Posts Tagged ‘Vendors’

Hello fellow PUG Members! Our March PUG meeting will be at The Festival of Colors in Spanish Fork on March 25th from noon to 4pm.

The address is:  311 W 8500 S

Spanish Fork, UT 84660

Here are directions to the temple:
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=311+W+8500+S,+Spanish+Fork,+UT&hl=en&ll=40.07583,-111.660072&spn=0.005147,0.011362&sll=40.003362,-111.54683&sspn=0.659566,1.454315&t=h&z=17
Please arrive early as you will have to take a shuttle bus to the temple!
I need an RSVP to know who to plan on attending!
andrea@andreahanksphotography.com
801-349-0718
Now some tips on How to protect your camera, courtesy of Scott Jarvie.
People always ask me about keeping the camera safe??

The safest thing you can do is to not own a camera to worry about.

Personally, I really don’t worry about it… tons of people that bring their camera and if they’re not stupid they’re just fine.

I will NOT try to convince you to come… some people will remain paranoid no matter what. I will not try to talk sense into you. If logic can’t save you then just don’t come, or come and don’t shoot, or come and buy a underwater bag.

But below I will give you the perfect TIPS on how to be SMART

BTW it’s not smart to be in the middle of the crowd with no protection and a external zoom lens… but you can always NOT be in the middle of the crowd.

For those that are concerned

I would NOT recomend the following

  • Using external zoom lenses
  • Going into the middle of the crowd
  • Changing lenses
  • Changing memory cards
  • Using a neckstrap you don’t want stained
  • Not using gaffer tape on sensetive areas

As for me

  • I wear an open jacket to tuck the camera
  • I put filters on the lenses. (Even a cheap one just for the day)
  • I don’t use an external zoom lens (so no 24-70) and I’d be risky to use my 14-24 but the other 5-6 lenses are fair game.
  • I gaffer tape flash pop up, battery area, memory card area and external plug in sections.
  • I put syran wrap around where the lens connects and remove it when I want to change lenses
  • I change lenses in a safe environment
  • I air compressor or comressed air to blow off entire camera prior to changing lenses and when I’m done for the day.
  • I get a sensor cleaning

Thanks for the great information Jarvie!!!!

I hope to see you all there!!!

 

This article was originally featured on Pictage’s Blog and I loved the two different philosophy’s discussed here about turn aroudn times. Please feel free to leave a comment on what you do, or as a client what

Let’s bust a myth. There’s no right way to run your photography business.

Many self-proclaimed leaders make a boatload of money selling formulas for running your business. Well, here at The Photo Life, we don’t believe in secret formulas or overnight success stories. We believe the only right way of doing business is the one that serves your unique clients and grows your business the old-fashioned way. Hard work and happy clients are your foundation for success.

Different systems work for different studios, so the key is finding one that suits your clients and your business!

That’s why we’re eager to bring you the first of many “Town Hall Debates” here on The Photo Life. Town Hall Debates are a fun way of giving you an opportunity to learn how others do business.

This week’s debate is all about turnaround times. Kevin and David run successful businesses. Their systems work for them and their clients. Yet their viewpoints are very different. Do you agree or disagree, based on your unique business experience? Weigh in by leaving comments below!

MEET KEVIN SWAN

“Speed trumps quality in the real world of delivering images to wedding clients. Every hour that passes after the event makes your hard work less relevant. Learn to move faster.”

Photographer Kevin Swan

Kevin came out of a grueling 15 years in advertising, applying his hard-won experience to launch Swan PhotoKISS Books, and now Black Swan.

Wedding Photographer Kevin Swan

MEET DAVE WITTIG

“Yes, McDonalds can get you a burger in under 60 seconds, but I don’t think McDondalds is on most people’s list of favorite dining experiences.”

Photographer David Wittig

Chicago-based wedding photographers David Wittig and Nancy Beale, have been working side-by-side, capturing weddings and transforming them into art for the last ten years. Their own relationship, a myriad of friendship, partnership and marriage, aides their images, providing two perspectives of a singular moment—what can often be the most important moment of your life. Dave and Nancy have shot weddings from Maine to California, from India to France, and are always excited to add another stamp to their all-ready full passports. Their work, which examines a documentary feel and editorial style, is heavily influenced by their fine art backgrounds and training.


Wedding Photography by David Wittig

1) How quickly do you deliver images to your clients? What is your method for delivering the first images?

