Jan 2012 26
With this Spotlight – we wanted to feature the photographers who shoot in it all, sun, rain, wind .. and SNOW. I couldn’t think of a better person to put the spotlight on than on Kim Bednarski Anderson of KB Image Photo of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. So grab your cup of coffee, wrap up  in a warm blanket and have seat ..  as Kim gives the best tips on how to photograph weddings in the cold and snow.
Here in Wisconsin the bulk of our weddings are seasonal, happening in the somewhat temperate climate of May-October.  However, each year a handful of hearty souls eschew the flowering trees of May and opt for a winter wedding hoping for snowflakes and mounds of pure white snow  banks to take their wedding photos in.    These are likely the same hearty souls you see sporting a tank top in February at a Green Bay Packers game; the brave, the few…the winter wedding client.
While admittedly there are more challenges to photographing in the snow, the opportunity to do so always delights me.  In the summer, we have hours of golden light to work with on a clear day.  With the late winter sun, the window  of photography time is short but the light produces a beautiful pastel quality you just cannot mimic any other time of year.  Here are ideas to prepare yourself and your clients for a fantastic outdoor photo experience in the colder months:
Things to relay to the bride and groom:
1. They Must be Practical.  While any  photographer wants to  magical pictures if the weather is right, extreme conditions can make it impossible to photograph outdoors.   I make it clear in my consults that I will photograph in any conditions as long as my photographic gear is not compromised. Consider adding in a clause to your contract about the possibility of doing a portrait session of the couple in their wedding finery  on another more temperate day if conditions are not amenable on the wedding day.  They should understand that this may mean  them having to rent a tux again for a day or cleaning the dress for this portrait session but often clients are happy to do so.  I find this simple gesture takes all the worry out of “will we be able to have great outdoor photos “.   In 15 years of photographing weddings, I’ve only had one client take me up on it.
2. Prepare.  Prepare your client with ideas about what to wear.   Fun boots, furs, capes, muffs and other photographically interesting outerwear make great photos.  Many area bridal salons will rent these if they don’t want to purchase them. Have them prepare the bridal party; if you plan on taking them out in the cold for photos, let the bride and groom it’s important for them to relay that to the bridal party prior to the wedding so they  know so they can bring along appropriate footwear. Suggest providing Pashmina shawls for the bridesmaids or  fedoras or other smart looking hats for the groomsmen.  Suggest things like having  warmers and warm beverages available on the transportation used for the bridal party as well so they can get out of the cold and warm up when their photos are done.
3.  Be the Pro and the Wedding Planner too:  Clients often have unrealistic ideas of a timeline and will sometimes insist that their 3PM ceremony will leave “plenty of time for outdoor photos 30 minutes away because our ceremony is only 15 minutes” when you remind them that the sun sets at 4:15PM in January. Take control and let them know that it’s just not possible to make good photographs at that time of day with that tight of a schedule.  They can have the option of doing their ceremony earlier, seeing each other before the ceremony and doing photos then or scheduling a session after the wedding day.  Part of your job is telling clients “it just won’t work photographically” so you do not disappoint them.
For  you the Photographer:
1. Don’t be Foggy.  Remember that  acclimatization of equipment is important when you take cameras out into the cold.  Just like glasses fog up when you go from a cold outdoor location to indoor, so do the elements of your lenses and the inside of your camera causing fogging.  Condensation in your camera can lead to nasty things like fungus growth inside your lenses and electrical shorts.   To combat this, I keep the camera and lenses I shoot outdoors with in my car in a separate camera bag well hidden so they are the same temperature or close to it as the outside temperature.  When driving to a location outdoors to photograph, I don’t turn on the heat in my car…yes, I am that hard core.   Batteries are also a concern as cold weather zaps them quickly, so keep them in a inner coat pocket and insert them just before you begin to shoot.  Have a few on hand and as they wear down, replace them with a fully charged set. Fingerless gloves and hand warmers will save your life.
2.  Take Cover.  If it’s snowing an assistant can hold an umbrella over your head and follow you, or you can use a Ziploc bag wrapped around your camera in a pinch.  My favorite photo accessory for this is the best man.  I hand him an umbrella and tell him to follow me around to keep my gear dry telling him “Well, you’re the BEST MAN for this, right?”
3.  Expose Yourself the Right Way.   Bright skies and snow can fool your cameras meter  and underexpose your images.  Check your histogram often and consider using  a custom white balance as the  light skews blue during the day, switching to ambers and reds towards sunset.   The light falls quickly this time of year often leaving mere minutes in between light and dark and the color balance shifts quickly.
4.  Smile.  Even though you are freezing , smile.  Your clients will sing your praises if you can create images for them that other photographers would shy away from.   Your portfolio will thank you, and so will your checkbook when you are booking weddings during the cold and bleak months.

Kimberley Bednarski Anderson is a wedding  photographer located in Milwaukee Wisconsin.  She is an proud award winning member of  The International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers and The Wedding Photojournalists Association and is the President of the Milwaukee chapter of The National Association of Wedding Professionals.  When she is not photographing weddings she likes to spend time with her two boys, two dogs, two bunny rabbits and one cat and  also likes to make irreverent posts on Facebook.  If you want to be her friend or maybe just tell her how cute her bunnies are you can find her at

Jan 2012 30

It’s SuperBowl Week … what a perfect time to get to know featured member John Kersten of John Kersten Photography and Kersten Sport Photography. I first noticed John’s amazing football and basketball photography on Twitter where I follow him @john_kersten.  However, once I started to ask him a few questions, I found out he has a much bigger project he’s working on and it is simply amazing. So grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair and get to know John and his work.

