Posts Tagged ‘Park City’

To view the article on line go here.  To check out the freestyle Kosha performed about me go here and watch the slideshow!

Kosha Dillz and Freeway speak in tongues before A3C

Two MCs. Two religions. One mic.

by Rodney Carmichael @Rappin_Rodney

Freeway; Kosha Dillz

BIZ 3; ANDREA HANKS

Freeway; Kosha Dillz

New Jersey native Kosha Dillz would never be mistaken for the guy Mos Def was referring to when he rapped the now infamous line, “some tall Israeli is running this rap shit.” Despite his Jewish wink-of-a-stage name, Dillz is not that tall — nor is he cashing in on hip-hop on the same plane as former Island/Def Jam exec Lyor Cohen. Not yet, anyway. The closest the unsigned MC with a penchant for rhyming in Hebrew has probably come to seeing a fat a$$ check is when he toured the Czech Republic last year — get it, Czech Republic — with former Roc-A-Fella rapper and practicing Muslim Freeway. Though the two come from opposite sides of the religious aisle, they were both there to represent hip-hop — as they will again on the HipHopDX stage at this year’s A3C Fest. With the cross-cultural connect already established, CL eavesdropped on a conversation between them in preview of the show.

Kosha Dillz: I actually had grown up listening to you when I was about 18, 19 and it’s kinda funny because as a teen, I had come from more of a street life, too. We were listening to Freeway, doing whatever we were doing in New Brunswick, N.J., and then I had gone away and done time. Then I came out as Kosha Dillz and I became this sort of Jewish rapper, kind of iconic figure for Jewish kids. And Freeway, you’ve been one of the more successful rappers that converted to Islam and traveled to Mecca. And now we’re doing a show together and having this interview. So I just think that’s kinda ill.
Freeway: Yeah, definitely.

KD: What made you make the switch from your old life to your current life?
F: Well, you know I’m from Philadelphia and it’s basically a predominantly Islamic community that I grew up in. My mother was Christian and my father was in something kind of like a cult — it was this thing called the Nation of Alkebulan. It was this church where we talked about the betterment of black people, you know. So I was raised on that. Basically my father was the man of the household, so we had to do what he said to do. But once I was old enough, I explored religion I realized Islam is the religion for me.

KD: Are a lot of people reaching out to you as far as you becoming more publicly visible the longer you stay with it?
F: It’s people that know about me being Muslim that follow my music, and it’s people that follow my music that aren’t aware I’m a Muslim. It depends on how deep they listen and how much they observe my music, you know. But I do get people that say they’re happy to see me doing what I’m doing, and I do get people that say I need to leave that music alone. So it comes from both angles.

KD: I went to Jerusalem to learn how to Yeshiva — kinda like when you went out to Mecca and made the Hajj, Jewish kids go and study with rabbis and scholars and that’s a good place for me to create a lot of cool music in Israel. Is there any place like that that you might go, like take six months off to go study?
F: I definitely have plans to go back to Saudi Arabia and perform another Umrah and a Hajj. And definitely, I’m sitting down and studying with some people.

KD: Do you think you’ll record out there?
F: Oh naw, I don’t think I’ll be doing any recording out there. The thing that I do when I’m out there is I try to talk to the kids in that country and let them know how blessed they are in the Holy Land. ‘Cause a lotta kids over there look at the things we’re doing over here and think that it’s better than what they’re doing. When, in all actuality, it’s better where they’re at, ’cause they’re right there in the Holy Land where the Kaaba is, they’re in the land where we pray to, they’re in the land where all the scholars are — whereas we have to travel 15 hours on a plane to get over there, you know what I’m sayin’?
KD: For sure.

F: Do you feel like you’ve got more to prove to fans who might prejudge you based on what they see?
KD: Yeah, I just don’t think that Jews have had the largest success at being dope MCs. I mean, [we] had MC Serch and [we] have the Beastie Boys. I kinda have a lot of barriers, but I think persistence, commitment and perseverance is something that I want to [use to] prove myself. I’ve always been in that boat — always being doubted when I step into the arena.

F: Yeah, that’s like me. When I first got in the game I was counted out. They told me wouldn’t nobody want to hear a whole album of my raps cause my voice is annoying. I heard all kinds of stuff: Like I was the first rapper with a beard, young guy with this, like, weird Islam — it’s a lot of stuff that I’ve overcome, so I feel you.
KD: I always like the odd-ball-out because I’ve always been the odd-ball-out. I was at Rock the Bells and RZA brought me on stage and people were backstage thinking I was like his lawyer or something. So it’s always like something to prove. Do you think you would ever go and study in Israel, because the Golden Rock is out there and it’s the third holiest site for Muslims out in Israel?

F: Definitely, if the opportunity presented itself.
KD: I think it would be really cool. Everyone really knows you out there because Israel’s really big on that level of hip-hop. You would be the most prominent figure from hip-hop and Islam to study there, so I think that’d be a really cool bridging the gap, and positive even for Israel.
F: That’s what’s up, man.

KD: Have you had a lot of Jewish friends, like just around the way?
F: In Philly it’s not really a lot of Jewish people. In my hood it’s either you’re Christian or you’re Muslim. I mean I’m sure it’s Jewish people there, but they’re not on the forefront like that so I didn’t really have too many Jewish friends growing up.

KD: Well I’d love to invite you over for a Shabbat dinner or something like that when you come out to L.A. If there’s anything you want me to find out for you while [I'm] in Israel, if I can help you get out there with some of the Muslim dudes — [the rapper] Shine’s out there studying, so we could get the whole thing going on, you know.
F: Definitely, I’m open to it so we’ll do it.

KD: Freeway, man, let’s build. Let’s try to bang out a joint and shock the world, you know.
F: Definitely.

See full schedule of A3C Hip Hop Festival performances, panel discussions and demos atwww.a3cfestival.com.

Why Clients Need Fact Not Fiction-Kevin Weinstein

Over the past several years, wedding photography has become a fashionable, well-sought after way to make a living thanks to the ease of digital cameras, computers and software.

At the same time, wedding photographers more and more market themselves as “experts” to other wedding photographers with workshops, lectures, gadgets, software and photographic plug-in “actions.”  Photographers don’t just compete against one another, photographers now market to other photographers in orer to gain popularity, notoriety, money, create hype and status throughout the world.

 

MCA wedding photography

After 12 years of documentary and photojournalism experience, and now entering my 10th year in the wedding industry, I have never seen such change like the past few years.

In November, Junebug Weddings posted a call for submissions for their Best of Best 2010 wedding images.  The post read, “We will bring the most breathtakingly beautiful, emotionally touching, technically masterful, downright hilarious, outrageously innovative, and ridiculously AWESOME wedding photos of the year to fabulous couples and photo fanatics everywhere. We’ll be choosing 50 of the most outstanding images from 2010 and we’re calling out to photographers all over world to participate; that means you!”

I will start off by saying, I was not the gentleman who wrote Junebug Weddings regarding their call for submission for the Best of 2010.  I have been asked this questions several times.  If you recall, I went public with my concerns on Twitter within 30 minutes of the contest results, and engaged in a public, open dialogue with Christy Weber regarding my thoughts.  I had no reason or desire to create a temporary email address or write an anonymous threat letter to bully the ladies who run the blog.  I was more than happy and proud to have my name behind my concerns.  And my intent was merely to bring light to an issue plaguing the industry.