KEVIN’S ANSWER:

  1. Saturday: Slideshow at the reception, typically we present 30-50 images with quick edits done in LR or Aperture.
  2. Monday: 5-10 favorites images – usually from slideshow – posted to Facebook and tagged.
  3. Thursday: Draft #1 of clients’ album is presented online – approximately 100 images – without the ability to comment. We use SWAT’s “public” slideshow feature.
  4. Monday: Balance of clients’ images released online for them to start making album edits.
  5. Monday: Send clients a link to the slideshow where they can make comments and edits. We use SWAT’s “approval” slideshow feature.

There are many reasons for my workflow, but they center around album sales. My clients average $6-10k in album purchases on top of my shooting fees. By only giving them a small taste of their images (the Facebook post), when they see their album draft a few days after the wedding, they’re blown away!

I choose my favorite images and design a spectacular book. If you let your client choose the images, they typically take a long time and often pick mediocre shots because they’re inexperienced and choosing for political/family reasons—not for aesthetics. In my opinion, it’s a burden on your client to force them to choose their favorites for the album. They’ve put enough effort into making decisions for the wedding. As professionals, we should help and guide them—not drop more work in their laps!

It’s easier to edit a designed album than it is to start from scratch. By enabling clients to view their album early, they’re still emotionally engaged with their images. While the rest of the images are uploading to an online service to display photos and sell prints, your clients watch the album slideshow again and again, imagining it as their book more and more. By the time other images are ready to review, the clients are ready to make a few changes, but it’s tough to cut the album down any significant amount.

Customers all know what’s possible; they know how fast things can turn around. They want images on their phones and on Facebook sooner rather than later. Uncle Bob is at their wedding, and he’s shooting photos with his phone or his Rebel XTI and posting them on Facebook the same day. By the time you play around with your images, add your special sauce, make the white balance perfect in every photo, run noise filters, sharpen edges, and so on, your photos become irrelevant. You can post them to Facebook, but people are like, “Oh yeah, I remember that. Already saw it.”

The bride prefers high-quality images, but she’ll take whatever is first. The streams of Twitter and Facebook are living things, and whatever is NOW is what matters most. Posting images a few weeks later is far less important, impacting or valuable. Since Facebook is becoming the operating system of the web, I believe our businesses need simple, direct tie-ins. For example, I post slideshows directly onto my Facebook wall using SWAT. My goal is to make it simple for clients to post images on Facebook that are automatically tagged to me and my sites. This extra marketing results in additional bookings. I’d never suggest giving your clients mediocre work; the trick is learning how to produce excellent work quickly.

Speed trumps quality in the real world of delivering images to wedding clients. Every hour that passes after the event makes your hard work less relevant. Learn to move faster.

Wedding Photographer Kevin Swan

DAVE’S ANSWER:

The full set of images is usually completed in 8-10 weeks. During our busiest times, it is usually 10 weeks.

Clients get a preview of images on our blog about 4 weeks after the wedding. At this point we have  culled all of the final images and have gone through that set and selected 10-15 images that really stood out to us. It’s not an overview of the day, just the very best images. Then 6-8 weeks after the wedding we post a slideshow (using a service called Fotagraft.com) on our blog of about 100-150 images (depending on the event).

Wedding Photography by David Wittig

2) How quickly do you deliver physical products to your clients?

KEVIN’S ANSWER:

If they approve the album within a few days of receiving the first design, I can have the books in their hands within 3 weeks of the wedding. Plus, I have financial incentives in place to help prompt clients to make decisions quickly. I focus primarily on books, not on canvases or prints.

DAVE’S ANSWER:

As soon as we have completed editing the full set of images, clients can begin the ordering process. From this point on, the biggest factor in turn around time is our client’s response time (which varies greatly), and our vendor’s production times. Our albums take 8-12 weeks to print and bind, and canvases take a week from ordering time. Because we have everything all edited the ordering process is quick and easy.

3) How do you communicate turnaround times to clients? Do you explain your philosophy to them?

KEVIN’S ANSWER:

I always under-promise and over-deliver. KISS turns albums around in 2 weeks, so I tell my clients 5-6 weeks. This way, if something goes wrong, I have time to start over and still meet or exceed their expectations. If everything goes right, I get to blow them away by delivering earlier than anticipated.

