I seek your advice and encouragemnet

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by yellowsayshellosnaps, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. HELLO...
    Thank you for looking at my post.
    I decided to get my foot into this very competitive wedding industry.
    If you have a moment,

    Could you please give me some advices or things that I should improve as a wedding photographer?
    I thank you for your time.
    Here is my website....
    Link
    -Thomas.
    * This is not a lame attempt to get exposure or marketing scheme..... I just want to know and hear back from real pros.
     
  2. I'll jump in...

    Lauren and Evan - Poor exposure, focus, cropping, lens flare, contrast and white balance
    Crystal and Eric - Poor focus, blown highlights, poor white balance, poor cropping, low-contrast and lens flare.
    Jessica and Matt - Blown highlights, low contrast, lens flare, cropping issues
    You have the potential to create some great images but you need to master exposure and focus. Use a custom white balance and crop the image for more impact. As far as story telling, I'm not seeing a common thread in any of the galleries to tell the story and the images don't do it on their own...
     
  3. Thank you, Mark.
    I have a chance to shoot a wedding this wed....
    Hopefully I can improve in these areas you have mentioned.
    thanks.
     
  4. I agree with much of what Mark said. Really look at white balance. There are some odd colors on some of the shots. I would like to see better clarity. It appears that you were shooting the AB's directly at the festivities much of the time. There are some fairly harsh shadows.
    I understand the play with depth of field but you have to be careful not to just throw one person slightly out of focus. If you are going to have one of the people in a shot out of focus you need to have them way out of focus as you did in one shot. Slightly out of focus is a bit off-putting. It is not artistic but rather looks careless.
    I have a business question for you. I looked at your "packages". On the single photographer package you offer up to 7 hours of coverage and promise 400 "professionally edited" images. No offense but REALLY? Let me do the math. In 7 hours (if you do not visit the restroom, eat, talk to the guests, load or unload your equipment, change batteries cards or lenses, pose large and small groups of people, console the bride, loan the groom gaffer's tape, etc.) there are 420 minutes. So. What is your "keeper" rate? 50%? Effectively you are telling us that you can shoot a "keeper" every 30 seconds. By keeper I mean a photo that is an integral part of your story line, properly exposed, with great backgrounds, nobodies eyes shut, no wardrobe malfunctions, bad shadows, blown out highlights, rabbit ears, out of focus issues, bombed by drunk guests etc. You must be one heck of a photographer. Then you are going back to your office and "professionally edit" these photos. 400 of them? And how long would that take?
    A professional photographer really works to standard not to a number most of the time. If, after 7 hours, you have 100 photos that are really good work then that is what they get. If you have 200, that is what they get. 400? Yes there is a number that is too low. Certainly there is a number that is too high.
    Before you shoot a wedding do you sit down and compose a shot list/agenda? By that I mean a list of "must haves" and then plan your activities to get them? You know, the "money shots". Is your technique to "hunt and pounce" or "spray and pray"? Or is your day carefully planned to include storytelling, artistic composition and proper lighting? Do you discuss these with the B & G in advance?
    I don't mean to be harsh but I think you should reconsider your packages and marketing. Be very mindful of your professional standards. To me a "professionally edited" shot means not only one that is properly color balanced, exposure balanced, cropped and otherwise manipulated. It also means that the shot has artistic value, helps tell the story of the day and (and this is the important part) is good enough that you would be happy for the whole world to see it as a representation of your professional capabilities. (Yes I know that sometimes we have to include a shot of grandma even though she was blasted and thought it was cute to wear an eye patch.) But you get my point.
    I can tell you that I would be terrified to promise anyone 400 "professionally edited" examples of work that meets my own professional standards. I know it is a fairly common practice but not among the best wedding shooters. (One of which I certainly do not claim to be by the way.)
    One final thing before you make a Rick doll and put pins in it. Did you notice that you only have about half a dozen ceremony shots in your wedding portfolio? Only one at the altar.
    You take good pictures. I think you might benefit from a day of introspection. Look at what you are offering and really think it through. Then pull out the shots of one of those weddings and put the photos in the order that you believe tells the story of the day in a logical progression while choosing shots with high emotional appeal. Do it the way you would want a photographer to tell the story of your wedding.
    Here is an exercise you might find fun. Go to the library and find the best book on wedding photography you can find. One with lots of pictures. Then go home and pull the disk on a wedding you shot. Find a picture you like from the book and then pull one of yours that is just as good. See how often you can do this. When you do not have one that is just as good as the one in the book, ask yourself what you would have done to some of your own to make them that good.
    The very best of luck.
     
  5. The above posts seem of very good value when starting out. So since this part has been covered I have to
    say something very positive.

    I really like how you are very artistic. You have some wonderful creative images. Keep doing this. Don't ever
    be afraid or shy of trying new things at every wedding.

    You are off to a good start. Keep posting whenever you wish for more advice.
     
  6. Thomas, first off, I am not a wedding photographer nor a professional by a long shot; I think all above answers already give you some good points to think about. I'm not going to try give you give any advice on shooting these photos, you outclass me by a mile. Or two. Thousand.
    I've enjoyed looking at the galleries; in terms of compositions, you certainly have an originality; I think many images 'radiate' a warm, feel-good atmosphere, an intimacy and tenderness; no sense of stiff formalism nor the idea of a fleeting passing moment (that can happen for me with the more photojournalistic approach). To me, that's a strong point that's worth preserving.
    That said - it also makes that your photos are somewhat particular and different. You're probably not the right choice for each and every couple out there; it's a bit a love or hate affair possibly. Rick's post above (which is worth reading twice, even if it has tough questions) made me indeed think about: your marketing, your packages look all rather run-of-the-mill, standard. It's a bit ambiguous, somewhat conflicting.
    Either your portfolio is thin on the more regular, formal images, or your marketing/packages shouldn't give the impression you do those standard. formal approaches. Either a normal wedding photographer, like many, with possibly higher volume work for a lower price, or really focus on the niche you do well, and set price and expectation accordingly.
    As said, I am no pro but a bit of common business sense makes me think you should make a choice here - and both choices are valid, it's in the end you who has to believe in what will work best for you. Just be clear and unambiguous about it.
     
