Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wedding Testimonial from Camilla & Ryan

Thank you to Camilla and Ryan for their kind words about us. We had a fun day shooting their wedding in downtown Boulder. My favorite line is at the very end of their comments (an inside joke about liking us so much that they promise to use us for any future weddings of theirs! Here is what they had to say:

Ryan and I got married on 22nd May, and had our wedding reception on 23rd May 2009 in Boulder, Colorado. I knew that photos were one of the most important parts of the event, and I wanted to find a photographer I could trust. I have to admit that I was very nervous about the photos, and wanted them to be artistic and meaningful and reflect the beauty of the occasion.

I spoke to Marc on the phone and found him so easy to talk to, and when we met for coffee to discuss what we wanted he was just as laid back and enthusiastic about his job. You could tell that he loved being a photographer and took a great deal of pride in his work.

Marc used to coach Ryan's soccer team and had been a family friend more more years than Ryan could remember. I felt instantly very relaxed discussing this important occasion with Marc. He seems to grasp almost immediately what we wanted to capture from the photos and the style of the occasion. And he made the groom feel at ease when Ryan discussed sepia tones and black and white images.

Ryan and and I arrived early for a small private photo shoot before the reception began. I was so nervous when we arrived. I had never had a photo shoot or worked with a professional photographer like this. Never mind that Marc had suggested going down Pearl Street at one of the busiest times of the day, and in addition to that, it was the Boulder Creek Festival.
But as soon as Ryan and I saw Marc he made us feel instantly at ease. He was so excited about getting the right photos for us that it gave us the energy and confidence that we needed. Instead of being embarrassed and nervous about having out picture taken on a busy downtown street, with people watching, and sometimes cheering, we managed to get into the spirit of things and were grateful that the crowds were so happy for us. OK...I still felt a bit embarrassed, but I also enjoyed myself.

When we got back to the party everyone had arrived and Marc just went to work. He seemed to strike the right balance of natural photos with posed ones. He worked very well with both families; managing to get the photos that pleased them, as well as staying alert to what Ryan and I wanted.

Marc had to go away the next day to a family funeral and so I expected to get some of the photos the next week. But we got them on the Monday after the Saturday reception. When we looked at them we were transported back to that wonderful evening with our friends and family and the magic of celebrating our wedding with them. The quality of the photos was so good, and the composition excellent. But apart from that everyone looked like they were having so much fun and so at ease with Marc taking their photograph.

Marc was a joy to work with and one very talented photographer. When it comes to wedding photos I think that half of the battle is understanding what the bride and groom want out of the photos. And Marc did this effortlessly. Ryan and I have both agreed to hire Marc for our next weddings!

Photographers: How to Choose a Sunglasses Tint

After getting my eyes dilated during a routine eye exam yesterday, Paige Paddock, my eye doctor, gave me some good feedback about the benefits of which tint to choose for sunglasses. I needed to make a new pair, as my prescription just changed again. Another friendly reminder from the big guy upstairs that I will be turning 40 in a few weeks and that gravity sucks big time on all of our eyes. Enough to gradually cause my eyes to develop astigmatism, pulling my eyes out of visual alignment. Time to move to zero gravity--is there a cabin available on the promenade deck of the International Space Station? Might need it soon...
But here is what she had to say on which color tint to choose:

Gray and Gray-Green tints: The most common type of lens color. Transmits all colors evenly without changing value of color. Light enough not to impair vision, yet dark enough to provide overall protection from glare. Excellent for bright sunny days. Grey tint is best for bright light situations like water sports because it blocks out the brightest of the sun's rays.

Dark Amber or Brown lens tints: A warmer, slightly brighter lens than the gray. Especially good at blocking the blue light commonly found in diffused light such as one might experience on a cloudy day. Brown/Amber can improve both contrast and depth perception, reduce glare and is a good all-around choice if you live in an area with changeable weather patterns. Brown is great for applications where distances need to be constantly judged, like tennis or golf or skiing or other sports requiring acute visual perception and contrast differentiation. Brown is also best for lower light situations, like fishing in the late afternoon or early morning. Brownish tint lens helps highlight the different contrasts in green colors and enhance visual acuity on the golf course.

I would also add that polarized lenses are a major obstacle to professional photography. Any of you who have shot weddings or any portrait session outdoors on a sunny day while wearing polarized lenses know that you can not view your LCD on the back of your camera. So you have to go with your regular glasses and squint. For long bridal formals, eye strain gets to be a big problem. It is because the LCD screen is also polarized that when the 2 polarizations (glasses and the LCD) intersect, you won't see a thing on your LCD screen. So I will be switching to a tinted lens this time, most likely a brown/amber color.

Nikon/Canon: any new technology on the way that will improve the polarization on LCD screens so this won't be a problem in the future?

Touching the Pretty Stuff: Blue Lake

Did some experimenting with different post processing techniques. Cropping images into a medium format aspect ratio in a few of the landscape images with flowers in foreground. Playing with vintage styling, too. But that said, there was very little to do to improve upon what we had to work with up at Blue Lake this weekend. Ever notice that ringing in your ears from the overwhelming silence in the high country? If you have experienced this, you will know what I am talking about--a truly wonderful thing, full of peace. Then the sound of a distant waterfall ricocheting across thousand foot high walls of sheer granite. Tiny air bubbles trapped in the blue-green ice as a giant slab slowly makes its way to the east side of the lake. The piercing chirp of a marmot lazily checking us out from his perch 20 feet away. The melody of a peace-loving cluster of mosquitos as they gracefully whisper in my ear, drawing a bloodmeal from my neck. Aaaahhhh, the sounds of summer in the high country of Colorado!

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

An Unnecessarily Beautiful World:: The Gallery

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Families, High School Seniors, Babies

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Corporate Portraits Gallery

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Wedding Gallery

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Top 4 Reasons to Shoot Formals Before Your Wedding

One of the biggest concerns brides have when planning out their wedding photography is should they shoot their formals before or after the ceremony. If they do it before, then won't it kill the excitement and surprise of seeing each other for the first time as the bride walks down the aisle? As a wedding photographer in Colorado, I don't believe the wisdom of the choice is strictly limited to one region or another. Here are my top 4 reasons I use to encourage my clients to get them done beforehand.

4. Don't Kill the Thrill! Seeing each other in a 'first sight session' won't ruin the experience when you actually walk down the aisle an hour later. Expressions on my groom's faces still show they are totally blown away when they see their bride at the ceremony for the first time.

3. Great Stress Buster. Clients have consistently told me getting to see each other, hold hands and embrace for 5-10 minutes in a completely private moment before doing formals helps them relax and be in the moment. Normally we will have the groom wait in a scenic and fairly private spot and then have the bride come out to him. No one is allowed out with them, except for me and my camera for just a couple of quick photographs. Then they get to be all alone amidst an otherwise whirlwind day. For them it is kind of like an oasis, a spa moment, if you will.

2. You Look Maaaahvelous! All that hard work spent in the salon doing hair and makeup can be lost if you just spent 45 minutes standing in the hot sun during your ceremony, emotions flowing. Shoot your formals beforehand and you will be at your absolute freshest, especially if you just had 5 relaxing minutes alone with your spouse-to-be!

1. Party Time! Best of all, when you walk back down the aisle in your first test of physical endurance with your newlywed spouse, you get to go straight to the party! No more keeping your guests waiting and you missing your own party that you worked so hard to plan. Need I say more?