DAVE’S ANSWER:

Yes, we consider the time and care we put into individually preparing each image to be an important selling point, and a differentiating factor from a lot of our competition. We want our clients to know that we spend more time on their images than others, and as a result the process takes longer. We discuss this in our first consultation with them. Most of our clients readily understand that speed almost always has a negative tradeoff. Yes, McDonalds can get you a burger in under 60 seconds, but I don’t think McDondalds is on most people’s list of favorite dining experiences.

4) Do you outsource your post-production or do you do it yourself in-house?

KEVIN’S ANSWER:

It’s a mix. I have an editor in-house, but I also do my own editing. I’ve also used Photographer’s Edit, which I enjoyed, but the turnaround time didn’t work well with my desire to get albums online the week after the wedding. Album design used to be entirely outsourced because it was a nightmare, but with SWAT, I’ve gone back to doing it myself.

Wedding Photography by Kevin Swan

DAVE’S ANSWER:

No, we do everything in-house ourselves. We do not outsource our post-processing. While there are certainly advantages to outsourcing post-production (principally in terms of speed and cost), we have been unable to find any service that has an acceptable degree of quality and consistency. Admittedly, we have very high standards, but so do our clients. Trading quality for speed or cost savings is not in the best interest of our clients, even if it would lighten our workload. When you think about the fact that we are preparing images that will likely last multiple generations – 100 to 200 years, it seems absurd to sacrifice even the slightest bit of quality get things 3 or 4 weeks faster. 150 years is 7800 weeks, which means that when we are discussing 4 weeks we are talking about .0005 or less of an image’s lifespan. All the arguments I’ve ever heard for outsourcing relate to how a photographer’s life is made easier, or how their profitability increases, you never hear about why it might be better for a client. I believe that’s because it isn’t better for a client (unless the photographer is simply bad at color correcting).

Wedding Photography by David Wittig

5) Do you use Lightroom and Photoshop? Or just one or the other? Why?

KEVIN’S ANSWER:

I’m versed in Lightroom, Aperture and Photoshop. We don’t use Photoshop in my studio; it’s too slow. I personally prefer Aperture, but  we use Lightroom frequently too.

Aperture has a more consistent, pleasing UI—which is very important to me. If you’re using a program for several hours at a time, the better it looks and feels, the more enjoyable your task becomes.

DAVE’S ANSWER:
Neither, we use Aperture and haven’t opened Photoshop in months. Photoshop is an extremely inefficient way to edit large quantities of images (and even small numbers of images). We can do everything we need to in Aperture, from culling, color correcting, adding film grain, and album design, to organizing, categorizing, backing up, and archiving our images. It may not be the absolute best in each of those categories (though it’s usually the in the top 2) but the efficiency that is gained by having one highly integrated tool is very worthwhile.

Do you agree or disagree, based on your unique business experience? Weigh in by leaving comments below!


Hello there!

It is Novemeber, and the days are getting shorter. Daylight savings time is now in effect as well and as photographers we all know the optimum time for shooting ends much earlier than we would like for outdoor portrait sessions! Because of this, I have decided to move our PUG Meeting to Saturday, November 26th at 11:00 a.m.

Because this meeting will be held at a private residence, PLEASE message me for directions and an address. It is in East Layton, Utah.

Topics we will be covering:

New Pictage Products and Services (There are a BUNCH! YAY!)
How to obtain a correct white balance in the snow
How to coreectly espose subjects properly with snow
and How to photograph moving subjects.

We have the FABULOUS opportunity to photograph two hourses, a model in a red cape with white fur trim and hopefully we will have oodles of snow as well!

If you are in town after Turkey Day and need some inspiration, please join us and bring a friend!

Andrea

To see the article online click here.

 Lily Bride Designs

PURE . SIMPLE . ELEGANT . Follow my adventures in taking the Utah Bridal market by surprise with my unique wedding gowns and accessories.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Updates! on photos that is!!


I need and want to take some time to credit all the awesome photographers who helped me create these beautiful images for my portfolio this last year. I have worked with some truly gifted artist, I’m so grateful for the time they put into making my gowns look their best. So each week, I will post a new post featuring work from each of these photographers and why I think they totally rock! So above are some the wonderful work I have received in using my first featured photographer…….

Andrea Hanks Photography:
Andrea has quickly become a well know wedding and fashion photographer, a great friend as well as someone who I completely trust in my vision for each project I work with her on. She is so much fun to work with and really makes an effort to take on my angles, (even when they don’t work!) I would highly recommend her to trust with your one special day. She has been flown out to many destination weddings and is a house photographer for LookBookLA.com and attends both fall and spring fashion week to snap shots of LA’s fashion elite and its’ up and coming star designers.
You can view more on Andrea’s work on her website, by clicking here.

