Photography Meets Android – Samsung Galaxy NX mirrorless digital camera

I keep going back and forth on whether having an “android” operating system in my camera would be that attractive as a professional photographer. As a consumer, what really clicked in my mind was when I saw a similar camera to the Samsung Galaxy NX mirrorless digital camera.

Samsung Galaxy NX mirrorless digital camera

I was able to snap some quick photos that normally would have been taken with a cell phone. The ability to shoot WAY BETTER quality images than your phone (with a real built in flash, replaceable batteries, longer zoom, higher MP, etc) and not have to manage image files like a typical camera seems like a dream. Not having to import / edit / export / upload images would make photography seem so effortless. Just snap the photo on your camera – open up VSCOCAM – do your edits on the few images you want to share and upload right while you’re standing there less than 5 minutes of when you’re done shooting over wifi.

Having been back and forth from Blackberry, to iPhone, to Android, to iPhone, to Android again – this time I got a top of the line Android and absolutely love it. I’m a heavy user and with the high quality screen and ability to edit photos and have them look really good at times – means I can enjoy photos without feeling the headache associated after a shoot.

That said – as a consumer using a camera for personal things like Christmas, birthday celebrations, soccer games, etc. I would really consider one of these Android cameras just for their ease of use. At the very least, I’d like to see other ultra-easy ways to get photos onto our mobile devices (tablets and phones) without having to use cables or taking anything longer than 10 seconds total. I want that ability to shoot – open Instagram – select “last photo” add a filter – tag a friend – and post within 60 seconds of taking the photo.

Will I be replacing my professional gear with this Samsung Galaxy NX mirrorless digital camera for weddings? Nope. But would I register for one of these if I were getting married today? You betcha! I’d love to get my hands on one for a longer period of time and really put it through it’s paces!

 

Travis -

Friday Wedding Photography of Minneapolis MN

Which camera phone should I get?

Camera Phone

 

It seems like the camera phone market is really going through a re-invention right now. On one hand, you have phones growing larger and more powerful with each generation. At the same time – it seems like only a handful of phones ever push for true – photography performance (iPhone + Nokia 41MP camera phone + Sony QX1000 Camera Phone).

I can see a number of reasons for this.
1) People take photos to share experiences. Point and shoots give you “better” quality photos with a flash for low light – but they are not made for sharing and being social. It’s hard to instagram from your fancy 5d Mark III.
2) People like thin pockets. (I may not have hard stats but it seems right) People don’t like carrying around a phone (which is already becoming the size of a small notebook) in addition to a 3/4″ thick (or more) camera. Stack these together and you’ll either scratch your phone or your camera screen / lens. We just don’t have room for extra cameras.
3) Extra battery to keep charged

From a professional standpoint, it could be nice sharing high resolution / better quality images with this Sony camera dealio, but honestly if you are going to be that dedicated – why not just throw an Eye-Fi card into your 5d3′s SD slot and save just low resolution JPG’s to it – that’ll continuously sync to your iPhone throughout the wedding day and you can Instagram actual wedding photos without having to carry that extra lens around all day…

WPPI Las Vegas Tips: 8 Tips for a successful WPPI experience!

Here they are! My top 8 tips for a successful WPPI Las Vegas trip. I hope these WPPI Las Vegas tips help you as well!

