Hi Everyone! :)
My first blog was a great success! i got 1000 hits pretty much in the first 2 days!! wow thank you so much for taking the time to read it:) I had so many amazing responses from people :) thank you it means a lot :)
So here is my next instalment ..I'm going to talk about how wedding photography came into my photography and phunkd's journey? And how I developed my photography style and what I use to help me create this :)
To be honest i never really wanted to photograph weddings, and the reason being is I can remember the all too familiar voice of one of my media tutors telling me working in the wedding field was boring and uncreative! so I suppose I assumed this was true. But I'm not really the type of person to believe what people say without trying things for myself and I'm very glad I did because I have to say that tutor was completely wrong!
You can be just as creative if not more so photographing a wedding as you can shooting anything or anywhere else! it's all about capturing a story and being as creative as you can and what better story is there to tell than of two people in love??!! :)
I was already In my first year of my own business Phunkd Photography and Design when I was asked by a friend of a friend to photograph their wedding, it wasn't as difficult as I'd have imagined. The only tricky part was getting used to outdoor light.
My years of photographing large groups in the studio really came in helpful, getting people's attention, making them laugh, making it fun .. was all what I was used to, if I hadn't had this experience I probably would have found it quite daunting.
I instantly fell in love with wedding photography, there's no feeling like it being around two people in love, that energy is beautiful and how lucky am I getting to be part of it?!!
I love the exciting/ nervous atmosphere when I first arrive to meet the Groom / Bride in the morning , the anticipation in the air, I too feel that excitement, and I'm lucky enough to see the first look of the Bride in her dress, the look of awe and pride in her parents or bridesmaids faces when they see her, I see the tears , the laughter and I'm also there to sometimes help wipe those tears so they don't ruin the makeup :) and hold a hand , give a hug , reassure everything is going to be ok -they are not going to trip down the Aisle , to reassure how beautiful they look and to help in any hair/ makeup/ dress emergency! And I'm there right till the party , and sometimes dancing with you on the dance floor ( still trying to take pictures ) Yes I am there every step of the way, I'm not just a photographer for the day, I'm there to be part of it all, what better way to tell your story than to be part of it :) that way I get the shots as they happen , and I'm right in the thick of it capturing these beautiful , perfect moments before they run away :) ... I'm there to also help you in any way I can and to make sure your day is going to go exactly how YOU want it to :)
For a year i worked on my own at weddings but i really felt like i needed someone to assist me, not technically because i would always feel like i would want to take all of the shots and wouldn't want someone to take them when i could do so myself, but more for help with organising groups and helping me with equipment when i needed it to save time. I have lots of offers to help and assist me for work experience but for me i wanted someone i was really comfortable with but also a certain type of person who was similar to me, that person was my very own Mum :)
My mum is probably more chatty than me and that is saying something :) she's warm, friendly and makes you feel like you have known her for a long time even though you have only just met her :) , she's makes people feel at ease instantly and that is EXACTLY what you need to be a wedding photographer, as its such a personal thing to let someone in on your special day.
It works brilliantly having my mum work with me, everyone comments how great we are together, our humour we share is something you can only have with someone so close to you, my mum like myself loves people and not only is she great at that, she's also good at just about anything that involves 'mum' things such as any dress emergencys ( mum has helped sow bridesmaids in their dress after the zip breaking...yes these things really can happen on the day!) she helps the men with the button holes, she has come to the rescue in just about every situation, she runs about finding things that i need that i think may look good, holding veils and pretty much does anything at any cost or danger ( getting very close to cliff edges at times just to hold down a veil to get me a brilliant shot) I'm very blessed to have her :) .....every one needs a 'Beryl' ...shes lots of fun too and will almost always join in on downing a shot of tequila with the bridal party ..only when insisted on doing so by the bride and groom of course :))
This images below are of My Mum/ best assistant in the world :) the image with her holding the branch was taken at a recent wedding over Christmas where i was in need for some pretty branches for my shot and mum came to the rescue :) and the second image was taken at a wedding i was photographing in Santorini last September where my mum was helping me with the veil to create a beautiful shot :) my Mum is very camera shy and will hardly ever let me photograph her so i have to quickly snap her when she doesn't realise :)
How I developed my Wedding Phptography Style...
