Country Wedding

Country Wedding

Last weekend I had the opportunity to dust off my cameras and revisit my love of wedding photography. Really its more that people are generally happy and pretty for weddings. That’s my personal honesty secret. I love photography of people when its fun, and people are pretty. Not pretty in the “look at those magazine attractive people” type pretty, but the natural glow of content people enjoying life. The ones happy to be where they are. That is what I enjoy capturing.

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Subjects I don’t really enjoy? Maternity, babies, large groups. Why? Lets start with Maternity, I don’t have the heart to tell women that the beautiful woman in the magazine is not only air brushed and perfected lighting, and spent more energy and time then they really want to, they are usually about 6 months pregnant. I try to encourage early shoots, but even then, pregnancy is miserable. Yes, you “glow”, and are sooo blessed and happy, but your legs/feet hurt, your hips hurt or feel awkward, you waddle, clothes rarely fit right, and all the other things women don’t say out loud often about being pregnant. Yes, sometimes its great, and the photos turn out awesome, but often its exhausting, and I’m not good at making it “fun”. Other people rock at this, I don’t, so I stay away from it.

Babies? Real newborns, like still sleepy and don’t care what you do new born, I like that. I just want to be warm and snuggled, don’t make me be naked newborn, that sucks. They tip, they roll, they cry, and they can’t hold up their own head. I stress all the way through. SKIP IT. I only do my own, and as for anyone else, not until baby can look around.

Large groups? This is like the “lets do a big family Christmas picture” type large group. The one where there are 8 kids under 10 that don’t want their picture taken, or at a minimum don’t want to take the picture the way mom and dad want them to. Throw in at least 5 adults, 2 of which are reprimanding kid behavior, no thank you. This also includes the groups of 4+ kids under 6 – I don’t herd cats either. Just an FYI.

Those 3 topics are why I have no interest in really getting into portrait photography. That’s what we all want want, all the shots I just complained about. I love the happy shots, and the emotion shots, that’s my passion behind a camera.

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Like catching a kid enjoying post rainstorm puddles.

So when my friend was asking around for someone that could do photography on short notice, I made sure to start with “what would it be for?” As soon as I heard small wedding, I said, “Why yes I do know someone available”,  “Let me show you some past work”.

 

All weddings have confusion and crazy times, I just love getting to capture that and the love behind it. The prep time, the one-on-one time…..

For example, working with kids. What do I do when they just won’t cooperate? Start snapping, and see what you get.

Maybe even throw in a fun filter.

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I actually have to work to not get caught up on the couple and make sure I get the family shots too. You’ve gotta include Grandma!

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But the couple is by far my favorite:

 

And the oops moments, like struggling with the garter:

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And every now and then I re-write history:

Before: Fishes

After: Just 2 beautiful women – thank you Photoshop

And throw in a couple shots of the decor for good measure.

It was great to break back out the camera(s). I like having 2 so I can have 2 different lenses at the ready. Normally I would just have the one, but for a wedding its pretty handy. My fear is if something happened to one God forbid. I’ve heard horror stories of cameras getting dropped or stolen mid shoot.

I have had such a great time with this though, I realized I really need to take time to give myself a little artistic outlet.

Maybe I’ll work on doing a photo challenge series.

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Falling back in love with photography

Falling back in love with photography

Recently I upgraded my camera. I’m in love with it. However, I really hadn’t used my old camera all that much over the past couple years. I just wasn’t feeling it. I think it was a cross between being busy, feeling uninspired, and the big one, it wasn’t special. Anymore a SLR camera isn’t difficult to use. Back in the day, they were film cameras, and the digital SLRs out there were very expensive, and didn’t have the quality in the finished picture that film did. But now, you can pick them up for next to nothing. Mom’s everywhere have one. You can snap a shot and see right then what it looks like. The auto settings and preset settings are amazing, and can do a lot for those that don’t really understand the technical aspects of photography. If you still need a bit more there are hundreds of photo editor programs, and even Photoshop has armature friendly software (elements – love this, I hate computer editing photos).