No, I did not win an image.  Am I mad?  Nah.  In this field, if you can’t take daily rejection, you need to move on.  I would still write this post even if I had won an image.

It never occurred to me that I could enter images taken at workshops, nor images from “collaborative editorial shoots” with other vendors, or even “test shoots” with hired friends who are stepping in as models wearing a white dress.  The line, “and ridiculously AWESOME wedding photos of the year … ” to me meant wedding photos. You know, those events we are handed over incredible sums of money to create high-art for the client who invested.  Yea, those events which are typically held on weekends.

Personally, I know of three people who won images whose photos were not from weddings.  Two were from workshops, and one was a friend/model which was shot on a weekday.  Not only does Junebug need to define their call for submissions guidelines better, but the ladies need to be much clearer about what constitutes a “wedding,”  As of right now, their definition of wedding goes beyond the actual wedding day and does not necessarily mean it was even a wedding to begin with.  As long as there is a lady in a white dress, the image is eligible for entry.  I can appreciate a post wedding shoot with the hired client, and feel that still is “legal.”  But to police a workshop image or friend-for-hire image is going to be tough.  Really tough.  In order for a contest to be legit and more important, respected, I beg Junebug to face this issue with intent and seriousness.  And I appluad the ladies for already taking this issue to their own blog and devoting a post to the topic: What Constitutes the Art of Wedding Photography? Real Weddings vs. Styled Shoots vs. Commercial Shoots.

This issue has been a complaint of mine for years.  And now is my time to finally share my concerns regarding a major issue that is running ramped in our industry.  Because of the rise of wedding blogs, and their hunger for daily content, we now have to define what is a “real wedding” or an “editorial shoot” so the viewer can decipher the difference while satiating their appetite for inspiration.  It is just like high school when we had to engage in discussions about what is the meaning of  “truth” or “love” after reading such stories like Catcher in the Rye.

It is important to note that wedding bloggers are nothing more than online magazines.  Thus, their concerns and goals are similar to a tangible magazine: sales, click rate, hits and advertising revenue.  As we all know, photographic images are key to sales.  Studies show that the most read stories of any newspaper are ones with images.  Photography is the most important to any companies brand and livelihood.

Over the past 7 years, workshops have exploded among the “names” in the industry holding 1, 2, 3-day and even week-long retreats offering newbies a chance to define their craft while shooting fake weddings with Ford models at workshops around the globe.  I have watched many photographers put these images on their blogs and personal web pages as if they shot these images at a wedding event on a Saturday.  Why is this problematic?  First off , it is lying and misleading your potential client.  False advertising.  And it is misrepresenting your ability to make pictures under deadlines and real time.  A bride is going to expect this level of imagery from her wedding.

When you have 1 day or 7 days to work with incredibly hot, gorgeous women whose makeup has been overly done for the shoot, the “bride” is a size 1, and the “groom” is also a professional model and both know exactly how to act, pose, stand, and be confident in front of a camera, you have an experience in front of you that is not equal to the reality of a wedding day.  A potential bride sees these images, and does not know how to decipher if they were a real couple from a real wedding or not.  When you have several days and all the time in the world to take pictures of models at workshops, you are doing yourself (the photographer) a disservice to your craft.

Think about it.   My clients are not models.  They have no idea how to pose.  They are rarely size 1, they are insecure about being in front of the camera, it is typically hot out in the summer, the groom is sweating due to his tux in July heat, we only have 1 hour to hit 2-3 locations because they don’t want to miss the cocktail hour, the wedding party is not cooperating,  I AM HOT, I am STRESSED beyond belief and can barely work myself out of this puzzle.  If I don’t get kick-ass images for my clients, then their investment of thousands of dollars, expecting compelling imagery, has gone to waste.  I will be in trouble.  You better be able to deliver.  You do not have days.  You have 15 minutes to a few hours.  There are no excuses on a wedding day.

Thrilled to be a former photojournalist, this part of the wedding is nothing more than an old routine for me.  The rules of journalism are so strict that I could not even move a glass of water 4 inches to get a better shot.  And I am honored to say, never in my journalism career did I tamper with reality.  I was forced to make compelling pictures by a process of elimination and solving pieces of the puzzle, while on strict deadlines, in order to bring back compelling pictures to my editor so I would not get fired.

So my question is, what are these blogs really offering brides and grooms?  Inspiration?  OK, that is valid.  But inspiration and non-reality seems to have won over reality.  Thus, now when a blog posts a wedding that is “real,” the industry has coined the term, “Real Wedding.”  But even then, most of the images the editors choose are the same types of imagery we see over and over: mostly the couple in empty fields, shot with tilt shift lenses, and rarely showing their event beyond a few “lovely” portraits and TONS of detail shots.  There is a lack of documentary photography displaying their day which is the core of what a wedding is REALLY about.   Where are the ceremony pictures, toasts, dancing, preparation, socializing at the cocktail hour?  All I see are pictures of couples with balloons, old luggage, staring blankly like American Gothic, against brightly colored door frames in gritty neighborhoods.

Taking compelling documentary-styled pictures while things are unraveling in real time is not easy and not for everyone.  And not everyone has the gift to be an artist.  Sure, if you keep doing it, you will get better.  Luckily, photography is technical, so anyone can master it to some degree.  But not everyone is given the true gift of the craft.  Just because you LOVE photography, does not mean you can be a photographer.  Thus, the digital transition has allowed people to think they can make a living doing their hobby.  And why not weddings!  The client is pretty uneducated, and if they hire you, you get a few thousand bucks.  #Score.

I am thrilled that the wedding photojournalism trend is dying down, and more fashion trends are rising.  And as a lot of people move towards this new trend, I plan on sticking to my roots and how I shoot best.  I have often been rewarded when not going with the flow and agitating my expertise.  I urge new people to shoot more.  Shoot often.  Shoot your friends at parties, your family on vacation.  Get used to movement and the obstacles they present.  Build an insurance bank so when the reality hits on a wedding day (can’t get far enough away from the subject, it is backlit, there is no light, people are in your way) you have experience and resources to draw upon. Force yourself to figure out how to make compelling pictures without setting anything up.

After 24 years, I have an insurance bank so large, I draw on this at each and every wedding.  Practice practice practice.  What’s better than a workshop?  Shoot along side a friend at a wedding.  The best part?  It is free and won’t cost you $2000.  And you will be dealing with the exact obstacles and realties you will face on your own.  Arm yourself with real experience, not a 3-day workshop with models.  It is easy to make pictures of a model posing like a sexy vixen hanging off the side of an airplane.  Learn to pose, fight the elements of hot or cold couples, unable-to-pose couples, natural “beauty” and major time constraints.

I promise, you will grow in ways you never expected.  And the work you deliver to a client will yield something similar to your web site. A web site is not only a personal vault, but your free ad like in a newspaper or magazine.  Treat it as so, and promote where you are in your talent.  You won’t be left behind, I promise.  People will hire you.  And when you make it to the big-time, you will feel great knowing you did it yourself.  Honesty.  Growth.  Passion.

