We put on a little lighting workshop last night – nothing too ambitious, just the basics of setting up off-camera strobes and using a simple three light setup with two speedlites for rim lighting and main light using a beauty dish.
Here’s a few shots from the evening.
If you are here browsing my images or looking for information on our services and prices, you have probably noticed that this is not a traditional photography website – it’s a photography blog. We are in the process of developing a website to serve as our primary location, but everything that you need in order to contact us or check our work is available here.
Just in case you need assistance:
To check prices and packages for our different photography services, click on the “Services” link at the top or right of the page.
To check our work, click on “Galleries” at the top or right of the page – these galleries won’t always include our most recent work, so we’d love it if you’d take a few minutes to look through our blog posts and check out some recent work.
To get in touch with us, click on “Contact” at the top or right of the page.
And while I have your attention, let me tell you a bit about who “we” are. I (Eric) am the photographer, my wife (Rachel) assists me with everything from equipment to providing a wonderfully calming influence to everyone at our photo shoots – she is great at making people feel at ease and relaxed, and this ends up showing through in the pictures of our clients. Our business is starting to grow, we’re picking up clients every day and would love to add you to the list. We are confident that our prices are the best in Spokane, our packages and prices aren’t broken up into sitting fees and print packages – the prices you see are all-inclusive – the photo shoot, the prints, the online gallery, all of it comes with the prices you see. You’ll save money without sacrificing quality – we use only professional equipment and guarantee your satisfaction.
Thanks for stopping by. We appreciate any referrals and are even offering $100 referral payments to anyone who refers a couple that books a wedding package with us through the end of November.
We look forward to working with you!
Eric and Rachel
Hello future brides and grooms!
If you’re reading this it hopefully means you are in the process of getting your wedding planned and you are looking for someone to capture the day’s memories. Depending on the stage you are at in the process, you feel anything from enthusiasm to exhaustion to overwhelmed with all the information that is currently available. Take photography, for example – there are countless guides about what to look for in your wedding photographer, questions to ask your wedding photographer, how much to pay for wedding photographer, etc. Considering that similar information exists for every possible aspect of the wedding itself, one can truly start to feel like she’ll never sift through it all to eventually make the right decision. Here’s the good news: you are here now and I’m going to help you with at least one part of your planning – and you can probably guess which. I’d love the chance to sit and talk with you about your wedding day and how I could help make it as memorable as possible, but even if you go with someone else, I hope that you find some advice from a local photographer to be helpful regardless.
So, how to choose a photographer? Go with least expensive you can find to save money? Not a good idea. Go with the most expensive you can find because they must be the beset to charge what they do? Not a good idea. Go with someone who charges by the hour and spells out how many pictures they are going to take during your wedding? Honestly I can’t even imagine how photographers can, in the era of digital cameras, even consider throwing out an estimate of how many pictures they’ll take during your wedding. More on that later.
Let’s get started with some specifics that will (hopefully) get you off on the right foot.
Before you start shopping for a specific photographer, think about how you’d like the day’s story to be told. Do you want the entire day, from the hair being done to the last dance? If so, I’d avoid photographers who offer packages with specific times (4 hours, 6 hours, etc.) It’s very hard to predict exactly how long a wedding is going to take, and if you have booked someone for 4 hours of coverage you’re going to have a hard time capturing the story of the entire day on camera. If you go longer, you’ll be paying for it – and if you haven’t got that in your budget it could present a significant complication. A wedding is really almost a day long event – regardless of how long the actual ceremony is. From the time you wake up to the time you leave the actual event the truth is you will both be experiencing one of the most important days of your lives – something that should be reflected in the photographic story of the day. When you know that you’ve hired your photographer for the day, the pressure to fit your event into the allocated time you’ve paid for goes away. You’ve got that photographer for however long you want him/her. There are, of course, couples who are looking for a quick ceremony and reception and simply want a set of traditional wedding portraits similar to what was common in the film days. In this case you might have great luck with a 4 hour package from a photographer who offers one. I offer full day coverage in all of my packages because my ultimate goal is, as already described, to tell your story with pictures. I don’t care if you want me there to shoot you eating cereal on your wedding day – you ask, I’d be there at 6am with my gear set up in your kitchen and ready to go.
OK, so you’ve got the idea that all-day coverage has some definite advantages…now what? Now you decide what style you’d like your wedding covered in. Many people are completely unaware that there is more to wedding photography (especially today) than simply shooting a generic set of family portraits, a couple shots of the bride and groom, a few ceremony pictures, etc…Digital photography has seen the explosion of a more ‘photojournalistic’ style of wedding photography hit the market due to the fact that we can snap thousands of pictures without worrying about the costs of having each roll of film developed. The photojournalistic style, if taken to the extreme, involves a photographer who is really simply documenting the day as he or she would document an unfolding news story – snapping pictures of key interactions, moments, etc. The photographer wouldn’t be posing groups, wouldn’t be talking to people…the photographer should attempt to remain as unobtrusive as possible to let the day unfold naturally. This type of photography requires the photographer to turn candid shots into memorable images through the use of light and composition – if he or she doesn’t pull it off, you’ll get a set of pictures that look like they could have been taken by anyone with a camera. To see the work of a true master of photojournalistic coverage, check out the work of Jeff Ascough (a UK-based photographer widely regarded as one of the best in the world) at http://www.jeffascough.com.
