Campbell University Vows

This wedding right here! I absolutely loved shooting it, getting the change to take some unique shots you rarely get to do makes it very memorable!

However there is a key to making memories with these kind of shoots. A fun and outgoing Bride & Groom! Catherin & Ryan were just that!

Take a ride with us on our journey of getting these two hitched!

Ceremony Location Butler Chapel of Campbell University, NC Butler Chapel Facebook Page

There was a superb glass stained window and that just had to be photographed. When you see the stained glass display you just get a sense of serenity knowing your in the house of the Lord. So I could not let this pass by.

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Then we drove to Brigg’s Hardware for the reception in down town Raleigh, NC. I would have never imagined this being a reception site but it played out very well. I recommend it they were very nice and attentive staff and even attended to the photographers as guest too. That was very appreciative. And can I say their lighting is perfect for photographing as well. Briggs Hardware

To Enjoy this weddings character and celebrate another union of love please enjoy this video slide show we made. Thanks for sharing the joy I experience in photographing weddings.

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Not Just Numbers

Growing up numbers are making a timeline of history of your life from the first breath we take. Time we were born, the measurements of the baby, the weight, the date of birth, and so to how many months old that the new person is.

Sometimes these months have to be translated for those who never had children to years or a year and half old. Funny I know, but I am in the category.

Then we mark our Sweet Sixteen birthday, 18th birthday, 21st birthday, and let the party begin!

Numbers hold such a weight on our lives yet we over look and take it for granted until a post like this makes you really think it over.

When I saw the new Photo Challenge “Numbers”  I first thought I didn’t have nothing to include in this challenge but then it hit me! I have a couple entries to include in this one post from three different photoshoots I done, one a wedding, Quinceanera’s, and Engagement Session. I hope you get the Numbers and the meanings it holds. Enjoy!

First one is Miss Quinceanera’s or Sweet Fifteen the Latino heritage version of American Sweet Sixteen. When I took this image I was thinking along the lines of Gone With The Wind Southern Charm. Either they know it or not the dress is very Southern Belle.

ETSYSUNSETSAVETHEDATE-Recovered

My second Image that came to mind was the display of wedding rings for the Bride and Groom I photographed March this year. I was trying to find a way to make this image more personal and use their old retro themed setting to the character of the photo. When I went to get the rings from the Groom I saw them playing pool and Boom! I used the balls that represented the Bride and Grooms birth month, his ring on his birth month and hers.

Congrats Jennifer& Steven

Then lastly is a very important numbered event The Save The Date! I took this image at golden hour and as you can see I love to use the Sun Flare to my advantage! I think that it adds character and a true summer loving feel to the image.

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The Lock Down Wedding

Mr. & Mrs. Lock tied the knot on March 11th,. 2016 in Winston-Salem, NC and I was grateful to be part of this union. It was held in the down stairs section of the

The Millennium Center down town. This building used to be an old court-house and it has such classic character. Marble floors, wood details, and so much more.

The ambiance and lighting was so pretty regardless of the challenges it presented taking photos, but we got it done! I want to thank the Locks for sharing me their story and getting to know them closer on their special night!

Here are some of my favorite photos and how I accomplished them.

This first image was taken on the first floor in one of their booth set ups, the chandelier is real, the bench, and velvet curtains also. I saw an immediate opportunity for super classy and more expensive backdrops here. So I posed Jen and Steven and got to snapping. The real art came in Photoshop and LightRoom.

1.) I did sharpening and basic retouching in light room and opened them up in Photoshop.

2.) I googled in images sparkler writing and art, found the one I thought would fit effortlessly and saved it to my desktop.

3.) In Photoshop I opened up a new blank canvas by making it 11×14 in size and black.

4.) I copied the Photo and pasted it on top of the black canvas.

5.) The free transformed the image to fit inside the black canvas with some room to spare on the edges of the photo as if it was frame matting.

6.) Then I took the brush tool and put it on clear and started to blend the photo in to the black canvas and touched up the floor shadows with the Burn tool.

7.) Then I copied and pasted the sparkler script on top where I see suited best and then used the clear brush tool to clean up the edges and lowered the transparency of the script only to about 90% to make the smallest details of missed brushing fade out..

TaDa!!!!!!

Love Sparkler Sample

This photo below was taken so well I didn’t have to do much to it, that is why I try to practice taking the best photo I can at the beginning to cut down on editing time.

I only edited this image in Light Room. I opened it and perfected the lighting, sharpening, and so forth. Then I moved to the brush tools and brought up the lantern glowing lights a little more to pop from the back light of the doors behind the bride. Then made sure it was balanced and even all around as close as I could get it.

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My last but not my least fave is the one below..