Photographer’s marketing themselves to others in this this industry tends to take advantage of insecure, uneducated newbies who think that if they buy this next DVD, attend this workshop or purchase certain books that they will gain the fast track to success.  I have witnessed one photographer who shared with me how he got caught up in all the photography workshops, DVDs, books, conferences and after several years found himself broke with no money.  Literally.  His skills were no farther along than when he started.  There are no shortcuts to creating great art and being a fabulous photographer.  Re-tweeting the famous photographer’s products for sale and their marketing schemes does nothing for YOUR craft, and only puts money in their pockets.  That is the point.  Most often, you have been taken for a ride.  You will not rise to the top by befriending them.

I challenge you to dig deep inside yourself and find inspiration from within.  It will make you stronger in the long run.  Your goal should be to nurture your business and your art.  Practice.  Practice hard.  And practice often.  If you listen to your heart, ignore the trendy styles promoted by bloggers and shoot from your soul, you might just find incredible success is waiting for you.  Being a follower will make you mediocre.  Being a leader of yourself will make you unbeatable.

This is my 2 cents.

What they Said… [ 39 ]

Very well stated, Kevin.  With so much being tossed at us – products, workshops, posing guide, attire charts etc etc etc it does blur the lines.  Every photographer should just shoot for themselves and their clients and focus on their own business success.

Feb 02, 2011  /  Rachael Michael

As someone who was completely BLOWN away when I entered your studio and saw all those real images on your wall, I cannot agree more with what you just wrote

Feb 02, 2011  /  Shang

Kevin, so well said. I agree whole-heartedly with you! Although I don’t have quite the years of experience that you do, I resonate with a lot of what you are asserting. Bravo for putting this out there in a sales saturated industry where honesty or truth isn’t always a priority!

Feb 02, 2011  /  Meagan Lindsay Shuptar

Your post made me chuckle out loud. But you’re right!

Feb 02, 2011  /  Jasmine E.

I’m speechless – this is precisely how I feel and I’m a little jealous of your writing ability.  Thank you for writing this, I’ll be sharing it often.

Feb 02, 2011  /  Lucas

Well written and well conceived. I agree with you completely – thank you for writing this!

Feb 02, 2011  /  Shelley Paulson

I cheered out loud and made my assistant listen to me read her parts of this post. We both agree with you 10,000%. I’ve never done a workshop to learn how to shoot like other people. I’ve done one for lighting that was a big help in a skill set gap that I had, and I’ve done several that are business related that helped me out on the business side of things. Some more than others. But I really don’t get why someone would want to do a workshop to learn to shoot like someone else. (I did attend a shooting workshop, but it was mainly for the trip to Mexico as a business expense.)

Thank you for writing this!

Feb 02, 2011  /  Christine

Kevin,

Thank you.

Extremely well written and solid points.

Now we need to educate the brides how to hire the true professionals… not the trendy names, over actioned, I’ll fix it in post, 4000 frames a wedding cause 7 sprayed shots is better than the one perfect composed and captured image and I’ll give you a disc w/ 15hrs shoot for $800 “professional photographer”

Feb 02, 2011  /  Jason

Amen!

It is such an issue in our industry and you have ever so eloquently touched on it.  I have a heart for education and often share with newer photographers, I have built an intern and associate program so people with heart and dedication can learn the skill and practice.  What I get in return financially is small compared to the satisfaction of seeing their confidence grow and the images they take.

Workshops, lectures and teachers them selves are not wrong but are often structured incorrectly and do not focus on the true sharing of wisdom.  It’s almost as if they are watering down the quality of our profession.  If only the publications understood your points, the cool shots are not as complicated with no time constraints and that a truly beautiful real wedding had bumps, late family members, missing officiants, the wrong flower in the brides bouquet and hairs that fell out of place with some vigorous and fun dancing.

Feb 02, 2011  /  Tracy Autem

One of the best photography blog posts I have ever read! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

Feb 03, 2011  /  Gwendolyn Tundermann

“I challenge you to dig deep inside yourself and find inspiration from within.  It will make you stronger in the long run.  Your goal should be to nurture your business and your art.  Practice.  Practice hard.  And practice often.  If you listen to your heart, ignore the trendy styles promoted by bloggers and shoot from your soul, you might just find incredible success is waiting for you.  Being a follower will make you mediocre.  Being a leader of yourself will make you unbeatable.  ”

Kudos.

This is what I have been having strong feelings about for several years, and this is why I encourage others and I personally stay away from getting inspired by the trends, and work from my own soul. The art is in me, not in the trends of others. One year I went to 5 workshops and learned a little, but was frustrated, because… well, I could see how they were manipulating and taking advantage of people, by dangling a bit of knowledge that felt good to hear, but when you took it all home, it didn’t really have a lot of meat. So basically a waste of money and time which I could have found out the same info by practicing myself.

Feb 03, 2011  /  Kimberly Naranjo

Much like the “State of the Union”, this is truly the “State of the wedding photo industry”, put as honestly as it possibly could be. Now we need to find a positive way to convey this same message to many undereducated brides. How in the world is this tactfully done without sounding like a “whiner”? I’d love to be able to link to this post.

Feb 03, 2011  /  Jim Nedresky

Kevin, what an impressive post so full of things that many of us want to say, but find ourselves trying to find the words to articulate.

I hope that this message of “getting back to reality” will spread through our industry.

Thanks for sharing this wonderful post.

Feb 03, 2011  /  Katie Humphreys

Amen.

Feb 03, 2011  /  John Wohlfeil

Thank you, Kevin. Someone needed to say it smile

And don’t even get me started on the American Gothic imagery! LOL.

Many years later, couples want to remember exactly how they felt on their wedding day, not how and where I told them to stand. Authenticity wins in the end.

Feb 03, 2011  /  Rachel LaCour Niesen

To read seventy other blog posts on this topic which Junebug raised a couple of weeks ago, check out our Photobug blog and readhttp://junebugweddings.com/blogs/photobug/archive/2011/01/17/what-constitutes-the-art-of-wedding-photography.aspx. The conversation was very respectful and many differing viewpoints on what constitutes a great wedding photographer were given. Some photographers believe that photojournalistic pictures taken at weddings are the only thing that should be consider as great images, some photographers feel that the work they put into pre-visualizing a photograph is an art-form all its own. The owners of Junebug all attended fine-art photography school and at the time our teachers did not consider wedding photography of any kind to be an art form. We celebrate the art of wedding photography and we believe that some incredible work is being done by wedding photographers off all kinds.

Feb 03, 2011  /  Blair

Wedding Photography = Photography (Photographs) of a Wedding.

Period.

Anything else is a photo shoot that might have a wedding theme but in no way should ever be confused with Wedding Photography. Pre-conceptualizing a photograph on the day of the wedding is allowed because your still under the same constraints but, I’m sorry, a workshop does not count. Neither does models. I’m not even sure why this needs to be discussed, especially to people who attended a fine-art photography school.

Feb 03, 2011  /  Chris Whitcomb

Awesome post, and I could not agree with you more.  I have been completely disillusioned with the flood of “Get Rich Quick” photography workshops, DVD’s, and wanna-be Photographer “Rock Stars”.  I started my formal education in photography in my Sophomore year of high school (way back in 1978) and shot my first two weddings in 1982 before deciding it was not worth the risk of ruining someone’s wedding photography through my lack of experience.  In 2005, I switched from film to digital, was inspired to revisit wedding photography again and, in preparation for that, shot 51 weddings as second shooter within 13 months alongside about a dozen different lead photographers before I felt I had the experience (and the right) to call myself a wedding photographer.  It saddens me when I see someone get their first Canon Rebel for Christmas and by Summer, they are putting up a web site, getting biz cards printed, and calling themselves a professional wedding photographer!  Worse… I don’t see a way to stop the madness!

