ask me anything
certainly! and well, i am taking a year off from weddings so i am going to have to reevaluate everything when i come back. :P though i can assure it wont cost any of your limbs. ;)
well thanks! i taught myself editing just through trial and error. im definitely still learning a lot. when combining photos, it is easiest if you keep your camera in the exact same spot, so i would recommend starting out using a tripod. you also need to keep all of your camera settings the same (especially aperture), as well as your focal point. once you get more used to combining photos you would be able to make just about anything work if you had to, but generally you want everything about the images to be as similar as possible - that way all you have to do is overlap and swipe a big fuzzy eraser over any edges and you are all done. :)
hmm, i have never personally approached someone randomly and given out my business card. :P i just give them to people i meet and end up having a convo with, because usually the "what do you do for a living" subject will come up somehow! and when it does, photography is always a really interesting answer that a lot of people automatically want to know more about. ;) i also used to put up a sign (if the couple allowed) at wedding receptions that would say "see photos here" and then have a stack of my business cards available for the guests. though i havent given out a single business card for like, over a year haha. i need to make new ones!
i honestly do no think you need a ton of lenses to shoot a wedding. i just use a 50mm 1.4, and i love using just one lens. ive borrowed from friends before and gone to weddings with multiple lenses, but i actually just find it time consuming and kind of annoying to be changing out lenses often when i can accomplish everything im trying to accomplish with a 50. IF you want to have more than one, i would just recommend getting a good variation of primes, like a 35, a 50, and something more zoomed in like either an 85 or a 135. it just depends on your preference! i have a 35 2.0 that i bought in case of small spaces but i honestly have never used it and am considering getting rid of it. :P the only lens i would buy myself and bring to a wedding (and i know i would use frequently!) would be a 45mm ts. i just love that look!
i did not! i was going to school for archaeology, but i dropped out once i started taking pictures. its really a pretty individual decision, some people will make progress better in that environment and others will thrive on their own. its not at all about the degree, in my opinion, because no one will care if you have a degree or not - all they will care about is what your portfolio looks like - not how you got there. so it just kind of depends on your personality and what type of journey feels right for you! personally, i like to discover things on my own, and i want to keep the outside influences on my progression pretty limited. i also hate being told what to do, i really dislike the idea of getting a grade on artwork, and i just generally dont do well with any sort of guidelines imposed by someone else. it kind of makes me shut down and do nothing. :P im extremely stubborn, so much so that i often consider it my largest personality flaw, haha. so i chose to make my own path and handle growing and learning as an artist on my own time in my own way. im the type of person who is totally capable of motivating and challenging myself and understanding where i want to go and how to problem solve when things arent getting me to the right place. if you can do all of that on your own then id recommend saving yourself some cash, paying off student loans on an artists salary isnt exactly fun!
hey there!! i use the plastic slips and foam that come with the prints when i order them - then i just cut out pieces of cardboard to match the size of the print for a little extra protection, and then usually a layer of bubble wrap in there somewhere, and all sandwiched in between two larger pieces of thick cardboard (i save every single box i ever come in contact with haha) with packing tape around all sides. basically just lots of layers so the package seems pretty strong and difficult to bend! and i just write "do not bend" "fragile" "contains photos" etc etc a thousand times on the outside. :P if i mail the package myself i usually draw a big heart that says "photos, handle with care." so far it tends to go over well and costs me no extra money!
hahaha Ahhh... Trying to coordinate my schedule and my boyfriends schedule and dealing with the fact that it's bloody dark out by 4 30 pm... not so well. I think I'll be just trying something more simple indoors this weekend, which means my cards are totally going to be late, well maybe just the international ones... but better late than never yea? :/
lol no, which is probably bad. but im basically the least technical person in the world. :P
anywhere and everywhere. literally. though in general, goodwill is my least favorite. often the most expensive and hardest to find anything interesting... but not allllllllways the case, because i got my vintage coach bag from a goodwill when i was 15! :) if i have to choose between places, i will pick salvation army or somewhere local/not a chain.
im pretty super excited. :) and i probably wont be posting too much along the way, because i dont have a laptop - im sure i will have some instagrams or something, maybe some writing, to share every now and then! but as far as actual photographs, im almost 100% sure i wont be posting anything til a while after i get back. :/ and im simply going to la because i was invited. ;) i have no idea where we will be stopping on the way back - again just invited to tag along with some other cool people. :)
BEST QUESTION!!! :D
here are some cheap little items i think any conceptual photographer would love to have an endless supply of:
1. smoke bombs
(this is the brand i use/prefer - they last foreverrrrrrr)
2. fake snow
5. sky lanterns
1. a projector. (sorry, no specific recommendations, ive never used one but it would be awesome/useful to have one)
2. any type of string lighting.
