well as other types of inserts.
    I was attending another Stockwell seminar and told Bill I was bringing my matte box. He informed me that no one
    could make a picture with it, but when he saw me using it, he called his wife to see me.
    With cut outs I turned candle flames into hearts, put brides' faces into frosted circles.
    I have done a Google search for a used Curtis and found one for sale at an excessive price.
    I want to thank Nadine for sending the photo of the snifter. I have a young man who will use it in Photo Shop. I think
    his brides will enjoy something old that will become new again!
  32. Hi John--glad you can use the image. I have 2 complete sets of Jack Curtis' matte boxes, along with many accessories. Used to use it with my Mamiya C330. I've also read his books, and while everything is way different today, I found a few gems that could be applied to today's work. Good photographic technicque is good photographic techniques--any time.
  33. If you google it, you will find that recently, the heart shaped specular highlight effect has become popular again. Thought you'd find it amusing.
  34. So glad to get your reply. I bought the Curtis book and crafted my box using a Mamiya shade and also shot the c330
    for the doubles.
    I got such excellent training under Bill.Stockwell and learned double lighting under a Ron Warwick. Rocky Gunn was
    booming in California as well as Monty Zucker. I often say we, for my wife trained with me.
    It is interesting that Stockwell, Gunn, and Warwick all died of heart attacks.
    You have two sets of Curtis? I am reluctant to ask the question!

    Thank you gracious lady for your replies.,
    John G
  35. I have done a rather extensive search in attempting to locate even a used Curtis Matte box to no awail, but I did find a
    used Curtis book on Amazon on how to construct one.
    I thought I would share this info; however, only one copy was available.

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