I just hate websites where you can’t figure out where the people are.
So we want to make it as easy as possible to find us.
Gail has a studio near the ferry dock in West Seattle her phone and website is 206-371-0585 – www.gailannphotography.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike lives in the puget Sound area… 206-432-5111 www. photobymike.com email@example.com
Gail travels around the Seattle area and goes to Europe regularly.
Mike has traveled to Hawaii, Alaska, Spain, The Netherlands, and Mexico as well as most of the United States to photograph assignments.
Here is a list of some of the questions we get asked… I have put some answers between them.
- What equipment do we use to photograph weddings? A wide variety of cameras both film and digital can do the job. I have a $55 camera I bought in 1968 which will do a great job… but it’s not easy to use so I don’t use it anymore. The currently most popular equipment is 35mm sized digital. It’s good, but for really large prints of larger groups or something special like silver/fiber based BW prints I use 21/4 or 35mm film.
- What digital camera do you use to photograph weddings? Canon, 20D, 30D, 40D, 5D, Canon 1Ds
- What exposure should I use for a candlelight wedding? ISO 1000, f2.8, 1/30th of a second with the candle one foot from the person’s face.
- What are the largest prints that can be made from 35mm film, 21/4 film, 35mm sized digital? 35mm starts falling apart at 11×14. 21/4 can easily go up to 40 inches. Digital depends on the actual camera. The Canon 5D can go to 30 or 40 inches or so with good lighting when the photo was made.
- What film do you use for photographing weddings? Kodak, Ilford, and Fuji each make particular emulsions which are good for specific things.
- What type of digital camera should I buy? Buy a camera that is simple enough for you to use a lot. They are expensive and if the camera you select is too big or too complicated you won’t use it and it will be a waste of money. We use big heavy cameras because we need cameras that will shoot 1000+ pictures without battery failure, large diameter lenses which will see in the dark, bodies which will focus fast in the dark, and produce quality images at any size the client wants. And, last at least 200,000 shots before trouble shows up.
- How do I avoid harsh shadows when taking outdoor pictures? Learn how to use a flash (not the one built into the camera) or reflectors, or how to pose people with the sun at their back.
- What is the best camera for wedding photography? There is no answer to this that will make everyone happy. 21/4 cameras will produce better pictures for the posed shots… 35mm cameras are faster and can operate in lower light so you will get a picture when a bigger camera would miss the shot altogether. So, both! The idea that Nikon is better than Canon is not a good argument… A cheap Nikon compared to an expensive Sony or Canon is not a fair comparison. Keep the price point the same and the camera brands (Canon, Sony, Nikon, Fuji) are about the same for all practical purposes. On the other hand, a $30,000 digital back on a 21/4 camera, while a very high quality camera, is not an appropriate tool to use for wedding work. Don’t forget lights. Cameras are worthless unless the lighting is good. We use soft boxes, umbrellas, and bounced light in addition to existing light to make photos.
- Should I use a filter during wedding photography? Be my guest… But, if you shoot the whole wedding with the soft focus filter on you will look like an idiot later. My daughter’s wedding looks like the whole thing was shot through a cellophane candy wrapper…yuk!
- What books are best for beginning Wedding Photography? In my opinion, none of them… either you “get photography” or you don’t. The answer is truly to work as an assistant to someone who knows what they are doing.
- Do you show your digital pictures at the wedding reception, for the guests to choose the photos they want? We can if you wish.
- How many pictures are typically taken at a wedding? 100 to 2000… it depends…
- What image editing software do you use? Phase One, Lightroom, Photoshop 09, 10, 11 are the only programs in the game. The rest are toys or may only work with one brand of camera’s file type.
- How to take photos with blurred backgrounds? Buy $1500 lenses and shoot wide open… or learn how to do this by taking an advanced professional level photoshop class.
- Do you allow other photographers to take pictures at your weddings? At times when we are doing group photos and really important formal intimate shots of the bride and groom NO. Your presence ruins the mood, causes people to look off in the wrong direction, and interrupts my (and the subject’s) emotional involvement in what I am doing… If I lose the mood the photos go south too. This is the critical difference between taking and making photographs.
- Are there location charges? Not unless there is some really big distance… or multiple days.
- How far will you travel? Anywhere the world’s crazy or desperate people are not shooting at me. So I suppose East LA, East St. Louis, Detroit, New Orleans, and Washington DC are out.
- How long will pictures take? How good of a job do you want us to do?
- What other advice do you have after 100’s of weddings? Do your planning ahead of the wedding in all the detail you want…. you’re winding up a clock. The day of the wedding you have only one thing to do… show up and say “I do”… nothing else matters. Let your selected vendors do their jobs… 99.5% of the time everything goes fine.
- What’s the disaster we don’t know about? There are three things… One you have no control over and can only make a fall back plan… The other two can be avoided by a very small amount of effort… 1) men’s rented clothes… Go to the Men’s Warehouse and get an adult (not a high school kid like at some tux places) to measure and take the order. Try on the actual clothes when you pick them up!!!!! 2) Have a plain straight talk with the limo company about what exactly you expect them to do and when… do not accept the double book scam… and don’t be late yourself… that ruins someone else’s day too!!! 3) The weather. If your gig is outdoors around Seattle a tent is good for hot sun or rain, either way you’re safe.
- And one other thing…. Make other people do the work! You are the royalty for the day… Lift nothing heavier than a bouquet or a cocktail glass!