Lately I’ve had a lot of photographers email me wanting to know more about what I do and how I do it, so I thought I should turn some of the most common questions into a page on the site. I should preface this by saying that I am bumping around in the dark just like the rest of you most of the time – and what works for me may not necessarily work for you. But since I have no secrets, here are a few things that you guys keep asking about.
First of all, one of the most common questions is about my gear. What do I take with me to each elopement?
- One (sometimes two) Nikon D700 camera
- One Nikon D800 camera (I do not recommend this camera if you shoot big weddings – I can get away with it doing elopements. It is slow to respond and the files are huge. A better camera for your purposes would be the D600.)
- Nikon 24mm 1.4 lens
- Nikon 50mm 1.4 lens
- Nikon 105mm 2.8 lens
- Lensbaby Composer Pro with Edge 80 Optic
- SB-910 flash (if I know I’ll be somewhere dark or shooting after sunset)
- Lexar CF Cards
- Extra batteries
- Kelly Moore Boy Bag
A FEW THOUGHTS
- I’m going to say this one more time, but maybe you need to hear it again: nail it in camera. A truly amazing photographer could take a gorgeous photo whether they’re shooting with a D800, their iPhone, or film. It’s not about the gear, and it’s not about post production. And if you’re struggling with your exposures, just go back to studying the basics a little bit. And practice. It’s so cliche, but practice makes perfect and the only way to get better is to keep shooting, all the time, everyday.
- Ignore trends. There are so many post production trends out there, and it’s easy to fall into the hole of wanting your photographs to look like [insert trendy photographer’s name here]. Don’t do it. You have your own unique voice and your own unique story to tell. Fads come and go… we’re going for timeless here. Be true to your own sensibility and aesthetic.
- Less is more. You don’t have to share every single photograph you take. Part of being a good photographer is knowing when to toss something. Not everything you try is going to work – that’s okay. Be ruthless in your culling. Don’t give your clients 1000 mediocre images. Give them 500 incredible images.
- Be up front with your clients and stick to deadlines. It does not take twelve weeks to edit a wedding. (And if it’s taking you twelve weeks, email me, and let’s chat about your workflow – there’s a bottleneck somewhere and we can definitely find it and fix it.) Your clients are going to be so anxious to see their images, so make sure they know exactly when to expect them, and then stick to that deadline.
- See the light! Seriously. As photographers, we have to be completely in tune with light – it’s our paintbrush. See it, study it. How is it different on a cloudy day. How is it different at noon in July and noon in December. Watch how it falls on an object – see how it creates shadows. Don’t fight the light – work with it, find the right angles to make your clients look incredible. And practice shooting in every kind of light you can.
- When you’re struggling and can’t find your voice in this industry – a common feeling, I assure you – I find these words from Ira Glass incredibly helpful: Ira Glass on Storytelling