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A Day in the Life Assignment Series winner

June 7th, 2013  |  by  |  published in Featured, Shoot

Thanks to all who participated in our winter assignment series A Day in the Life! All of the entries really illustrated the theme, it was so fun seeing everyone’s days!

Our Grand prize goes to Kevin Couture for his submission featuring a man panning for gold. Such an interesting way to spend the day!

Kevin will receive a six-month trial membership to the wonderful RPG keys, a great bit of software/hardware that makes editing images a breeze. Congratulations!

Thanks to everyone for sending in your images and sharing your Day in the Life!

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A Day in the Life

May 17th, 2013  |  by  |  published in Featured, Mingle

DITL

 

Our newest assignment for you is “DITL!”!

A DITL is a “Day in the Life”, whatever that means to you.

Winner receives a six month trial membership to RPG keys, a fantastic hardware/software combo that increases image processing productivity (among other things) by the power of a million.

Prize is non-transferable and has no cash value in any circumstance.

Collages, diptychs, triptychs and more are all welcome, just make each entry a single file. You are more than welcome to comb through your files for a photo that illustrates the term, but we would absolutely love it if you shot something for the assignment; we want to see what you’ve been up to!!

Our assignment series is open to everyone. One entry per calendar day, please! We’re hoping you’ll wanna play along! The most creative entry wins!

We will post all of the entries on our Facebook page, and post a few of our favorites on our blog, complete with a link back to your blog or website.

How to enter :

  • Images should be sized no longer than 720 pixels on the horizontal side, they can be as tall as you’d like! (If you need help figuring that out, ask your favorite Shootstyler.)
  • And by all means, slap that logo on there if you have one!
  • You can enter up to one photo a day for the duration of the assignment.

Email your entry to:

assignment@shootstyle.com

We have an album on our Facebook fan page. When the entries start coming in, we’ll post them there first. Check in with us at Facebook if you are looking for some inspiration.

www.facebook.com/ShootStyle

The deadline is May 30th! Let’s have fun doing this together!! Assignment series: “DITL!”

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Reception Lighting Workshop in Lynnfield MA

October 19th, 2012  |  by  |  published in Featured, Shoot

The ShootStyle gang headed into Lynnfield MA this past Tuesday evening to meet up with a number of participants ready to get their flash-on!

Well, their ‘off-camera flash lighting’ on, that is.

Andree & Earl went over some of the basics and not so basics of reception lighting, from direct flash on camera to using multiple off-camera flashes.

And then the participants broke into groups and worked their way around the room, being schooled by Andree, Earl, Jamie and Michelle.

A great time was had by all, because learning is fun! And so is off-camera flash!

Thank you to all who joined us! Looking forward to the next workshop!!

A handful of behind-the-scenes during the workshop:


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New Workshop: Rock Your Reception Lighting III

September 18th, 2012  |  by  |  published in Featured, Mingle

 

Get Your Tickets Here: http://shootstyle-reception-lighting.eventbrite.com

 

One of the big challenges faced by wedding photographers in New England is that our wedding receptions often take place in dark, windowless halls. Worse, these halls are sometimes run by catering managers who feel that turning the lights down to almost nothing gives their hall a romantic ambiance.

Well that may be, but the dim atmosphere also means that Grandpa can’t read the menu and we wedding photographers can’t shoot using available light.
So the question facing us isn’t ‘should we light the reception’ but rather ‘how should we light the reception?’ Well there are a number of approaches as you can see in the examples below.

At this hands-on lighting workshop, ShootStyle will be demonstrating everything we know about lighting a reception. And since no one tackles lighting a reception in exactly the same way, you’re likely to see an approach that suits your style of photography.

We’ll be working with flash on camera, flash off-camera, sync cords, radio triggers, multiple speedlights, light-on-a-stick and even studio lights. We’ll start with the basics and move on to cover topics such as lighting the entire dance floor, balancing your lights with the ambient light, and creating dramatic lighting. And because time is always tight on a wedding day, we’ll also show you how to get different looks from a single lighting set up.