3. portable power generator.
i would love those things as xmas gifts so all would be great ideas! in general though, an artist can and will literally make use of anything, random pieces of fabric would be great, for a photographer really anything that gives off light is a fun toy, ladders/step stools come in handy, im currently obsessed with broken glass (though finding that it is a pain in the butt to photograph), a large anchor, raincoats, a simple white dress, paint/makeup, an old suit coat, wigs... really we are not hard to shop for - walk into a thrift store, pick up something random, and i bet you a conceptual photographer you know will love it. ;)
and hmmm, none of these things i actually really would say i want for christmas, because they are just way too much $$, but on my wish list would also be the 45mm tilt shift lens, an old bathtub, and this:
if 2,500 people pitch in a dollar i will hold a free workshop with that baby. :P jkjk. but not really. kinda serious...
(though im gunna get the cheaper $500 version anyway next month sometime when i can get all my recent workshop deposit money out of my paypal. :P )
i dont know if "get used to it" is really the right phrase, but there definitely comes a time when you realize that you literally cannot reply to everything that people send... i answer anything important that comes to my email - either about a legitimate job, interesting opportunity, or anything particularly heartfelt - and then i just do my best with everything else - facebook, formspring. in my facebook messages i dont usually click on anything that doesnt catch my interest in the first few lines that i can see from the preview of my inbox... sometimes i feel really bad, but i would actually would be a professional email responder if i answered everything. :/ it feels really really nice to get back to people though, even when it is a simple question that i answer allllll the time, like what my favorite lens is or something. :P so when i have more free time i do enjoy going through and getting back to as many people as possible. i experimented with having someone help me with mail, but it sort of seemed to make things more confusing. i mean maybe if i spent a few days really training someone in and creating templates or something, but i tended to just not know when things were being replied to, or if i forgot to tag something properly to go to my interns folder, or if i forgot to explain a certain process to her, etc... and so much stuff just requires a personal response. idk, didnt seem like the best method for me! it worked really well a few times when i had sophia help me with just facebook mail, i would edit and she would read me through my inbox, and i would say my answer and she would type it - though i did just feel bad that people thought i was writing back and teeeeechnically i wasnt. :/ its just difficult because im still trying so hard to work on creating successful artwork and learning how to get where i need to be, it takes so much time!
of course! well, actually, i havent for a long time... but i havent taken pictures of anyone for a long time... except married/engaged people, or familes... haha. i know my conceptual work is really suffering, im just too swamped with commissions to edit, it takes me so long to finish! BUT if you havent heard next year im doing solely conceptual work and teaching, so hopefully i will be able to post a lot more. i also would like to shoot something in particular with kristi before christmas, and im planning on taking xmas card photos, i dont know if youd count that as something to look forward to. :P i also have an image i shot recently, but i havent had any time to edit it yet. :/ but trust me, i feeeeeeel your pain sista (or brotha...)!
nope, on the way there i am taking a bus! :D im actually really excited to ride with a bunch of strangers cross-country. :P especially since it will be xmas night. i have this strange fantasy that we will all bring cookies and sing christmas carols together... all i know is im wearing a santa hat just in case.
hmmm, maybe like $1500 a year? so no, not really lol. im going to try to make them easier to purchase in the coming year with an online ordering system etc (and also price them more at what i feel they are worth), but first i need to find a printer im really comfortable with!
hmm really arent too many details, im taking a bus out of minneapolis on xmas night, traveling to la, staying with some people from flickr for a few days, then hitching a ride back/exploring along the way in a van with some of them! :D
aw yay! im quite excited too, i really just need the time to expand more as an artist. :P my very first "paid" job was a little less than 2 months after i started taking pictures/posting my 365 journey. a friend of a friend wanted me to take photos of her for her boyfriend birthday gift - she approached me about the whole thing and offered to give me gas money and take me and my friend/assistant out for lunch afterwards. later that same month i got asked to take baby photos for a girl who i went to highschool with. i believe i asked for $50 to help out with props i was going to buy, but never ended up getting paid. the next month was my first wedding, for which i was paid in the form of a canon ae-1 that the groom no longer used... and after that was when things started picking up quite regularly. when people would ask me to take photos for them, i would just write back, say i would love to and i was really excited, and would again just ask for $50 or $60 to help out with any gas and props that i was going to need to get. a lot of people would never write back - and i mean a lot - but the ones who did just helped me keep building my portfolio, giving me practice and i was building my abilities. i really think i every shoot i was doing was getting better and better, because i really focused on always improving and working better with people. ive been a bit of an internet attention spaz to be honest, i mean you may have noticed. :P i post on the internet all the time, im always trying to interact with people in this cyber world, and this is where all my work comes from. from the beginning i just began posting my work, at first only my friends would pay any attention, but it just began building up, id say mostly thanks to facebook! friends of friends started looking at my work, and those were the first people who hired me. eventually friends of their friends started following along, and thats all gotten me up to the point i am at now, where sometimes when people hire me i literally have no idea how they ever found me! i also think it is important to note that i never turned down a shoot when i was starting out - never. i took anything that came my way - i was doing promo images for a local theater at one point, etc. everything was just helping me to build connections, build my work. im lucky enough to have had things progress quickly, so quickly that i need this break, but if you just never give up and keep pushing yourself, always becoming a better artist and following your heart, work will come your way! dont expect to be making bank though, i mean not many people are going to hire someone to take photos for them and pay hundreds of dollars if no one else has ever hired you before, ya know? best of luck though, really just dont give up, take every opportunity, let yourself thrive however you can! :)
hmmm.. well i started photography in march '10... in june i basically just got lucky and someone asked me to do their wedding - sort of a friend of a friend type thing - i was extremely (x5478574289542) nervous, but also excited! so i said ok. it was an older couple, both on their second marriage - so the whole setup was very very low key and laid back. i actually mostly just photographed a golf tournament, which is how the couple celebrated their wedding day. i had actually spent the whole day previous walking around the golf course and planning shots for the couple, only to find that i would only end up taking family portraits in front of the building for literally 2 minutes before they were done with photos. :P this actually made me really anxious to shoot another wedding, since i didnt get a chance to really do anything wedding-related (the bride also didnt even wear a wedding dress, eeep!).
