Monday, December 29, 2008

Atlanta Botanical Garden Wedding

I had the honor of documenting the wedding of Anthony & Rhonda on Saturday December 27, 2008 in the Japanese Garden at Atlanta Botanical Garden. We were blessed with 65 degree weather and the rain stopped long enough for us to have a dry afternoon in the garden. It was a very intimate wedding ceremony with only close family, most of whom traveled from very far away to attend. After the wedding we did several family group shots and then took a walk around the gardens to find some really beautiful backdrops. Gallery - Slideshow

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What is your "Style" of Wedding Photography?

I felt like giggling when I read on a forum recently that someone was asked what their "style" was and I could tell that they had NO CLUE what that meant. For me it was funny because I know without a doubt what excites me and what does not, so I know MY "style" without even thinking. For example, I always thought the traditional wedding pictures were SO boring and I never really wanted anything to do with that kind of photography and wedding albums full of traditional posed photos definitely never did anything for me. Maybe that is why even though I have been married more than once, I have never wanted one of those photo albums.

I am going to change gears here on you for a few seconds because I feel like sharing some thoughts. When digital cameras first came out on the scene, I wasn't really sure what was going to happen to photography as I had always known it. I was up in the air about the whole thing. I loved taking pictures so the appeal of doing so without buying film, processing, etc. seemed attractive.........BUT I wasn't sure about the whole thing. I wasn't sure how this new format was going to impact the photography industry as a whole. I was worried about the camera shops and photo processing companies, I didn't know if they were going to stay in business. Anyway, because of all of this I wasn't sure what I wanted to do for quite some time. I did end of getting a digital camera, but I didn't get the digital version of my film cameras at that time. What I did is just get whatever I thought would suit my casual photography needs and still use my film cameras for anything requiring a "real camera". Wouldn't you know it, I just sort of got tired of carrying BAGS of camera gear and it was that much easier to take pictures with my new digital cameras. I have had several over the past 11 years. I also found that I very rarely was getting out my film cameras. One thing that changed my mind is that about a year ago I picked up a digital SLR camera and played with it taking a few test shots. I could tell right away the huge difference in image quality compared to the digital cameras I had been using. So I filed this information away in my brain that I would eventually invest in a DSLR camera when I wanted something that wouldn't fit in my pocket or purse. So I bet your are guessing that I finally came around to getting serious, right? Sure enough one day I woke up inspired with all kinds of ideas about starting my own photography business which is a lifelong dream I have been having for a LONG time. I just wasn't ready for it until now. Once I started really thinking about things and the fact that I am already in the wedding business, I knew that it was going to be that much easier for me to stick with something that I know a LOT about and that is weddings.

Okay, back to "style".... So as I started looking at recent wedding photos, I was noticing some major shifts in style. Matter of fact some friends of ours had a daughter that got married recently. I was unable to attend the wedding so I was very excited to see the pictures from the wedding. The images I saw from the wedding really inspired me in a way I can't describe. It was just so fresh and the images were stunning. As I ventured around on the internet I realized that sure enough the new modern styles of wedding photography were way more up my alley. So as I have done some studying I have learned that what I prefer is classified as portrait journalism or photojournalism, which in reality is a blend of photojournalism, a touch of traditional portraiture, and leans more on the creative, artistic side
. I totally LOVE the creativity of the "Trash the Dress" sessions I have seen photos from, so this is something I will be offering in my packages. I also really love the idea of the engagement sessions and plan to do this with all of my couples. See since I am from the "old school" of look at the camera and smile and get that catchlight in the eyes, this is a major shift from portraiture, etc. but I absolutely love it.

I also started checking into what people are doing and what the vendors and manufacturers are offering for wedding photography. I can't tell you how pleased I am with the idea of wedding photo books, coffee table books, canvas gallery wraps, DVD slideshows, etc. I am just so excited about the possibilities of what I can offer people. I have definitely done my homework and I have come up with what I feel are the best offerings available.

I am going to be doing some portfolio building specials soI can build up my wedding portfolio galleries. If you are a bride and you are reading this, all you have to do is ask me what the special offer I am running is and mention you read it on my blog, simple enough?

And if you happen to be reading this and are a photographer that would be interested in having me second shoot or assist you, please do get in touch with me as I am looking to really get out there in any way possible so long as I might be able to shoot and get some images for my portfolio.

I do have my very first wedding coming up later this month so I am sure there will be more to come very soon. We will be at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens for a quaint wedding. I feel I have already hit it off with the bride just by talking on the phone so far. She shares my vision of what I want to do and knows this will be the first, it seems that we are all getting excited about it. Thanks for reading and sure enough, I will have way more to say really soon.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

How Did You Get Here?

When people find out about my interest in photography, they have lots of questions about how I got started. So I figured this would be a good time to kick off the blog and tell a story, a true story.

Back in 1987 I had a beautiful blue eyed baby girl. She had the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen. I bet what I am about to say some other parents will relate to if this ever happened to them. I always wanted to take pictures of my little baby girl, but the sad part was the camera that I had at the time was not able to get in close and take pictures of her in focus. It was not able to do close-up pictures at all, so I missed so many valuable memories that I couldn't capture day to day. I got so mad over this that I made it my goal in life to remedy this situation as quickly as I could. She was born in February that year and by October 1987 I had gotten my very first 35mm SLR camera. This changed my life! So I may not have the newborn pictures, but from about the time I got this new camera till now I have pretty much documented her life in pictures.

Say "Hi!" to Christin. :)

So I took this new interest very seriously. I didn't just get the camera, I made it my "job" to study photography. I went to the library and took home as many photography books that they would let me check out at a time and I read them all. Then I would take them back and get more. At the time I was working from home babysitting for other parents. Then when I needed to go out and get another job, I got hired as a photographer by a national portrait company. I actually have worked for that same company (in a different division) again after I relocated. The experience I gained working for them allowed me to learn more about shooting portraits of babies, children, families and everything in between. I still did my creative photography every chance I got.

In the late 80's to early 90's I took a photography course that helped me to gain even further understanding and forced me to do assignments and of course get my work assessed and critiqued. During the early 90's I started learning and practicing hand-coloring of B&W images and doing retouching.

Over the years people have asked me why I wasn't doing photography as a business and the honest answer to that is that I knew I wanted to, but I just wasn't ready to pursue it. What changed? Well, about 6 years ago I met my husband. He happens to be a disc jockey and has been for over 30 years. About 3 years ago I also started doing weddings, events and parties, playing music and emceeing. I have gotten so comfortable with the timelines and details of weddings that I just knew it will be that much easier for me to transition into photographing them. I came to the realization that this could be the fruition of my life dream. More than anything I want to travel, see new places, experience new things and photograph it all. I have been heard saying my life dream is to "travel with my camera in my hand" many times over the years. As I have done more studying about doing wedding photography and I came to the topic of destination weddings....I got excited. I won't say that is where I intend to start, however, I know eventually that time will come and I will be more than ready for it. In the meantime, I am so much looking forward to providing wedding photography for the Atlanta, GA market.

Remember that cute baby up there?
This is one of my favorite images I have done of her.

Even though my website is not completed yet, no time like the present to get it out there on the web