Posts Tagged ‘(c) Formals (Pre-wedding Portraits)’

They’re getting married this next saturday but when I was down there for a wedding last weekend we got a lot done.

A 8-9hr photoshoot… let’s give props to the groom for holding on for that long… that’s true love!

Here’s a couple from the end of the night but I’ll next show some highlights in chronological order of what and where we went that day.

To see the rest of the images go to the gallery.

We also spent a few hours not in their wedding clothes. I might do another post of them later… but you’ll see them in the gallery above.

This was all done as part of a 9hr workflow hangout video that I did on Google+

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Check out the rest of the photos of Kate and Kaleb on their SmugMug Event!

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To see the rest of the photos we have up online from this shoot, visit the SmugMug Gallery.

We were at the national mall (Washington DC) They love the old smithsonian building and right by there is a carousel. The workers were excited to have us there and let us go for a turn.

Turns out these types of carousels are pretty difficult … they would be fine if all they did was spin in a circle but all the things go up and down as well… this means the bride and groom went up and down at differing times.

But I made due and got some fun shots.

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This speaks for it self I suppose.

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These fit into the series… same colors and look. A vendor also there in the mall.

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Check out the rest of the photos up online on the SmugMug Gallery!

View all the photos from the reception here: http://photos.jarviedigital.com/event/2011-May-Reception

I hear too many stories about photographers postponing photoshoots due to weather.

A few I can understand but a majority I also understand but am against. I think they’re missing out on big opportunities.

In many of those cases they just need to educate and push the clients into understanding why rainy day pictures are so great.

I guess it also takes a photographer that is ready and able to handle any weather and any lighting situation and make awesome opportunities they come accross.

I now have like 4-5 umbrellas and I think I’ll be keeping my eye out much more in the future.

In some previous posts you’ll see some more umbrella pictures too.

I think there are a fair amount of clients that seem to feel more comfortable with a prop. It gives them something else to interact with.

You can view the full gallery online here.

I’m pretty happy about this picture… I hope the rest of you all appreciate it as well. I’ll give you some background and perhaps turn it into a learning experience like I tend to do.

For those in Utah you know all about the wet winter and wet spring we’ve been having. This was a temporary waterfall that was running quite heavy just along side (and under) the road up the alpine loop. Meaning that the waterfall only exists this time of the year.

Allen and Alisa will be getting married Mid-June in DC. These are a small portion from their formals taken that day… which also included lots of different locations and started off with a first look. I’ll post more of those locations and pictures later.

But for now let’s see these awesome pictures.

We saw the waterfall, I hit the brakes and I got out of the car and started setting up. My intern set up a soft box and we got me an umbrella since it was raining pretty hard. I stuck it down the neck of my shirt because my intern had to hold the flash while i took pictures. Anyway, I got the scene all scoped out and set up and I had the groom stand in for a couple test shots.

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Once I got the lighting all set I had her get out of the car and we took a couple of pictures. It was hard to communicate because it was so noisy with the waterfall and I was standing pretty far away.

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Situation

Here’s the situation: you’re a bride who loves photography, you want really great art work to remember your wedding, however in your searches for the perfect photographer you’re finding your budget just doesn’t allow you to get what (or who) you want.

Consider “Formals” or what is better described as: couple pictures on a separate day from the wedding.

Some call  them “groomals” (because it’s a combination of the word bridals and the word groom) and many times they can be called “First Look” because that’s how it starts – Capturing the first time HE sees the bride in the dress looking stunning. (I would call that Formals with a “first look” moment)

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Any Budget

There are always options out there for photography that can fit ANY budget. Some photographers are more expensive and some won’t charge hardly anything or will do it for free because they’re just starting.

But if you want the high quality of work with a proven track record of consistency with a style that matches your aesthetic preferences those artists can cost more. (due to supply and demand and the amount of investment the artist has put into their craft, both time and money)

I believe in the concepts:

When there’s a will there’s a way.
AND
Thinking outside the box.