8 WPPI Las Vegas Tips
8 Tips:

  1. If you’re worried about getting sick get some “airborne” pills. It’ll boost your immune system and you’ll feel better. 
  2. Bring a Cliff/energy bar/meal replacement bar with you so you can have something to snack on throughout the day. They have water stations around the platform class area but just that extra food helps. 
  3. Make up a business card that either has a different email address or just your website. Not as many vendors ask for them, but they try and build mailing lists from them sometimes and I hate getting tons of SPAM. 
  4. Set aside a pre-determined dollar limit you want to spend and a list of business purchases you are planning to make this year. A new set of lights isn’t a good deal if you weren’t going to buy it originally. Also, many deals can be ordered after the convention in which you don’t need to make a rush decision on the spot. They are pretty good about not doing too high of pressure sales and usually they just want to get you on a mailing list, but still… Good to know your limits!
  5. Introduce yourself to and make a connection with the people sitting to your left and your right. Bring a sharpie marker and write on the business cards where you met and a little note to jog your memory. Each night record an audio note or journal about who you met, what you talked about, what your followup plan is, and anything that comes to mind.
  6. Daily dump. Take an audio recorder (or Evernote with your phone) and record an audio recording of your day. I basically spilled my thoughts and takeaways from each platform class or presentation you saw – and basically tried to give a blurb about everything I wanted to remember beyond that night. You could also journal these thoughts if you’re a writer. It’s helpful right after WPPI to make sure you didn’t miss things you wanted to do. And weeks/months later to re-listen to it and catch nuggets you forgot since then then :) The audio recording is just easier than writing for me. 
  7. Bring a small notebook for taking notes in class and everywhere you go. Optionally you could use Evernote but I like being able to draw diagrams and such
  8. Sit 3-6 rows back near the center half. That’s where they throw most prizes. Last year I won $500+ worth of prizes alone. (Results may vary). Like school, you’ll also be less likely to fall asleep even when you’ve had 4 hours of sleep and perhaps a little too much to drink the night before. You’ll also absorb more information this way.

Did I leave anything out? Share your wisdom and leave a comment below!

Top 3 Affordable Wedding Save The Dates Postcard Vendors

Are you looking for a way to send out affordable wedding Save the Dates that don’t cost an arm yet still look great? Let me help! Here at Friday Wedding Photography the goal is to help brides get their best value for the money, so hopefully this recommendation helps!

Postcard printing special promotion from nextdayflyers.com

So let’s start at the beginning. You’re looking for some cheap postcard print that you can send out as “save the date”s. Normally the suggestion would be to just Google “Postcard Printing” and you’ll find some great deals on businesses competing for your attention.

Personally, I really REALLY really liked www.OvernightPrints.com because they allow spot gloss for f.r.e.e and they use sturdy paper that feels really professional. Their printing is spot on sharp, they offer super fast printing if you need it, and they offer a really nicely finished product. Currently they’re running a deal for postcards so you can get some really good rates for mailers, promotions, save the dates, vendor giveaways, etc.

Here’s the link: www.OvernightPrints.com/postcardsale

Another company that I’ve used an really liked is www.NextDayFlyers.com . They have a very similar printing quality in terms of paper, however they aren’t quite as sharp in detail. It’s slightly more of a “press printed” look, however with the UV gloss coating they still turn out really nice. They often have the best pricing. Comparing to photo labs that specialize in photographic printing rather than just press printing, both of these press sites usually offer WAY cheaper prices than the labs and even deliver thicker card stock.

My last recommendation isn’t really for postcards but for just top quality small press printing. www.moo.com offers incredible high quality thick printing that’s very unique in that every card can have personalize designs. So you can order a save the date that has the invitation saying each guest’s name on it. This is just one more way to personalize your guest’s experience.

If you’re really curious and have some time before you need to send out your affordable wedding save the dates, just go to all of the top recommended printers and fill out their FREE SAMPLES request on their sites. They’ll mail you samples of their main sellers and anything you’re interested in, then you can compare for yourself. If you’re in more of a time crunch and you’re like me, I’d suggest  www.OvernightPrints.com and if you’re looking for more expensive and super thick printing skip the postcards and check out the fancy pants www.Moo.com .

What makes YOU different?

What makes YOU Different?

In addition to being a photographer, I am also a filmmaker. As such, it was through an educational webinar/webcast thing that I was introduced to Matt Davis of Life Stage Films. Throughout his presentation the thing that was 110% obvious was that this guy is totally genuine, he is filled with life, he is pursuing his dreams, and he is obviously unique. Luckily for me, and you, he is also committed to helping out other filmmakers on their quest to improve in their skills as well.