Feb 04, 2011  /  Loren Scott

Thank you for illuminating this issue~  I have shared the same concern for some time now!  Well written and much appreciated!

Feb 04, 2011  /  Lacey Yantis

What a bold and well-written blog article.  I couldn’t agree with you more.  Thank you for this!  smile

Feb 05, 2011  /  Betsy

Kevin,
One of the reasons we chose you as our photographer is because of your blog. You have a very personal voice when you write here- which is so endearing! I appreciated the realness of your images- and that all sorts of weddings, all sorts of brides and grooms were being shown. We knew what to expect- but had no idea how the images would look!

That says a lot when the majority of sites I found were canned pictures- in perfect weather, with skinny models, with a ton of time on their hands to get pictures taken…

You and your craft are appreciated! smile I know you know that!

Feb 06, 2011  /  Colleen

This is a fantastic read, Kevin; you continue to be an inspiration with your work and your words!

Feb 07, 2011  /  Steve

Thanks so much for this post, I feel like authentic, real weddings are so much more compelling than the “American Gothic” style so popular in photo blogs and magazines. I’m a photojournalistic shooter myself, and can’t imagine shooting any other way for a wedding or a family – feeling is so much more important. =)

Permission to post a link to this and discuss a bit in my photoblog?

Feb 10, 2011  /  Twyla

I’m so happy that you are saying this.  It seems like I get so caught up in my local market and what my potential clients are looking at that I feel alone in the conviction.  I couldn’t take it any longer, I actually am launching a completely new website to speak my own voice again.  I find my couples seems to think that they find out what they want from looking at wedding blogs rather than looking at wedding blogs to find the vendors that can give them what they want.

Thanks again.

Feb 10, 2011  /  Tim Larsen

Twyla:

Absolutely.  Thanks for your post.

Be well.

Feb 10, 2011  /  Kevin Weinstein

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for your words. Incredibly well thought out, and challenging. I appreciate you providing some push-back and a little reality check to the current trend of the ‘styled shoot’.
I’ll be sharing this link for sure.

Erica

Feb 13, 2011  /  Erica Rose

I’m not a photographer, so the differences in types of photography (true photojournalism, staged, etc) don’t mean as much to me as they do to some people, but I do agree that a wedding is a specific event. Staged photoshoots may be art, but they are not weddings and the difference is usually not obvious to people who are not involved in the wedding industry (one only needs to read the comments on any bride’s tumblr page to see the truth of that). Also, as a non-photogenic person (one of my eyes is almost always half-closed in photos, flash or no), photos with models mean nothing to me when I’m selecting someone to take photos. I judge photographers on their ability to take great photos of normal people like me and make them look good regardless of how unphotogenic they may be.

Feb 17, 2011  /  Liene Stevens

Glad to be reading this, thank you.

Feb 17, 2011  /  Maplin

I could not agree with you more.  There are many photographers who get into this wedding industry all the time and follow these big shots who sell their “secret” to instant success.  Frankly, many of these speakers offer no more than slight motivation and not much more.  In order to succeed in this business, as well as anything else, everyone has to make the right choices, market themselves correctly, and earn their stripes by shooting anything and everything.  Everyday is a new experience to learn.

P.S. – I submitted into that Junebug competition too.  ^_^

Feb 22, 2011  /  Douglas Chan-Wing

Kevin,

You nailed it.  You summed up a growing and evil cloud of greed that lurks over the industry.  I’ve seen *good* photographers go astray with the lure of easy money (by targeting photographers instead of brides).

That’s why I’ve never submitted to a contest.  Ever.  I’ve tried to be careful of proving myself to other photographers.  That popularity contest is getting old.  “Award-winning Photographer” doesn’t mean what it should.

I shot to my heart’s delight and now I’m 100x the photographer I was 5 years ago.  That’s something I keep and I earned.  Now I’m doing commercial work on the side, where the smoke and mirrors of the wedding industry don’t work.  It’s where the old mantra, “oh, it’s a little back-focused….just make it black and white” will not get by.  The work ethic and professional growth you described above is exactly what is saving my butt with clients that know better.

Our couples deserve that quality, even if they don’t know the difference.

Thank you for your brilliant insight and hindsight.  You nailed it.

-gavin
gavinphotography.com
holtp.com

Feb 22, 2011  /  Gavin Holt

I wish, wish, wish this was required reading for each and every wedding photographer who ever picked up a camera and wrote a blog. You nailed every single note and gave voice to so much of my frustration with the industry, from the “real weddings” to the American Gothic wedding day portrait.

I proudly consider myself a “wedding photojournalist” and have been very happy that so many of the couples who choose to work with me have commented on that attribute of my work. I will freely admit I am not the best portrait artist in town and I still have a lifetime ahead of me for evolving and perfecting my craft. But like you, I feel it is something that strongly differentiates my work from other “photojournalists” whose blogs are dominated by portrait after portrait.

Mar 02, 2011  /  Chris Aram

This is the best post I have read in a long, long time. Thank you for sharing your outlook. I do agree that presenting model brides and grooms on a web site is misleading. I feel sick in my stomach when I head photographers complain about having to shoot a wedding with an ugly couple. I think that everyone is beautiful and deserves to be treated as such : )

Mar 10, 2011  /  Life with Kaishon

I finally came across a real teacher giving some valuable advices. I am so tired of seeing copycats everywhere, at the end, we don’t even know who is copying whom, who started the old leather cases and the emotionless faces in front of a brick wall? They do not mean anything to the couple, they might be trendy, but won’t last the test of time. And those outrageous workshops, some charge $1200 for 2 half days, is it worth it? Do people improve their skills at all from these? Love what you wrote in the last paragraph, as an artist, it is a process of self-discovery in the journey, and an artist shoot photos with their hearts. Really appreciate your insights and bravery.

Mar 24, 2011  /  June

Incredible.  Great words of wisdom here and I’m all the more proud that someone said what’s on their mind and my mind.

-Marc

Apr 07, 2011  /  Marc

So true!  It would be nice to get the word out.

May 11, 2011  /  Valeri

I love your bold statements about the trends in the business. I just wanted to say that I’m one whose passion started with documentary photography and I pursued that dream through actual photojournalism (the kind you study and earn a degree for, the kind that pushes you to tell human stories by stepping into the lives of your subjects out of passion and a desire not to take their money but to tell their story) After a decade in news I happened to have a life change that moved my focus toward families and yes, weddings. I shot them the only way I knew how. This happened to coincide with the ‘photojournalistic’ approach to wedding photography that did indeed flood the market. While I resented some of the trendy approaches, the tilted angles and cliche scenes, I continued to shoot the only way I knew how. And as years have progressed I admit to being sorely lacking in the business end (I’m desperately working on that) but my approach hasn’t changed. In fact, I’m finding that the more filters and effects and video montage options I have within reach, the less I want to use them and the more I find myself yearning to shoot less and display exactly what I saw with very little interference in the original image. Think Henri Cartier-Bresson among many other pioneers who emphasized thoughtful, judicious shooting. I have soo much to learn and far to go still but when I start to doubt my lack of motivation for diving into the latest trend I am relieved to know that there is still a place for telling the story in the purest form. I do hate that the titled I worked hard to earn and once was proud to wear is now considered such a cop-out because the photojournalists I personally learned from were James Nactwey and Nick Ut and I see very little resemblance in the wedding photographers who now tout that name.

