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June 2010 - Steven Joseph Photography

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#10. Never Go Full Retard. Go Easy on the Photoshop.

June 16, 2010 | By | No Comments

Apologies to anyone with a mentally challenged family member or friend … That jarring headline is a quote from “Tropic Thunder”, where Robert Downey Jr.’s character advises Ben Stiller’s character to pull it back, dial it down, never go all the way.

Throttle back your Photoshop effects. Or better, use none at all. Photoshop actions can be so exciting, especially to the new photographer. But – like government and habanero salsa – it’s best to use them sparingly. I’ve ruined many photos by applying Photoshop actions at 100%. Now – if I use Photoshop actions at all – I start at 20% opacity and slide the opacity around ’til it looks best. Then I back that off a little bit 😉 Everybody knows, you never go full retard.

#9. Move Around.

June 16, 2010 | By | No Comments

Move Around. Crouch and look up. Stand on a ladder & look down. Put your subjects above you. Put them below you. Get real close. Provide your viewers a look, an angle, different than the one they see in everyday life.

Look around at a wedding. 99% of the people with cameras are either standing or sitting, taking their photo with the same view one sees by just standing there.

Move around and suddenly your photos look different, you’re *making* photos.

#8. Shoot Into the Sun.

June 16, 2010 | By | No Comments

If you don’t have off-camera strobes or don’t know how to use them [see #4], turn your subjects’ backs to the sun, shoot in manual mode and expose for your subjects’ faces. Your photos will immediately be better than any point-and-shoot civilian who tries this. Their photos will be dark and underexposed.

Turn your subjects’ backs to the sun.

#7. Say “Thank you”.

June 16, 2010 | By | No Comments

I’m shocked to learn how seldom people say “Thank you.” I recently moved my family to Las Vegas from out of state. Many people made time to meet with me as I was scouting Vegas, and I tried to send thank you notes, and often little gifts, to all of them. Once I moved here, many told me how unusual it was for them to hear any sort of thanks. My “thank you”s stood out. Many of these people have since referred work to me. Say “thank you”.

#6. Ya Gotta Serve Somebody.

June 16, 2010 | By | One Comment

Offer to help those around you with your photography. Venues need good photography of their rooms, their gorgeous landscaping, their events in progress, their food. Friends need headshots. Friends need family shots. Spread the love (i.e., do these things for free) and the love comes back.

#5. Get Closer. Get Further Away.

June 16, 2010 | By | No Comments

Seems everybody’s got a camera at weddings nowadays.

One way to make your pictures look different than everybody else’s is to get up real close, and to pull way back.

Use a long lens (200mm) to get in real close.

Get close with a long lens, or by walking right into the action (not advised during the ceremony!) You’ll have captured the feelings of the moment, and your brides will be forever grateful when she looks at your photos.

Get far away - see the moment differently than everyone else.

Use a wide angle lens (like 17mm) to get far away.

Step Outside of the Action. Capture the Big Picture. Get far away to take in the big picture, the cityscape, the landscape, the drive into town, the outside of the reception hall, the whole room.