One of the things he had on his educational website is this video. It was crazy powerful for me, probably because I have been really pondering what makes people unique and the importance in knowing and pursuing our uniqueness. So without further ado, here is the film!

 

Distinct Vs. Extinct (What Makes YOU different?) from Life Stage Films on Vimeo.

Aside from what makes you different in a professional sense like in the video, if we could only think about what makes us different as humans and what our purpose is and how that might differ from others around us – think of how much good we could do in the world!If we as filmmakers, photographers, musicians, artists, engineers, teachers, coaches, etc… could make it a goal to be the best at whatever our calling is, how much good would we actually be able to do! We weren’t created to be average but to be unique. Be different and make a difference. Be remarkable and be memorable. Stand out and stand up for being the change we want to see.

This film showcases just that. Individuals who are taking that stand and identifying with what makes them different and in doing so, they are inspiring everyone we share this video with to do the same.

Thanks for reading! If you’d like to connect or leave a comment, click here and fill out the connect form.

This Is Why Your Photographer Never Sends All The Shots

All of the photos

“This Is Why Your Photographer Never Sends All The Shots”

This Is Why Your Photographer Never Sends All The Shots<br /><br /><br />
Photographers usually hear this question often, &#8220;Can you send me all the photos from the shoot?&#8221; The answer is no and the client may feel scammed. This is one prime example as to why, not all the shots are worth it! Believe me, you don&#8217;t want it. Beyonce&#8217;s publicist feels the same way. <br /><br /><br />
_<br /><br /><br />
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“Photographers usually hear this question often, “Can you send me all the photos from the shoot?” The answer is no and the client may feel scammed. This is one prime example as to why, not all the shots are worth it! Believe me, you don’t want it. Beyonce’s publicist feels the same way.”  Solstice – Creative Entertainment.


I’ve seen this photo circulating around Facebook with different headings and none of them really made much sense except this one.

It’s often difficult to tell a client “no”, but here is a clear example on where the client isn’t always right. While the client may think they want every image, frankly, the client doesn’t really want images like this! Clients hire a professional photographer to capture great images. A large part of a photographers job is going through the moments he clicked the shutter and finding the right moments the client will want to see.
Unfortunately, just think about how many great images were now overlooked because of the few horrible moments the photographer accidentally clicked the trigger? How many other images of Beyonce have you seen floating around Facebook that you can remember from the Superbowl?

Thanks Solstice Visuals for bringing to attention this excellent point!

 

Wedding Planning Websites: teamwedding.com

Part of running a website is the struggle to get it in front of couples while they are still doing their wedding planning. There are literally thousands of photographers trying to make it to the top of the searches. Beyond searches, there are hundreds of wedding planning websites that bombard artists with their sales pitch. Wedding directory sites are always trying to get vendors to pay for advertising on their website. The problem is that these advertisements rarely work. Especially for photographers, those sites just do not work for businesses unless they are the BIG sites.

That said, directories such as this one do help brides in their wedding planning. As a bride, you can find reviews of vendors and tons of free advice and answers to the questions you might be having. This information can be crazy helpful in a brides wedding planning to avoid costly mistakes! One of those sites that I decide to look at is called Team Wedding.

 

wedding-planning-directory-review

In my quest to review the top wedding directory sites I am thinking and wondering what you want me to give feedback on.