as soon as i had posted photos from that wedding, i got about 3 or 4 other inquiries. most of them fell through, but i did book another wedding for september of that same year. this was my first real wedding, and i loved it to pieces. i was even more nervous, but it just felt so special to be given such an intimate role in someone elses love story. i struggled a lot with editing, and had a real hard time finishing more than even 20 photos. i ended up making my way through a couple hundred.
posting the images from that wedding was really what brought a lot of people my way for the next year, which i started booking for shortly after returning home (the wedding was in chicago). by the time summer of 2011 rolled around, i had 10 weddings on my plate, and was actively booking for the next year (2012) before they had even arrived.
honestly i do not recommend this method at all. if i could go back and do things differently, i would. weddings are a lot of hard work - like, A LOT. and it is difficult to master everything involved with a wedding, let alone so quickly. i should have turned down most of those weddings, and given myself plenty of time to play around and find my style through both photo selection and editing, before i had a jam-packed two-year long schedule in place. my personality really shows through here though, i am extremely impulsive and a puppet to my emotions. :P i just loved my first wedding experience and i felt i wanted to do it forever and ever and ever.
taking too many weddings before i knew what i was doing (i had booked handfuls of them before i had ever thought about how i would even deliver the photos... dont ask me why all these people hired me, i honestly dont know. they would send me inquiries and all my information in return was so poorly put together, with so many gaps as to how things would turn out) is what brings us up to preset-day. im taking a year off from weddings, so i can have time to evaluate what worked for me and what didnt - and also afford a back-up camera, not having one makes me sick to my stomach. im trying to find a style i love with my editing, and trying to find a way to apply it to hundreds of images more systematically.
if you want to be a wedding photographer, i would recommend finding someone local who you admire and ask if you can second shoot for them. make sure it is someone who will let you keep your images, so you can go through them all and work on selection/editing/story line. i mean there is definitely a market for people who will hire a wedding photographer who just click click clicks as many times as possible throughout the day and sends off some decent, properly exposed and focused images within a few weeks, but if you want to do more than that, its going to take a lot of work and a lot of practice. i definitely appreciate the path i took, because it brought me to where i am today and for the most part, i think i have always been heading in the right direction and have been fairly proud of what i have been able to accomplish - but, if you want to spare yourself a lot of agony, many many nights of endless tears and frustrations... take some time to think logically and prepare first, something i am absolutely terrible at. i actually have been second shooting regularly for a few people (after getting in to them on my own), and still plan to second shoot next year. i also have one pretty special wedding to photograph on my own in the spring. :P the way i have set up this coming year is basically a few steps backwards and will hopefully help me to develop into the wedding photographer i want to be, before i have to worry again about deadlines and thousands upon thousands of images waiting to be edited. :P cant say enough how much i recommend that! honestly though, im realizing how much im going to miss having all my own couples - you get so involved in their lives sometimes, it can be such a special connection. at the end of the day, its a great job. :')
a raw file basically contains more information that a jpg file. this is not necessarily a benefit, it kind of depends on what you are doing and why you are doing it. to make this answer short and sweet, a raw file is larger (if you want to print big, this is good) and it is easier to manipulate in some ways (if you were to accidentally miss a proper exposure of an awesome moment at a wedding, for example, you can muuuch more easily recover detail and fix things). changing a file back to jpg for the internet wont take away the basic benefits you would get initially. if you open a jpg file, change something, save it as a jpg, open it again, change something, save over it again.. etc... each time you basically destroying the image file. its like taking a piece of paper and crumpling it up, flattening it out, crumpling it again... eventually the information could become so compressed that your image is ruined. the internet just cant hold all that original data which is why it needs to be compressed for uploading. :) im not really good at explaining this stuff super in depth, but if you just google it you will be able to find loads of more information.