I Don’t Understand Why Photographers Want To Limit Themselves

I know a lot of the other photographers in the area. I’ve met them at bridal shows, photographer meetings, and other ways. I’ve never been much of a talker so I listen a lot and I’m surprised at how anti they are to some photography equipment and options. I’m not sure why a photographer would want to limit themselves, at least that’s how I see it. I know now your like, “What is she talking about?” so let me explain.

Lets start with tripods and monopods. I use tripods and monopods a lot, but I’ve heard other photographers say how they hate them and would never use one. When I hear this I raise my eyebrow in confusion but stay silent. No need to stir the beehive. At weddings I use tripods all the time. I like to try to keep my iso to no higher than 400 as much as possible, especially with the posed family shots. So I put my camera on a tripod and use a slower shutter speed with my flash color gelled to match the location lighting and on a light stand. If other photographers aren’t using a tripod I wonder how they are showing the backgrounds of dark churches? I guess they could bump their iso up to 1600, 3200, even 6400, but I’ve found when your album designing and you have to crop in close to something, that those high iso numbers introduce a lot of grain I don’t want. I use a tripod during the ceremony when I’m not allowed to use flash (some churches restrict flash use). Again for the same reason as above, I don’t want to use high iso numbers, plus the images are so much clearer when you shoot them on a tripod.

The image above was shot in a very, very dark castle with only one flash on a light stand at a slow shutter speed, 1/15 I think. If I had hand-held this the stairs would have been dark or I would have had to use iso 3200 making it grainy. I shot this at iso 400 making so I can crop all the way to her face with no quality loss.

I’ve also heard photographers say they hate using brackets. For those who don’t know what a bracket is, it’s a device that holds your camera and flash and makes it so you can always position your flash on top of your camera even when you are shooting vertical. Here’s a picture of one.

I love my strobo frame. I love that I can flip my flash to the top in a second. I’ve shot with my flash mounted directly into the hotshoe of my camera before and when I turn the camera vertical I get an ugly side shadow that I don’t want. I’ve tried bouncing the flash from ceilings and walls to eliminate the side shadow and sometimes it works, but having the flash directly above the camera while shooting vertical works even better. Maybe the photographers shooting vertical directly in their camera hotshoes know a secret I don’t to eliminate the side shadow. Please feel free to leave a comment about it if you do. I’d love to try your technique out, but until then I’ll stick with my strobo frame.

I recently read a thread on facebook between some photographers who said they hated a bunch of different types of special effects like white vignettes, black and white with color, faded look, and overlays etc. I guess that’s why the brides are coming to me because I do all of those effects and more. You might think a white vignette is old and outdated, but a brides mom who had an image like that of herself loves to have one of her daughter too. If a photographer chooses not to do those effects, that’s fine, but I think you are missing out on some sales you could be making. Why limit your potential. Just about every couple and their parents I meet with love vignette shots and selective color shots. Remember, it’s not about what the photographer likes. It’s about what your client likes.

That’s my two cents on the matter. I feel every time I hear a photographer say they don’t like to use something or do something they are limiting their photography world and potential sales they could be making.


Yesterday’s Wedding at Berkeley Castle

I t was an early wedding. I had to get up at 5am. Being so early and the fact that the bridal party were an hour late getting to the rehearsal, I figured the bride and bridesmaids would not be ready a 8:15 am and I was right. Not a big deal, it happens all the time. As I tell all my brides, “If we don’t get it done before, we’ll just do it after the ceremony”. It just makes the after session a lot longer and I have to cut out the more creative stuff I planned to do. Which I was sad about this time because I’ve never shot at Berkeley Castle before and had all kinds of cool ideas I wanted to do. Oh well, that’s the way wedding photography goes. Maybe next time.

Wedding at Berkeley Castle in Berkeley Springs WV

At least it didn’t rain even though it was burning hot. It was probably better we didn’t do outdoor shots before the ceremony because the bride would have melted into a puddle of white lace and chafon. The ceremony went perfectly even with six kids all under the age of ten. The kids did make the group shots after the ceremony quite interesting as they wondered in and out of the frame. I was using a very slow shutter speed on a tripod because the castle is very dark and in one shot a little boy jumped in from no where and he looks like a ghost in the shot. I don’t know how the couple will feel about it but I thought it was neat looking and kept it in.

The reception was at the Bathhouse at Cacapon state park. Normally it’s a great place for a reception but yesterday I guess it was just too hot for the air conditioners to keep up and it was a bit warm in the room. I enjoyed meeting the string quartet that played at the ceremony and reception. They were very nice and extremely talented players. They called themselves the String Poets and I highly recommend them. The fairy tale theme went wonderfully with the castle. I think it turned out to be a great day and the couple seemed so happy. I hope they had a safe trip back to Michigan.

Meetings, Family, and Cleaning Oh My!

Today I’m cleaning the house because family may come over later and I also have a meeting for December 3. I wish I had more time to clean  but I only have a half hour til my clients arrive. I’m also charging lots and lots of double A batteries for my wedding this weekend. I need them for my 580 ex2 flash that I use off camera. I use pocket wizards to trigger the flash wirelessly even though  I have a 7D that has built-in wireless control.  The flash and wizard eat rechargeable batteries for breakfast.

Not sure when my family from South Carolina will come over or if they will just go to my parents house. My Aunt and Uncle are bringing my nana and pap’s ashes up to be placed where they will stay (I forget the word for it, intern I think) in Maryland. No party or service. They will just give them the ashes. I still have the flowers from the funeral. I put them in my windows and am trying very hard to remember to water them. I tend to kill plants in my care, even bamboo which is supposed to be unkillable.

Tomorrow I’ll go to the rehearsal for the wedding which will be at the Berkeley Springs Castle. I hope I remember the way to get there. It’s been a while since I’ve gone to Berkeley Springs. But that’s why I always go to my wedding locations the night before, even if they don’t have a rehearsal, better to get lost the day before than the day of.

I tried to ride my bike this morning to the mail box but when I sat on the seat I noticed the tires were flat. I found the air pump but I couldn’t figure out how to do it right. Who knew putting air in your bike tires could be so difficult. The pump seemed to just let the air out and not put any in. I’ll have to get my husband to do it when he gets home.

I want to ride around on my bike with my camera and take pictures of scenery to use as stock photos. Save gas and get pictures and exercise at the same time. If anyone wants to get together and ride around on bikes taking pics let me know. I’d love company. It gets lonely being a photographer. You’ll have to put up with me stopping a few minutes to take pictures.


My meeting is over now. They seemed like a very nice couple. They had three boys. My poor son missed out. Logan loves to play with the kids that come over for meetings, which is a good thing. Wedding consultations can be pretty boring for the average child. They didn’t book yet but it seems promising. It would be nice to have maybe two December weddings, and two in Jan, Feb etc. Those are the slow months and I’d rather have weddings than pick up hours at my part-time job for the winter.

Log In To See My Latest Wedding July 9, 2011

Here is the link to see my latest wedding here in Martinsburg WV Barth-Stroop Wedding. The ceremony was held at Back Creek Valley Full Gospel Church and the reception at the Holiday Inn in Martinsburg.

Trying to get the bride to the reception on my John Deere