To see this article online go here.

Lily Bride Designs

PURE . SIMPLE . ELEGANT . Follow my adventures in taking the Utah Bridal market by surprise with my unique wedding gowns and accessories.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The fabulous Andrea Hanks, helped me create these beautiful images last month; so I could have some amazing images for my portfolio for the fantasy tutu I created for Ballet West’s fundraiser. I was chosen to create the tutu earlier this year and after a sleep-less night or two to figure out how to sew up that amazing skirt, this is the end result.


The model who wore it at the fashion show asked me what inspired me to make the tutu. I was inspired by many things, using what I had on hand, a friends wedding dress I recently altered, Film Noir and I wanted to use feathers, as I was entranced by all the beautiful tutus the costume designer made for the Oscar nominated film The Black Swan. Here is the blurb I attached to the sketch I turned in.


This asymmetrical designed two-piece corset and skirt in iridescent red taffeta, and black tulle skirt in descending layers and feather accents is inspired by old Hollywood, and features a playful twist on the classic tutu. The bodice is ruched with bias strips folded to add dimension, an off the shoulder fan of tulle and feathers nicely frames the décolletage bringing the eye to the mini full circle skirt with it’s descending and angled layers of black tulle.

To view this online go here.

Candlelight Video

This is a video from two of our photographers, Andrea Hanks & Nathan Pickett at Candlelight Serenade 2010

Candlelight Serenade from Nathan Pickett and Andrea Hanks.

Contributors

Fashion News Live is the ultimate online resource to find exclusive celebrity and fashion designer interviews, beauty tips, industry updates and much more. Unique in its format, Fashion News Live seeks out interviews and behind the scenes access to bring the online community into the worlds of fashion and entertainment.. Video blogging and syndicating our content to outside networks on Joost, Glamtv, and Blinkx has enabled Fashion News Live to have a reach of over 500,000 unique visitors a day.

Fashion News Live is so successful that it consistently ranks in the top 10 on Google’s search engine which includes over 157,000,000 million sites related to fashion news.  Fashion News Live has attracted a diverse following seeing as we cover every aspect of the fashion industry from shopping, to trends, to events.. we’ve got you covered!

 Rocco Leo Gaglioti

roccoV2

Rocco Gaglioti is a self-made triple threat — creator, producer and host. He founded the televised on-line fashion magazine,FashionNewsLive.com, which almost overnight has become ranked as one of the top ten out  of the 150 million fashion and celebrity sites around the world.
He hit the ground running in 2004 with his very first interview on the red carpet with Anna Nicole Smith. Not bad for a rookie. And the fact that she tried to make out with him didn’t even scare him away from pursuing his lifelong dream of working in the fashion industry. But making dreams come true takes more than good looks and charm.  It takes hard work and determination as well.

Even though he makes it look easy, Rocco came from humble, though very loving beginnings. He learned to communicate with his hands through sign language before he could even speak because of his mother, who was born deaf. This naturally gave him a lifelong appreciation for the underdog, along with the advantage of a much more enhanced “sixth sense”.

Being in the right place at the right time doesn’t hurt either. And so it was a Miami model scout with an obvious eye for spotting talent who advised Rocco in 1994 to try his hand at modeling. Miami quickly turned into Milan and Paris, which turned into New York and the rest is history as they say.

Within a short time, he was signed with Boss and Zoli. Rocco wanted more though, and it was when he picked up a camera in Germany that he discovered his own eye for photography. He was a natural behind the camera, impressed several major publishers and soon after secured gigs from Maxim Magazine and Ocean Drive. But the model-turned-photographer still wasn’t satisfied.In 2000 he moved to Orlando, founded his own production company, RLG Productions, Inc., and set up shop at the back lot at Universal Studios.

His vision for a unique televised fashion magazine format was soon picked up by the now defunct UPN and maintained a strong presence on the network until its demise.He quickly transitioned his vision into an online media empire, which continues to grow and thrive today as he provides a steady stream of compelling entertainment and fashion content for millions of fashionistas around the world.

The 6’3” former model may dress from head to toe in Marc Jacobs and Gucci, but that is not what makes him fashion’s latest “It Guy”. It’s more than likely the combination of his soulfulness, his uncanny ability for discerning the next big thing and his beguiling quintessence that landed him on the pop culture radar and will undoubtedly make him a household name.

