Nov 2013 05

Everyone says it’s good luck when it rains on your wedding day.  However, if you’re the wedding photographer, you might be sweating bullets to make sure your couple gets as many fantastic images as if it were a sunny day.  What your couple wants is to have spectacular shots and more specifically fantastic shots outside. So as the photographer, how do you accomplish what you may think is the unattainable. It’s not as hard as you may think — here are some tips from our wedding photographer friends in the rainy upper North and NorthWest.

 

1. Be Prepared

That means, don’t place 100-percent confidence in the weather forecast. If you see rain is in the forecast, even for the day before or day after, do your research. Find locations where you can take your bride and groom where they will be undercover. Think about  opportunities like doorways, under bridges, under big trees.  These  locations will provide for a beautiful backdrop and keeps your couple dry.

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2. Use Umbrellas

You don’t have to hide the fact that it’s raining on your couple’s wedding day. Talk to your couple about the possibility about getting some matching umbrellas. Play with the umbrellas. Change your perspective with umbrella shots. Photograph down at the umbrellas or have them take up a small portion of the frame.

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3. Protect your Gear

Most camera gear is water resistant, this does not mean it is waterproof. There is a  huge difference. There are a lot of  gadgets and products out there to help you protect your body and lenses.  Here are some other ideas, when photographing your couple or have your assistant or even someone from the wedding party hold an umbrella over your head. You can’t handle an umbrella as well as a camera. If you are in a pinch, use a ziplock bag to protect your gear. I typically tear a small hole in it and I am able to fit my camera through it. It’s not ideal but it’s saved me a few times.

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4. Close Ups

Now is the time to focus on close ups. Make sure your couple gets in tight for shots. You can usually squeeze under a awning  if it’s raining. It may be tight on space, but you can go in tight – play with the veil or focus on the bride’s eyes. It’s always fun to get in for tight shots.

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5. Reflections

This is the perfect time to take advantage of puddles! Yes, puddles. The reflection you get is something that is artistic and different than you would get on a rainy day. Instead of fighting the rain, embrace it.

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We hope these tips help you get inspired when the rain falls on your couple’s wedding day.

Nov 2013 12
The holiday season is approaching fast and besides the hustle and the bustle of the season, comes some amazing feasts with friends and family. Ever wanted to know how the professionals photograph food? It’s more than just taking out your iphone and uploading it to Instagram. It requires skill, creativity and precision. Here is a look at 5 tips on photographing food.
1) Don’t use the on-camera flash.
Light coming straight at the food from the direction of the camera is not flattering. Place the food near a window and have the light come in from behind or to the side. Using a tripod helps tremendously.
Shadows from back side light
2) The bigger the window, the better the light but, don’t use direct sunlight. Direct sunlight causes harsh shadows and high contrast.
Filter the light or use indirect sunlight. A white translucent shower curtain makes a good filter.  A white reflector card can be used to lighten the shadow side.
Soft Window Light
3) If your food has texture, show it. Light from the side and show the texture.
Shadows show texture so don’t be afraid of shadows.
Texture
4) Watch your background and make sure that it doesn’t take away from what you want to say in your image.
Your photo has one hero and that hero should be the food-not the props or the background.
Make the food the hero
5) If your food has height, show it. Shoot at a low camera angle.
If your food is flat, but graphical, shoot from above. If you can’t decide, try shooting from a diner’s point of view.
Graphical shot from above
Special thanks to guest blogger Jerry Deutsch of Photography by Jerry, LLC. He has a passion for food photography and has been doing for 3 1/2 years now.  His work caught my eye when I was looking through members’ photo books and his latest portfolio blew me away. If you would like to view more of his work you can check out his website at Photography by Jerry, LLC. Here also is a look at his mouthwatering Adoramapix Photo Book.
jerry
Nov 2013 19

So have the rules changed now that smartphones are capturing more photos a day than dslrs? As a photographer you’re generally concerned with all the details, button and dials to make everything work and create an image. However with the smartphone, we get to take a step back and simplify things a bit.

Guest Blogger, Kate Hailey is a freelance portrait photographer in Seattle and an avid iPhoneographer. I noticed her work a few years ago and instantly was intrigued by the way she photographed with her smartphone.  Over the past four years, she’s thoroughly enjoyed her  photographic journey via the iPhone. She shares with us some tips on composition with the smartphone.

While simplicity is fabulous and many individuals use their smart phones to document their day to day lives by taking snapshots, I always make the effort compose my images with care.