We’ll probably be introducing you to some new equipment was well as new techniques. We all know that buying new gear is fun, but great light starts with getting the most out of what you already own, and we’ll be there to help you do just that! Bring whatever equipment you currently have including a camera, strobe(s), stands, triggers, cords, fast lenses, etc.

There’ll be a lot to cover and we’ll be zipping right along, so to get the most out of this workshop, you’ll need to already have some understanding of basic camera function.

The Rock Your Reception Lighting workshop is happening on Tuesday, October 16th from 6pm to 10pm at the Elks Club in Wakefield, MA. It is limited to the first 20 people who sign up. Tickets cost $275 and are non-refundable (but if you find you can’t make it you can transfer your ticket to a another photographer).

 

Get Your Tickets Here: http://shootstyle-reception-lighting.eventbrite.com

 

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Assignment Series – Flash Me!

September 5th, 2012  |  by  |  published in Featured, Mingle

Our newest assignment for you is “Flash Me!”!

Your assignment is to show us your best images interpreting Flash Me!, whatever that means to you! This might be a photojournalistic exercise or an artistic construction. We leave it up to you to define the phrase and how you will interpret it.

Winner receives their choice of a free seat at ShootStyles October 16th Reception Lighting workshop or one 45 minute phone/Skype portfolio review from their choice of ShootStyler.

Prize is non-transferable and has no cash value in any circumstance.

You are more than welcome to comb through your files for a photo that illustrates the term, but we would absolutely love it if you shot something for the assignment, special!!

Our assignment series is open to everyone. We’re hoping you’ll wanna play along! The most creative entry wins!

We will post all of the entries on our Facebook page, and post a few of our favorites on our blog, complete with a link back to your blog or website.

How to enter :

  • Images should be sized to 590 pixels on the long side. (If you need help figuring that out, ask your favorite Shootstyler.)
  • And by all means, slap that logo on there if you have one!
  • You can enter up to one photo a day for the duration of the assignment.

Email your entry to:

assignment@shootstyle.com

We have an album on our Facebook fan page. When the entries start coming in, we’ll post them there first. Check in with us at Facebook if you are looking for some inspiration.

www.facebook.com/ShootStyle

The deadline is September 15! Let’s have fun doing this together!! Assignment series: “Flash Me!”

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Sexy Business Workshop review

July 11th, 2012  |  by  |  published in Featured, Shoot

by Andree Kehn

I have never dreaded going to a workshop more.

Numbers, money, identity. I would rather poke a stick in my eye than reveal my finances in front of six strangers. And then we were supposed to come up with “why” people should hire me? For real? I know who I want to work with, but absolutely no idea why they should hire me. I take good pictures, isn’t that enough?

Sexy Business Workshop: Business and Branding for Photographers, run by Todd and Jamie Reichman, was hosted at an adorable boutique hotel in Atlanta. I got in the night before and was smitten. But the next morning I woke to more dread. Could I, possibly, justify watching tv in my hotel room for three days?

But I put on my cute dress and crept down to the conference room.

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Get in There!

June 20th, 2012  |  by  |  published in Featured, Style

Years and years ago, I had no confidence when it came to being in front of people at weddings. So, I hid behind my mom’s skirt and used photojournalism as a crutch. I would tell clients that I won’t be in their face, I won’t be obstructive, you won’t even know I’m there. I was afraid of portraits because I didn’t want to be the center of attention for that short 30 minutes or hour of their day. Let me tell you I am SUPER glad I got over myself and manned up! I now see what a disservice that was to my clients as well as to myself.

