Category Archives: For Photographers

This section of the blog contains content specifically for my fellow photographers.  I hope it will serve as a place to gain inspiration, discuss creative approaches, and share business ideas. With the number of emails I get asking about photography from other photographers I thought it was about time to put the information for photographers all in one place.

Read the rest of the posts in this category here.

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Chris and Angie’s Breckenridge Ski Wedding



Location: Breckenridge Ski Area

Venue: Mountain Thunder Lodge

 

Chris and Angie had a really fun idea for a wedding: ski down from the top of Breckenridge Ski Area together to their ceremony at Mountain Thunder Lodge. Finding a photographer who was willing and able to go on that adventure with them could have been a challenge, so I am really glad they gave me a call.

 

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Throwback Thursday Wedding Photography

Recently I was thinking back to my first time at the WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) in Las Vegas back in 2008. I had only been photographing for a few years, and it was my first time at a conference with thousands of wedding and portrait photographers getting to meet and listen to long time industry pros. Topics covered everything from lighting to business.

a lot of the existing barriers to new photographers in the industry had seemingly disappeared overnight

However, there was a recurring theme throughout the entire conference, especially in the business classes. It was that photographers should stick to their guns and charge what they think they were worth and not compromise artistically or financially. It made sense in the context of the time, when digital cameras were finally able to exceed the quality of film, and a lot of the existing barriers to new photographers in the industry had seemingly disappeared overnight. The result was a market flooded with new competition that were able to work with low overheads on weekends while holding other jobs, and as a result they were able to sell their services for a lot less than what established photographers had been charging. Continue reading »

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Kristin and Jared’s Fall Wedding in Beaver Creek, Colorado

Venue: The Splendido at the Chateau, Beaver Creek, Colorado
Flowers: Hot House Flowers of Vail
Dress: David’s Bridal
Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse
Rings: Jared’s Galleria of Jewelry
Hair and Makeup: Spa Anjali at the Westin

 

Jared proposed to Kristin on  trip to Paris when they visited the Isle de Cite. They planned the perfect Fall Colorado wedding in Beaver Creek near Avon. Besides holding their wedding outside in the prime of the Colorado aspen leaves turning to bright yellow, they wanted to make sure their guests got the full Colorado experience. They picked a menu at the Splendido at the Chateau in Beaver Creek with locally sourced foods like wild mushrooms and elk loin.

 

 

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Glacier National Park Model Shoot

Glacier Wedding Photo ShootSometimes I like to try new ideas or create images that might be a little to abstract or unusual for most couples. For these ideas I like working with friends and models to try to create more abstract images. As many of you know, I spent many years as a professional nature and landscape photographer. I think that comes through in a lot of my wedding images, but I am always trying to push my creative limits to comes up with new ways to integrate landscape photography with my wedding work.

 

Creating this image in camera was relatively complicated. It involved shooting on a tripod with a long shutter speed in order to create the blur of the water. It also required the model to lie perfectly still for several seconds. Also, I wanted to be careful not to overexpose the white areas of the water. In order to do that I needed a camera setting that made the model look too dark, so I added an off camera flash controlled with a radio transmitter. The most complicated aspect was the time crunch we were under while working in fading twilight.

 

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Anatomy of an Image #13: Dynamic Imagery

 

Creating Dynamic Images

I am going a slightly different direction with this Anatomy of an Image post, because I am sharing 14 images from seven different weddings. The idea occurred to me when someone in a wedding photography forum noted how all the images photographers post seem to be very different then what you would expect in a typical wedding photograph. She asked if all of our photos look like that, or only certain ones. I thought it was an interesting question to answer, since if you are new to the industry or wedding photography in general, your impression would be that every single image looks like something that belongs in a gallery as opposed to a wedding album.

 

Let me start by answering her question: No, every image does not look like that, nor should they. The issue is that, as a photographer, I am photographing for two different people, myself and the client. It is actually more complicated than that, because I am not only photographing for the clients, I am also photographing for their family, their children, and their grand children that will be looking at their wedding photos one day. As such, it is important to find balance between creating the type of artwork that satisfies my own need to create, and the type of images that will appeal to people beyond just myself and the clients. Striking that balance can be difficult.

 

One of the wedding photographers who most inspires me is David Beckstead, and he has provided the best advice I have ever heard on the matter. Several years ago, he suggested splitting my time between creating safe images for a wider audience and more dynamic images for my own satisfaction. He calls it “creating an image for grandma, and then creating an image for me.”  It is a simple idea, but the freedom is provides is incredible. Once I know I have created that safe image for the “grandma” it leaves me to play and create in ways I have never thought possible. For newer photographers, you might want to devote 90% of your time to mastering the safe shots, but as you become more comfortable in developing your style, and confident that you can create dynamic imagery, you can ease into spending more and more of your time taking risks on dynamic imagery.

 

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Anatomy of an Image #12

Photographing with Invisible Light: Infrared

 
Infrared Image of Bride at Arapahoe Basin

Our eyes are capable of seeing only a tiny fraction of the electromagnetic spectrum known as visible light. Yet, we can use instruments to help us detect invisible light like x-rays, radio waves, and infrared light. Infrared light is the same light that night vision goggles use. It was discovered accidentally in the year 1800 by German astronomer William Herschel. He was conducting experiments with prisms in order to determine which color of sunlight transmitted the most heat. He placed a thermometer in each color of the rainbow to see which color would show the biggest rise in temperature. He placed another thermometer just outside the rainbow created by the prism as a control.

 

After several hours Hershel recorded the temperatures on the thermometers and discovered to his surprise that the biggest increase in temperature came from the thermometer just outside of the prism light that he was using as the control. He correctly surmised that this must have been caused by some invisible light that the eye could not see. He called this light infrared, from the Latin word “infra,” for below. William Herschel was the first person to prove that there are forms of light that we cannot see with our eyes.

 

Since Herschel’s experiment over 200 years ago, detecting and making images from invisible forms of light is commonplace. I own a special camera that has been converted to only record images from invisible infrared light. The camera records at a specific wavelength that it on the border of visible light and heat known as near IR. This wavelength of light has some very interesting properties that result in images like the one above. For starters, much of our atmosphere does not give off infrared light. In fact, it gives off very little red light, which is why the sky appears blue. In an IR image, the sky will actually look almost black. Clouds on the other hand reflect heat including IR light. As a result, clouds appear very bright white in IR photos. People’s warm skin creates a soft and subtle glow in IR light.

 

Infrared cameras have very limited use in wedding photography, which is why I am one of only  handful of photographers to use one. However, when situations like the one above arise, I am really happy that I carry one in my camera bag. If you are interested in having a camera converted, check out Life Pixel.

 

 

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Amber and Aaron’s Loveland Wedding

Venue: Loveland Ski Area
Coordinator/Florist: Karin Novotny, The Garden Path 
Dress and Veil: Pronovias from The Bridal Collection
Mens Formalwear: Calvin Klein
Hair and Makeup: Keri Winters Bridal
Amber and Aaron met on a set up ski date at Arapahoe Basin in Colorado. They hit it off on that first chairlift ride, and have been together ever since.  I met Aaron through the Summit County search and rescue team, and I was honored when he and Amber asked me to photograph their wedding at Loveland Ski Area.

 

They are both avid outdoor enthusiasts, especially when it comes to skiing. Because of that they had no fears about driving up the mountain to get some great photos while the light was still good.  Enjoy.
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