Tag Archives: ID
It was nice to be back in North Idaho for Brian + Kristin’s wedding at the Eureka Center retreat out in the woods just outside of Sandpoint. These two really nailed the North Idaho vibe with all of their special touches and details, not to mention the awesome venue. September weddings in the Northwest are always some of my favorites! Thanks for having me along Brian and Kristin!
Well, I’ve shot a wedding in snow now.
Although flurries fell only momentarily at the end of Nick and Karin’s big day in Kingston, Idaho, it was still a reminder by mother nature that it is October… in North Idaho. Flurries aside, I couldn’t have been happier with the way things played out at French Gulch, a garden tucked away in the mountains where Nick and Karin tied the knot. The day begain with blue skies and sunshine, progressing to overcast conditions later in the day. Cloud cover may not sound ideal to most; however, for a photographer it provides some truly awesome lighting to work with. The lighting throughout the ceremony and reception was very soft and even, providing for some really great conditions for shooting.
The celebration felt very close and intimate, as it was a smaller gathering of close friends and family, which provided some really great moments to photograph. It’s the one thing that keeps me coming back to weddings and appreciating the chance to document some of the most meaningful moments in a couple’s life.
Nick and Karin were an outstanding couple to share the day with and I wish them the best in their journey through life together! Congrats!
It’s been a little while since I’ve put up a blog post, so this one’s going to cover a few things.
SHOOTIN’ DOWN LOW
First off, I did some baby photography. Pretty fun actually. It’s not often you get to do the majority of your shooting lying down flat on the ground. I tried to get down to the level of the six-month-old girl for most of the close-up shots.
Photographing a child who doesn’t talk, or really understand why a camera lens is pointed at its face, is a whole different game than your typical portraits. It’s very reactionary and allows for quite a bit of freedom. No fake smiles, just pure, honest expressions.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ME
In a world dominated by Canon and Nikon, I’ve been one of the select few photogs not shooting either of the big two. Up until now, I’ve shot with Pentax DSLRs, and with pretty good success. Really, several manufacturers make very capable camera equipment. However, I’ve reached a point where I feel I’m outgrowing what the brand has to offer and have moved onto Canon.
The main factors that pushed me to switch were the Autofocus systems, lens offerings, and lack of a full-frame camera by Pentax. The Pentax AF system is sluggish and sometimes inaccurate. This is not acceptable when you need to grab shots quickly — often shots that pass by in mere seconds and are never replicated. The full-frame sensor is a factor that provides generally better image quality all around along with more creative control over the image. Lastly, Canon offers an array of glass for their cameras, where Pentax has rarely released any new lenses, leaving the older ones scarce and very expensive, even when bought used.
Cameras are really just tools to produce pictures. No matter how great or expensive the gear, it’s still the person behind the camera who makes the image. As the great Ansel Adams once said, “The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.”
Buying this gear ties into another point I’d like to make. Many people have a misconception that photographers have an easy, fun job where they just go around taking pictures and making tons of money. Truth is — yes, we do have a fun job. But it’s surely not easy, and the average photographer’s wallet isn’t all that fat.
The cost of the equipment I just purchased totals approximately $5,000. None of it is brand new equipment either. If one was to buy all brand new, latest professional gear, with a variety of lenses, you could easily blow $15-20k without blinking an eye. One thing you find out in this business, is that you pay for quality, and quality isn’t cheap when you’re talking camera gear.
Add on top of this costs for insurance, web hosting, camera maintenance, business cards, advertising, etc. And it becomes a wonder some of us even stay alive! Many don’t, actually, and are forced to sell their gear and go another direction. You truly have to be on top of your game to make it in this industry, and I feel extremely fortunate to have made it thus far.
When it comes down to time spent doing jobs, actual shooting time pales in comparison to time spent behind the scenes. A freelance photographer must be their own accountant, marketing/PR person, advertising agent, (in my case) web designer… The list goes on and on. Not to mention for every hour shooting there’s a good three hours spent editing. In other words, a six-hour wedding session can easily result in nearly 20 hours of time editing!
So, next time you think a photography business is a money tree, think again. It’s a dog-eat-dog world, yet I can’t imagine doing anything else. It’s hard to describe, but there’s something about it that keeps me determined to keep plugging away at it, no matter the obstacles.
INTERESTING DAY IN SPOKANE
Today was no ordinary day in Spokane. There was a crowd of people mobbing down the sidewalks offering “free hugs.” There was a large protest outside of Chase Bank, complete with chalk writings on the sidewalk and demonstrations outside the entrance.
There were also three dead fish laying outside of a sushi house — well, three people dressed as dead fish, although there was little clothing involved, mostly just mermaid-looking fins and body paint.
PETA coordinated the demonstration against the consumption and catching of fish for sport outside of the entrance to Sushi.com restaurant downtown Spokane. A few feet away stood anti-protesters, including Spokesman-Review Columnist Doug Clark, handing out fillet-o-fish sandwiches from McDonald’s – saying things like “enjoy the protest with a free fish fillet!”
It was a bizarre, comical, interesting event, and, as I’ve been making an effort to do lately, I had my camera gear with me and started snapping away and talking to people. Things like this remind me why I love journalism — there’s always something new — something that you get to be responsible for showing to the public.
The last thing I’m going to bring up is a new project I’m challenging myself with.
It’s entitled “50 Faces at 50mm.” I’m interested in what’s called street photography, and I want to put together a collection of 50 portraits shot of strangers with a 50mm lens. It will be a challenge, but I want to briefly talk to the subjects and really reflect who they are in these pictures. I’ll put up an album on my facebook page and add to it as it goes along. When the project is complete, I’ll put it on my website.
Sometimes it’s easy to just kind of stay in a rut and not try to better yourself. I want to always be working on something like this to better myself through new challenges. Stay tuned for my progress on this endeavor.
These two know how to celebrate.
Photographically speaking, each wedding has a highlight. Sometimes it’s the abundance of photo ops available for creative portraits, other times it’s the ceremony itself, or the candid shots of the preparation. For this wedding, the highlight was the reception.
The celebration was held at a large historic building downtown, complete with great architecture and decor inside and out. The window light worked well for photos of the wedding party lined along the windows. Once the dancing commenced, the real celebration began. Nothing but good times with friends and family could be found at the historic venue. The people attending provided for several fun, spontaneous shots.
The two also picked the University of Idaho Arboretum to host the ceremony, which provided a nice summery nature feel with green grass and trees as a backdrop.
One of the greatest things a photographer can experience, especially when shooting a wedding, is when they’re made comfortable and at home from the start of the assignment. Jon, Erin and their families were incredibly hospitable and made me feel as though I was a part of the family. This sort of bond with clients opens the doors to a whole realm of more intimate, natural photos. I’d like to thank Jon, Erin and their families for this. Congratulations you two!