And with his eye on television or radio as a next step, the rising star is certainly not going to slow down anytime soon. Rocco currently resides in Los Angeles, California. For more information on Rocco or to arrange an interview, please contact his publicist found on the contact page.

 Jewel Mignon

JewelV2

Jewel Mignon was born into a family of fashion lovers. Unfortunately, Jewel didn’t fit in as a child, so she was sent to live at the School for the Socially Awkward and Fashionably Upsetting.  It was in the thirteenth year of her education, in her “Super Senior” year, that Jewel finally had a fashion epiphany. After graduation, Jewel‘s mission in life was to find fashion errors and correct them.Zealous in pursuit of her new found calling, shoppers at WalMart, United States Postal Workers and Strangers on the street would find themselves getting a complimentary “Make Over By Jewel”. Luckily, Jewel’s friends heard about this and Jewel is now nicely settled into a very “Special” cottage and can blog about fashion and shoes to her heart’s content. Jewel blogs for Fashion News Live when she is not pursuing her new hobby from the balcony of her suite after getting a pair of night vision binoculars. You can check out her other blog called “guesswhatmyneighborsaredoingnow.justkidding”

Angela Simmons

angela-simmons

Angela Simmons is the star of two Hit MTV Shows: “Run’s House”, in which America gets an insider’s look at the lives of the first family of hip-hop, as well as her own MTV Show,” Daddy’s Girls” chronicling Angela and her sister’s jet-setting bi-coastal lives as they navigate Hollywood and step out as role models for their millions of young fans.At 23, Angela is the second eldest sibling in the Simmons family and has already accomplished a great deal both personally and professionally. She graduated from the High School of Fashion Industries and has continued to pursue fashion by attending the world-renowned Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.

That same year Angela and her sister Vanessa founded the ultra-popular clothing, sneaker and handbag/accessory line PASTRY, which has catapulted into a million dollar brand and has become a hit with girls across the country. The success of Pastry has established Angela into a fashion powerhouse and entrepreneur in her own right.With international appeal, Angela alongside her sister Vanessa have graced the pages of PEOPLE, ESSENCE, TEEN VOGUE, SEVENTEEN, VIBE, OK! Weekly, Star Magazine, US Weekly, InTouch Weekly, Life & Style. They’ve appeared on THE WENDY WILLIAMS SHOW, ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT, ACCESS HOLLYWOOD, EXTRA, GOOD DAY NY, FOX BUSINESS and many more media outlets. They turn heads on A-list red carpets such as The EMMY Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, NAACP Awards and New York Fashion Week.In addition, Angela is committed to empowering and uplifting young people and have become an ambassador for the Children’s Miracle Network – visiting children in hospitals and providing them with hope and inspiration.

Andrea Hanks

andrea Hanks

Leaving small town Utah at the age of 15, Andrea launched her career as a model in Europe where she worked the catwalks, graced the pages of catalogues, and adorned magazine covers in Milan, Paris, Hamburg, Munich and Switzerland.  While modeling, Andrea recognized her talent behind the camera and mentored a new generation of models by working at a local modeling agency as a runway instructor as well as a booker and a photography coach.  Before ever picking up a camera, she critiqued thousands of photos allowing her a greater awareness of what she wanted to create through the lens.

Currently, Andrea balances her efforts between the demanding schedule of both local and international destination weddings, and her roles as a freelance and contracted photographer.  Her work has received positive peer reviews from David Beckstead, one of the top ten wedding photographers in the world, on her work.  She is currently the Utah representative for a national photo product firm where she coaches other photographers.

Andrea has worked LA Fashion and NY Fashion Week where her photos have landed on magazine covers as well as in Apparel News. She has worked with many music artists, such as Nelly, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, Mike Posner, Nikki Lund, Richie Sambora, Christina Milian, Brian McKnight, Vanilla Ice, Far East Movement, Slash of Guns and Roses and most recently Grammy Award Winner Jonny Lang to name a few. Andrea was the house photographer for The House of Blues this past year at The Sundance Film Festival and was also the photographer for many private venues during the film festival.  Andrea has photographed many celebrities including Heather Locklear, Brody Jenner, and Kyle Korver along with many others backstage as well as on the red carpet.

Andrea’s success stems from not only her technical and creative abilities but her ability to connect with people.  She has a natural, effortless way of making those whom she is photographing feel at ease, and it comes through in her photographs.