I thought I’d share some of my best tips to master composition, “in camera” with your smartphone.

 

1. Rule of Thirds

There’s a long standing rule of not having your main subject, smack dab in the middle of your image. Envision a grid (pictured below), you have 9 segments in that grid, your main subject should be placed along the right third, left third, top third or bottom third. Whichever strikes your fancy, this is generally considered more visually pleasing. This concept also applies to painting and filmmaking.

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2. Leading Lines

When we look at a photograph, our eyes are drawn along lines, pulled in, led left, reaching right etc… with leading lines we can direct the viewers eye.

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3. Symmetry + Patterns

There’s something rather appealing about symmetry and something intriguing about patterns. Look for a scene that has balance and symmetry. Or to change things up, seek out repetition.

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4. Point of View

We’re all different heights, so we all see the world a little different. If a scene looks interesting to you, but you feel like the angle is just not right, even after trying a couple of snaps. Stand up on something, sit down on something, or even lay on the ground. You never know how changing your perspective this way, might be just pay off!

katehailey_pointofview

 

5. Background

Is the background of your image adding to or distracting from your main subject. If it’s distracting, then move your subject, if you can’t move your subject, then move yourself to a different spot where hopefully you can better capture your main subject.

katehailey_background

I hope these tips help you out. All of these images were captured and edited on an iPhone4s. – Kate

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Thank you Kate for your insight. To view more of Kate’s amazing iphone work you can see visit her BLOG and of course you can follow her on Instagram, her handle is @katehailey. 

 

 

Dec 2013 03

Are you shopping for a camera for your child this holiday season?  Do you want to introduce your children to the wonders of photography, without sacrificing your fragile iPhone or pricey camera in the process?  With all the stuff out there this holiday season, a camera is a relatively inexpensive gift that will last for years, while providing hours of education and creativity in kids as young as two years old.  Adoramapix Ambassador, Jay B. Wilson of Jay B. Wilson Photography gives us five tips on introducing your kids to the amazing world of photography.

 

1. Avoid “Toy” Cameras  - There are a lot of toy cameras out there, and while they may seem like an easy choice for your child, I’d caution you on most.  They tend to take extremely poor quality images – something they might have lived with ten years ago, but if your kid has experimented with your smartphone camera, he or she is going to be disappointed.   Yes, they’ve got princesses and superheros plastered all over them, which may get you some big smiles when they’re unwrapped, but kids aren’t dumb – they’ll lose interest quickly if they can’t really enjoy the images they create.   And you’ll be frustrated too, trying to explain why that photo of the cat they worked so hard to get looks like a furry smudge.

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2. Go for Durability - Any camera you get for your child is going to get dropped, stepped on, thrown, and generally mistreated.  Yes, you want to instill a sense of responsibility and care in your child, but if you teach him or her to treat their camera like a delicate flower, with constant admonishments to “be careful!” they’re going to be afraid to use it.   One of the most important considerations for pro photographers when choosing a camera is feeling comfortable with it in our hands and having a good “build quality” – it’s durable and will stand up to constant use.  Take it a step further with your child’s camera and choose a water-proof, shock-proof model.  Not only will this give you peace of mind your investment won’t be listed on eBay for parts by New Year’s, your child will be able to take it to the playground, to the beach, and even in the water, which will open up creative possibilities they wouldn’t have if the camera had to stay home.  I particularly like the Nikon Coolpix S31 - which comes in a variety of colors (yes, even pink!) is waterproof to 5 meters, and takes HD video.  Best of all, it’s less than $100 and you can find it HERE on the Adorama site.

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3. Get Them Inspired - One of my favorite bedtime activities with my daughter is to scroll through my Instagram feed looking a photos from around the world.   She’s developed a specific taste in styles and subjects – she despises black & white – and loves recognizing locations and photographers she’s familiar with.  Share the photos that you’re taking – of family events, vacations, and more – preferably on the big screen of your computer or television, so that your child gets the full effect of what a powerful image can be.  Take her to a photography museum like ICP, or a local gallery in your town.  Find some fun photography books like Underwater Dogs at the library or bookstore.  Stoke your child’s imagination with the possibilities of their new camera, and they’ll have a head start on creating beautiful images.