  7. Thanks Rick, Bob and Wouter.
    All your advices and guidance, means so much to me. It is something that, I will never get to hear from anyone close.
    Thank you guys for drawing me a clearer path to this industry.
    My heart aches to become a better photographer and hopefully I become one.
    thank you for your time.
     
  8. Thomas, did you choose your focus point or you let the camera decide? You can fix exposure to some extend but a mis-focused picture has fewer to no cures. Also, you'll need to decide on your look. Some has the blown highlight, bath in light look and some don't. A set needs to have consistent look.
    Be weary of using wide angle, I think in some wide angle shots you were standing too close to the subject and induced distortion. Try not to use wide angle unless you make them really small in the frame.
    As far as shot counts, I always under-promise and over delivery. If you think you can deliver 400, promise 250, none of my clients every questioned by low balled shot count at the meeting. But when they saw 350 pictures, they were happily surprised.
    I think you far too many packages that's confusing for the clients to decide. The purposes of the packages are for the client to decide if you are the right photographer for them price and look wise so they'll decide to meet with you. A too complex pricing structure will deter them from meeting you and that defeats the purpose of the packages.
     
  9. Hi Green,
    Thanks for your advice.
    I have another chance in November to shoot a wedding. Hopefully all your advices and suggestions will come into place to create some fantastic images, and again thanks everyone for spending there valuable time.
     
  10. You have a good eye for both intimate moments and a dramatic flair. There are some very good photos in the J&J and S&M engagement sessions, particularly these:
    http://yellowsayshello.smugmug.com/Galleries/ENGAGEMENT-STORIES/Engagement-Stories-SM/i-XcBmJh9/0/X2/IMG_0881-X2.jpg
    http://yellowsayshello.smugmug.com/Galleries/ENGAGEMENT-STORIES/Engagement-Stories-JJ/i-J37gG6p/0/X2/IMG_1362-X2.jpg
     
  11. My heart aches to become a better photographer and hopefully I become one.​
    You are already an excellent photographer. Please do not get the impression that we think your shots are not very good indeed. Remember that you are asking for comments and critique not as a photographer but as a professional wedding photographer. You have many shots most of us would be more than proud to have taken. I completely agree with the two that Lex chose for example. You have a great eye and have obviously studied your craft very carefully.
    Remember again that you asked to be judged against top professionals. You set the bar very high. I like your eye and your romantic approach. With these finishing touches to your work and particularly to your business plan I know you will be one of the great ones if you want to be.
     
  12. IMO, the initial "Promise" of your home page slide-show isn't fulfilled in the actual galleries.
    The "Wedding Stories" Galleries are anemic in coverage. Unless something isn't loading on my computer, 8 to 16 images seems to not fulfill the marketing promises you are making, (if it isn't fully loading on my machine, then it probably isn't for a lot of other visitors). Not that every shot has to be there … but if it's supposed to be a "story", it seems like an incredibly brief one for each wedding displayed.
    Over-all, I'd say that the first thing to strive for is consistency. On your home page, you have a number of images that are obviously well done. So, you don't have to look far beyond your own existing work to identify what to strive for on an immediate basis.
    If you want to create great work, do not promise or even hint at copious quantities in your marketing. A client's expectations are set by their initial contact with you. If quantity seems to be a promise, they will expect that … but they'll also optimistically expect work at the level of your best, not your worse images. That is hard even for a seasoned pro to fulfill. Try to set yourself up to improve the quality and creativity at every wedding, not the amount of work from every wedding.
    There is an old adage that applies to a number of creative endeavors including wedding photography:
    Price. Quality. Quantity. Pick 2, you cannot have all 3.

    - Marc
     
  13. Truly, Thank you @Rick....
    I needed, and wanted to hear everything you and others said.
    Photography never lies.. for one thing... in my opinion, and it showed me that, I have plenty of room to improve on technical and also business side....
    Again, thank you for your time everyone.
    Hi, Marc,
    I think you are right... and I am seeking to find my own style and specially true color....
    but my head keep going back to what will make it sell... to clients.. so I slide this and that in LR....
    thanks for that quote also.

    -Thomas
     
  14. Thomas, there's a saying the camera has two viewfinders, one looking at the subject and one looking at you. I forgot if it is viewfinders or apertures but you got the idea.
    Basically, it just means that your photos tell more about you than the subjects you photograph.
    I kept this saying in mind when I make my look. Hope this helps you too. Good luck in your photographic journey.
     
  15. I'd like to have this thread bronzed and permanently stickied to the top of the forum. Thomas's positive responses to advice and critiques in this thread are so uncommonly gracious, it's a model for how all such threads should be. Between his photos so far and remarkably positive attitude I'm betting he'll be a fine professional wedding photographer.
     
  16. @Green.
    Hi Green.... Thank you.
    I have never thought about it in that way........ Next shoot... I will remember to tell little bit more about myself...
    *But it's kinda hard to do...
    @Lex J
    Thank you for your kind words and your encouragement.
    All I can do is try harder and hope for the best.... But hopefully with a group of folks like all of you guys. I can survive and succeed in this competitive industry.
    Thank your for your time everyone.
     

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