Now I’m not bashing anyone for picking up a camera and trying their hand. It’s a great way to express yourself and even save a few bucks when creating printed memories.

Getting my inspiration back has been slow coming. And in doing so, I’ve learned a couple things:

Photograph what inspires you. Don’t just photography anything and everything. Just because someone asks you to, doesn’t mean you should. You will likely find that photographing things that don’t interest you, or you don’t enjoy will result in less than awesome end products. For example, I don’t enjoy maternity photography. I like to do my own, but not someone else’s. I’m not comfortable dictating what pregnant women should wear, or telling them if what they chose won’t be as flattering as they’d like. Often women want to wait till they are their largest, and while I always tell them that they should do pictures around 7 months so they still have clothes that fit, and are not completely uncomfortable, it doesn’t seem to always register. As a result, I’ve never liked any of the maternity portraits I’ve done. They’ve turned out okay, and the mothers have seemed to like them, but they weren’t my best shots, and took too much time editing.

Find your style and stick with it. I personally love street photography style black and white. Sometimes rustic, sometimes industrial, but generally always black and white. I want my pictures to tell a story. You won’t find a single picture of brides jumping in my entire portfolio. It’s not my thing, so if I tried it, it wouldn’t look good. I don’t understand the idea, and wouldn’t be able to tell someone what I was looking for. Yet you can find a picture of a bride jumping on a trampoline.

 

mega pixel mumbo jumbo

What does all this mega pixel mumbo jumbo mean to me?

Basically mega pixels are tiny cubes of color that make up a picture. The more cubes your camera can use in a space, the clearer your picture will be. So the easy answer is that higher MP = better picture. However, depending on how big you want to print, after a certain size, it really doesn’t matter.  In the chart below, ranking from best to lowest quality, it would be purple followed by dark blue, light blue, green, and then orange.

As you can see 10 mp is perfectly capable of being printed at 16”x24” and look great.

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You can read more detail on the chart in this blog post.

Randomness

You may or may not have noticed I haven’t posted for a bit. Things have been very hectic for me. Hubby is done working out of town for a bit, but with the Wanapum Dam combating “catastrophic failure”, he’s working a lot of OT. Actually it sounds like he will be working 7 days a week until June sometime. It’s actually quite amazing to see the river right now. It is so low that they have had to close it in this area. From what I hear there is actually quick sand, it’s very surreal. There are no docks that reach water, and Crescent Bar is screwed to say the least. But on the flip side, when people come to the area and say how “un-touched” the land is, they will be speaking closer to the truth. Anyway here’s a pic, and I’m moving on.

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Here’s a link if you’re still curious: http://www.grantpud.org/your-pud/media-room/wanapum-dam-spillway-response

The other day I was in Ephrata to take soccer team pictures. It was actually a fun experience. I was pretty worried at first, the grass was brown and the trees were still leafless, plus there were a lot of teams running around. Now, leafless trees may not sound too bad, but behind those trees are a city shop (i.e. road district equipment), a fire station, and some lesser awesome homes, one of which actually had a car jacked up in the front yard. The best bad option was the old “homestead” barn that is amazingly still standing and due to expansion is now in town.

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I was able to take the pictures from a slightly elevated angle so that I only had grass in the background, and with a little work in photoshop I was able to make the grass green-ish.

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On the way home I stopped by a little “Antique shop”, and I use quotes for a reason. The store has great finds, for cheap, but you have to combat a less than pleasant environment. But if you can get past the cat urine smell, dust and cobwebs, you can find great stuff.

This is Reiners (Ephrata, WA):

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Here are some finds:

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One thing I love about the man that owns the store is that I can go in and tell him what I’m looking for and he can find it. On my last trip I was looking for a snaffle bit to use as a dish towel holder. He found what I was looking for within minutes outside, though he did have to cut it out of the old leather bridle.

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Here is what things look like inside the store.

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