Here’s the advice I have for doing right by your wedding couples, and in turn, being a better photographer – which equals more clients, which equals more money, and yes I want a commission. This is just my opinion, and yeah yeah, I know others do things their way, but those that are mousy little wallflowers simply need to be told to buck up. So here’s whatcha do :

• Get in closer. CLOSER!
A few times during the day, it’s ok to use a long zoom lens all stealth like. But usually not. During a religious ceremony, is one. Maybe during an intimate moment between the bride and groom when you don’t want to interrupt with shutter clicks. But really, that’s about it.
- Get as close as you can during the ceremony without getting looks from the church lady. If the JOP says you can go wherever you want, go wherever you want! My goal here is to get an angle that the guests can’t from their seats.

- Get right in the middle of the Hora or the Soul Train danceathon. Get right in there with the dancing guests. Sing along if you have to, you’ll feel more like you belong in there. Whatever you do, don’t shoot dancing from a distance. It makes me sad. Using a smaller, wider lens will help you here. Like the 24mm vs the 24-70. You’ll take up less room in the crowded, sweaty group.
- If you have trouble getting in close, or feel like zooming in is your crutch, avoid zoom lenses. I feel they inhibit creativity anyway. A prime makes you walk in closer to zoom, therefore changing your angle and perspective.

Now I’m talking about formals.

• Move into better light.
Your client says they absolutely must have their wedding party photos in front of the shiny, bright, midday sun pool at noon. You’re the professional, you know they’ll be squinting, you know the shadows will be harsh, so tell them bluntly that this is what it will be, and if they still want squints and shadows, awesome. But if they don’t understand that, tell them you are moving them over there, under the cabanas where there is shade and that you can always return to the pool when the light is better. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve heard “But they really wanted this view, and so that’s why they all look like they’re in pain”. It’s your job to tell them it’s not going to work, and move them. Come back later.

• Be a stylist.
Stray hairs in a bride’s eyes, leaves on her wedding dress, the groom’s jacket is bulging out like he’s a football player, the bridesmaid’s dress strap hanger things are sticking out of her dress, mom is holding her camera, dad is holding his beer. This is the time to walk over to the group, speak up, and physically move items into better place. When I was first starting out, I assisted a photographer and he jokingly called me his stylist. I was the one who would walk over and fluff the bride’s gown, and yes… put the bouquets around it. It was 1996, forgive me. But I learned to keep an eye out for the little details that will ruin a good portrait and eat up your time in post.

• Try again.
You’re not feeling a location, the groom needs a drink, the bride is stressed out, the wind is blowing the wrong direction – get out of there. Change the scenery. Tell them it’s not working. Tell them you’re not getting the shots you want, and try again somewhere else, maybe at another time of the day. Don’t push a bad situation in hopes that some miracle will happen.

• And again.
First looks are great, but where I live (on an island with little shade) shooting all the bride/groom portraits at noon does not really appeal to me. Sure some bright light is fun for effect and shadows, I love it in small increments. But to get the mood and look I want, I will always ask for a second portrait break about a half hour prior to sunset. I tell my couples this well in advance and again during the first look. I’ll say “I know you’ll be eating your lobster at 7:30, but I’m pulling you out for some more relaxed portraits with beautiful light then, or after sunset for night shots when you’re less stressed”. They can’t argue with that!

• Move them!
Guests with cameras during formals. Bless their hearts. They just want instant gratification, who can blame them? But it’s not out of place for you to say, “Hey Aunt Jane, take a couple photos real quick and then stand over there. I’ll take it from here”. Don’t be a meanie, just explain that they’re on your toes and no one knows where to look, so no one wins. It’s an annoying situation when this happens but you can’t ignore them and you can’t be pushy. You have to be firm and direct, with a smile. Always with a smile.

• Speak up.
Do you know who Cousin Jennifer on Bill’s side is? No, of course not, but the couple claims she’s the most important guest and she’s traveled from Rio to get here. This is why giving the photographer portrait lists kill me. I always tell my clients to elect a point person to take care of finding these people for me, but when they neglect to I talk to the couple’s parents. Know their names, congratulate and compliment them. Be their friend. They will pay you back by helping you out during formals, if you ask. If they’re stubborn or too shy, find the loudest groomsman or bridesmaid to rally the troops for you. Bonus, they’ll ham it up for you once they loosen up during the reception. Guaranteed.