Once you photograph one wedding, you do get recommended and so that's where you start to get more and more weddings. At the time I had no inspiration in terms of a photographer whom I aspired to be like. so I bought photography magazines, read online tutorials about how to make your images sharper, what are the best settings to have on your camera etc I had different people give little bits of advice here and there but It was very confusing for me ( it doesn't take much to confuse me ) but I felt very frustrated because I knew what I wanted my images to look like in my mind but I couldn't quite get them to look like that , sure enough I was getting more work but I still didn't have the style I craved but didn't know how to explain or develop.
I then started to to make things a bit simpler, i decided to stop looking at different advice, i looked to the photographers that i personally aspired to be, with a style that i loved, i discovered what techniques they used and applied it to my work and from then my style developed :)
Creating your photography style is so important, it's what expresses you and sets you apart from everyone else, of course it's great to get inspiration from other photographers you look upto and you can apply some of their techniques to help guide you but then you need to evolve into your own style, and it will happen!
At first you see what you like and you try to acheive this exact style or effect , then you gradually start adding or changing things , for me I went through a very short phase where i wasn't happy with my colours because I was experimenting and trying things out then one day it just clicked and my style finally got where I wanted it to be , that I felt was ME :) this takes time but have patience it will happen :)
I think your photography style is something that will generally stay the same when you do find yourself but of course it's natural for it to evolve a little with the times :)
My Wedding Photography Style...
I feel my photography style is simple , light , clean , natural, all mostly with a matt finish. On some shots I will use a little light flare with my brushes in Photoshop if it suits the image which gives a really romantic feel. I also like to keep the skin tones light and creamy and love as much pretty natural light as possible, I never use flash ( unless really necessary on the dance floor) as I hate the washed out effect it has , I like the way natural light shows natural contours and overall I just think is more flattering and pretty.
I use Lightroom to edit my images in where I lighten and alter the exposure / contrast and also this is where I apply my matt finish to the images.
I then open the images in Photoshop to add any light flares and retouching :)
My Photography Equipment ...
I use Nikon , I used to use cannon for many years when I worked at venture but for some reason I always wanted to use Nikon, I don't even really know why ? There is always debates on who is better Cannon or Nikon but to be honest they both are pretty much the same it's more down to a personal choice at the end of the day . Some of the photographers who I love use both, I feel the cannon has more of a warmer red tone , where's the Nikon seems to be a bit cooler , I definatley think the Nikon colours are much more vibrant.
Whats in My Camera Bag???...
I carry two Nikon camera body's with me incase of any accidents or my camera decided to break on me ( yes this has happened) you always need a back up , I use Nikon D610 and Nikon D600 , I'm soon to be purchasing the new Nikon D750 which has got magnificent reviews and I literally cannot wait to get it!
I carry at the moment my 2 favourite lenses ...
50mm 1.4 which I absolutely love!! I can use in low lighting without the need for a flash, it's such a beautiful lens and keep it on for most of the time except when I need to do a large group shot for example which then I use...
24- 70 mm 2.8 which is a great all rounder but I just use for group shots or if I want a lot of background scenery in an image .
I have a Nikon flash gun ( but never use it as I don't like flash)
I bring along to my weddings my large Bowen stand up studio light which I sometimes use on the dance floor for the first dance if it is quite dark.
I also have memory cards, camera battery's , a battery charger , an umbrella , makeup ( not just for me but also comes in handy for the Bride for touch ups ) my favourite coconut hand cream , bottle of water, mints , red bull and a few snacks :)
This year I'm hoping to add to my collection the 85mm 1.4 lens and also the 35mm 1.4 and I'd also like a telephoto lens! so I need to start saving and stop buying shoes! :)
So from this blog what have we learnt?
* If wanting to find/ develop your photography style , research other photographers, find the ones who inspire you, find out what they use and how they use it and apply those things to your work.
* Have patience
* Don't always take what someone tells you as fact , find things out for yourself .
* I need to stop buying shoes and save for my new Lenses! :)
Thank you for reading , I hope this has been useful for someone :) In my next blog I will be talking about " Advice for What you need to start doing to become photographer " and also " what you should look for when booking a wedding photographer "
Lots Of Love