Wednesday, January 28, 2009

We are hanging our shingle.....

For the couple of decades my sister and I have really enjoyed taking pictures. We've progressed from taking pictures with our little point and shoot camera to fancy schmancy Canon AE1 with a zoom lens as long as our arm. I loved the zoom lens especially when I was taking pictures of the kids. When you are using a camera that doesn't have a zoom...the instant the kids see you pointing your camera at them they stop and give you their camera smile and more often than not what you see is a face, frozen in time, wearing something that feels like a smile yet looks like the child is in pain. With a zoom lens you can be in the back of the room and the kids don't even notice you and it's easier to get a good picture.

We rolled right in to the new millennium and got digital cameras. The zoom is built in and the pictures are sharp but I'd still like to have my old camera back.

I've gotten a few lucky shots through out the years but since I have no desire to take technical classes or learn how to build a camera so my skills are very limited. My sister, on the other hand, is married to a man who started his career as a photographer and is now producing '90210'. He has taught her a lot about composing shots and how to use lighting properly and I am able to ride in on her coat tails.

We have talked for years about opening our own photography business and have just never gotten the ball rolling. It has more to do with our confidence level than anything else. We are afraid of being thought of as professional photographers and then not being able to deliver what is expected of us, so instead we take 100's of pictures of every event we attend and then just give them away to whom ever wants them. It is a fun hobby. No expectations and everyone is usually very happy with the end product.

Enter my daughter. She is very, very artistic. She can draw. She can paint. She can take wonderful pictures. She can decorate. She can coordinate. And she can arrange flowers like no ones business. She has done the flowers for several of her friends and each and every one of them have turned out stunningly beautiful. She doesn't usually charge for her services, she only charges for the purchase of the flowers and accoutrements. Her arranging and delivering of the flowers is her gift to the bride and groom. I have done everything I can to convince her to open an actual business and go for it. She is very talented and very accommodating and there is no reason that she shouldn't get paid to do something she enjoys so much. (double standard much?)

She has a friend who's father is getting re-married and she asked Tori and I if we would like to photograph the wedding. I said YES!, and then proceeded to just about throw up. WHAT WAS I DOING? WHAT IF WE SCREW THIS UP? WHAT IF EVERY SHOT LOOKS LIKE I WAS JUMPING UP AND DOWN WHEN I TOOK IT? WHAT IF MY CAMERA BREAKS? WHAT IF MY PICTURES DON'T DO THE COUPLE ANY JUSTICE? WHAT WAS I THINKING????

Just as I was having my own private heart attack my sister sent me some shots that she took at a recent birthday party and my fears instantly subsided. She is an awesome photographer and she is very good at doctoring photos on the computer. I think that between the two of us we will do very well if we just remember to breath in/breath out.

Now, the real purpose of this post....I would like for you to tell me about wedding photos. What was your favorite pose? What was your least favorite pose? What are the most important shots that some photographers miss? Of course we know that there should be pictures of the bride and groom at the alter, the bridal party walking down the aisle, candle lighting ceremonies, etc. What I want to know is what is out of the ordinary that we shouldn't miss? What is out of the ordinary that we should skip? Input! Johnny 5 neeeds more input!!!

It bothers me to see wedding party pictures where dress straps are hanging off of shoulders or bouquets are not even or some jackets are buttoned and others are swinging open so I will have those details covered. My daughter has a picture from her wedding where it's just a picture of her and her husband from the back and she's grabbing her groom's butt! I love this picture...but would it be as fun for a couple who are in their 50's? Give me ideas....and wish us well!

Love, Tami



Anonymous Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention that our fee for shooting this wedding is a chocolate martini!
In fact, we only asked for one to split between the two of us, cuz ..well, that just sounds more professional!
PS...Thanks for the kudos and the ego boost!

12:56 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Really Long Last Name said...

my favorite one was one from my first wedding. The photographer had us clinking our wine glasses (we had brought our crystal to toast out of) and the camera focused on the background was us kissing (ick...) But it was a beautiful shot.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Tami W. said...

Thanks for the idea. I will try to incorporate that in to our repertoir. (I have no idea how to spell that!) It sounds very romantic.

Didn't say anything that wasn't true.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i like the pictures where they aren't totally posed. at my wedding the photographer who we paid a ton of money too forgot to get a single picture of me the bride. i know that it may not be a big deal because 5years later i remember the day like it was yesterday, but someday i may not remember the details of my dress, hair and everything else.
good luck and have fun.

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know nothing from nothign about photographing ANYTHING of my coworkers had some very artsy/unusual (but not in a strange sort of way) shots done for her wedding. I cant recall the photographer, but I know he had a website, Ill post it for you as soon as I find it!