Being a ninja is one thing. It’s a great thing. I happen to know 5 ninjas, all of them are ShootStyle members. They get the shot through any means. They have balls. And now, I do too. But you can’t be a quiet ninja. You have to vocalize, you have to command, it’s your duty to make the most of the situation politely yet effectively in order to win at the game of wedding photography. Really, what’s the worst that could happen if you are a little bit in their faces during the wedding day? They hired you, they know you’re there. ;)

~ Zofia

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Portraits with Panache: Old Orchard Beach: The Re-Cap

May 24th, 2012  |  by  |  published in Featured, Shoot

ShootStyle hosted a fabulous workshop recently in Old Orchard Beach Maine.

Michelle Turner and Jamie Wexler dropped some posing knowledge on the participants, as we munched on some yummy lunch provided by the Brunswick Restaurant.

Everyone had a great time listening to Jamie and Michelle talk about their posing techniques and give a little show & tell presentation of their fine imagery.

Then everyone headed out (to the beach!) to practice what they learned on our wonderful models.

It was a fantastic day, fully of sexy learning!

Here are some images of the team and participants in action, as well as some images shared by the participants.

Thank you all!

 

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Panache Assignment Series winner!

May 21st, 2012  |  by  |  published in Featured, Shoot

This past assignment was fabulous, it drew entries more varied and sensational that any previous assignment we have run. Great job everyone, and a big Thank You for playing!!

For the first time ever we have had a hands down SWEEP of first second and third place by a single person. This gal knows panache!

The sensational Liz Edlund playing from Sunny California wowed us with the run-away favorite of the judges. This fabulous woman has panache! We loved her look, like she’s saying come closer if you dare. and that hat, oh the hat! love it!

Then she delighted us with her crazy tiger rug, jumping karate kicking man with dope friend photo. It’s just plain outrageous and full of so much sauce and life.

And last she gave a swift kick on her way out the door with this image of a man wearing a scarf. This guy has class. All of these images exemplify style + energy = panache.

Thank you all for participating in our assignment series, and we hope to see you all again next time!

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Loosen Up!

May 9th, 2012  |  by  |  published in Featured, Shoot

In honor of the Posing and Composition workshop that I’m leading with Jamie Wexler next week, I wanted to talk a bit about some of the techniques that I use to get nervous couples to loosen up.  How many times have you been told by a perfectly lovely bride and groom, “Oh, we’re not photogenic at all”?  Or, “we always look silly in photographs– and not in a good way”?  Or, “the groom (or the bride) always looks stiff or unhappy in photographs”?  How do you take these couples and get them to loosen up in front of the camera so that you can get natural, relaxed (and dare I say happy) expressions from them?  Every couple is different (as is every photographer), so you need to find something that works for both you AND the couple, but I wanted to share a few of my tips for getting couples to loosen up in front of the camera.  Now, some of these tips I tend to use during post sessions or engagement sessions, and some of these lend themselves more to weddings.  But they are all things that I keep in my bag of tricks, ready to go.

1) Talk to them.  About anything, really, especially if you have a lot of time (on a post shoot or at an engagement shoot, for example).  If they are really fired up about the wedding details, then you can talk to them about that, but MOST of the time I find that will leave one of them (usually the groom, but occasionally the bride)– the one who has been less interested in wedding planning– high and dry.  So try to find some common ground.  I may ask them to tell me how they met or got engaged.  If one person is talking more than the other, I’ll find specific questions to ask the less-talkative one (even if we spiral off into work topics or their house on the Vineyard or their favorite vacation overseas).  If they seem quiet, then sometimes I’ll do most of the talking in the beginning (until they start to relax).


 
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