Currently my criteria will include:

  1. Professional layout of the site
  2. The number of professionals on the site
  3. The fullness of the vendor profiles - did a vendor fill out the page with photos and descriptions or are they just links to their site?
  4. How expensive are they to advertise – the more expensive the advertising the better a site looks.
  5. Value to brides in their wedding planning

I hope these wedding planning tips help you in your decision of where to spend your time. Given these sites often allow you to upload information to have it all in one organized spot, it’s important that the site be well designed and worth your effort!

http://www.topweddingsites.com/Minnesota/

Review for Team Wedding:

  1. Professional layout of the site: 7/10 (nice layout and look, not super functional)
  2. The # of professionals on the site: 1/10 (rarely did I see anything local)
  3. The fullness of the vendor profiles (did a vendor fill out the page with photos and descriptions or are they just links to their site) (2/10 – again, no MN wedding vendors even listed)
  4. How expensive are they to advertise (more expensive shows that the site is doing well) (1/10 – I’m giving them a really low ranking because they don’t even have MN vendors so what good does that money go towards? How many brides are using the site if there aren’t any vendors? $70-200/mo)

Closing thoughts: I think the relevance of a site can be determined by how many local vendors are there. And while having a lot of listings wouldn’t necessarily mean it’s a good thing, after all it could be garbage, but having none shows that nobody cares in our area. That won’t be of much use to brides in our area. For other parts of the world it could be a great site thought!

Feedback? Thoughts? Click on over to the Connect page and drop me a message!

Questions To Ask BEFORE You Hire Your Friday Wedding Photographer

Questions

I love questions. Questions clarify things, questions identify what’s happening below the surface. Questions answer uncertainty. So here’s my question.

Are some questions better than others?

That is a tricky question! I was raised with mixed advice. Some people told me that there was no such thing as a bad question, others would say “that’s a dumb question” and never provide an answer. But are some questions better than others when it comes to hiring your Friday wedding photographer?

I think so.

Some questions cut to the heart of the matter, the root cause of the problem, the hidden issue nobody wants to answer. Questions that make a difference.

For instance, does it matter what camera your wedding photographer is using for your wedding? Not nearly as much as “do you bring backup equipment if something breaks?” That second question can make or break your wedding memories. Literally. And yes, I bring backup equipment.

Rather than asking “how long have you been in business” (which is important), a better question to ask is “will you actually be the photographer at my wedding”. Many of the large wedding companies outsource their photographers.

It’s not bad to ask your photographer questions like “how long they have been in business” and “how many weddings you photographed” aren’t important, but I think it’s equally important to ask “will you actually be the photographer at my wedding” and “are the images on your website from actual weddings you shot”. Experience does matter in regards to a lot of things – but if a photographer has been doing weddings for 2 or 3 years full time, they might actually be more in tune with the current trends and styles in comparison to the business that’s been around since the 80′s.

Currently it’s super easy for a photographer to take great images from a workshop where they took pre-posed images with professional lighting and professional models. These are called “styled shoots” where the photographer pays to learn how to take beautiful images. The real problem is that bride’s go to a photographers website, they see these images, and then they get devastated when they get their own wedding photos back where they don’t look anything like what’s on their website. That’s why it’s important to ask “are all of the images on your website from real client weddings” or “are all of the styled shoot images clearly marked as such”?

These are the questions to ask before you hire your Friday Wedding Photographer.

How we handle wedding photography pose lists.

Wedding Photography Pose List

There is a huge problem right now going on in the wedding industry around “wedding photography pose lists”. They can be very useful if used properly, unfortunately they often are used in damaging ways. Many of the large wedding planning and resource websites are advising their couples to ask the dumbest questions and in effect harming the quality of images that the brides are getting. Now, as your Friday Wedding Photographer, I’m not saying all wedding photography pose lists are bad.

Wedding photography pose lists in themselves aren’t a bad thing. When expectations and requests are formally clarified, it does make things more clear cut. Requests such as “photo with bride + great aunt Suzie and her boyfriend Charles” are actually quite helpful when they involve groupings you really want that we wouldn’t automatically think of.

The important part is to differentiate between the creative and the formal pose lists. Here are a few examples of regular groupings that would automatically be included unless otherwise requested against:

Formal Family Pictures:

  • Bride and groom with bride’s mom and dad
  • Bride and groom with groom’s mom and dad
  • Bride and groom with bride’s grandparents (Bethany and Robert)
  • Bride with her 2 siblings (Rebecca and Lucy)
  • Etc.