underwater dogs
4. Print! - Sadly, with the proliferation of social media and smartphones, printing photographs is done less and less frequently.  But there’s something about holding a photograph in your hands, or hanging it on a wall, that makes the process so much more fulfilling.  Children love to make stuff, so don’t let that memory card fill up and sit in a desk drawer somewhere.  Whether you use a home printer (I love the Canon Pixma series), a local drugstore,  or a professional lab like Adoramapix in NYC (yes, they ship!) I really think it’s imperative that you DO something with those photos.  Let her decorate her room with framed photos that she’s taken herself.  Let your preschooler take some 4×6 prints from his holiday break for show and tell.   And with photobooks, prints on canvas, and other photo products, the possibilities really are endless.

kidcameraprint

 

5. Don’t Push It - You’ve bought the perfect camera, made prints of your child’s work, encouraged her to bring it along on vacation.  But she’s just not taking to it as you had hoped.  Don’t force the issue.  In my experience, trying to force a new hobby or interest on a child who isn’t receptive is doomed to failure, and may close their minds to other experiences.  Perhaps he’ll never develop an interest, but maybe it’s just not the right time.  Conversely, if he takes to photography like a fish to water, encourage him.  Lots of schools and community centers have photography classes for kids as young as kindergarten.  As with any skill, photography takes lots of practice – the sooner you start her off, the sooner you may have the next Vivian Maier on your hands.

Thank you to guest blogger and Adoramapix Ambassador Jay B. Wilson of Jay B. Wilson Photography for these insightful and fun tips in getting your kids introduced to the world of photography.

 

guestbloggerjay

Dec 2013 09

From time to time, I like to write up personal posts. This is one of them. The title on this blog post may be a bit misleading, but you’ll see what I mean when I start talking about personal photos.  Some of these tips are just  a good old fashioned, snap out of it and document your life! We have birth  certificates that show we were born, death certificates to show that we died, our photos and photo books are the only memories to show .. that we lived!

1. Stop Editing Yourself out of Your Kids’ Memories

I just need need to lose ten more pounds before I get snapped with my family. My hair is a mess, I think I’ll just take a picture of the kids. Well these types of excuses are just that, excuses. Your family and children love you as you are – they loved you at your best and your worst.  Your kids look up to you and love you. It’s all in your head how you think you should look for a picture. My daughter took a picture of me helping my son up at a holiday store to see what color sparkles he wanted. My hair was in a pony tail, I was wrestling with an 8-year-old and the photo made me laugh so much, that it’s definitely being printed. These are the kind of moments I cherish, fleeting and funny. If I would have worried about how I looked, this moment would have been gone for good. It’s wonderful to see myself through my children’s eyes.

 

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2. Stop Micro-Managing your Memories

Every year we get ready to make our coveted ginger bread houses. I wanted to  intervene and help the 8 year old with his house, but again, it was so funny because he kind of had a difficult time, but rolled with it. He said his clone troopers destroyed it and  set up some of his men to prove it. Meanwhile, the 12 year old looked like she built a french chateau. The image of these two ginger bread houses side by side just shows me how different my kids are and how funny and talented they truly are. I’m glad I let my son do as he wished and let his imagination run wild. He did the ol’ plan “b” — and made it work for him and he was so proud of it.

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3. They Make Faces and Act Up, It’s OK

I asked my children to just go over by the tree for one quick picture. Well, it turned into a 3 ring circus. We had to get the dog in the picture, she is after all part of the family. We had to fake cry that I was putting them through a lot of torture for this one picture. Plus we had a child who could not sit still or stop making faces. I did not get that one perfect looking at me and smiling at the camera shot. I am ok with this, as this is my life and it is a more true reflection of the shenanigans that go on at our house.  It’s silly, it’s happy it’s not perfect.

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4. Include Other’s Photos

My children are at an age now where they like to take pictures with their ipods and my iphone. They might take a picture of the presents or their favorite ornament. Give them challenges of things to take pictures of around the house. For instance, take a picture of your favorite ornament. These are a reflection of how they see the holidays and what gets them excited.

 

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5. Put it ALL Together in a Photo Book

This is the most important step. Your photo books never crash or defragment. Those jpegs need to live and breathe in a photo book. For little ones especially, they like the feel and touch of going through the photo books and pointing to different people and items.  Now some of my images are a lower quality from my iphone, but I know this going in, so I’ll keep those smaller, no bigger than a 6×6 but the rest I can go larger. Organize your images loosely from decorating, to baking to the final days of present opening.  In the end, the photo book will be a true, personal reflection of your lives and the holidays. This is not for your clients or for your business, this is for you and your family. Make it real and make it memorable. Life’s too short to be perfect. If you are looking for some inspiration on photo books check out our holiday gallery HERE. 

 

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Written by Libby for Adoramapix.

 

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