New York City Elopement & Portrait Photographer || Katie Jane Photography » New York City Elopement & Portrait Photographer

For Photographers

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.

MY GEAR

First of all, one of the most common questions is about my gear. What do I take with me to each elopement?

I occasionally swap the 105mm for a Nikon 60mm 2.8 – Nikon’s other great macro lens. For a portrait session, I generally pare this down a bit and just bring one camera, the 24mm, the 50mm, and the Lensbaby.

POST PRODUCTION

First of all, this probably goes without saying, but you have to start with a good image. If you don’t start with a good image… all the actions and Photoshop tricks in the world won’t save your photograph. I generally think less is more. So whatever actions I use, I use sparingly. I just want my colors to pop a little bit, but I’m not ashamed of the RAW images that come out of my camera. I’ll say it one more time… ALWAYS start with a good image. So what do I use in post production?

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

MENTORING SESSIONS

I LOVE working with other photographers – whether it’s to solve technical issues or marketing/SEO issues or just give general guidance to photographers just starting out. I try to work with 2-3 photographers a month, so if you want to find out when the next mentoring sessions open up, be sure to sign up to be notified first! Workshops and mentoring sessions are always announced on the newsletter first.

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