Jun 08, 2011  /  Seanna

Thank you for your genuine honesty.

Jun 29, 2011  /  Patty

I am so glad someone is speaking out against this sort of thing in our industry. There are so many people (and blogs, and entire wedding “organizations”) out there who I think are misleading clients, and it’s shameful. What really gets me is the new wave of preferred vendor badges from “invitation only” blogs… Blogs that invite everyone, and then charge an obscene amount of money to be a part of the club. Brides think the vendor deserved the accolade, when instead they just ponied up the cash. It’s embarrassing. Thanks for the guiding light.

Aug 08, 2011  /  Nathan Welton

Kevin,
Goes without saying that your ideas are very well written.  But I’ll say it again anyway:  they are!  Thanks for taking the time.  As a photographer relatively new to the business (7 years), all I’ve really known comes from my influences here in the southeast and from a few popular publications.  From information I’ve obtained by reading and observing this century’s earlier masters, true photojournalism is often claimed and rarely understood by both photographers and clients here in my region.  I suspect it’s the case throughout the U.S.  Our market is inundated these days with misrepresentations and facades.  The topics you touched on above are just additions to an industry whose lines have become increasingly blurred.

I personally don’t agree with the means by which these blogs obtain content.  But they are not just driving the “look” of the industry.  They’re feeding the demand as well.  They’re supplying imagery for impatient and short-sighted consumers who “demand” colorful, pristine, contrived photography.

You’re right to focus on your ideal client and meet the needs that they have – by being true to yourself and your profession!

Sep 04, 2011  /  Jason

10. JUN, 2011

Photo by~Andrea Hanks Photography

Finding the perfect headpiece can be a bit of a challenge for many brides.  If you want something specific or custom Modest Couture by Elizabeth is just what you need.  They have a variety of looks, colors & designs.   The best part is that she can design a custom headpiece just for you.  Here is a sample of what they have to offer.

Bridal Headpieces

Written By~Modest Couture by Elizabeth

I love creating custom bridal headpieces! It is such a pleasure to personally work with each bride to create all of the veils, hats, birdcage veils, and fascinators.  It is so much fun to brainstorm with each of you to come up with the perfect piece for your big day!

Some of my different headpiece types include:  Birdcage veils, blushers, long traditional veils, pillbox hats, fabric flower fascinators, feather fascinators, headbands and the new “Kate Middleton” hat.

Photo by~Magnifique Photography

Feather fascinators have really come into their own as of late.  A feather fascinator is a great way to top off your outfit perfectly for your big day or for any special occasion.  Feather fascinators can be made from a variety of feathers including marabou or ostrich.  They can be put on a comb or a clip.  Because all my fascinators are completely custom made for each bride or bridesmaid, you can choose the size, colors, types of feathers and the adornments included.  They can be worn individually or with a birdcage veil depending on the look you are trying to achieve.

Photo by~Creativ Productions

Pill box hats are one of my specialties.  These are a classic look from the 1960’s that many brides are opting for because they are so unique.  There are very few who actually make pillbox hats anymore.  I love them!  They can be done in a variety of ways to customize them to complement your wedding gown.

Photo by~Modest Couture by Elizabeth

One of my newer hats is the “Kate Middleton” style of hat.  It is a small tear-drop shaped hat worn high on the head, usually adorned with lace, Russian veiling and a few strategically placed feathers, and sometimes a piece of bling.  Kate Middleton and other London socialites wear these frequently.  They are such a fun way to add romance and fun to a wedding.

Headbands can be any width you choose, from very narrow to wide.  They can include veiling, flowers, beads, bling or anything you or I can imagine.  These look especially great on brides with ultra-short hair!  Flower girls love them too!

Photo by~Jon Woodbury Photography

Birdcage veils can be made in almost any length, shape and size.  I like to make them separately so they can be used with hats, flowers, feathers or headbands!  They are such a fun accessory!

Photo by~Andrea Hanks Photography

 

Photo by~Jon Woodbury Photography

Photo by~ Andrea Hanks Photography

Photo by~ Jon Woodbury Photography

Photo by~ Creativ Productions

Be sure to visit Modest Couture by Elizabeth’s website here & you if you have questions you may contact her by email at: inquiry@modestcouturebyelizabeth.com.

 

(Click here to see the post on the Salt Lake City/Park City Bride and Groom’s Blog.)
Posted on June 28, 2011 by twoolf

I’m an extremely sentimental soul, but there’s something about summer that makes me especially nostalgic: memories of running through sprinklers, slurping up popsicles before they melt in the sun, “camping out” under the stars in the backyard at night….ah, youth.

Summer certainly brings to mind the good ‘ol days, and this summer-y retro-themed bridal session by Andrea Hanks Photography is no exception–I’m suddenly craving an ice cold Coca Cola, a juke box, and a poodle skirt. It might have something to do with the bride’s attire…

Angelina, the bride, is wearing the “Sophia,” a custom-designed dress by local designer Modest Couture by Elizabeth. The darling dress features a scoop-square neckline, lace elbow-length raglan sleeves, rouched upper bodice, pockets, bustle bow and back buttons. And to top it all off, a custom pill box hat with a blusher, also designed by Modest Couture by Elizabeth.


The bride, Angelina, shares the details of what inpspired her retro dress and wedding theme:

It all started with the song “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” by Elvis Presley. I am in love with Elvis and music from the 50’s and 60’s–I can thank my dad for my old soul. That was my song to my husband, Chase, and that would be what we danced to at our wedding. Chase and I decided we wanted a retro theme, as if we were getting married back in the day. The theme branched out a little more to a “sweet vintage” theme.

The best part about the theme was my dress and hat. I wanted a short vintage dress, and had no idea if it existed. I found Modest Couture by Elizabeth and fell in love. I made an appointment and met with Betsy, the owner and designer, at her home. The dress “Sophia” was the first one I tried on, and it was the dress for me. To top it off I added a pill box hat–it went perfect with the theme.

Congratulations Angelina! Thank you Andrea Hanks Photography and Modest Couture by Elizabeth for sharing this bridal session with us!

 

This is a great article!  LOVE it!

May 24, 2011 – The Challenging Subject by John Mireles

If you’re like me, most of your clients are just normal, everyday people. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and aren’t used to being in front of the business end of a camera lens. I’ll admit that it can be frustrating because my subjects rarely seem to match up with the fashion model like clients that make it into the magazines.The reality is that most of our clients aren’t models; they’re normal people who look and feel awkward in front of the camera. But everyone – clients and photographers alike – wants those energetic shots where the subject looks relaxed and happy. If you can consistently make your clients feel like they belong in a magazine, not only will you have a lot of happy clients, your business will thrive too!

So what’s the secret to getting the best out of each subject? Well, there’s no magic wand; the key is to be patient and play to each person’s strengths. While funny one-liners help break the ice, crafting a consistently great body of work is really about creating a deliberate process for bringing out the best in people. Here are some tips to help you make all of your clients look like magazine stars.

Take Your Time and Be Patient
Granted, this may not be an option when you’ve got 30 minutes between ceremony and reception to get your shots. But during engagement and portrait shoots, time limitations are rarely a factor for me. First, I plan on a couple of hours – sometimes even all afternoon – for my shoots.

