Tag Archives: photography

Learning to Love my Wedding Photographs

The time between your wedding day and getting your photos back can seem like forever. You may be dreaming of gushing over each one, getting your favourites framed and sending out thank you cards with your happy ‘just married’ faces on the front. So, what happens if you get your pictures back and you’re less than thrilled? Or, worse still, what if you hate the way you look in them? Recently married, Steph Hale, is here to share her experience of hating yet eventually learning to love her wedding photographs.

When we got our wedding photographs back, I cried. They were not happy tears either. Upon opening the package, I discovered the photo DVD had a picture frame built in to the leather holder and our photographer had selected a photo to put in it. In that picture I looked like a horse. I hated that picture and once I put the DVD into the machine and the images rolled by one by one, I couldn’t think about anything other than picking holes in almost every single one I was in.

Now don’t get me wrong, we hired incredible photographers who captured the day beautifully, but my own appearance, or at least my feelings and my perception of my appearance, made me dislike the photos. Intensely. I sobbed and sobbed as disappointment washed over me, and I hated myself for spending so much money on something I now didn’t like.

And then, for the first time in my life, I did something sensible. I put the disc away and for a while forgot about them. A couple of months later, I looked again, and to my surprise, my feelings had begun to change. OK, I still looked bad in some of them, but that one wasn’t as bad as I first thought – I looked passably human! And so, this continued, I found the images more tolerable every time I looked through them after a break of time. When we reached the 10 month point post-wedding, I discovered that I actually adored my pictures, and now, as we approach five years that love has only grown!

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How to Rock Your Winter Wedding Photos

Photography Farm Shoot Scotland

For many couples, the idea of hosting their wedding in the winter is a really romantic one. A cosy day filled with log fires, twinkly fairy lights and hot chocolate, what’s not to love? Not to mention the fact that you’ll probably save a ton of money with off-season deals! But have you given much thought to how your photos are going to turn out? A winter wedding means less light and if you’ve been carefully curated inspiration boards with images of couples in summer fields or backlit with pretty sunsets during ‘golden hour’ (just as the sun goes down where the light is oh so perfectly pretty!) then you might be in for a bit of a shock.

Make sure you are looking for realistic inspiration for your winter wedding photographs by looking at photos that were actually taken in winter and in a similar location to yours. There is no point pinning pictures of a couple frolicking around the Las Vegas desert or casually strolling along the beach in California if you’re getting married in Milton Keynes in December!

Photography Farm Shoot Scotland

If you are having an indoor winter wedding, earn bonus points with your photographer by considering the lighting inside your venue. From a photography point of view, downlights and uplights are a real nightmare. They both create pools of incredibly bright light and if you’re standing under them you’re going to get really ugly shadows under your eyes and nose. If your venue has directional lighting that’s fine, but I wouldn’t recommend having the key moments (ceremony, speeches) with them right behind you. 

Late afternoon winter light can be very pretty, but the sun goes down quickly. Be optimistic in your planning process and set aside some time for your portraits. If you are getting married in the late afternoon, by the time it comes to doing your formal pictures, it will be dark. Any ceremony after 2pm really limits what can be done afterwards. In the depths of winter it starts getting dark as early as 3pm in some places, so make sure you remember that if you’re doing the bulk of your planning over the summer when it’s light until 10pm!

Photography Farm Shoot Scotland

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How to Take Awesome Photos on Your Android Phone

HOW TO TAKE AWESOME PHOTOS ON AN ANDROID

Instagram is – by far – my favourite social media platform. I love to take and share daily snaps and shamelessly stalk others who do the same. It’s the one social network that I visit and don’t instantly feel like people are just trying to sell me something!

While I’m well aware that there have been a lot of articles about how to take great phone pictures written in the past, this one is different…

As a die hard Android fan, I figured there must be others out there who, like me, want to know how to take and edit great photos, but don’t want to convert to the dark (ahem, iPhone) side. So here are my top tips for taking great phone photos alongside a comprehensive list of all my favourite photo editing apps for Android users!