Kristian Weathers                                                                                           

Kristian Weathers
Kristian was born in Sarasota, Fl. And raised in HighPoint, NC. Her modeling career began in diapers at the ripe age of 2. She began acting and dancing by the time she was 4 and has performed in numerous commercials, indie films and theater productions. Her passion has always been with Shakespeare. In 2003 she graduated from North Carolina School of the Arts with a concentration in theater where she studied an array of techniques. She has traveled the world, lived in New York amongst many other cities throughout the country and now resides in the Los Angeles area. Her lifelong affair with fashion continues with Fashion News Live as one of their hosts

Juliana Shadlen

juliana shadlen

Juliana Shadlen is a West Coast-East Coast girl. Born in Providence, raised in Palo Alto and Seattle, now in the Big Apple.Her multifaceted background has trained her eyes to perceive multiple points of view at once. A central driving force in her art is exploration of her complex identity. In 2005, she accompanied her mother on a medical mission with the non-profit Haitian Health Allies and helped in various aspects of the production. This documentary was used as a vehicle to inform the public about the plight of people infected with HIV in Southeast Haiti.On January 20, 2011 Juliana sat in the audience at Lincoln Center in NYC watching a screening of the documentary “Grace Paley: Collected Shorts.” As she shared the experience with the audience, she knew that this was indeed her calling. She had something to say, and these mentors were helping her shape her vision.To build on these experiences, she is now a camera operator and video editor for Fashion News Live. The host and founder of FNL Rocco Leo Gaglioti does edgy celebrity interviews with provocative guests such as RuPaul, Kim Kardashian, and Joan Rivers. Fashion News Live is a well-oiled machine that is the “go-to” site for fashionistas. Fashion News Live is a perfect match for Juliana who gets to exploit her innate sense of fun with style and penchant for extreme fashion.

Veronica Staehle

veronicaV2

Veronica Staehle is a very dynamic female who loves to connect and intertwine all sorts of things into one gracefully unified outcome. Currently attending The Fashion Institute of Technology, she is studying Graphic Design with higher hopes to master the craft of visual communication in all intentions of the term.
The spark for her interests in aesthetics, design, and communicating visually comes from her bilingual, duel cultured background. Raised by two incredible Deaf parents who bred and instilled a sense of pride and empowerment she grew up fully embracing Deaf Culture and American Sign Language (ASL). Their passion and lessons became the foundation behind Veronica’s involvement with the Deaf community and Interpreter field; She learned early on that her Child Of Deaf Adults (CODA) identity would not just be a role to hold, but a beautiful detail of herself she loves to share and express. She has lived in several cities domestically and internationally and never seems to lose interest in finding new things to grab a hold of and become inspired by. It’s this sense of unlimited possibilities and delight found in anything provoking her to work harder to find something she’s never seen.

Sean James

sean james

Sean James was born and raised in Australia, where his career as a hairstylist began to flourish when he trained with Australia’s leading hairstylist Oscar Cullinan. In 1989, Sean moved to London where he trained with Vidal Sassoon. A few years later in 1992, Sean moved to Los Angeles, where
he became an educator and color specialist working at the Los Angeles Flagship store for L’Oreal. In 2001, Sean was brought on as a valued member of the prestigious creative team for Redken, where he began doing many years of fashion weeks in Los Angeles, New York, and Paris.

Sean has worked with celebrities such as Jaime Pressly, Jamie Lee Curtis, Rufus Wainwright, Emily Blunt, Rita Wilson, Lindsay Lohan, Jamie Chung and many more. He works consistently on films, commercials, television, advertising campaigns, and he is sought after all over the world. Most recently, Sean was a member of the exclusive Balmain team as the US representative at Paris Fashion week and has just come back from NY fashion week , where he lead the Rusk team or the Monarchy collection . He has been featured on the E! newtork, the Style networks “How do I look” And is a panel member on “Beautyfix” a Nation wide product review, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and MTV’s The Hills. He has also been featured in world renowned publications such as Harper’ Bazaar, InStyle, WWD, The New York Times, and More, just to name a few.

Sean’s adventures in hair are ongoing and groundbreaking as he continues to have a drive to explore the new and exciting ways to express inner beauty through the ever growing medium of hair. Sean’s mantra as a true artist is “explore yourself and express your inner beauty.”