There’s no substitute for time. Often it take until the very end of the shoot for the client to put away their photo-face, relax a little and let the spontaneity come out. I remember hearing Richard Avedon (the greatest photographer of the 20th century) talk about how he’d just let the subject sit in front of the camera until he or she got bored; it was only then that their true self would emerge. Although boring the subject is rarely my objective, the idea of waiting the client out is a powerful one.

Being patient goes hand-in-hand with taking your time. The key is that you can’t force things. You may have grandiose ideas for the shoot, but it’s often important to take baby steps to get there. Though your goal may be intimate and playful family shots, you’ll probably have to start simply and then build up to that. Once the subjects feel relaxed and feel more confident with the process, they are going to be much more likely to open up.

Get to Know Your Client
Don’t just jump into the shoot, instead try sitting down your clients and chatting a little before you get started. Often, I’ll meet up with my engagement shoot clients at a local pub so that they can unwind after what’s usually been a long week at work. We’re able to talk and get comfortable with one another without the intimidating camera coming between us.

Beside, people tend to work best with people they know. It’s easier for subjects to relax when they’re comfortable and familiar with the person behind the lens. The beauty of getting to know your client is that it takes the pressure off you, the photographer, from trying to be witty and funny. When the client gets to know you better and vice-versa, it’s easier to be yourself.

Invest in a Good Posing Guide
The Toolkit Lookbooks can go a long way to helping you come up with great poses and helping the client understand what you’re asking them to do. Not only do the Lookbooks have hundreds of poses for you to use with your family or bride and groom clients, you can also show them the photos so that they know what you’re shooting for.

When a subject knows what he or she is supposed to do, (and that they’re not going to look dumb in the process) it also helps them relax. Some people question whether it’s okay to show clients the book, but I’ve only heard positive feedback from both clients and other photographers alike. When clients see the pose, they get it. Once they get it, you can push thing farther to capture the real magic.

 

Think Sideways
Not every shot needs to be pretty people looking pretty, bride and groom kissing or little kids smiling perfectly into the camera. Think about other possibilities that don’t fall within the typical box of what is traditionally expected from a portrait, engagement or wedding day session. Let go of your preconceived notions of what your shoot is supposed to look like.

In my portfolio, I have a wide shot of two clients drawing “I love you” in the sand. It’s a great moment that clients often comment on. I like to point out that the couple was very shy and wouldn’t have made “most likely to make the portfolio” votes. But it worked because I tried something different that played to their strengths.

Go With the Flow
Listen to what your clients are telling you. They may not say it out loud, (in fact they rarely do,) but the signs are usually there. If something’s working, but not what you planned, just go with it. Don’t be afraid to push a good moment further along.

If your bride and groom are goofing around and making a mess, try having them roll around on the ground. If the kids are being unruly, let them go crazy. You never know what something unexpected – and really good – might come from it all.

Get Out of the Way
Sometimes it’s best to leave the clients alone so that they can relax. It’ll tell them to forget about the camera or even that it’s broken and I need to test it a little. Either way, when subjects don’t think that they need to put on their photo face, their expressions and body positions loosen and become more natural.

Happy face

When photographing the bridal party, I’ll often do my “camera is broken” trick. The girls will invariably start making jokes and laughing since they don’t think they need to pay attention to the camera. Eventually they’ll realize that I’m actually shooting and then the laughter – along with some great expressions – starts all over again.

Other times, backing off and using a long lens can take the pressure off of the subjects. Give them some distance and see what happens.

Work the Scenery
No matter who the client is, it never hurts to pull back and let the scenery be the hero in the shot. Breaking things up also opens up opportunity for sales of albums and wall prints. Many people who would be loath to put a big picture of themselves on the wall will happily purchase a framed print where they are smaller in a beautiful scene.

Happy face

Drop a Brick on Their Foot
This one comes courtesy of one of my favorite writers, P.J. O’Rouke. In one of his books, he suggested dropping a brick on someone’s foot if they have a headache. The idea being that you can distract someone from a minor discomfort with a major pain.

My manner of executing this dubious logic is to get right in my reluctant subject’s face with my camera. Or I let the client sit awkwardly in front of the camera with no direction from me. I’ll go well past their comfort zone – for a little while. Everything after that seems so much easier for them to deal. After uncomfortably posing in silence or facing a lens just inches away, my more normal shooting style is received with new appreciation.

Get Buy In
Nothing can turn into a train wreck so quickly as trying to get kids to do something that they don’t want to do. I like to talk to the kids in advance and let them throw out ideas for what they’d like to do. I’ll even offer to let the kids photograph me after I photograph them. Once they realize that it’s a two-way dialogue, they feel much more involved with the process.

If dad books the session, but mom is the real driver behind the shoot, be sure to talk to mom. She may have completely different ideas about the images she’s expecting. Few things are more frustrating than showing up for a shoot with a plan in mind but then butting heads with a mom who has her own plan. (Also, since mom will probably make the buying decisions later, be sure she’s on the same page as you if you want to make any post-shoot sales.)

Happy face

Try a Variety of Scenarios
This goes hand in hand with thinking sideways, taking your time and being patient. Don’t just stick to one setup or composition. Try different backgrounds, poses and camera orientation (landscape v. portrait). Don’t get stuck on one setup no matter how much you think it’s working.

If a client doesn’t like any given series after a shoot, it’s good to have a variety of others that the client can choose from. There’s few things more frustrating than coming back from a shoot where your hero, can’t miss shots look blah and you have nothing to fall back on.

Ask for What You Want
If you want a client smile, ask them to smile. You want a laugh, ask for a laugh! I recently had an assistant take some photos of me for practice. He kept trying to crack dumb jokes to get a smile of me. Finally, I told him to ask me for what he wanted. Things went much better from that point.

Happy face

It doesn’t hurt to actually practice a little with clients. I’ll show them what I’m looking for. Most subjects will give you what you want if they know what to do. A little encouragement and practice can help them turn it on for the camera later.

Act Like a Fool
You can’t expect your clients to cut loose if you don’t or won’t. A lot of times, I ask my clients to do stuff that they find embarrassing. They’re much more likely to go for it if I’m doing stupid stuff too. When I open up, it gives them license to do the same.

In response to a video of my photographing a subject, someone once posted that they were embarrassed for me because of the dumb things I was saying to direct the woman. They meant it as an insult, but I took it as a compliment. In the end, it’s the moments and expressions that I capture that matter.

Happy face

Don’t Stick Your Clients in a Box
There’s nothing wrong with focusing in on something specific with a client. But don’t allow your initial concepts to limit the direction of the shoot. What works for one subject on one day may not work for another on different day.

I recently took a look at another photographer’s bridal shoot. I was struck by how the the photo were technically nice, the bride pretty and the poses fairly sophisticated – but the shots just fell flat and had no life. The problem was that the photography ran his client through a set of poses he’d learned from a well-known photographer, but they just didn’t work with this subject. He’d have been far better off to dump the concept once it was obvious that it wasn’t working try something – anything – else.

Final Thoughts
Creativity is often viewed as this lightening bold that comes from above. In reality it’s often the end result of simple playfulness and experimentation. By adopting a process that allows you to adapt to the unique demands of each shoot and go beyond the expected, you’ll quickly be regarded as a creative genius. And you thought photography was supposed to be difficult!

