Welcome to my blog. Enjoy.
Since I have signed up to be a photography instructor at the local community college I have received a few of the same questions. It’s cool because they were the same questions I asked when I started in photography. The main question is…
I'm looking into taking your course and was wondering if you had and recommendations for a good starter camera? A buddy, who is also a pro, suggested cannon rebel t2i/t3i. Thoughts? Suggestions?
Here is my most professional, been there, feared that, answer.
Purchasing my first camera took me four months of wasteful research. I think what happens is the rip-off factor comes into play or the thoughts of “this” camera takes better images than the other one shakes our psyche. While I do believe that high end (professional/full frame) cameras take better images the lower end ones (the ones in Best Buy) have some advantages. Here is what I tell people.
Don’t even ask me about Nikon or Canon. Well, here is a quick take on that one. I have heard from Nikon people (mainly my photo coordinator) that Nikon is easier to use and the buttons are easier to understand. My response is “Canon is better (in my shut up, I’m the boss, I can’t hear you, 5th grade kid voice).” Hope this helps. Make a decision and forget about the regret. Photography is about exploration, if a higher end helps you take great pics when you go hiking then don’t sell yourself short. These prosumer cameras will last a good 6 years if you shoot them really hard. Longer if you don’t. See ya in class.
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(Pierce Brunson, Pierce Brunson Photography, Firefly Event Photography & Entertainment)
Ok, so when I started on this journey of finding my purpose things were easy. You know, read a book, smile more, write lists of stuff that I want, visualize, focus, meditate and so on. Then came those real life moments where you have to deal with the stuff that isn’t in the books. You know the BS of life. The stuff that can make you depressed, angry, mad, sad and question if you will ever make it to even one part of your desired destination.
Honestly I hit a wall. Things are going great and we are poised to have a better year than I ever imagined I could have in my life (unless you count the dreams on my “lists”) but somehow I was a grump. Life’s little dings had taken hold and made a large dent. I couldn’t read anymore advice, quotes had lost meaning, good things were hard to focus on, bad things were easy to make “super bad,” people annoyed me, I annoyed myself and so on. What to do?
Well, I was reading a book that basically said “book a trip.” The advice was telling me to get away from it all and really let the batteries recharge. Leave the phone, emails, calls, and internet requests behind for a week and just go. Like most of the self-help strategies I have used, this one seemed to annoy me the most. I mean damn, we hadn’t made the money yet. We still have contracts pending I have rent to pay, my kid needs shoes, I gotta keep working and pushing.
Then I thought, when have I ever taken a vacation where it was about discovery and not recovery? This book suggested taking the week to discover more about myself, not just recover. It was an interesting perspective. The book suggested you take a trip to a place you have always wanted to go…for me that would be Greece. Well, according to my budget and life’s reality I couldn’t do that so I hit up priceline.com and went for the 3.5 star hotel option in Orlando. We got a great rate for three days (remember the book said a week) so we took off on Sunday morning.
Sunday was like the past five Sundays…me barking away at the family. The good thing was my phone was off, so no emails or internet to distract me as I fumed at the family’s mistakes. The results were exactly what the doctor ordered.
The goal was to head back Wednesday all ready to get back into the swing of things but something happened on Monday. I knew that I didn’t spend enough time discovering. I realized that I was just check listing my life again. You know, hey yeah we took a vacation…check. After, a phone call that annoyed me I realized I needed to take the book’s advice and add a day. So I did. That was the best decision I have made in a while.
After a hectic run around Sea World on Monday, my mind started to open back up to “why I am following my passion.” I was able to look at my business with hopeful eyes and remember why I am going in this direction. I was able to remember why I left my teaching job to become an event photographer. I could see all the things that I couldn’t before. My family made me smile again. My wife was awesome again. My son was cool again. I wasn’t so chippy again. I was happy that we are expecting a daughter in October. I was happy to take my son on a long walk around the hotel so my wife could just chill. I was happy to tip the waitress, bellhop, and other kind helpers at our awesome hotel. I was living. I was enjoying my life.
