I have no shame in admitting that I was a girl scout back in the day. I have fond memories of girl scout camporees and selling cookies door-to-door. AND, I was totally that overzealous girl scout who spent her free time earning extra badges, just for fun. There is literally nothing else that would make me ask my dad (who’s an auto mechanic) how to change a tire, check fluids, or distinguish between all the different parts under the hood… all in the name of earning a badge to add to my sash! :P
Given this, I was more than a little excited to be shooting a wedding on Lake Frederick, location of many a boy/girl scout camporee. Rosemarie and Jean’s ceremony was outdoors on the lake, surrounded by cabins, pavilions, and swimming docks utilized by the scouts. It was pure awesome.
One shot for now; many more to come!
I’m pretty psyched to share with you not only a killer shot from Lauren and Dave’s NYC elopement day, but also a peek into what I do behind-the-scenes when I’m processing images from a shoot!
The image below is an example of what I consider to be a ‘fully edited’ image from a shoot:
How did I get there? Well, let’s start from the beginning with the image as it was straight-out-of-camera:
1). RAW IMAGE (STRAIGHT-OUT-OF-CAMERA):
You might be thinking that this image is pretty flat, dark, and overall not too polished. And you’d be 100% correct with that assertion. I shoot all of my images in a RAW format, meaning that zero processing is done in-camera. Instead, the goal is to capture as much data as possible, so that when I go to process the images myself, I can do much more with them.
In this case, I wanted to capture the setting sun with its sunbeams, while also keeping the couple adequately lit with light. If I exposed properly for one, the other would suffer as a result. But when you shoot in RAW, you can get away with exposing somewhere in-between the two so that neither the sky nor the people are at the proper exposure, but that both are close enough to being right that I can correct it when I process the image.
Here, since I didn’t want the sun to appear as one bright blob of light in the skyline, I had to underexpose (i.e. make the image darker) so that while the sun beams are visible, the couple is a little too dark. But no worries, Lightroom to the rescue!
2). IMAGE WITH BASIC EDITING – READY FOR PROOFS + IMAGE DISC:
The above image is an example of what the image looks like when I run through my basic editing process in Lightroom. This is what you can expect when I deliver your images in the online proof gallery and on a disc after a shoot. I may tweak this slightly depending on the image set, but this is pretty much my signature style.
However, this image is not polished enough for a print or album. First issue at hand: there are distracting elements in the background. See that girl in bright pink just behind the fence (to the right of Lauren’s hand)? And the tacky signs just over the bridge? And the bits of tree in the upper right corner? Not cute. I want them gone!
3). IMAGE WITH MORE EXTENSIVE EDITING – READY FOR ALBUM/PRINT:
After substantial time spent in Photoshop, I was able to remove all those distracting elements. Sometimes it’s just not possible to remove these things and keep the image looking realistic, but in this case it worked out.
I also sharpened the image to better define their facial features, made the image a little less warm, and made a few minor tweaks just to make the image ‘pop’ a bit more. This is what you can expect when you order an album or print from me. Now the image is ready to be included in an album, or printed out + hung up in a frame! :)
Stay tuned for the rest of Lauren & Dave’s NYC elopement photos in the coming weeks!
I’m just gonna come out and say it: I’m a biiiiiiiiiig, big fan of the Jersey Shore. Both the show, and the place. Fist pumping, beach, what more could you want?!
Given this, it is painfully obvious how beyond-excited I was to shoot Maeve and Nate’s Jersey Shore wedding. There may not have been fist pumping (and I’m sure that’s for the better), but there was a whole lot of beach. And sun. And love :)
Aside from that, one other thing that made their wedding day super awesome was that they had planned for a huge chunk of time for bride/groom portraits… before the ceremony. If you’re down with breaking tradition and seeing each other before the ceremony for photos, then a). I love you already, b). You will be much more relaxed and less rushed, and c). You will have more time for these once-in-a-lifetime photos than if you tried to cram them in at the beginning of cocktail hour (which I really hate having to keep you from).
Ok ok, one more awesome thing: they had a hula hooping contest at the reception!! I can’t even tell you how excited I was about this. I will even go so far as to admit to hula hooping in my apartment while watching the Jersey Shore (how’s that for coming full circle?). And that’s not even a one-time thing, that’s pretty much on the regular. I use a weighted hoop that’s meant for fitness, in case you’re interested :D
And without further adu, I give you Maeve and Nate’s wedding:
I found this shot while in the middle of editing Maeve & Nate’s wedding photos and thought to myself, ‘Holy crap, this is one of the best photos I’ve ever taken, EVER!’. It would follow, then, that I would immediately post this baby all over the web – starting with this blog, of course :)
There’s always something special about a wedding that makes me look forward to it. Whether it’s the gorgeous venue or location, the incredible details, or the delicious food that’s promised, I get psyched for each wedding I get to photograph. And afterwards, I remember every one of them for that something special.
For Alex & Mike’s wedding, you could have dropped them on the most exotic of islands, filled their reception venue with DIY details galore, and served filet mignon, and I would still walk away thinking that the best thing about their wedding was how unbelievably awesome they both are.
(Though to be fair, the pork sliders were pretty ace ;P)
(Oh, and their epic impromptu performance of ‘Single Ladies’ is something I won’t be forgetting anytime soon!)