Bright, colorful cookware

I stopped by the Ace Hardware in New Orleans to shoot some of their products for advertisements.  A few products were tossed up as options, but as soon as I saw the colors on this cookware I jumped at it.  Clean, bright, colorful - I could picture this stuff in my kitchen.  I'm sure my wife could picture it in our kitchen as well.  Maybe I should hide this picture.  :)

Jennifer's Bridal Shoot at the House of Blues

I was looking forward to shooting Jennifer and Brady's wedding at the House of Blues for a while, if for no other reason than so I could finally post some of the pictures from her bridal shoot.  Well their wedding last night was awesome AND I get to to post the bridal pictures.  Hopefully these will hold everybody over until I can get some of the wedding pictures up!

Tiffani & Mike's Engagement Shoot

Recognize these two?  Well if you've read every single post on this blog like you should have then you'd know that I had the pleasure shooting their actual proposal last year.  It's so much fun to get to be a part of such an exciting time in people's lives!  After shooting the proposal, the engagement session was easy.  No nerves, no thunderstorms.  It was a beautiful day in City Park to wander around the oaks and fight off other photographers for the best spots.  Other photogs may have gotten to some cool spots first, but you know what they didn't have?  A couple that would climb trees. And throw leaves at each other because I half-jokingly mention it.  And a little dog that we fed a container full of turkey to.  Winner - me. (And Tiff and Mike do get some nice pictures, so I guess they win, too.)

Gretchen & Nolan's Destrehan Plantation Wedding

Gretchen saw some of my work from a previous wedding at the Mule Barn and must've fallen in love.  Not that it's very difficult.  The grounds of Destrehan Plantation are gorgeous and the Mule Barn is a great setting for a party.  I was really excited to go back.  We started off at a suite at the Hilton and they took a party bus to the plantation.  They had a sweet first look before we jumped into pictures around all the old plantation buildings, followed up by a perfect ceremony outside under a giant old oak tree and then an evening celebrating inside the barn.  It was a great day with a great couple! Congrats to Gretchen and Nolan!

Matt & Kim's New Orleans Wedding

I had the good fortune of working with Matt in my "before photography" life, so I was thrilled when he contacted me about photographing his wedding.  Both Matt and Kim hail from the north, so not only was I seeing familiar faces, but I got to see a lot of people from Ohio and Michigan enjoying a great New Orleans party.  The whole event took place at the New Orleans Opera Women's Guild house on Prytania.  In another series of random connections - my wife does graphic design work for the Opera, and I've taken pictures at multiple of their events.  The house is all that you'd expect of a beautiful old garden district mansion, which made a great setting for some very classy bride and groom pictures.  A great setting for a great couple. Congrats to Matt and Kim!

 

Shoot 2 Studios' Second Shooter's Guide

You're probably reading this because you either have questions about second shooting or have already talked to us about working for Shoot 2 Studios.   Every photographer does things differently so the goal here is to answer the majority of the basic questions and give you the essential directions for second shooting with us.  If you've got more questions, just ask! Second shooting = Assisting +

You'll be carrying light stands, raising and lowering light stands, being a voice activated human light stand, and so on.  If I'm not shooting it means I'm either chatting briefly with a guest, in the bathroom, or doing something that you can help with.  Being a wedding photographer means running your ass off for ten hours every Saturday and I take that to heart.  I'm normally sweaty with at least one piece of torn clothing by the end of the night... so just run with me.

You're representing Shoot 2 Studios

This should go without saying, but be nice, smile, laugh, cry with them if you must, but keep working.  I'll give you business and event cards to carry and hand out if asked.

This is not for your portfolio

In the past I've hired people in the "I'm just starting/learning" stage and let them use their images for their portfolio with few restrictions.  Unfortunately, that doesn't give me the consistent, high quality images that I aim to deliver to my clients.  That, and a few bad apples would do things like post their pictures on social media before mine, or give their images to other vendors instead of mine as if it's their wedding.  So I don't do that anymore... At the start of the wedding day, I'll give you memory cards to use and you'll return them at the end of the shoot.  You've already got a good portfolio, otherwise I wouldn't hire you.

Eating/Drinking

If the clients have specified a time for us to eat, then great!  We get a break.  If it's a buffet, then grab a plate after all the guests have eaten and have a bite, but keep an eye on the action.  If it's a sit down dinner and we haven't been given a meal, then I hope you brought snacks.  We'll usually get something, but always bring something just in case.  Also, I have a one drink rule.  If offered, we can have one drink with the bride/groom/bridal party (some people get downright offended if you turn down a drink).  After that it's polite jokes about how more alcohol will make you forget to take the lens cap off.

