Q. Shades of White! Bright white, cream, ivory, light taupe, scant grey -- there are so many shades of wedding dresses today. Which shade of white should a bride choose for best outdoor wedding pictures?
A. For professional photographers the answer is easy -- whichever shade you love the most. For inexperienced photographers, best to stay away from bright white, which is extremely reflective (especially in the sun) and runs the risk of appearing "blown out" and missing the detail of your wedding dress. Imagine the richness of this Spanish bride's dress that would have been lost had I not exposed properly!
Q. Some of the shots in my photographer's portfolio are from a "creative" wedding shoot. What does that mean?
A. A creative shoot is when a photographer works with local models to create some experimental or artistic works. This creative shoot by my partner and second shooter, using models from Angie's Models, received lots of attention and praise. My only concern with creative shoots is when they are used to mislead clients into thinking they are from real weddings. I'm glad that your photographer disclosed his creative shoots as just that!
Q. My cousin's wedding was in an old church where I'm getting married. Her wedding was beautiful but the shots look fuzzy and grainy. How can I make sure this doesn't happen to my wedding shots?
A. By hiring a better photographer. The technical answer to your cousin's botched wedding photography is that the ISO was too high, probably due to inferior camera equipment and inexperience. And unfortunately nothing can be done to save those shots. But when done right, even dark churches like the one I shot below can get tack sharp images.
Q. Unfortunately we let my best friend's brother shoot my wedding. I say unfortunately because he's not a pro and some of the pictures are too dark to see our faces, even though the background is really light. I'm heart broken. Can anything be done about this?
A. Sounds like he didn't handle the backlighting properly and so your faces were underexposed. What you want is proper exposure on both, like below. The problem is fixable in a professional program like Lightroom where the exposure can be increased, or "dodged" on your faces without touching the nice background lighting. You'll end up spending money to get this done, and it still might not be perfect, but at least you'll be saving those once in a lifetim...
Q. I can't decide between a real or artificial bouquet -- which gives a nicer shot?
A. For close up shots that capture fine detail, real bouquets usually produce a prettier image. On the other hand today's artificial bouquets can be extremely beautiful -- and I've also seen real bouquets wilt in the hot sun. So depends on your taste and the circumstances! (And don't forget your manicure for the bouquet shots!)
Q. A local photographer is offering a great price on "Shoot and Burn" wedding photography. What is that?
A. Something to stay away from! Although you'll pay very little for a shoot and burn you'll pay later in aggravation. They're usually offered by inexperienced photographers who shoot away and then immediately hand over the images to you on discs -- over a thousand of them, unedited, unsorted, and uncropped. Unless you're a photographer yourself with a professional editing program you won't know how to handle this huge mass and your wedding pictures may never see the light of day. I found this shot on the internet advertising a shoot and burn -- scary isn't it?