This week on the blog I share with you five amazing artists that keep me inspired and always striving to learn more. These artists are truly awe inspiring. Check out the blog for more!
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Full Disclosure: If you haven't noticed, I AM a Professional Wedding Photographer. So this post is naturally a little biased. However, Professional Wedding Photographers are more than just photographers for a Bride to Be. We consult, we calm, we lend a hand, and we are involved in all the details. That said, I see so many Brides go with a family member or friend for their wedding photography and it breaks my heart. Not just because their pictures might not be great but because there is so much more to a true professional than just the pictures.
So here it is, my top five reasons for hiring a Professional Wedding Photographer:
- Experience I cannot stress this enough. When you are hiring a professional you are getting experience from many many weddings. A professional isn't just taking the shot in front of them, they are thinking ahead to the next shot. This is crucial in weddings. Weddings are hectic and a time crunch. You want an experienced professional who knows how weddings flow, who knows what to expect, and especially who knows how to deal with the unexpected.
- Professionals are, well, Professional As a wedding professional I am personally invested in each wedding I photograph. I want to make a good impression and do my best for you. Word of mouth is also key, I know that your friends and family are watching how I handle myself. You don't want to hire a friend and have them hanging out with the Groomsmen when the cake cutting is going on. This is my job and I give it my all.
- Unbiased Third Party Weddings are highly emotional events which is why I love them! The love is flowing, the friendship, but also the stress. At times it is crucial to have a third party who can diffuse the atmosphere and does not have a history with anyone involved. It's easy for me to ask a family or friend to go ahead to the reception while we do couples shots without hurting their feelings. They don't know me and have no beef with me, or at least I hope not! The point is its easy to give direction, instruction, and move people along with some authority when they don't know me.
- Art My favorite part! You are hiring an ARTIST. There is so much more to photography than having fancy equipment, or just pointing and shooting. Photographers are painting with light, gently revealing emotion, paying attention to color and lines, and capturing raw reactions. This takes experience (see Reason #1), and an artistic eye.
- Products A wedding professional is going to offer you amazing products. The wedding day is over, Uncle Jim has given you your photos on an unlabeled burned CD and they're now sitting in your drawer. And that's where they will stay. I offer my clients high end albums, gallery wraps, metal prints, countless options so that their memories come alive off their walls. You are going to pour so much time, energy, and lets face it--money into your wedding that you should have constant reminders of that amazing day surrounding you. That is what makes those memories last and remind you of those emotions years from now.
We all know that weddings are expensive and wedding photography is one of the most expensive parts of your wedding. However, it is also the most lasting. If you hire a professional you are not paying just for the act of taking photos that day. You are paying for consultation, communication, behind the scenes, experience, an artistic eye, high end editing, gorgeous products and it will be well worth the money because you will have the best.
I figured it was about time for another Still Moments post. Lately I have been working on a series of personal fine art work that I have had in my head for a long time. Chairs. It sounds weird but there is something about a chair alone that speaks to me. I feel that they both speak of the absence of presence while becoming personified. We all get inspiration from different places and the inspiration for this series came from the movie, "The Village." In one frame there is an empty rocking chair in a field. There is something about that one frame that just grabbed me. Maybe it was the mystery behind it? Did someone just get up and walk away? Was there a reason? We will see how this series evolves but I am fascinated to see where it goes.
What makes a great visual story? Portraits? Emotion? Location? Context? Details? The truth is all of these scrambled together are what make a story ring true. All of these aspects help us to encompass the full story of a moment or a day.
Lately I have been really been moved with how authentic my fellow photographers are with their struggles and where they are on their creative journey. So with all transparency, where do I struggle? Details. Details are not my thing. Speed Racer will be the first to tell you that I am a big picture person. I love people and emotions so that is where I am most comfortable and the photos that I am drawn to. However, when you really go back and look through photos its those tiny details that drive the story home. It's the photos of a grandmother's jewelry on a wedding day; or tiny toes at a newborn shoot; or the disaster of a kitchen after pancake making during a day in the life session. I CHERISH these little details and yet they are the photos that I struggle with most in capturing. Maybe because I know they are so important? Or maybe because I am so enthusiastic its sometimes difficult to slow down? Whatever the reason I am determined to work on these in my own work. THUS! The Focus on the Details series. This series is a challenge to myself to work on capturing details not only in my professional work but in my personal work as well. Stay tuned to see how these evolve!
P.S. Photographer or creative professional? What do you struggle with in your work? Comment below!
For some reason there is nothing like a still moment with a curled up kitty. There's something about that warm fury body on a rainy day that calls for blankets, a warm cup of coffee, and cuddles. We have two cats, Briscoe and Sookie. Sookie is featured here. While I pass by them a million times a day in this position, there are some moments when their peaceful nature just strikes me.