Take lots of photos

I never take my photos with Instagram’s built-in camera. The way to make sure you’re sharing only the very best shots is to take lot of snaps using your phone’s camera and then pick your favourites to edit and post. Just make sure you delete any duffers or your phone’s memory will fill up faster than you can say “wanna take a selfie?”

Use A Better Camera app

The eight mega-pixel camera on my Samsung Note 2 is awesome but when I downloaded the A Better Camera app my photos got a million times better. It has loads of useful functions such being able to adjust the ISO (just like on a SLR), a HDR option and settings for panoramas. The night mode is particularly great, and means that even if the light is a bit gloomy you can still take a pretty decent snap.

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Don’t use your phone’s camera at all…

I recently invested in a Samsung NX3000 camera and it might just be the best thing I’ve ever bought (no really!) It has lots of amazingly snazzy features, but my favourite has got to be it’s build-it wifi which means I can take a snap on the camera and then instantly transfer it to my Samsung phone with just a few clicks. WHOA, the future is awesome!

A lot of my most recent Instagrams have been taken in this way, but still edited on my phone. Is it cheating? Maybe a little… but when you get such an awesome tool in your life it would be crazy not to use it.

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A Different View & Finding the Right Wedding Photographer

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What are you looking for in your wedding photographer? Someone who shoots images you love, who you quite like as person and that fits within your budget I’d assume. But today let’s look a little deeper. I want to talk to you about photographic style, and hopefully to highlight the importance of the art of your wedding photography. Bear with me, this is all starting to sound a little airy fairy and arty farty but I do have a valid point I promise…

I believe that all photography – illustrated in no better a place than weddings – is art. No question. In my mind no other creative has to work as quickly or to such precision as a wedding photographer. They are required to capture fleeting moments and blink and you’ll miss them memories on the most important day of someone’s life. No pressure right?

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I may have always known this, I mean I’ve been banging on about how much I love and respect wedding photographers for years, but it wasn’t until recently, just last month in Paris in fact, that the validity of the art itself became so clear to me. Yeah, yeah, yeah – I’m going off on an airy fairy tangent again. OK let me clarify…

For our Parisian jaunt, we had both Lisa Devlin and Shell de Mar shooting us. Having such a busy few weeks beforehand we hadn’t really planned the shoot extensively – we were just going to rock up to our apartment, find the Eiffel Tower and hopefully make some magic. The day went great, the locations were perfect and we had outfits that worked really well (sounds stupid, but makes such a difference when you’re doing shots of the three of us together!) All in all we were pretty chuffed with what we’d pulled out of le sac magique.

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The Inspirations: Lara Jade

Photography Credit: Oscar May

I’ve admired Lara and her work for a few years now. I’m not only incredibly enthralled by her fashion photography and attitude to business (and a tough business at that!) but the fact that she found ‘fame’ so young (she started sharing her self portraits online when she was just 14!) and has achieved so much all before her 23rd birthday.

‘Woah’ indeed…

Photography Credit: Oscar May

Hey Lara, for those of my readers who might not have heard of you can you introduce yourself – who you are, what you do, your journey to where you are today?

Of course! I’m Lara Jade, a fashion and advertising photographer from England currently residing in New York City. Like many young photographers, I took an interest in photography at a very young age (fourteen, in fact) purely by realizing that every other artistic medium frustrated me! I found photography after researching other artistic communities online, and during my school exams I experimented with it for my final project and was instantly hooked! In the beginning it was for fun, I’d experiment with costumes and disguises, placing myself in front of the camera as different characters (a la Cindy Sherman!) which enabled me to hone my skills and build my confidence to work with models and bigger styling teams. 

You recently moved from England to NYC, why did you do this and do you feel the move has benefited your career? What does NYC offer that London doesn’t? do you think you’ll stay there forever?

Truthfully, I was at a point in my life where I needed a change of pace and NYC offered this. I decided on moving there after visiting for the first time in February 2010, and realized the rush of the city and new culture was what I needed to regain my inspiration in my personal and work life. After my second trip to NYC in the summer of 2010, I worked hard on the goal of moving there, and a year later I was there! I can’t say I’ll be here forever, but you can never say never! I enjoy being able to have a home base and travelling from it, and it’s great to be in a place where there are likeminded creatives and a pulsing art/photography community.