4:39 PM  
Blogger Natalie said...

i can tell you two that i think are horrible. the picture of the bride's face surrounded by the bouquets and the one of the couple's hands on top of the flowers. so cheesy...and yes we had both at my wedding!

6:07 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

In a couple of days (maybe more...I will upload some of Bill's shots from Erica's wedding to my flickr page. The ones that are on there already are only the ones we shot with my little camera. Bill took some great ones with his big Canon 20D.

I am BEYOND excited for you! One of my favorite shots from my wedding was at my parents' house and my mom put the pearls that they gave me on my neck - it was shot in black and white. I also really loved the shot of Bill's face when he first saw me - it is very sweet. You should checkout the following link: - Michael Brannigan is the photographer we used for our wedding and he also shot some gorgeous shots of S almost two years ago. He is amazing - look at his portraits to find my little one and under weddings for his best work.

Can't wait to hear!!!

10:54 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Best o' luck to you both, I would suggest (though you've most likely thought of it yourself) to go with the "standard" shots/poses, and then just have fun with your clients, their guests and yourselves....

Remember, any pictures they don't like, they don't have to order/pay for; so the more you take and offer, the better the chances that they'll see something they love.


5:59 AM  
Blogger Busy Bee Suz said...

I love the candid shots...of the bride and groom and the family...I have a great picture of my grandma and I sitting in a pew, while my hubby's family were getting photographed...we were having a moment.
I also LOVE the shots of the groomsmen holding the bride up...on her cute.
How about all the bridesmaids jumping at the same time throwing up their bouguets?? so cute.
Oh, I love weddings!!!!

You have been bestowed an award at my blog.

6:38 AM  
Anonymous Amanda said...

My favorites...the butt grab, Mike dancing with Hannah, me and Hannah holding hands, the up close of me putting Mikes ring on, Bek scowling at the camera...let JoAnn and Dan tell you what they want. I'll have her make a list of must haves. They're a fun couple. I can tell you now they're just going to want to see people having a good time.

P.S. Totally blushing from all the gushing.

9:38 AM  
Anonymous big hair envy said...

I am SO excited for you and Tori! What a fun business venture!!!

Some of my favorite shots from our wedding were of the elderly interacting with the very young. As we lose beloved family members, these photos become priceless.

I LOVE the idea of the bride grabbing the groom's butt!! FUN STUFF!!

11:52 AM  
Blogger Cassie said...

Remember to bring at least 2 and probably 3 cameras with you.Just a precaution. A single head & shoulders shot of the bride can be elegant. My favorite from our daughter's wedding is her & her Daddy walking down the aisle together, arm in arm.I took a picture of them walking away hand in hand when she was about 8yrs old & my husband had it reproduced next to them walking down the aisle & gave it to her on their adoption day anniversary the year after she was married.It hangs on her wall!

10:40 PM  
Anonymous katiejae said...

Here is some of my pics from last year. Hope it gives you a few ideas


6:03 PM  
Anonymous Pamela D. Hart said...

Hello Tammi, I found you through Suz @ Day by Day. I just love your blog! You sound like such a great lady. I am a big worrier too, except I'm not afraid of spiders or snakes, I smash spiders with my fingers all the time. I'm currently working on my other million fears, maybe that'll be a good blog? Anyway the wedding photos... I'm a Gone with the Wind fanatic and my photographer took a photo of my husband and I like the one with Scarlett and Rhett. Him leaning over her; her back arched. Kinda like a bookcover. It turned out soooo romantic. This kind of photo isn't for everyone, so you'd have to see if the bride is up for this. We also did a photo with me in a tree! Yep, my husband helped me and my white dress into a tree. I was in the tree and he was leaning against it. That was a fun picture! I probably sound like a complete loon! I am but that's besides the point.

12:55 PM  
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7:17 PM  
Anonymous Barry Clayton said...

I have seen some of your photos and had assumed you had some technical training in photography. Some great images.

Digital photography and Photoshop are wonderful. I think some of us amateurs can produce some great shots that years ago we never would have dreamed we could. But, there still needs to be the person behind the lens with ideas on framing, exposure, etc.

How did your wedding photo experiences turn out? I guess I will likely see that answer as I read more blog entries (just jumping around at random now).

1:45 PM  
Blogger Tami & Tori said...

Neither one of us have had any technical training. We don't know how to do Photoshop or Lightroom. My success is based on doing it until i get it right. My sister is more knowledgeable about settings and the arithmetic involved.
We didn't get to shoot the wedding that I wrote about in this post-however in the following years we have shot many weddings. I am so grateful that there are two of us because I don't think that I could shoot an entire wedding by myself.

9:02 PM  

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