I cloned some sparklers in to hands where theirs burned out already and did the same thing for the sparkler halo as I did in the first pic of this blog page. I love how it glows!

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Are They A REAL Photographer?

Anyone who picks up a camera can call himself a photographer, but that doesn’t mean he’s someone to whom you should entrust your wedding or portfolio to. When searching for a photographer, you should only work with those who are true professionals, people who can provide quality work for your portfolio. With a little know-how, you’ll be able to tell the difference between a legitimate, reputable photographer and a wannabe.

Far to many are buying a DLSR at Wal Mart, setting up a FaceBook Like Page, and calling themselves a legit Photographer.

Add the term “GWC” to your terminology. GWC stands for “Guy/Girl With a Camera.” Simply put, a GWC is a guy/gal who spends a lot of money on a professional camera and somehow thinks he is now qualified to shoot Weddings, Models, Boudoir, and oh my! In the majority of cases, the GWC has no experience or practical training and simply wants to entice young and naïve aspiring models into taking pictures that involve nudity or semi-nudity. Or make the money off a Bride searching for a bargain!

It’s tempting to hire a low cost photographer for your wedding if cost is driving your wedding planning decisions. But how do you know if you’re getting a talented newbie who is still building his or her portfolio — or a rookie who simply hasn’t mastered the craft enough to artfully capture wedding day?

Here is some comparisons of quality to ask the potential photographer and see if they are worth your hard earned cash. 

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Just because they have the equipment dose not make them professional quality or worth your money!

 

A Professional DLSR Camera VS a Consumer DLSR .

I see a lot of people getting a Cannon Rebel at WalMart and calling themselves Photographers, the problem here is with a camera it really is a matter of you get what you pay for. A professional quality camera can enlarge on print with exact clarity and sharpness. Where as the other guys can’t. If your photographer is using a Cannon Rebel and it cost less than $800 don’t give them your money!!!!!!

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Ask The Photographer Who There Lab Is. (If they don’t get that lingo, run)

A professional Photographer should be able to state their lab immediately and take down their names and go look them up. A amateur will most likely not have a solid answer for this, because they are going to get you memories developed at WalMart, Wallgreens, or Shutterfly.com. (note these printers cant handle high quality printing and always get the color and tone wrong. And lets not mention the cheap paper) The lab should specialize in professional portrait printing alone. I have 3 labs, one local I can run to, one for my printing host, and one for my specialty prints.

Ask For A Physical Portfolio

This will be a significant factor in distinguishing a true photographer from a GWC. With todays technology and the ability to right click and copy. You need to see physical prints, a boot legged image won’t print well at all.

Also you don’t want a photographer who has experience not only shooting friends for free but with shooting the type of photography that your seeking — Weddings, Families, Quinceanera’s, fashion, commercial, promotional, or other. If the portfolio doesn’t showcase any of this work, is really poor quality or if he doesn’t even have a portfolio to show, move on. Even if you aren’t a photography expert, it is very easy to tell good photography from bad photography, although you may not be able to tell good photography from great photography.

Do They Have a Brand ?

Look for a professional Watermark, Logo, and Website. A real photographer won’t jeopardize their work being stolen and claimed by an amateur because this is their living! A real photographer invest in their art and craft by getting these to separate themselves from the wannabes!

Do They Have Session Contracts and Wedding Contracts?

If not run! These people do NOT know the severity of the business all and not having these will Not Protect you, your investment, and memories! These contracts are upheld in civil court cases, incase they don’t produce what you agreed on. A GWC will just be wanting to be paid and can disappear! This also cancels out any re wording or chances of misrepresentation.  Here are a few signs that your potential wedding photog might be more at the wannabe level than wedding level.

Ask What Program They Edit With and to see the Program on their Computer!
Heavy filters that look like Instagram or Phone Filters. This is a dead giveaway that someone is playing the role of photographer but doesn’t have the skill set — or the needed equipment — to capture shots in the same way a seasoned photographer can. Don’t be alarmed if a photographer has these on their social media or randomly in their portfolio; the red flag is for if the majority of a candidate’s photos have been given total makeovers.

Ask Them What is RAW format?

A real photographer will know what this is, say YES, and be able describe it to you!

You want RAW shooting because this is the most high quality and control a photographer can achieve. Here is the definition so you will know what your asking about and see if you get the right answer!

Learn What RAW is Here

Note that there are plenty of professional photographers who have established themselves without formal training in college. These photographers do not fall under the GWC category for the simple fact that they either took some classes, studied as apprentices with experienced photographers or taught themselves and now run their photography business successfully. Don’t confuse these professionals with the GWC.

  • You can tell if you’re dealing with a GWC by doing your homework and researching each photographer you plan on working with.