Thursday, November 15, 2007

The All Digital Generation

As the photography industry grows and evolves, we are going to start to see a generation of photographers who have never shot film professionally. There are marked differences between shooting film and digital, and I often consider what long term changes we will see in our industry, both in the technology and shooting styles of tomorrow's photographers.

I think one change we are seeing is the general willingness to take more risks in difficult exposure situations. The ability to check your shots and see if they worked out is huge. If I can instantly know that what I shot worked out, I will be more inclined to go after the more difficult shots. In my opinion, this makes shooting much more fun : )

Another difference in shooting style we are seeing is the increased reliance on in-camera metering and exposure modes (Ap, Sp, Prog.) Being able to rely on the camera to figure out a lot of the difficult exposure calculations helps photographers to work much quicker, especially when incorporating one or two speedlights into the mix. If I can count on the camera to determine the exposure (not all the time mind you...) I can turn more of my focus to my subject and placing them in good lighting situations.

Shooting digital allows me to have many more freedoms as a photographer. I don't have to develop film, I don't have to bring tons of film to a shoot, and I don't have to worry about the film being destroyed. The less time I can spend worrying about the medium I use to create, the more time I can devote to the creation of the photographs that mean so much to our clients.

Digital is fast, versatile, and constantly changing. I think that one of the key factors to being successful in today's photography industry is to be able to keep up on the latest photography styles, techniques, and the latest technology.

P.S. - I still think film is awesome. It has a certain "look" that is very hard to replicate. I am going to try to do some personal work with film in the future, but professionally, digital is where it's at.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Saturday, November 10, 2007

"Portrait Journalism"

I've often been asked what our "style" of photography is. Early on, we kicked around terms like "photo-journalistic", "portrait", "action", and "documentary", but we decided that none of these terms accurately reflected our style. We typically shoot with longer lenses to capture our clients' special day as it occurred. The question that many photographers struggle with is "how involved do I get" ?

We wound up having the opportunity to chat with Mike Colon on the Pictage forums the other night and asked him the same question. His response was:

"I've found that my best images are almost always when I gave no direction at all. I try to set myself up for success to capture a moment by finding a position which puts a great background behind my subject, getting my exposure/white balance right before hand, and anticipating the moment so I don't miss it. There are many times however, when I'll step in and adjust something or move my subject into better light if I feel the shot would be unusable without my intervention."

Mike makes a great point that Kaufman Kramer always strives to follow: Let the couple live the day, and only step in if the moment needs a little extra direction to happen. We have settled on using the term "portrait journalism" to best describe our style to our clients. We came across this term in a book written by Glen Johnson entitled "Digital Wedding Photography: Capturing Beautiful Memories".

Johnson defines portrait journalism as follows:

"...this style produces portrait images that range from traditional to ultramodern to fine art and anything in between."

It's a very informative book, and we highly reccomend giving it a read.

The idea is for our photographers to stay behind the scenes as much as possible and just let the day happen naturally. It can be hard as a photographer to resist the temptation of constantly giving direction, but trust us; the results of going with the flow yield far better photographs at the end of the day.


Friday, November 9, 2007

Quality of Light

I talk about this all the time. In my opinion, having a quality of light is critical to producing a good image. Often times when we are shooting outside, and we are faced with direct sunlight and harsh shadows. Of course we always hope for slightly overcast days, but often times Mother Nature decides to challenge us with direct sunlight : )

To deal with shooting in direct sunlight, we always bring along our handy diffusion panels. On engagement sesslons we bring two panels, one small round panel, and a larger (larger is an understatement) square panel. By positioning these panels to essentially shade our subjects, we can achieve studio quality lighting in an otherwise harsh situation.

Here is an excellent example. In this shot we decided to selectivley diffuse the light hitting Mike and Lia. We liked the harsh contrasting lines in the background, and decided to use them as a compositional element in the photo.

This photo shows Steve using one of our small diffusion panels to "shade" Greg and Kristina.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


When we first started shooting weddings, we quickly found out that we needed some sort of light modifier for our speedlights. After researching several options, we came across Gary Fong's lightsphere. I have to say that I am pleased with this product. The lightsphere actually produces the results that are advertised, which is more than I can say for other products that I have tried. We've been using the lightsphere for a while, and we will continue to until we find something better.

Note: We haven't tried Gary Fong's new Whaletail yet, so when we get our hands on one, I'll be sure to put our thoughts on the blog.

iChat video chat

Last night we finally got a video conference going using iChat. We have been trying to set this up for a while. Video conferences allow us to conduct business meetngs whenever we need to, and because I live in Ann Arbor, doing this helps me stay more connected to the business.


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Amie and Jon

Steve and I had a great time shooting Amie and Jon's engagement session on Nov. 3rd. We shot at the Wildwood Preserve in Toledo, Ohio. It's a great location, and we had some great luck with the weather. Here is one of my favorite photos from the shoot. I'll to post some more images later. Take care.


Sunday, November 4, 2007

Some Cool Production Photos

Welcome to our new Blog!

We were sitting around one day and thought it might be kinda cool to document how 3 young entrepreneurs handle a growing business. It certainly has been an interesting journey thus far. Who knew that you couldn't learn everything there is to know about business from a college class or book? (wink)

Throughout the life of our business, we hope to post our insights into things we encounter and of course, talk about our favorite things about our business! (Photography, design, web development, etc...)

Check back often and leave us messages!