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So you’re a bride and you want amazing pictures, you found your photographer but simply are not able to reach the budget for wedding day pictures… maybe doing your pictures on a prior day of just the two of you would be more beneficial.

Let’s weigh the benefits of Formals: The benefits to the photographer equates to a saving for the bride and groom

  • Flexibility: They don’t have to set aside a popular wedding date many months in advance and turn down many other weddings. They set formals often on a free weekday and unlike a wedding they have the ability to move the date if something big comes up. They can also plan the day when it gets closer and both parties better know their schedules.
  • Timing: They get to choose any time of the day they want to take pictures, which can lead to better lighting and a less rushed pace.
  • Location: They can choose any location or several locations, they are not limited by the schedule of a wedding day as to how the schedule dictates the locations possible.
  • Quality: Because of time and location they can spend a little extra time making the photography better.
  • Subject: To many photographers these are the pictures they enjoy the most. They get to take only the most appreciated and exciting pictures and not have to take group pictures and other shots that aren’t as artistic for them.
  • Presentation: These pictures are most often done Before the wedding and in most cases they can be selected and edited prior to the wedding… meaning they can have enlargements AT their wedding reception.
  • Stress: Weddings are known to have the element of stress. many great photographers avoid weddings because they aren’t people persons or they don’t like the stress of having to be in charge or feeling like this is one of the most important moments and they can’t mess up.

All in all when you take many (or all) of those things into considerations it’s no wonder these shoots can cost a lot less from even the best of photographers.

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Does it replace wedding day photography?

NO. I sure hope people don’t read into this post that way.

Regardless of what you choose, I hope you still get pictures on your wedding day.

Why wedding day pictures are important:

  • It’s all about the moments and memories. (What more can I say)
  • You’re wanting to capture the things that happened, how the day looked, any memorable events and people and details.
  • All of those unstaged moments that a photographer is often there to just capture without notice without staging in the best possible way.
  • All of those people that travel long distances to be there.
  • Did I mention emotions: Emotions are high and varied that day, we want to remember them.

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Wedding Day or Formals

So why consider pre-wedding formals for couples over wedding day? You don’t.

But it might be a good option to do both… and it might be less expensive to do both.

OPTIONS

You can have that photographer who you really love (but can’t afford to do the full wedding day) do formals and then be more OK with hiring someone more in your price range do the wedding.

Regardless of what people think of this, but it’s a fact that many people are offered free photography by friends or family members. Be that a good or bad thing.

But this is one option for the bride to be able to figure out what she wants and is able to do.

Don’t forget this awesome option:

Have your favorite photographer do BOTH. (formals and wedding day) You get all the benefits of both lists (which I listed above) with the best Art for you.

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About this situation:

I have been friends with her father for a while now (he’s a long time photographer – not weddings)

I told them because of that relationship AND knowing their budget that i’d be able to work with them on their wedding cost. And even still it was hard… so I explained the concept of formals and that worked for them.

They get married on the 23rd and their budget might not be able to afford even most beginning photographers but they were able to get some beautiful pictures that document their Love and their personalities and are strong symbols of their wedding.

Them:

They got to go to their wedding location, we got to spend a lot of time focused on their pictures, more time than I would have had on their wedding day. Without the stresses of the wedding day that the bride, mother of the bride or groom have on that day.

Me:

I got to focus on what I enjoy the most focusing on the love and the personalities and I got to pick a free day that I wouldn’t have been shooting anyway.

They still want a photographer for the actual day (and we are trying to find a creative solution for me to be there) but they made the judgement call that these pictures would provide a great benefit at a great value.

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You deserve the best, believe in yourself:

Let’s take on this subject for a moment because it’s something i feel sometimes people have problems with.

Often people don’t attempt to get what they really want and “settle” for what’s easiest.