 Elaine Lancaster

elaine lancaster

As if she stepped right out of the pages of a Jackie Collins novel, Elaine Lancaster is as glamorous and beautiful as the characters of Hollywood Wives. Elaine Lancaster was actually named after two characters from that very novel, Elaine Conti and Karen Lancaster.  As befitting a Jackie Collins novel, Elaine’s life has been filled with glamour, travel, celebrities and a few twisted scenarios.  One being the fact that the gorgeous Elaine Lancaster is in reality a man when not performing.

The actor (James Davis) behind Elaine was born in Alabama and raised in Georgia, while Elaine was born in the lap of luxury, pampered by all, and spoiled rotten. Like the true diva she became, she managed to spend every dime thrown her way developing an unquenchable quest for more. Not just more jewels and designer fashions, luxury brands, but more of everything. Driven by the need to live life in the spotlight, fame had to be hers so the world became her stage.

Elaine is a Style & Beauty icon, as well as an Advice & Lifestyle columnist for Miami Monthly Magazine. She’s in demand as a hostess all over the world in clubs, for charities, DJ & emcee. Elaine travels the Globe DJ-ing for Fortune 500 companies. Elaine hosted The Aspen Gay Ski Week from 1995`2002. Executive host committee member for the Blacks Annual Gala. Hostess for the crown jewel of HIV/AIDS fund raiser since 1997, White Party Week. Louis Vuttion Global store openings.  Polo Ralph Lauren store opening. Host Pamela Anderson’s parfum launch, Malibu. Visionaire Magazine Parties. Bulgari Jewelry Store opening.  House of Field fashion show celebrity guest.. plus way too many to list.  Since 1997 has helped raise over 20 million dollars for numerous non-profit charities.

Elaine Lancaster has caused waves ever since she first landed on the sandy shores of South Beach. In less than a year the diva earned celebrity status from local to Global Diva gracing the pages of every local publication  The national glossy Genre selected Elaine as one of the top 10 Drag Queens of the decade while TIME reported on her antics hosting the political fund raiser for Janet Reno. Fresh back from Vienna, Austria where Elaine Entertained the party goers along side; Patti LaBelle, Rebecca Romijn, Jerry O’Connell, Kenneth Cole, President Bill Clinton, Whoopi Goldberg, Diane von Furstenberg, Richie Rich etc. For Life Ball 2010.  Elaine continues to spread glamour, beauty, and share the goodness of her heart with the men of the world while entertaining everyone else. Elaine lives in Miami & Aspen, but works all over the world. There is no denying Elaine Lancaster has achieved Star status through hard work & integrity. Jackie Collins would be proud to have created Elaine.

Sharon Gault

sharon gault

Internationally known for her groundbreaking work with makeup, Sharon Gault has created iconic looks for some of the biggest names in show business and fashion, and in the process, defined emerging trends for two decades in modern pop culture.

At the age of 16, Sharon became very interested in photography, and later trained with Vidal Sassoon as a hairstylist.  A few years later, she discovered her passion for makeup, and chose to focus her energy in this direction.  Already a veteran of the Hollywood fashion scene, it was not until she toured with Madonna on the “Blonde Ambition” tour, and was featured in the candid documentary “In bed with Madonna” that Sharon came to the attention of the world.
To this day, many people know her simply as “Mama Makeup”, a nickname given to her by the dancers on the tour.  Sharon has collaborated with some of the world’s most acclaimed photographers including, David La Chapelle, Ellen Von Unwerth, Isabel Snyder, Matthew Rolston, Tony Duran, Richard McLaren, Michel Comte and Herb Ritts.  Her work is constantly in demand by Hollywood celebrities, who need to look their best for red carpet awards shows, interviews, and photo shoots, giving her a client roster that includes Drea Matteo, Hilary Duff, Amber Tamblyn, Jennifer Garner, Rachel Griffith, Charlize Theron, Renee Zellweger, Cameron Diaz, Robert Downey Jr, Britney Spears, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Demi Moore, Johnny Depp, Madonna, Enrique Iglesias, Cindy Crawford, Hilary Swank, Kate Bosworth, Gwen Stefani, Thora Birch, and many more.

With such a background, it is not surprising to find that Sharon’s work has featured in such renowned publications as Italian Vogue, British Vogue, Interview, The Face, Arena, Vanity Fair, ID, In Style, Glamour, Allure, Marie Claire, GQ, Elle, Harper’s, Queen, and Rolling Stone.  In addition, she has worked on music videos for artists such as Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Elton John, Moby, KD Lang, Enrique Iglesias, Christina Aguilera, Madonna, Avril Lavigne, and The Vines.