I asked John how long he had been a shutterbug.  He replied, ” I have been photographing for 12 years.  I have gotten more serious about my photography the last 4 years after my daughter was born.  I purchased my first DSLR and a pro lens to keep up with her.  My interest and love for college athletics led me to some freelance photography for the University of South Florida.  After a few years of shooting some basketball games I was finally issued a credential to photograph their football games in 2010.  The past two years has given me much needed experience. ”

I’m curious to know what John has in his photo bag. He answered, ” My bag has a Nikon D300 and a 70-200 2.8 attached to it the majority of the time.  I also shoot with a 35mm 1.8 that works very well around the house and everyday life. ”

I also had to know what shutter speed he uses to get such sharp action on the field, he said a lot of these images on the blog were shot at 1/2000.

John also said, besides his daughter, he loves to photograph beach volleyball the most.  “Living near Siesta Key Beach, FL has given me the opportunity to photograph some very passionate and incredible athletes competing at a sport that does not pay much at all unless you win.  These athletes are traveling all over and competing because they love beach volleyball, ” said John.

So I asked John if he could go back in time, what would he tell his younger self.  He replied, “I would definitely have asked my dad more questions about photography.  He enjoyed shooting a lot, but I never paid attention till much later in life. I would have taken some courses when I actually had time to do so, instead of trying to learn on the fly as I am now. ”

Now the most amazing thing about John, besides his sports photography,  is his personal project of photographing his daughter. So what you say? So he photographs That’s right every day he captures the giggles, the crying,  the love and the changes.  John said, ” My inspiration comes from my daughter.  I am in the middle of a special project for her when she gets older.  I have been taking an image of her everyday since she was born a little over 4 four years ago.  I have no intention of stopping or breaking the streak anytime soon.  She is growing up to be a very beautiful little girl and loves the camera 99 percent of the time.”

What an amazing project. Thank you for sharing.

Before I let John go, I did have to ask him his SuperBowl pick — he’s going with the NY Giants.  We’ll see this Sunday if he’s right! Again, thanks John for everything and if you would like to see more of his work, you can check out his flickr stream HERE or follow him on Twitter HERE.

Feb 2012 28

We are hitting the warm states this month since it’s cold here in NYC in February. This week we want to introduce you to Guillermo Quijano-Duque of  Natural Touch Photography. Guillermo has been a full time photographer for six years now and calls Albuquerque, New Mexico home.  Although six years doesn’t sound like a long time, he has been a photographer for 34 years. Guillermo is a native of Colombia, South America and came to the US as an exchange student in 1977.  During his 20 years in the wireless industry he photographed part time after making a sales call to a wedding photography studio one day. He hit it off with the owner who trained him and showed him the business.  He had the fortitude to be patient for 10 years until he was sure he could provide his customers with beautiful images and a great photographic experience.

I asked Guillermo what he loves to photograph the most. He replied, ” I love to photograph striking life moments – I prefer photos without people in them but life is ironic and made me a pretty darn good wedding photographer.  I get my inspiration from my pursuit to remain a true photographer that does not rely on digital tools but strives to understand the science and art of photography more each day.”

He photographs around 60 weddings a year (that’s not a typo) and says he loves every minute of it.  Guillermo said if he could give his younger self some advice when he was first starting out it would be to just go for it and start now!

So I asked Guillermo what’s in his camera bag. He said, ” Two 7d bodies and one 10d body (nostalgia), Canon 28-70 L 2.8, Canon 70-200 ISIIL 2.8, a Canon Fisheye and two  580 EXII flashes.”

With doing roughly 60 weddings a year, I had to ask him what his favorite image is that he captured.  He replied, ” Of all time – I haven’t taken it yet – I have never rated one of my photos a five.  But out of my wedding photos I would have to say the first photo I took of a bride and her bride’s maids during my first wedding in 2006.”

Thank you Guillermo, your work is lovely and inspiring. If you would like to see more of his work you can visit his site HERE.

Mar 2012 14

We`ve worked hard in compiling the 100 Your Best Shot entries from more than 2200 entries. We had no idea that this contest would register so much interest. We love the fact that people from all over the world, ages 18-68 entered this contest.  The next step, a new team of judges will pick the top 25 from this list. We will introduce you to them shortly. In the meantime, if you would like to see the top 100 – you can click HERE.

Nov 2012 26
We are thrilled to announce an exciting new webinar on Family Portraits!
Natascha Lee of Natascha Lee Studios is a family photographer and artist based in Broomfield, Colorado. She specializes in vibrant and natural outdoor portraits. As you can see from her client testimonials,  clients select Natascha Lee Studios for both the artistic images created AND for the fun, memorable experience of the portrait session.
In this invaluable and FREE webinar, Natascha will share her proven approach to Fabulous and Fun Family Photos, including:
- How to have your client show up prepared for the session
- How to make the entire family comfortable in the first 10 minutes
- How to keep the experience fun, easy and moving
- How to make sure you get the most important shots, including the one most people forget about
- How to end the session on an upbeat note
Join Natascha on Sunday, December 9th, 2012,  9pm EST  for this invaluable and FREE session brought to you by Adoramapix and Natascha Lee Studios.
Click  HERE to  Register
Baby, Children, and Family Portraits in Broomfield, Colorado by Natascha Lee Studios: Webinar
A Family Affair: Top 10 Tips for Amazing and Profitable Family Portraits
Free Webinar: December 9th, 9pm EST
Over $1,500 in door prizes generously donated by:
Click  The Button to  Register
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