Dress Code

The general rule is dress pants, long sleeved button up dress shirt, and dress shoes for guys.  Ladies can wear either pants or dresses so long as they can comfortably crouch and bend, and whatever shoes you can move around in all day without killing your feet.  Both guys and girls should wear black or dark colors.   If there's something else that would be more appropriate for a particular wedding (a suit, Converse, etc.) I'll let you know in advance.

Communication

If you've got questions during the day, just ask.  There are times when we might be across the room from one another and can't communicate verbally so try to interpret my hand signals as best you can.  They basically include pointing at something (i.e. photograph what I'm pointing at), and the finger across the throat sign (i.e. stop what you're doing because it's ruining my shot or something).

Before we get started on wedding day

We'll either meet before shooting begins the day of, or if you're showing up after the event has started we'll talk at some point before you arrive.  We'll go over the schedule and specific plans for the day.  There are also a few camera setting details to get straight.  Doing this up front makes my life a lot easier when I process your images.

-Synch our camera times

-Shoot large RAW

-No Auto WB.  I don't like getting pictures where every WB is different and none of them are right... it doesn't tend to work well with my post processing workflow.

-Format memory cards

-Check radio trigger channels (if we're using the same type of triggers).

After all that's done, we're ready to go to greet our clients.

What do I want you to shoot?

My focus is about 80% on the bride and groom, 20% on everything else.  Your focus should be more like 50/50.  This obviously isn't an exact science, but I want more crowd reaction shots, detail shots, friends and family pictures, table pictures, etc. from you while I'm working with the B&G.  The overall rule is don't shoot the same thing from the same place at the same time.  Other than that, be creative and have fun.

Where do I want you?  

I'll give specific directions if/when I have them, but the general rules include - (1) stay out of my shots, and (2) don't stand right next to me and shoot the exact same thing.

I'm usually all over the place at weddings, so keep an eye on where I am and move if necessary.  I.e. If I come stand right next to you and start shooting it means I want that spot and you should move.  Sorry. Feel happy that you picked a good vantage point.  :)

Lighting?

I aim to have my second's pictures styled consistently with mine so they blend in and are a seamless part of the final wedding day story.  I use off camera and bounced flashes, so we'll set yours up to be consistent.

Questions and ideas

Definitely feel free to ask any questions you have come  to mind during the wedding, but try to do so when we're not directly working with the clients.  I also like to hear other's ideas about what they would have done differently, but not when I'm actively working on my idea.

After we're done

Hand over the cards, get paid, and that's it!

Questions?  Things I should add?  Let me know; this is a living document that I'll change from time to time.  Hopefully you'll have had a great experience and gotten some fantastic pictures.

As always - Shoot 2 be awesome,

SH

 

The Tillers

I don't get a chance to research most of the people I'm asked to photograph, so unless it's a major business owner or celebrity, I just make sure I've read the latest weather forecast and sports statistics so we have stuff to chat about.  For these two I showed up while the writer was in their home interviewing them.  I got my lights set up and joined the group at the table while they wrapped up their talk.  In the few minutes of conversation that I caught, I quickly realized that they were being profiled because between the two of them they're involved in a ridiculous number of social causes.  This is one of those couples that you should just shake hands with and say "Thanks for all you do."

Source: http://www.shoot2studios.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Tillers-2.jpg

That's alotta crab!

I had no idea what to expect as I waited for the folks at Kim Son to bring out the salt baked crab I had to photograph.  Something small and dainty with delicately arranged and styled crabs maybe.  When they set this before me I had did a double take and allowed a "wow" to slip from my lips.  This was a massive dish of halved crabs and claws.  If I had been armed I probably would've shot it just to make sure it didn't come at me while I was photographing.  I managed to survive and get the pictures I needed and the restaurant was even nice enough to package everything up in a big carryout bag for me to take home.  I should've had them teach me how to eat it first.  It tasted great, but I'm unpracticed with Vietnamese cuisine and spent more time engineering ways to get through the shells than actually eating.

 

Published photo here

Source: http://www.shoot2studios.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Crablegs-2.jpg

This tastes local

This is an excellent example of keeping things local.  Pizzicare's Nola Roots Garden Pie is a veggie pizza topped with locally grown ingredients.  I'm sure fresh ingredients helps in making things taste better.  Knowing that local businesses are supporting one another also tastes good.

 

Source: http://www.shoot2studios.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Pizza-2.jpg

Cheese is good

I was asked to photograph La Boca's provoleta, which is a wonderfully unhealthful cheese dish.  There are antioxidants in the wine, right?  I'm just going to keep telling myself that the wine makes it ok.  Wine makes everything ok.

 

Published article can be found here

Source: http://www.shoot2studios.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Provoletta-2.jpg