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

Wow!  I couldn’t be more excited!  For our September PUG we have the priveldge of meeting at Brody Dezember‘s NEW Studio in downtown Salt Lake City!  Brody will talk to us a little about his workflow as well as how he integrates Pictage products and services into that workflow for his studio.  We will also have refreshments!

Date: Wednesday September 28, 2011

Time: Gather at 6:30, program starts at 7:00 p.m.

Location: 423 West 800 South in Downtown Salt Lake City.

Please RSVP so Brody and I will know how many people to plan for.  You can email me at andrea@andreahanksphotography.com or text me at 801-349-0718.

As always, our PUG meetings are free and open to anyone!

Go here to see the post online.

 17. AUG, 2011

Summer Collaboration 2011 from Jared Wortley with Oneilove Media on Vimeo.

Capturing the perfect grace, style & beauty to your wedding is easy when you have a team of experts to help you.  This group of wedding vendors shows off their talents as they created this 2011 summer collaboration.  Jared with Oneilove media showcased the event perfectly.  Each vendor played an extremely important role that helped create the perfect look.  Check out this fantastic showcase & get inspired to create your own perfect masterpiece… Your Wedding!!

Photography by~Andrea Hanks Photography

Every bride deserves to have grace, style & beauty on your special day.  The perfect addition to your personal attire & style would have to be one of the gorgeous cars at Something Vintage Something Blue.  You will not only get the royal treatment by their amazing service but you also will be showing up, exiting or both in style.  Something Vintage Something Blue is excited to be debut their newest additions to their Royal Family Magnolia & Sunshine.

Magnolia is a 1964 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III.  More details about this amazing beauty can be found on Something Vintage Something Blue’s website.  You can also find out more information about having them be part of your special day.  After all doesn’t every bride deserve the royal treatment on her special day & have the luxury of getting first class treatment in this cars that were made for royalty.  Something Vintage Something Blue offers an incredible service at an affordable price.  Check them out HERE.




Sunshine is a 1936 Chevrolet Master DeLuxe.  Isn’t she gorgeous?  For more details about this fabulous car be sure to check out details about it on Something Vintage Something Blue’s website HERE.


The Mccune Mansion is one of Utah’s most beautiful venues.  This historic building offers a unique style.  It’s charm beauty doesn’t just carry on the outside but on the inside as well.   If you are looking for a venue fit for a princess you just may have found it at the Mccune Mansion.  Be sure to visit their website HERE.


These gorgeous gowns are from Alta Moda Bridal & Lily & Iris.  These two dress Boutiques offer the latest fashions to the pickiest of brides as well as bridesmaids dresses.  They keep up with the latest trends & styles in the wedding industry so you can trust that they will know how to take care of you when you are on the hunt for your wedding gown & for your bridal party as well.

Mccu
These hair updo’s are a work of art.  Dallan Flint is a master when it comes to hair.  He has proven himself to me in these gorgeous images.  Getting the perfect look to your special day isn’t easy but if you choose someone to help you create the perfect style for you on your special day you won’t go wrong.  Be sure to know what it is you like & what you know looks good on you before you go to have your hair done.  Your stylist may have something else in mind so communicate with your stylist to make sure you both are on the same page.  Taking your dress, hair piece, veil or any other embellishment you want used in your hair is a must when you are getting your hair done for your wedding.  Be sure to do a trial run before your big day to make sure it is just how you want it.

Daniela Rowson knows how to create the perfect look for any bride.  Her flawless make up techniques are perfect for any bride wanting to look her very best.  Daniela knows how to create looks that not only look great in person but on print.  You know that your images will turn out just as beautiful as you look in person.  Be sure to check out more of Daniela’s amazing work on her website HERE.


Andrea Hanks Photography captured all the beauty in this fantastic shoot.  Andrea has an incredible talent to pull out sharp rich colors in her photos and all of her pictures have a certain class to them that is tough to describe but you can definitely see it in her work .  For more information about her & see more of her work be sure to check out her website HERE.


Those Who Made it all Happen

Location~ McCune Mansion

Photography~ Andrea Hanks Photography

Videography~ One I love Media

Dresses~ Alta Moda Bridal Lily & Iris

Hair~Hair by Dallan Flint

Make Up~Daniela Rowson

Models~ Shariana, Scott, Aly Kesler, Hanna

Cars~  Something Vintage Something Blue

Photography by~Andrea Hanks Photography