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How to Get the Most out of Getting Ready pictures

When I started photographing weddings, I wondered how those famous photographers got gorgeous pictures of their clients getting ready on their wedding day. The shots seemed so “in the moment,” but also beautifully lit. When I walked into a hotel room, church basement or (gasp!) grandma’s living room, I wasn’t achieving the same results. Was it the location? Or the subjects? Sometimes. However, there were often a few little steps I could take to get similar results. Here’s How to Get the Most out of Getting Ready pictures: 1. Show up early. Standard start time for us is about one hour before the bride is in her dress/groom is in his suit. “Start time” is when we tell clients we’ll arrive. We actually show up 30

Photography for the Professionals {10 Truisms}

I’m a fan of age-old photography wisdom that’s still relevant today. When I stumbled upon the book “Photography for the Professionals,” written by Robin Perry in 1976, I thumbed through the dusty pages. What I found surprised me, no different than this 1937 gem. If age-old wisdom stands the test of time today, imagine future value? That’s something a new book won’t buy! Despite being published over 37 years ago, the abundance of ‘golden nugget’ information relevant to today’s professional photographers inspired me to write this post for The Photo Life. Here are Ten Truisms from the book “Photography for the Professionals” that are applicable to today’s professional photographers. Ten Truisms, 37 Years Later: 10. The key to success in photography (or anything else for that

Tips for Booking and Rocking Same-Sex Wedding Shoots

Documenting the story of a same-sex wedding is really not that different from documenting the story of any wedding, at least from the perspective of a wedding photojournalist. In both, a photojournalist’s job is to capture the personalities, the emotions, the moments, the context and the details that work together to give viewers a sense of the love shared by the couple, their family and friends on that one special day. So, how do I go about booking same-sex weddings? 1)  Seek this business only if you are truly supportive. If you have any reservations about the right of gays and lesbians to make meaningful, legal and sacred commitments to each other, that uncertainty will likely show when you meet with couples. 2) Make it

5 Ways to Keep Portraiture Natural on the Wedding Day

One of the best compliments I receive from potential clients is that my photographs feel natural and aren’t forced. That’s music to my ears because I consider myself a storyteller first and foremost. Probably 90% of my wedding photography days are spent covering the action in a photojournalist manner. At the end of the day, however, I gravitate towards portraits. It has always given me great pleasure to have clients who tell me “we’re so unphotogenic,” and then deliver images that truly wow them!  Let’s face it, if you can make someone look good, you’ve just earned another advocate for your work. Seriously, who doesn’t want to look amazing on their wedding day? How do you keep things natural? How do you make people feel

Photography Notes: Doing the Hard Thing

We all go through times of struggle in life, but they are often the times of greatest personal growth. We build our muscles through our resistance to those trials. This concept of growth through struggle is also valid in our photographic lives. Doing the hard thing is where photographic depth and skill is obtained. I had the opportunity recently to assign myself such a challenge… Photography Notes: Doing the Hard Thing from Jared Platt on Vimeo. Special Thanks to: Shanliegh & Dustin (the bride and groom) Kimberly Jarman Leica Triple Scoop Music About Jared Platt Jared Platt is a professional photographer and photographic educator. He studied photography at Arizona State University where he earned his undergraduate and masters degrees in Photography. He teaches college photography courses as

What Donald Draper Tells Us About Happiness

Photo by The Youngrens “Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And do you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It’s freedom from fear. It’s a billboard on the side of a road that screams with reassurance that whatever you’re doing is OK. You are OK.” Donald Draper (Mad Men, 2007) Even the old school ad guys got this one right. My good friend Don (yes, the fictional character Donald Draper) knew that he was never just selling products, he was selling happiness. In order to do this he had to figure out how what he was selling resonated with his ideal client’s unique idea of happiness. Your products and services aren’t just products and services. They represent memories,

Intimate Invitations: The Photo that Changed the Course of My Career

The camera is an invitation to experience intimacy. I didn’t understand that powerful principle until I was given an unforgettable assignment for my college newspaper, The Columbia Missourian. A writer and I were working on a story about midwives. It seemed simple on the surface: visit a few homes where mothers-to-be were meeting midwives. With my camera over my shoulder, I tentatively stepped inside a family’s quiet house. What happened then simply changed the course of my career. The mother and midwife graciously invited me to photograph a pregnancy progress exam in the home’s small sunroom. I crouched in a corner, hoping to minimize my footprint within an incredibly intimate scene. As the midwife began the exam, the mother’s toddler tiptoed into the room, climbed

Top Ten Galleries Every Photographer Should Visit

Call me old school. Go ahead, it’s true. I love seeing photographs in galleries. Not the galleries confined to a computer. I’m talking about the ones with walls. There’s just something magical about stepping into a gallery and approaching large photographs hanging around you. It’s like meeting a kindred spirit for the first time; by standing face-to-face, you have a chance to savor their subtle nuances, to get lost in the rich hues of their eyes. Above all, you feel comfortable exploring, discovering and learning. Sometimes, my palms sweat as I walk into a favorite gallery and glimpse a new exhibit. Rounding the corner of Canal and Chartres in New Orleans, I instinctively look up, toward the worn wooden sign and bold red door marking

How I Shot a Wedding with my Lensbaby

I have been a huge fan of the Lensbaby selective focus lenses since I got a Lensbaby 2.0 years ago. I then starting using the “Franken-Lens”, the Lensbaby 3G, and now I use the Lensbaby Composer with its different interchangeable optics. For years now I have wanted to use a Lensbaby lens to shoot an entire wedding from start to finish. While the Lensbaby lenses are generally used very sparingly for a few portraits and maybe a few detail/ring shots at any given wedding, certainly nobody would want to do an entire wedding with one. Part of it is that us wedding photographers strive for perfection, this is not really a strong point for a Lensbaby as its purpose in life is to distort perfection

Inside the Image- Lightroom Custom Vignettes

Living in the desert is a unique experience.  Forget about the 120 degree summer days and the horribly unfriendly plant life.  To me, the weather is quite fascinating.  I love the monsoon rainstorms and the lightning is fantastic.  Other places in the world have their own challenging weather situations, many much more dangerous.  There are tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, blizzards, etc…  and none of these options are very appealing to me, which is why I prefer my native state of Arizona.  But we do have our own unique weather effect: the dust storm. I was traveling back from a job in Tucson and took a back road route home (rather than the freeway).  I enjoy doing this because everything goes by so quickly on the freeway

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The NEW ShootQ is Complimentary while in Beta mode for the next few months.  Enjoy!
The NEW ShootQ is Complimentary while in Beta mode for the next few months.  Enjoy!