Posts tagged ‘wedding’

May 18, 2009

Shooting for the Book

The wedding season hits in June and we at PhotoHand expect a rise in custom photo books design orders. Most of our clients have been in the wedding photography business for a while but there are a lot of talented young beginners who have been asking us to give them some tips on how to be prepared so that they are in the right place at the right moment and shoot enough material for a lively photo story.

We looked at the weddings albums that we have created so far and came up with this cheat sheet. A bride can also use this list when giving directions to her photographer.

A spread from a wedding book designed and photo retouched by PhotoHand prosfessionals.

A spread from a wedding book designed and photo retouched by PhotoHand prosfessionals.

A wedding is a celebration of a tradition and traditions by their nature adhere to certain scripts. Below are the points general to any wedding but if the wedding is to include some ethnic traditions or special family customs, that photographer must be notified of all such details beforehand so that he or she is able to capture every key moment.

Behind the Scene
The dress on a hanger
close-ups of any remarkable details on the dress
Accessories: flowers, shoes, jewelry, the rings
The bride getting ready (makeup, hair, jewelry, dress,shoes)
Family and bridesmaids assisting the bride
Others getting ready
Portrait of the bride
The groom getting ready (adjusting the ties tie or cuff links)
Portrait of the groom
Waiting for the Ceremony
The wide-angle view of the location
The groom waiting for the bride
The groom, the best man and the officiator
The ring bearer and flower girl
General view of the seated guests
Arrival of the bride

The Ceremony
The best man and maid of honor coming down the aisle
Each groomsman and bridesmaid coming down the aisle
The bride coming down the aisle
Wide-angle view of the ceremony
The vow and ring exchange
Signing of the marriage license
The kiss
The bride and groom coming down the aisle
Any special musician, singer, speaker, etc.

Formal Photos
Hands with the wedding bands
Formal group photos
Romantic bride and groom photos

The Reception
Details: centerpieces, the cake, decor
The wedding party entering the reception
Cutting of the cake
The first dance
Dances with parents
Bouquet toss
Garter removal
Guests at each table
Dancing guests

Final Scene
The newlyweds waiving or walking away
Departing Limo

That’s it! Have a great shoot!
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September 19, 2008

Undeniably Indefinable

By Heather Joy Roth

Spontaneous moments and candid photography is a growing trend among couples getting married. Look through some recent wedding albums and you might see pictures of brides, half-dressed, getting dolled up for the big day or the littered reception floor. The trend in television and print media is reality. You see celebrities exposing much more of their everyday lives than ever before, letting us peek into their homes and special occasions. Brides try emulating casual images of celebrity couples on their big day, and fashionable magazines such as In Style. The posed, “say cheese” portraits your mother had are being replaced by warm, artsy shots.

Documentary Wedding Photography is a take-off on Photo Journalistic style. Photographers capture candid moments, such as the mans face when he sees his blushing bride walk down the aisle. Formal photography for the new generation of brides just won’t do. This allows the photographer to express his or her own sensibilities and expression through his work, greater artistic freedom. Not unlike traditional wedding photography, the cost of the documentary approach varies, with prices from $5,000 to over $15,000 for a celeb-favorite photographer.

Many photographers are opting to meet the couple beforehand and get a “feel” for their personalities. This visit can be extremely useful, guiding the photographer on how to take shots the couple would like to see. All the things learned about the couple will guide the photographer in creating a storyline to go with his or her photos.

Although this is the current trend in wedding photography, traditional photos are not “out of the picture” yet. The couple almost always wants a photo that can sit for years on a counter-top or mantle. But, this portrait does not have to be awkward or contrived. Also, many couples opt to have both a journalistic style and more traditional style of photography for their special memories. This may be the best idea yet, because you get the best of both worlds. Couples have often had only candid, photo journalistic photos taken and realize there are no pictures of their parents or siblings, which can be upsetting.

Many photographers are capturing moments of frustration, such as a bride fighting to zip up her wedding gown. These humorous shots lighten the serious tone of the day and always brings a smile to the couples face, once the tension-filled and sometimes severe mood of the day passes. Emotions are at an all-time high during a bride’s big day, so it is essential for the photographer to know when and how to shoot a photo.