Generally, I find most people want a style of wedding photography that blends elements of photojournalistic coverage with more traditional coverage. This provides them with a nice mix of images – candids taken in the photojournalistic style capturing those parts of the day that are best suited to it (hair getting done, conversations between people, the interactions of the groom and groomsmen or bride and bridesmaids, etc.) as well as those more traditional shots that we tend to associate with wedding photographer. Photographers have their own styles, and these will come through in the way they use natural and artificial light, posing, and other components of a scene to create memorable images in both of the styles I’ve described here. Keep in mind that two ‘traditional’ photographers can produce very different types of images depending on their own personal styles.
There are other ‘types’ of wedding photography, but honestly the two general styles described above and the blending of the two will suit the needs of almost everyone.
Alright, you’ve got an idea of the style of coverage you want (you’ve probably even checked the Internet to see samples of wedding pictures), you’ve determined that full-day coverage (or part of the day coverage) is best for you…it’s time to start creating a short-list of photographers to consider. Finding photographers is not difficult (Google, Craigslist, the Yellow Pages), finding one that suits your needs best is a different story.
You’ll be looking for someone who offers the type of coverage you want and whose images fit your style needs at a price you can afford. Sounds simple, but there are some things to consider and avoid.
First – There are a lot of people out there that are using underpowered equipment for the job. In wedding photography the quality of your gear matters. As the photographer you often work in poorly lit areas, areas where flash isn’t an option, and you are shooting once-in-a-lifetime moments that require the utmost confidence in your camera and lenses. Granted, professional equipment doesn’t make someone a good photographer – but entry level gear will produce inferior images in these challenging settings. Canon Rebels, for example, are an extremely popular camera right now – but they should not be the primary camera for someone shooting weddings as they just don’t hold up in the more challenging shooting situations that often go with wedding photography (with the possible exception of the newest model, the T2i). You shouldn’t choose your photographer because they have professional gear, but you might want to avoid photographers who don’t. (A quick list of ‘professional’ or ‘semi-professional’ cameras you might want to keep handy: Canon – 40D, 50D, 7D, 5D, 5D Mark II, or anything with a 1D in front of it…Nikon – D200, D300, D300s, D700, D2, D3.) We shoot with a 1D Mark IV and a 5D Mark II and love the combination of these two cameras, but there other options that will produce excellent results as well. That brings us to one more very important component of equipment – make sure your photographer has AT LEAST TWO CAMERAS. Cameras can and do go bad from time to time – shutters fail, electronic components might go haywire – it’s not a common situation, but it does happen. I’ve experienced it when a 50D I used to use as a second camera and backup to my 1D failed in the middle of a ceremony. Had this been my only camera, I would have been in a bad situation and probably asking a guest if I could borrow their camera…not a good position to be in.
Second, watch out for the $300 wedding photographer. No offense to anyone out there charging this amount, and maybe there are some great ones who do, but in most cases you aren’t going to get the full service treatment you deserve nor the image quality you want. Furthermore, someone charging that amount is more than likely not going to be using professional gear. A person charging $300 for all day coverage plus image editing would end up working for very little money per hour if they put the amount of time and effort a professional should into your images after spending all day taking them. Most often people charging this amount are trying to break into the business and have great intentions – you may get lucky with one, but I’ve heard many horror stories from brides who were persuaded to try and save considerable money on the photographer only to regret the decision for the rest of their lives.
Third, look for a photographer who wants to meet you both before the wedding. Ideally this would occur at an engagement shoot (I offer a complementary engagement shoot for every wedding booking and so do some other local photographers). A photographer who really wants to tell your story should want to know something about the two of you – something more than simply your names and the date of your wedding. Establishing this personal connection is one of the most important aspects of creating truly memorable images. This also ensures a good fit between photographer and client – something that will be critical during the craziness that accompanies the actual wedding day.
I’ll stop there for now…there is more we could address, but I don’t want to ramble on forever and I think we’ve covered some of the most important points here. As I said, I’d love to meet you and discuss the prospect of shooting your wedding – check out some of my work here on the blog (and check out my most recent “Fall and Winter Savings” post for some great specials for those who book in October or November).
I’m always willing to answer questions, so if you have any at all don’t hesitate to ask – click on “Contact” link on the right of the page to find my email and phone number. I wish you all the best in your wedding planning!
Hello everyone! This is the first post in the process of moving my website over to a wordpress-based blog. Smugmug, where I had previously hosted my site, will be used exclusively for client gallery viewing and the ordering of prints (as was my plan for a long time now…life has a habit of getting in the way when it comes to updating your website).