El Bob on one of the highest points of the island where the lighthouse sits.
I admit, the first couple of years in my photography business, I would report an extremely rough estimate of how many miles I’ve accumulated for tax reporting. An estimate basically means zero to the tax man, so I hope he isn’t reading my blog. I absolutely hate logging anything manually on paper, so I searched for many iPhone apps that allowed me to track my mileage, which worked for about a month because I would always forget to run the app after my trip, not to mention I still have to plug in the data.
I finally discovered a simple device that does pretty much all the work for you. I’ve been using the GiSTEQ GPS TripBook for 4 months now, and thought it was good enough to highly recommend it. The TripBook is a dongle that you plug into your car through a USB car charger. I recommend getting any sort of dual USB charger so you can charge another USB device while using the TripBook.
It’s always been a pain to accurately sort a day’s worth of wedding photos when shooting with two or more camera bodies. I usually put both cameras side by side, go into the menu, and synchronize the time settings. Even though I think this is still necessary, sometimes the second photographer forgets and now a whole set is off by one hour. I found this simple but effective tool to batch edit the EXIF time stamp from the photos that need to be adjusted.
While I’ve always concentrated on shooting people and not landscapes, shooting portrait style (vertically) has always been the way to go. You draw the most interest by getting close up, cropping, and filling the frame. So as long as the person is in a vertical position, a portrait frame would best fill the image with the subject. This style of shooting also carried on to my wedding photography for the first few years, always filling the frame. As my work progressed towards photo journalistic style, the images were less about each individual portrait of every person at an event, and more about capturing the entire scene and atmosphere.
A wedding is full of visual stimulation, from the architecture of the church, the colors of a garden, to the lighting of the reception hall, they all need to be part of the photo so the subjects have a setting or environment within the story.
Another reason for shooting landscape mode is reducing the “energy” in the photo. A portrait photo stands tall and has more potential energy than a landscape photo sitting horizontally. Just like you would not feel comfortable watching a vertical movie screen versus a horizontal wide screen. You want to be relaxed while staring at a photo. A landscape photo also simulates a movie scene.
I still remember the immediate transition from 85% portraits to 85% landscape while shooting weddings, and I’ve loved the results even more since then. Whether you still prefer to frame vertically or horizontally, you must be conscious about the environment you are including in the frame. Tight crop is usually safer at the expense of loosing environmental information, but sometimes too much negative space makes the photo boring as well.
Here’s a final random fact: I dont crop any of my photos with software.
These photos were taken last year, however I never got a chance to edit them until now. You might have seen the scenery photos from my old Xanga post.
The Maldives is definitely the furthest place I’ve traveled for a photo assignment. A Beijing couple was referred to me by an acquaintance and they wanted a “U.S. photographer” rather than the cheesy studio glamour photos. They found this island through a wedding convention in China. Kani is one of hundreds of tiny islands that form the Maldives in the middle of the Indian Ocean just south of India. You could consider this a “trash the dress” session, two years after they’ve been married.
All photos were taken with natural lighting, with a Canon 1D Mark IIN, 50mm, 24-70mm, and 70-200mm.
This is my second time back at the Rockhouse hotel in Negril Jamaica for a wedding. It’s a beautiful location, but I personally still prefer dry, cool weather myself. It was easier this time due to previous experience of this location, 2 more years of photography experience since the last trip, and newer equipment. However long ago the first wedding may be, I definitely think Derek and Sherry’s photos will live up to my expectations for many years to come. The following photos are just scenic photos the day before the wedding, captured with Canon 5D & 16-35mm 2.8L II. This may be the only time I’ve taken scenery photos with people.
Once a year, there comes a wedding that tops all the previous ones and sets a new benchmark for myself and for future wedding couples. My latest and best is Karen & James who had their wedding at the Metropolitan Building in Long Island City, New York. Three floors of antique furniture, mirrors, and plenty of windows for natural light. Each floor is a challenge and whole new setting to really test your photography skills and creativity, it is an amazing experience for anyone to be there. Words can’t do it justice, so I will just let the photos do the talking.