 

 

More wonderful goodness from The Bride and Groom Blog Feature!  Go here to view the post on their site.

 

CHASE & ANGELINA
SALT LAKE TEMPLE & BACKYARD RECEPTION

Photos By: Andrea Hanks Photography

 

Colorful & sweet is just what this wedding is. Creating the perfect vintage wedding isn’t easy but this couple seemed to know how to create it & making it their own as well.

Read more…

 

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04. JUN, 2011

Photography by~Andrea Hanks Photography

If you are wanting to have a little sweet fun with your wedding this just may be the perfect wedding for your inspiration.  Angelina & Chase wanted a to have a sweet vintage wedding showcasing their love for each other & some of their favorite sweets as well.  The colors she choose were yellow, green & blue.  The colors really showcased the fun ideas with balloons & the amazing wedding cake made by Tasha from Cake-A-Licious.  Don’t forget the gorgeous personalized wedding dress created by Betsy with Modest Couture By Elizabeth.  She knows how to create the perfect new-vintage gown for any bride and I love it!!  Angelia made such a beautiful bride.  Special thanks to Andrea with Andrea Hanks Photography for sharing these images with us.  We hope this sparks a few new, fun ideas for future brides.  Congratulations Chase & Angelina.  We wish you lots of LOVE & happiness in your new life together. :)

Here are a few words from the bride herself:

 

HOW CHASE AND I MET…

Chase and I were born and raised in West Valley City, Utah. We only lived a few blocks away from each other and we both graduated from Hunter High School. His younger sister Chelsea was one of my good friends and she is the one who set us up. Their parents gave them four tickets to see a Jazz game and they both had to bring dates, so Chelsea asked me. It was a wonderful night; we ate at Rumbi, played mad libs and drank a lot of diet coke.

I was down at school in Cedar at the time and so we can thank Facebook for our relationship. We talked a lot through that website and it is funny to say that is where this all began. One weekend a few months after dating, Chase was down in Cedar visiting me for the weekend. We planned on taking a day trip to St. George and it turned into a weekend at Disneyland. Chase said to me, “you know Disneyland is only six hours away..” He knew that I loved Disney and that he would win over my heart if he took me there. And he did, there at the happiest place on earth I knew I was falling in love with Chase Helm. That love has continued to grow ever since.

HOW I CAME UP WITH THE THEME…

It started with the song “can’t help falling in love with you,” by Elvis Presley. I am in love with Elvis and music from the 50’s and 60’s, I can thank my dad for my old soul. That was my song to Chase and that would be what we danced to. Chase and I decided we wanted an old theme, as if we were getting married back then. The theme branched out a little more to a “sweet vintage” theme. Chase’s grandparents own the Condie’s Chocolates and we wanted to include that into our wedding. The wedding was planned to what Chase and I wanted by my cousin Bobbi. She had all the wonderful ideas from the colors and the big balloons to the lanterns and decorations at the Reception. She had been planning my wedding for many years and new exactly what would be perfect.

The best part about the theme was my dress and hat. I wanted a short vintage dress, and had no idea if it existed. I found Modest Couture by Elizabeth in the Utah Bridal magazine and fell in love. We made an appointment and met with Betsy at her home. The dress was the Sophia and it was the first one I tried on, it was the dress for me. To top it off I added a pill box hat, it went perfect with the theme. Then Betsy recommended me to look at a photographer who knew how to take great pictures with that theme, Andrea Hanks.

MY FAVORITE PART ABOUT THE WEDDING…

My favorite part was walking out of the Temple doors holding my husband’s hand. It was so fun to see our family and all our loved ones there to greet on our special day. My other favorite was when Chase and I danced for the first time as husband and wife, to our song. There must have been a million times that I had played that out in my head before the wedding, and then there it was in real life, it was so beautiful.

WHAT I WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY…

There are two things, I would not have cried as much and would have made more time in the day. I think that the planning and hard work leading up to the wedding was overwhelming on the day. I felt like Chase and I had worked so hard to get to where we wanted to be that day. It was crazy to think that all those people were there for us, and I was so happy they were. I only say I wish I didn’t cry as much because of my make-up, you can only touch so much up. They were all happy tears and it was a happy day.

The most important change is one that I will tell every soon to be bride I know from now on, is that I wish that we would have had more time in that one day. Maybe had a ceremony time for earlier in the morning so we could have had more time to take pictures at the Temple. We were very rushed that day and it was hard to get everything in that I wanted. My best friend Caitlin told me to stop and look around at what was going on and to take it all in, she told me that it would go by so fast. Man was she right, and it was the fastest day of my life.

MY EXPERIENCE WITH ANDREA…

Having a good photographer was on the top of my list of things I had to have at my wedding. When Betsy recommended Andrea she just had so many good things to say about her, so of course we had to look her up as soon as we got home from the dress appointment. I knew Andrea was the one when I saw a photo from a previous wedding she had done, in this picture there were the two wedding rings with diet coke cans and ice, and I fell in love.

Chase and I met with Andrea for lunch to talk about what we were looking for and how we wanted our wedding. She started the lunch by getting to know us, asking how we met and how we came up with the ideas for our wedding, she told us about herself as well. She really wanted to focus on the fact that she liked to develop a relationship with the bride and groom and how it would show through the pictures. And that is exactly what happened, Chase and I really connected with her.

A man that Andrea had worked with before had these beautiful old cars and that is what we wanted to shoot our engagements with. I wanted to have a photographer who I trusted and valued their ideas. Andrea came up with all the locations and ideas and they were perfect for me. It was such a fun day; it went from super hot to pouring rain. And we shot with the same kind of car that Elvis had used in one of his movies; Andrea knew that was a must. Chase and I had never really taken pictures like this together, and so it was a very new experience for us. She captured things in those pictures that Chase and I felt and that couldn’t be described in words. We knew that she was exactly what we wanted.

The day I took my bridals I brought my mom with me, who was a lot of fun to be around and I think she helped Andrea out too. We just followed her in our car and she took us to several locations. They were random places that by just looking at them seemed so ordinary, but they turned out so well and I thought they went with the theme so well. My mom and I got to know Andrea and the life she had lived very well; it was a great day out with the girls.

The wedding day was the craziest day of my life and Andrea was there to help me through it. I felt like I didn’t have to worry about her at all, I knew that the pictures of my special day were in the right hands. She caught things in my wedding that I didn’t even know where there, and it is so nice to look back at them now. She knew exactly what Chase and I wanted and we had so much fun with her. I was sad to say goodbye to her that night, knowing that was it.

VENDORS
CAKE: Tasha at Cake-A-Licious.
FOOD: Spoon Me, Cupcakes by Cake-A-Licious, soda and Condie’s Chocolate.
WEDDING DRESS: The Sophia Dress by Modest Couture by Elizabeth.
TUXES: Ritz Tuxedos
MAID OF HONOR DRESS: Made by Debbi (an Aunt to Jordan the Maid of Honor)
PHOTOGRAPHER: Andrea Hanks
MAKE-UP: Done by Bride using MAC Cosmetics
HAIR: Niki Hancuff from Style Setter and pill box hat by Modest Couture by Elizabeth
CEREMONY: Salt Lake Temple
LUNCHEON: Joseph Smith Memorial Building
RECEPTION: The residence of Terry and Jackie Rushton

To see more images from this wedding be sure to check out their Featured Wedding Page on our site HERE!