Today I am pining for some sunshine and warm weather. So today's entries in the Still Moments series are photographs that make me think of that. My mind is on lazy summer days, sun coming in the windows, and well, just sunshine mainly.
We are so close to warm weather again I can almost taste it. For those of you farther up North than Tennessee, hang in there! Until then, I hope these will help keep you through the cold days.
It's been awhile since I've contributed to the Still Moments series that I've been collecting. But this moment hit me the other day. What is more still and than a quiet house and a cat appreciating a sun beam? I don't know, there's just something about it that is peaceful. Pets themselves bring so much comfort and peace to our lives. I try to keep my crazy cat lady tendencies to a minimum but it doesn't mean that I don't appreciate our pets. There are times when they drive me nuts but at the end of a bad day they can also be a great comfort. I know many of you feel the same way. So enjoy a cup of tea (or maybe something stronger) and cuddle up with that pet today. Here are a few of the "runners up" for the still moments for this entry.
As I have mentioned in previous posts (see Mann: Keeping Inspired) and will likely mention in posts to come, I'm a big fan of Sally Mann. I love the rough quality of her work and at the same time the mystery of it. I particularly love her wet plate photography series like Deep South, and her newest series Proud Flesh. Her latest series Proud Flesh is done in the same wet plate style, although unlike many wet plate photographers, Mann prefers her glass negative to be imperfect, as well as her camera for that matter. Proud Flesh is a series of portraits of her husband Larry, whom she has been married to for 40 years. The series not only reflects on the closeness and intimacy between Larry and Sally, but of the deterioration of Larry's body from Muscular dystrophy. The result is a heart wrenching series, that is honest and intimate, and will bring tears to your eyes.
I highly recommend checking out the link below to NPR's interview and a video of Sally Mann with her husband Larry. There is also a HBO documentary on Mann titled What Remains.
I have had the song titled "Home" by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros stuck in my head now for weeks. There is just something about this song that absolutely moves me. The connection between singer Alex Ebert and Jade Castrinos is very June and Johnny Cash-esque. I am also in love with Jade's voice. If you haven't listened to it, you should check it out.
If you check out Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros you'll also see the amount of very cool art that accompanies a lot of the songs. All the videos have an older feel along with the photographs as well. This really inspires me to not be limited to a time with photographs... but to create a story.
Alabama, Arkansas, I do love my Ma & Pa Not the way that I do love you Holy moly, me, oh my, you’re the apple of my eye Girl, I’ve never loved one like you
Man, oh man, you’re my best friend, I scream it to the nothingness There ain’t nothin’ that I need
Well, hot & heavy, pumpkin pie, chocolate candy, Jesus Christ There ain’t nothin’ please me more than you
Chorus: Ahh, Home Let me come Home Home is wherever I’m with you (2x) La la la la, take me Home Baby, I’m coming Home
I’ll follow you into the park, through the jungle, through the dark Girl, I’ve never loved one like you
Moats & boats & waterfalls, alley ways & pay phone calls I’ve been everywhere with you
We laugh until we think we’ll die, barefoot on a summer night Nothin’ new is sweeter than with you
And in the sticks we’re running free like it’s only you and me Jeez, you’re something to see.
“Jade?” “Alexander?” “Do you remember that day you fell out of my window?” “I sure do, you came jumping out after me.” “Well, you fell on the concrete and nearly broke your ass and you were bleeding all over the place and I rushed you off to the hospital. Do you remember that?” “Yes, I do.” “Well, there’s something I never told you about that night.” “What didn’t you tell me?” “While you were sitting in the backseat smoking a cigarette you thought was going to be your last, I was falling deep, deeply in love with you and I never told you ‘til just now.” “Now I know.”
Ahh, Home Let me come Home Home is whenever I’m with you Ahh, Home Let me come Home Home is when I’m alone with you
Home Let me come Home Home is wherever I’m with you
Ahh, Home Yes, I am Home Home is when I’m alone with you.
Alabama, Arkansas, I do love my Ma & Pa Moats & boats & waterfalls & pay phone calls
Ahh, Home Let me come Home Home is wherever I’m with you Ahh, Home Let me come Home Home is when I’m alone with you
Portfolio's are very important. It's important to keep track of what you have accomplished over the years. It's easy to get too busy to take a picture of something you've done, but make the time. It will be worth it. In light of that fact, here is my portfolio from my Undergraduate studies until now. It has a little bit of everything, sculpture, traditional black and white photography, photojournalism, digital, landscape, portraits, and weddings.