Hope you all had an excellent weekend! Here are the answers to Friday’s open Q&A on Facebook. The next Q&A will be this coming Friday from 9:30am – 10:30am PST!
1. Hayley J.: How do you deliver photos to clients? Do you do any special packaging with your branding or do you use a website like PASS?
Client proofs are posted on Pictage and I deliver high-resolution photos on a custom USB. The USB is the size of a credit card and has my branding on it.
In A Card helped me design them!
When I first began, I would deliver client photos on a CD and scribble some words on it with a Sharpie. I don’t recommend doing that. Presentation is uber important.
2. Andrea K.: Tips for beginners?
The best tip someone gave me when I first started shooting was, “Get IN there.” Anyone can stand back and take a picture of something. What do you see? GET IN THERE!
3. Dominic R.: I bought my camera a year ago. It has been on auto mode since. Scared to change settings. How do I learn from going from auto mode to playing with the different settings?
The only mode you need to learn to shoot on is Manual. If you know how to use Manual, you will never automatically know how to use all the other settings!
You can read how online or in a book but let’s face it, most of us are lazy. Having a professional explain and show you works way better. I think the most effective way to learn how to fully use your camera is to take a class (that’s what I did). Most community colleges offer photography classes and they aren’t too expensive. Taking a class will truly force you to learn how to use it.
When I took my first photo class, the teacher required that we photographed all our assignments in Manual mode. She would check the metadata to make sure we followed through. I love her for it!
4. Chris N.: Did Erich Chen just do your engagement photos?
I’m not engaged, so…no…?
5. Lynn C.: How did you first advertise yourself? How did you put your name out there essentially?
In the beginning, I talked about my work to anyone who would listen. My hairdresser gave me that piece of advice. I could tell she was really good at promoting herself so I asked her how she did it. She told me she simply talks about her work, A LOT. Besides that, I also put myself out there on Craigslist and Yelp.
6. Melissa V.: If you could go back in time and photograph any famous couples wedding, who’s would it be?
Whoa, that would be NEAT-O!! Some couples that come to mind are the Kennedys, Walt & Lillian Disney, Elvis & Priscilla Presley. . but I’ll have to go with Michael Jackson & Lisa Marie Presley.
7. Jamie G.: I know u like to shoot in color and black in white. For your own dream wedding would u want color, black and white, or both? Why?
I would want both. Each individual photo tells a story. Sometimes color does a better job telling the story, sometimes black and white does. I would trust that my photographer (whoever he/she may be!) chooses what is appropriate for each photo. How lucky we are to live in a digital age where you can have the option!
8. Cami F.: What do you do to ensure great skin tones?
I edit the picture as a whole in LightRoom, but if I notice someone is looking abnormally pale, green, blue, magenta, etc., then I adjust the entire picture accordingly to make them look more natural. The focus of my pictures is usually the people, so making sure that they look good is priority. If you are having trouble with skin tones, I recommend taking a color film developing course. That class was really challenging for me but I learned to see color in a whole new way. I went back to look at some of my old photos and was like holy sh*t, these people are way too green!
9. Maricle K.: How do you make sure you have the right exposure every time without pausing for too long and missing moments? (That’s what happens to me when I try to use the light meter to get the right exposure at every click). Or are there other ways to correctly measure right exposure?
There is no trick. As you practice, you will learn to change the settings quicker without having to pause. A lot of times, moments happen so fast that you don’t have any time to think. Some famous photographers like Joe Buissink shoot in P (Auto mode) because of this. There is nothing wrong with that. Just look at his work!
10. Tabitha L.: What’s the most challenging part of wedding photography?
For me, it’s the editing. I am incredibly anal about how my work turns out that I spend an unhealthy number of hours in the editing room. BUT, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
11. Ivy K.: Why did you throw away my gold flip flops? (Ivy is my friend who LIVES in flip flops).
I have this thing where (generally) I think flip flops should only be worn to the beach. Not only that, but I think that your shoes say a lot about you and if they are literally falling apart and fugly, you don’t need them. Plus Ivy, you have what, like 50 other pairs of flip flops? Hoarder!!! That’s why I threw them away.
Gosh, I’m mean.
12. Pamela X.: How did you learn to advance in photography? i.e. Did you read many books and did test shoots, or was it more learn by doing or a combo?
I read books, I did test shoots, I took classes. All were very effective. Learning to shoot with film and working in the dark room is when my skill really excelled. After that it was lots of practice! It’s something you have to keep doing. I took some pictures with film the other day because I thought it was time to refine my skill. It really is great practice!
This is the first photo that I ever developed in the dark room. It continues to be one of my favorites!
13. Maricle K.: Can you talk more about colors? (ex. sharpness, contrast, tone of color… in different settings – Landscape, Portrait, B&W…etc). And do you use them or just use “Standard” all way through and then edit afterwards?
I shoot RAW using AWB (Auto White Balance) and then edit the photos after. The different settings (Landscape, Portrait, etc.) are what the camera generally thinks is correct when taking that kind of photo. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. It’s a very general way of shooting/editing photos and I don’t recommend it. I recommend shooting in Manual and then post processing in Photoshop or LightRoom.
14. Sunny B.: If you could be anyone else for a day, who would you be?
My dog. Everything is the most exciting thing to her! Food? Walk? Squirrel? Watching TV on the couch? Oh BOY!
15. Sandra M.: What do you think is an all around good compact digital camera? Something like the Nikon one?
I have the Lumix-3 and I love it. Before that I had a basic Canon Powershot and loved that too. There are SO many awesome compact digital cameras out there. To be honest, I’m not super familiar with compact cameras because I typically use an SLR. I would ask friends regarding what they think about theirs, or go online and get reviews (like on Amazon)!