I've received a bunch of questions lately so I thought I'd compile them into a blog post. Hopefully these questions and answers can help you! Enjoy!
Cindy asked: How do you decide what to frame and what not to frame? I have taken some pictures of a building for example and it always look like I just chopped off part of the building...how do you make it not look like that, or am I too critical of my own photos?
Well, first I think we are always WAY more critical of our own work. We know what we've put into that image, what we could have done differently. We know the mistakes that we've made and all the effort and emotion that goes into making that image. We are always pushing ourselves as photographers to be better so it's no surprise that we are often overly critical of our work. Sometimes it's a good idea to take a step back. To leave the image for a few hours or days and then come back to it with fresh eyes and a fresh outlook. Often what we thought was horrible, is in fact, kind of amazing.
When your framing subjects go with your gut. Do keep in mind the rule of thirds. And do keep in mind how you truncate an arm, leg or face in a photograph. That being said throw caution to the wind and photograph the subject in a way that speaks to you. If you try to photograph the subject exactly how you think someone ELSE might photograph that same subject you'll fail. The image won't work. A successful image is one part technical skill and 99 part your own personal style. Shoot, shoot, shoot and shoot some more. Photograph that building a 100 times if that is what it takes to find the one frame that speaks to you.
Jamie and Leslie asked about Two Bright Lights: Would you mind explaining a bit how it works? How do you notify a vendor they have images up there? Do they accept styled shoots or is it only for weddings?
Let me just say that Two Bright Lights has been one of the BEST investments I have made for my business so far. Two Bright Lights is an online service that connects you and your images with wedding blogs all across the world. At a small yearly fee, the value of this service is hard to beat.
After I have blogged a wedding, I'll pick 1-100 of my favorite images from that wedding (or engagement or styled shoot) and upload them to TBL. From there I will attach any vendors (I provide the vendor information) to those images. With the email that I provide to TBL for each vendor, TBL will contact those vendors saying that I uploaded those images and will be sending them to blogs. Easy peasy! From there I can create inspiration boards or slide shows that I can send to blogs. I can pick the blogs I want to submit to, and I will often reference TBL to find what editors are currently looking for. With hardly any back work on my end, TBL is a HUGE time saver when you are looking to submit to blogs.
Emily, who is about to shoot her first wedding, asked: What's your interview process usually like? Do you have a standard set of questions you go through with your couples?
About one to two months before the wedding date I'll email the couple to discuss their wedding day time line and also send along a questionnaire to the couple. This is an idea that I picked up from Justin & Mary and it has been one of the KEY components to a fantastic wedding day experience. I really don't know what I did before using a questionnaire like this!. It is SO helpful in figuring out what your couple is looking for from their wedding photographer and gives you an idea what the day will look like. I give them space to write down their top family formal combinations, any special details that they want me to know about, and other various information that is important to the day. If this brings up any questions, I am able to contact the couple. Come the wedding day, there are no questions, I know exactly how the day will look and I know all the little details about their day. It is SO helpful to the relationship with your clients and giving them a great experience on their wedding day.
The best way to quickly get in touch with me is via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. I also have a Formspring account where you can ask questions if that's more your style and of course you can always chat me up on Facebook or Twitter. Keep them coming!