Spring Ahead – 3 tips to jump start your photo skills

Morning sunlight streaming through curtains, VSCOcam f2 preset

Tip 1: Start with what you’ve got.

My “serious” cameras were away in my bedroom when I was making Saturday morning breakfast and saw the sunrise streaming through the curtains. Outdated functioning 2011 refurbished smartphone camera was nearby and caught it before the lighting changed. Years before smartphones crashed the photo-making party it was up to me to throw camera gear in a bag and remember to take it with me if I expected to make use of creative moments. Nowadays… you’ve got it in your pocket.

The best camera is the one you’ve got with you when inspiration strikes. Post a #NoFilter or edit to your heart’s content with apps of your choice.

I was an instant fan of square film negatives when I shot a Bronica SQ-Ai for college courses. (Find one here on eBay) Instagram is one of my favorite places to share & see square images today.

Tip 2: Start where you are

These images are all from around the house and yard. Some while making meals, most during busy weekdays full of kids doing homework, getting ready for activities, washing up, making other meals, and in constant motion. No exotic locations, just sights that caught my eye on site and were snapped before they were gone.

Practice seeing details and waiting for images to line up right where you are. These reflexes are key to telling wedding day stories full of details and fleeting moments, and some of my favorite photos of my kids growing up are the ones taken on such “ordinary” days mentioned above.

Black and white daylight through blinds across door panel, VSCOcam b1 present

Tip 3: Simplify

Step closer. Look for details. Cut out clutter in the background.

Don’t like what you see in the frame? Move your feet. Fill the shot with your subject.

Turning these snaps of afternoon lighting into high contrast black and white images is simple with one of my favorite apps – VSCOcam. Presets and fine tune adjustments in VSCOcam and Instagram get the look I want from the shot on the screen.

Black and white mini blind shadows and rain, VSCOcam preset b5

Bonus: Take it or regret a missed opportunity

With plentiful digital camera & smartphone cloud storage this is a no-brainer. No excuse for passing up a shot when you have a camera and abundant means to store the image.

Daylight peeking over the rooftop warmed and melted the snow in the image below. This image would further disappear the longer I waited to capture it. I took my own advice and doubled back to take this photo.

Snow melting in the sunlight, VSCOcam m3 preset

Questions?

Vintage School LetteringGot your camera out and can’t get the shot you want? Wonder what those buttons and menus on your camera do? Tired of reading screens and manuals and just want to go shoot? Book a one-on-one tutorial session with me on topics you choose, Q&A, and demonstrations.

It’s real-world use for all that technology packed in your camera, explained to help you get the photos you’re after.

Reserve your spot here!

 

PS – If you’re in the Daylight Savings regions and set your clocks ahead this weekend, remember to adjust your digital camera’s clock too!

Custom Wedding Guest Book Design from 1945 Engagement Portraits

I was pretty excited when this Wedding Guest Book arrived so I grabbed the video camera and started rambling recording. Here’s a preview of the Custom Guest Books included in our Memoirs Photography Package and available for all weddings!

I’ve got to brag on the couple, the idea for the themed shoot was totally theirs. At our first meeting, the bride Caroline mentioned her fiance Josh was in the Navy and she wanted to shoot a 1945 themed engagement session in tribute to the famous photo of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square. (Note for couples looking for photographers – throwing creative, fun ideas at us will really make the brainstorms take off!) It was all downhill from there.

Update – see more of the session’s photos here.

custom 1945 engagement session wedding guestbook 1

I’m thrilled with the hinged paper construction that lets guests write right up to the middle of the book, no bending down the pages to add your wishes near the middle of the book!

custom 1945 engagement session wedding guestbook 2

Closeup of the hinged paper wedding guest book design

custom 1945 engagement session wedding guestbook 3

Another added bonus was the thicker paper used for this design. One concern was that a pen would make indentations on the next page’s photos, but the thicker paper and using fine tipped Sharpie markers did more than enough to prevent this concern.

custom 1945 engagement session wedding guestbook 4

Tips on Guest Books from photographer and designer Eric Bucholtz –

  • – Personalize! Anything personalized to your clients’ engagement and wedding story will always be a hit! The engagement session is entirely about the Soonlyweds to have a relaxing shoot away from wedding planning while getting a preview of your work to let them know they’ve made a great choice including your photography in their upcoming wedding day.
  • – Album Design: Backgrounds. Unless your design concept is for an all white, black or solid page background, personalize your photography even further in the design process by including complimenting colors and textures on album backgrounds. For this vintage book light paper, sand, and other complimenting textures were used to give a freshly printed book a little age to match the feel of the session.
  • – Sunset shooting. Especially out on the beach, stick around after sunset. Dusk is a colorful time full of sunset colors without fighting with the sun at the horizon. This means fewer silhouettes against the sun, less high power fill flash, and more available light photos with that great dusk coloring. Aside from the photographic technicalities, especially when the subjects are having fun, there’s no need to hurry and pack up as soon as the sun sets below the horizon.

Specs & Links

This 10×10″ book features photography and design by Eric Bucholtz, 1945 hairstyling by Genna Bucholtz. White House Custom Color printed the hinged paper / lay flat construction.