Keep in mind: Deserving “the best” doesn’t mean feeling like you’re entitled to “the best” – but entails finding it and working for it.

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OK while still up in the Montmartre district we took some pictures with the views of down below.

The first area was a less typical view while planted on some steps to the north of the really popular areas.

We actually only spent a short time in the area in front of the cathedral. There were just too many people and not enough awesome views.

I prefered this location.

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I shot through some black railing and that’s the effect you’re seeing in the top portion of the picture above. Pretty COol.

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Just Looking Good.

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OK Well on we go with another episode of the Paris Wedding Formals

This time we find ourselves still in Montmarte… First we stop outside of a Creperie for their brightly colored red wall.

Then on the way out of this area they stopped at a Biscuiterie and got some more “candid” shots.

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They made sure that I got things in the pictures that would let others know that they were in Paris

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Yep I frequently got down on the ground… that’s how I work. Give it a little foreground

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Well we had to eat at some point that day. So why not turn it into an awesome photo-op.

So we picked the best looking and least cluttered with people restaurant. It’s pretty chilly and she’s ready to get inside somewhere and stay warm… plus this means that the outside tables aren’t being used.

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Well now you know where we ate and what was on the menu. haha

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The table cloths are pretty classic

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So I kinda came up with the idea of shooting through the window after we ate… first I went outside… but the reflections were way bad they practically had to press up against the glass to see them.

But looking back I love the reflections.

Then they went outside and sat. You must know that when I look at these pictures I’m thinking about all the lighting things I coulda done or if I had an assistant outside to help pose them since they couldn’t hear me.

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Those are red curtains… he was way way red… this is after I desaturated it way down. The BW is pretty awesome but for some reason I love the red glow.

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Ok so the 3rd stop on our day long photo expedition around the city for these wedding pictures was up in Montmartre

This is up on the hill with the views of the city and the famous Sacre-Couer Cathedral.

This was the area picked by people in my petition on my Facebook Biz Page – Asking where we should go in addition to where was already planned. Great Choice.

We got dropped off a bit from the popular spots so as to not get caught up in traffic and then the driver had to go run some errands.

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We kinda just stopped as we were walking up some roads, tourists walking around stopped to take pictures of us.

Almost every building had a facade that was picture worthy, but we kinda randomly picked this one.

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This guy had come out the back of his location for a smoke break and got a show to watch… which promptly because of his coolness I put him into the show.

I thought this was perfect… because this is france. I did kinda want him to stand back further maybe up against the wall and kinda in the background… I still wanted it mainly about her. But I must admit my french isn’t up to par to say things like “in the background” or “You should act like you just happen to be in the picture, doing your thing”

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OK First off let’s be honest it’s not really an Alley … but it just sounded much better that way. Really most of the roads look like this.
I think this really shows how you can just pick any street on the map or out of a hat and go there and find a trove of awesome shots.

How do Parisian photographers get anygood with sooooo many amazing places to shoot… it’s like they don’t have to try hard. (That can’t be good for developing raw skills)

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Now that we got this out of the way we shot here because well this is where we picked them up right outside their hotel… thought we’d do some warm up shots since it was cloudy and the weather wasn’t forcing our hands to get anywhere fast.

It was a nice quite oneway (as most all the streets are) so we only had to get out of the road a few times.

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Yeah we just picked the closest coolest windows available.

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Cat and Jared got married last month.

I did their wedding pictures out here in Utah even though they got married in DC/NC

Sometimes it’s a much much less expensive option to get the formals (pre-wedding pictures), if you’re on a budget and can’t have it all might as well have one thing be really awesome, perhaps better than have everything be just a bit mediocre.

So for a bride on a budget consider doing a pre-wedding photo session and then perhaps going for the more risky less price on the wedding group pictures. Or perhaps do it the other way around.

So we did her bridals and formals all inside. A portion at the capitol and a portion at the SLC library.

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We did go outside for a couple of minutes at the Capitol.

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