Couples Portraits

  • Full length photo of bride
  • Full length photo of the groom
  • Kissing
  • Laughing
  • Etc.

Wedding Party Photos

  • Bride with her bridesmaids (group)
  • Bride with her bridesmaids (individuals)
  • Groom with his groomsmen (group)
  • Groom with his groomsmen (individuals)
  • Full wedding party with bride and groom
  • Etc.

As you can see, these are just standard images that you get with every wedding. They are formal grouping requests. Most experienced photographers don’t need a physical check list to hold all day long with a pen as it’s a distraction from being in the moment and listening to their creative side. Which leads to the real issue plaguing the wedding planning websites. Right now many sites are trying to solve the problem that many brides are finding themselves in because they didn’t do their homework before choosing their wedding photographer.

Luckily here in Minneapolis we have a TON of great photographers which I often refer to whenever I am already booked for a date. Unfortunately we also have a lot of inexperienced “creative wedding photographers” that just slapped together a fancy website since they got a new fancy DSLR for Christmas and now they are claiming they won’t destroy your wedding memories because they’ve taken nice photos on Instagram and they know what they are doing. The reason wedding photography pose lists keep coming up on the wedding sites highlights the issue. Many inexperienced photographers just don’t know what’s expected of them as a professional wedding photographer. Unfortunately for the brides, their choice to go with the lesser experienced and lower priced photographer often results in devastation and lost memories.

Often the wedding websites advise their clients to create galleries of images and send them to their photographer to ensure they create images just like them. Now, as an artist, it’s fun to see other people’s artwork but that doesn’t mean YOUR wedding can (or should) be a copy cat. As an experienced wedding photographer I embrace the landscape elements and architectural style we have here in Minnesota (and Wisconsin). While you may love that image you found on Pinterest of the bride and groom in the desert with the giant cactus with the stars in the sky… you just aren’t going to get that same image in February when it’s 5 degrees outside and the snow is a dirty grey. What we can do, however, is talk about what you like about that image (their expression, body posing, the composition of the image, the color toning, etc) and work to create a truly customized wedding experience that matches and truly achieves your wedding vision.

Rather than struggling over a specific list of images and requiring an assistant keep track of the 55 pose list examples we have to copy from Pinterest, I encourage all of the brides I work with to go through my own work and list out what images they love. From there, we discuss what it is you like about them and then we move onto discussing your actual wedding. What details will you have at YOUR wedding? What important elements are important to YOU? They could be religiously important, family related, or just handmade details you really like. Either way, when it comes to creating specific shot and pose lists the focus needs to be on YOUR wedding and not someone else’s.

The faster you move off of the pose lists and shot lists, the sooner your photographer can shift their brain over to the creative side. Rather than forcing the artist to be a copy machine, you leave room for them to create their own masterpiece of your wedding and you two as a couple. That FREEDOM is what will yield you the better images!

Carrie & Travis’ Engagement Photos in Bloomington Minnesota

 

 

It was a real joy getting to take the engagement photos of my little sister and her fiance Travis. Since we were going through a bit of a cold streak weather wise, we decided to do indoor some of their engagement photos at the Mall of America! There were so many fun places to take pictures ranging from large open spaces to greenery and fun backgrounds!

After grabbing lunch in the food court overlooking Nicolodeon Universe (formerly Camp Snoopy), they were wanting some outdoors pictures hanging out at a park. Since that’s something they enjoy doing together, we drove around and found a park they had been to during the summer and captured some really cute engagement pictures in the snow! Having both grown up in Minnesota and having met in college in Moorehead MN, getting some snow covered pictures seemed quite fitting.

Bloomington Minnesota engagement photo in white room (2) snowy winter engagement pictures on playground snowy winter engagement pictures against pine tree in bloomington minnesota snowy winter engagement pictures against pine tree in bloomington minnesota (2) Mall of America engagement photo kissing with red wall engagement ring with concordia moorhead graduation ring Bloomington Minnesota engagement photo in white room

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