What is it about fashion photography that you love and why did you want to shoot fashion instead of any other type of photography?

When I first started photography, I was only interested in conceptualized fine-art pieces and self-portraiture – something that offered meaning and was visually impactful. However, later on in my career; after having a taste of the London scene, I realized that fashion photography could have this effect too – it wasn’t just about selling clothes, it was also about selling a meaning or lifestyle, and so I combined the two things together, and started shooting fashion stories.

To many, fashion photography will seem like the impossible dream to work in, do you have any advice for anyone that wants to pursue this path?

I am definitely not going to say it’s easy! You have to develop yourself a lot personally and visually as an artist and offer something that is instantly recognisable – style is everything, and everyone is looking for the next big thing. However, if you have a great style and no networking, you’re never going to be noticed. Fashion photographers have to have a great body of work in their portfolio, as well as great social networking skills to be able to market themselves, so this is why it’s vital to understand the photography AND fashion industry as a whole.

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Should I Book a Professional Wedding Photographer or Get a Friend to do it for Free? A Cautionary Tale…

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Photography Credit: James Melia (full wedding)

You’ve probably seen similar discussions to this on other wedding blogs, however today I wanted to share with you this cautionary tale from a bride who had personal experience of taking the cheaper option and was unhappy with the results. Now, I know spending £2000 on a wedding photographer isn’t possible for everyone, however the point of this post is not to bully you into paying for someone you can’t afford. No, I wanted to share this story with you so that you make your decision with your eyes wide open. I just want to be open and honest with you and to let you know that, as with most things in life, you really do get what you pay for…and if something sounds too good to be true then it probably is.

If wedding photography isn’t that big a deal to you, the great – who am I to tell you that’s wrong? However it breaks my heart when I hear from newlyweds that say “I wish we’d thought more about our photography. We spent more on the cake/my dress/the flowers and now we have no good photos to remember our day”.

OK, Over to you Mrs X…

♥  ♥  ♥

I have asked for this post to be anonymous so that people reading this don’t think it’s a shameless marketing ploy. I may now be a professional wedding photographer myself, but I didn’t want to write this article to promote myself. No, I really just wanted to share this cautionary tale with those of you who might not understand the importance of having great wedding photographs.

It’s been a few years since I got married but when I think back to it I get a sick feeling.  It wasn’t the family argument that happened (don’t get me started on that!), nor was it the fact that we funded it with a loan which we are still paying off.  Nope, the sick feeling is purely centred around my foolishness and the pretty terrible images we now have to look back on for the rest of our lives.

Here I am a few years later, now a ‘pro’ photographer myself (who knew that would happen!!) and I now have a new found understanding of the skills required to shoot a wedding. I find myself wishing I knew then what I know now. You may have read articles from photographers before staying how important it is that your wedding photographer has experience, knows how to handle lighting and uses the right equipment etc, and while I am here to reiterate these points, I’m not here to say these things to pimp my own services. I figured this article could be a little cathartic for me and I really hope I can help you think a little bit more about your decision – whether that be to spend money on your wedding photography, or to go for the cheaper option of hiring someone with no experience – maybe a friend with a nice camera who has offered to do it for free. Please note that a ‘nice camera’ does not a good wedding photographer make!

We got married in December and I now appreciate that winter weddings, where you come out of the ceremony to the cold and dark, are bloody hard work and really difficult to photograph.  I understand that romantic candle lit receptions might look gorgeous in ‘real life’ but require a certain level of skill to capture on camera, and above all I now know that all of the money I spent making the venue look beautiful and cosy was pretty much wasted.  OK so our guests will always remember how beautiful the venue looked, but for me the day flew by so fast and I don’t remember much of it myself!  Every time I mention my wedding my Mum says “But it looked so beautiful” and whilst I’m sure that’s not just her being kind (it’s really not her style) it has made me hate my own wedding because I don’t look back at my photos and see a beautiful wedding, I look at them and see horribly dark and blurry photos.

You see, not realising the true impact of what I was doing, I asked my friend to shoot my big day.  He had a DSLR and could take amazing pictures of cars so he must be able to shoot my winter wedding right? Wrong!

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