I realized a few additional things. I have made some good choices even though they were hard to make. There are good people out there and the world isn’t all bad. My business is important to me. My family is important and a cool bunch of people. My sister is cool. My brother is cool. My parents are cool. And everyone should be able to enjoy the life path they decide to follow, including me. We don’t all have to chase riches if we don’t want to. Our path is our path. Ahh so refreshing.
Being back I am in a better mood. I realize that being a super doer/ hero for the last two years of my business has hurt me mentally. I made the mistake of trying to carry everyone then complain when they didn’t pull their weight. I am human also.
I now know that breaks are important. One must have discovery breaks in order to continue to move forward. I will work to add this strategy to the life of my family at least once a year. I hope you get to the point where you need this message…taking a week, shutting off the phone and the world will be an amazing renewal. I honestly believe it is necessary to become a better you.
Thanks to Daniel Priestley author of Become a Key Person of Influence for the great advice.
Three Tips for Improving Your Couple Photo Shoots (Affection, Know Story, Be Personable)
Event photography is a great way for some photographers (that like a mass of people and loud music) to make some extra cash shooting events. These events can range from a black tie affair to a day seminar but people need good photography after their event (not weddings). My company is a high volume event photography company focusing on homecomings, proms, school events and graduations. We deliver all images within 4 hours after the event. It takes a team of trusted photographers but we deliver the goods. Now, without a team the single photographer can use these three tips to shoot local events and expand your business. Here is what we learned, hope they help you.
ANSWER: Most of the time photographers will use a bracket that moves the light to the top position no matter what position the camera is in. This still won’t fix the issue. Keep your flash in position and turn it to portrait position making sure the flash is on the darker toned person. They will get the most light and the lighter person wont. BAM! Solved.
ANSWER: First, you may be too close to your subject, give them a good five feet. This is enough room for distance, a nice shot and for others to know you are shooting “this couple” and you shouldn’t walk through our middle ground. Second, a plastic diffuse cap (or strap a white napkin on with a rubber band). This will make the flash less blinding and will soften the light. Third, crank up the power on that flash a bit and point it to the ceiling. A lot of events we do have high ceiling so we bounce at full power and keep the fresh batteries ready. If these fail go see the person that controls the light and tell them your issue. They may be able to bring the lights up a bit without disturbing the mood.
ANSWER: Get them while they are BOTH sitting. Once the dishes are clear a nice shot of people sitting is a changeup. You will have to squat a bit but when they are sitting they are more in proportion. Never have the taller sit while the shorter stands, talk about making a person feel smaller than they really are. If they are a few inches off and want to stand I usually split the different in the lens for a crop (waist up shot) then take another full length click.
Remember photography is an art at times and rules can be broken to get a great image that works. Visit my personal portfolio at www.piercebrunsonphotography.com . I hope these tips help you as much as they help us. Let me know how you did on Google+ or Facebook. Thanks and keep shooting.
No matter what side of the camera you are on these three quick tips will help greatly improve the outcome of your images.
1. Know three poses. Everyone knows how to stand but beyond that what are two other poses that fit your personality? Have the photographer email you some sample poses so you have an idea of what is going to take place.
2. Know what time of the day is best. Sunset is a great time. The summer sunset in Florida can take hours and if you start too early you can run out of energy as this is right around dinner time. Work to schedule the time where the light is best even if the kids are up a bit later than usual. Plus a long shoot will cause kids to get bored and dislike the camera.
3. Pick a location you will love. Here in Tampa Bay we have a ton of coastline. This doesn't guarantee that it is the best place to take sunset beach images. Places by major hotels are busy with people and other distractions. It is better to have your customers travel 20 minutes our of their way to get an image they will love than an image they will like.
I share these with you because I have made these mistakes. As the photographer it is my duty to share poses that fit my customers, scout locations, and know the times for the best light. Shoots will be easier and more "image capture" focused with these tips implemented.