 

I am thrilled to share an ad that was published in The Utah Bride and Groom Magazine for Modest Couture by Elizabeth. Enjoy!

The Engagement Session
The Bridal SessionThe Ceremony
The Luncheon
The Reception

HOW CHASE AND I MET…

Chase and I were born and raised in West Valley City, Utah. We only lived a few blocks away from each other and we both graduated from Hunter High School. His younger sister Chelsea was one of my good friends and she is the one who set us up. Their parents gave them four tickets to see a Jazz game and they both had to bring dates, so Chelsea asked me. It was a wonderful night; we ate at Rumbi, played mad libs and drank a lot of diet coke.

I was down at school in Cedar at the time and so we can thank Facebook for our relationship. We talked a lot through that website and it is funny to say that is where this all began. One weekend a few months after dating, Chase was down in Cedar visiting me for the weekend. We planned on taking a day trip to St. George and it turned into a weekend at Disneyland. Chase said to me, “you know Disneyland is only six hours away..” He knew that I loved Disney and that he would win over my heart if he took me there. And he did, there at the happiest place on earth I knew I was falling in love with Chase Helm. That love has continued to grow ever since.

HOW I CAME UP WITH THE THEME…

It started with the song “can’t help falling in love with you,” by Elvis Presley. I am in love with Elvis and music from the 50’s and 60’s, I can thank my dad for my old soul. That was my song to Chase and that would be what we danced to. Chase and I decided we wanted an old theme, as if we were getting married back then. The theme branched out a little more to a “sweet vintage” theme. Chase’s grandparents own the Condie’s Chocolates and we wanted to include that into our wedding. The wedding was planned to what Chase and I wanted by my cousin Bobbi. She had all the wonderful ideas from the colors and the big balloons to the lanterns and decorations at the Reception. She had been planning my wedding for many years and new exactly what would be perfect.

The best part about the theme was my dress and hat. I wanted a short vintage dress, and had no idea if it existed. I found Modest Couture by Elizabeth in the Utah Bridal magazine and fell in love. We made an appointment and met with Betsy at her home. The dress was the Sophia and it was the first one I tried on, it was the dress for me. To top it off I added a pill box hat, it went perfect with the theme. Then Betsy recommended me to look at a photographer who knew how to take great pictures with that theme, Andrea Hanks.

MY FAVORITE PART ABOUT THE WEDDING…

My favorite part was walking out of the Temple doors holding my husband’s hand. It was so fun to see our family and all our loved ones there to greet on our special day. My other favorite was when Chase and I danced for the first time as husband and wife, to our song. There must have been a million times that I had played that out in my head before the wedding, and then there it was in real life, it was so beautiful.

WHAT I WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY…

There are two things, I would not have cried as much and would have made more time in the day. I think that the planning and hard work leading up to the wedding was overwhelming on the day. I felt like Chase and I had worked so hard to get to where we wanted to be that day. It was crazy to think that all those people were there for us, and I was so happy they were. I only say I wish I didn’t cry as much because of my make-up, you can only touch so much up. They were all happy tears and it was a happy day.

The most important change is one that I will tell every soon to be bride I know from now on, is that I wish that we would have had more time in that one day. Maybe had a ceremony time for earlier in the morning so we could have had more time to take pictures at the Temple. We were very rushed that day and it was hard to get everything in that I wanted. My best friend Caitlin told me to stop and look around at what was going on and to take it all in, she told me that it would go by so fast. Man was she right, and it was the fastest day of my life.

MY EXPERIENCE WITH ANDREA…

Having a good photographer was on the top of my list of things I had to have at my wedding. When Betsy recommended Andrea she just had so many good things to say about her, so of course we had to look her up as soon as we got home from the dress appointment. I knew Andrea was the one when I saw a photo from a previous wedding she had done, in this picture there were the two wedding rings with diet coke cans and ice, and I fell in love.

Chase and I met with Andrea for lunch to talk about what we were looking for and how we wanted our wedding. She started the lunch by getting to know us, asking how we met and how we came up with the ideas for our wedding, she told us about herself as well. She really wanted to focus on the fact that she liked to develop a relationship with the bride and groom and how it would show through the pictures. And that is exactly what happened, Chase and I really connected with her.

A man that Andrea had worked with before had these beautiful old cars and that is what we wanted to shoot our engagements with. I wanted to have a photographer who I trusted and valued their ideas. Andrea came up with all the locations and ideas and they were perfect for me. It was such a fun day; it went from super hot to pouring rain. And we shot with the same kind of car that Elvis had used in one of his movies; Andrea knew that was a must. Chase and I had never really taken pictures like this together, and so it was a very new experience for us. She captured things in those pictures that Chase and I felt and that couldn’t be described in words. We knew that she was exactly what we wanted.

The day I took my bridals I brought my mom with me, who was a lot of fun to be around and I think she helped Andrea out too. We just followed her in our car and she took us to several locations. They were random places that by just looking at them seemed so ordinary, but they turned out so well and I thought they went with the theme so well. My mom and I got to know Andrea and the life she had lived very well; it was a great day out with the girls.

The wedding day was the craziest day of my life and Andrea was there to help me through it. I felt like I didn’t have to worry about her at all, I knew that the pictures of my special day were in the right hands. She caught things in my wedding that I didn’t even know where there, and it is so nice to look back at them now. She knew exactly what Chase and I wanted and we had so much fun with her. I was sad to say goodbye to her that night, knowing that was it.

VENDORS
CAKE: Tasha at Cake-A-Licious.
FOOD: Spoon Me, Cupcakes by Cake-A-Licious, soda and Condie’s Chocolate.
WEDDING DRESS: The Sophia Dress by Modest Couture by Elizabeth.
TUXES: Ritz Tuxedos
MAID OF HONOR DRESS: Made by Debbi (an aunt to Jordan the Maid of Honor)
PHOTOGRAPHER: Andrea Hanks
MAKE-UP: Done by Bride using MAC Cosmetics
HAIR: Niki Hancuff from Style Setter and pill box hat by Modest Couture by Elizabeth
CEREMONY: Salt Lake Temple
LUNCHEON: Joseph Smith Memorial Building
RECEPTION: The residence of Terry and Jackie Rushton

Your Professional Photography Business – Keeping It Simple

By scottbourne

Running a photography business can be a daunting task. When I first started I was personally overwhelmed at the details. I just wanted to take pictures! But the job requires more than that. There is one way to beat back the details that get in the way of the fun stuff. Keep it simple!

And I mean all of it. What it? Things like marketing materials, policies, contracts, price lists, etc. Keep it all simple. This has two tremendous benefits. One, it makes it easier for you to concentrate on the part of the job you like, and two – (and this is the really great news) it actually increases your chances for financial success. Here’s why.

Photography clients don’t have the same experience with this stuff that we do. They are often worried, nervous or confused when it comes to hiring a professional photographer. If you streamline the workflow of paperwork, sales and sign up process, shoot and delivery, you put them at ease, make it easier for them to make decisions they already want to (i.e., to hire you) and you streamline the whole experience so it can be enjoyable to your client.

Think about visiting a restaurant that has a 50 page menu. Now think about a place that has a one-page menu. It’s much easier to make a decision (as a consumer) when there are fewer choices. In my experience, this approach absolutely works. Give it a try. Look at all your business processes from start to finish and ask yourself which of these can be streamlined.