You may want candid shots of the bride and groom preparing for the ceremony, but the bride may not want to be photographed without make-up. If you know how to gracefully shoot one of the most important days in the couple’s lives, capturing beautiful, genuine photos can be easy. Many awkward moments can happen during a wedding, especially at the reception, where intoxicated women in strapless gowns can reveal more than they would like too. Tactfully choosing to not photograph these indecent moments is the best route a photographer can make. These are moments that the couple would like to forget, not remember.

Many brides will walk around in their undergarments without shame, but may not want this image displayed in their album for everyone to see. It really depends on the comfort level among the couple. A temper tantrum the bride has over a mishap during the day should also not be photographed. The bride most likely has been dreaming of this moment since childhood, and her expectations are usually set high. Therefore, a mere mishap could set her off into distress. A respectful, professional photographer will sense when shot could be interpreted as humorous versus embarrassing. A special moment is something that has a feeling to it. Real, visual proof that the bride and groom are to live happily ever after, and these shots are sought after by not only the couple, but the photographer as well. A moment like this is not posed or unnatural. It is the couple glancing into each others eyes after saying “I Do”, it is the first dance as Mr.  & Mrs. and it is undeniably indefinable.

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July 21, 2008

Phishing for Photographers

Any photographer would get excited by the chance to buy a camera for a tenth of its regular price. Well, when you see such a deal on eBay, this is most probably a phishing scam. (If you don’t know, phishing is a criminal activity with the aim of obtaining people’s financial information, social security numbers, credit card info, passwords.) Hacker mobs find ways to hijack legitimate sellers’ account, especially if such accounts have been dormant for some time, and post their own ads with lucrative offers. They even provide a contact address that is fake or randomly selected. How to avoid being scammed? The old rule applies – if it’s too good to be true, it most probably is.

Such scams have been known for a while. Now, just yesterday we received a phishing sample that is quite new to us but it does remind so-called “Nigerian letters” that say you have won an international lottery or asks you to help release a large sum of money inherited by someone and a percentage in return. This is an ancient form of phishing that pre-dates the Internet.

Scams like this target everyone. But there seem to be customized versions of such scams targeting particular groups of people. There are postings on business forums where multiple victims complain they have paid thousands of dollars for submitting an application to receive financing from VC firms.

The letter that we received targets photographers. Being a photography post production company, we were not familiar with this new scam genre and forwarded the email to one of our old clients, who replied that she has been receiving such emails for a while. We decided to post the entire letter so that you would recognize a phishing “inquiry” if you get one. There are at least six distinctive markings of a scam here: it’s too good to be true, it’s too wordy and has too much personal detail aimed at establishing credibility, “I am looking for the BEST” – an old-time classic to flatter you, name-dropping by specifying a modeling agency that exists, a hazy excuse “I could have making this a phone order but”, plenty of errors. See for yourself:

My name is Laura Baldwin a model with UK Model Management Company But Presently am in Essex,North London on a modeling contract which i hope to be back home soon to join my fiance which lives in LA.My Husband’s name’s Bruce and I are planning to have our wedding on Sept. 27th,2008 @
Millennium Biltmore Hotel 506 South Grand Avenue LA,I am looking for the best Photographer who will come and photo shot on the D-day and when i came across your advert i was impressed.

Let me know your price charges for your required services if you are to give me the below packages on that day with full coverage of both the church and reception and of both the bride and the bridegroom,their parents,the officiating ministers and our guests:

1 CD with all your edited photos, High Resolution (100-400 Images)
1 16X20
1 DVD Slide show, 50 photos
1 12X18 Leather or Suede Coffee Table Album (24 sides)
2 5X7 Leather or Suede Coffee Table Albums (24 sides)

We will want you to work for at least 6 Hours at both occasion and if you are out of party venue,we will pay the transportation charges to and from the party venue .Also,we will have the videos at the wedding forwarded to the Publisher of a celebrity magazine here in Essex,UK so they could feature it in their celebrity weekly Mag.

I could have making this a phone order but there is a little problem with the network of the state so bear with me in a couple of days.

Expected guest count: ~105.
Ceremony start time: ~10:00am, And you could probably leave after cocktail hour, which would probably end around 4:00pm .

Thanks and hope to hear from you soon.


Laura Baldwin.

What to do if you receive such a letter? Ignore and delete. Or, if you are not lazy, report it to the US federal cybercrime site at or to the Anti-Phishing Working Group –

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