Nashville’s documentary wedding photographer
and headshot studio.

New York City street photography

Over Thanksgiving break, I met fellow documentary wedding photography friend, Kevin Mullins to do some New York City street photography. He did his first U.S. based street photojournalism workshop there in New York City that week. After meeting him in England last year, I thought it would be fun to hang out again. I was Upstate visiting family as it was, so it worked out well.

New York City street photography

New York City street photography

New York City street photography

New York City street photography

There was really a great group for Kevin’s workshop and I suspect some will be long term friends. We all love Fujifilm mirrorless photography and of course street photography. I’m usually an all manual shooter, but lately for out and about photos like street photography, I shoot large JPG and sometimes use AV mode and play with spot metering which provides great flexibility and in camera control. Which trusting your camera is great, as long as it knows what you want it to do.

New York City street photography

New York City street photography

New York City street photography

New York City street photography

New York City street photography

What I love about street photography-

Especially in a city like New York, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. The moment comes to you, if you watch for it. The beauty of street photography is capturing a day in the life, the energy and mood of the city, and people being people. In it’s natural state. All while blending in with the environment. If I walked up to these people and said, I’m taking your picture, or asked them to pose for the picture, the mood would change. They’d also think it’s weird. The beauty of light. The mood and energy of the city and it’s people. That’s what it means to me.

street photography

New York City street photography

New York City street photography

Does street photography translate to wedding photography? –

You bet it does. For me anyhow. The style of storytelling I use as a documentary / photojournalist wedding photographer stems from street photography. As well as the discreet approach I use when documenting a couple’s wedding day. Successful street photography requires patience, observing, and being able to think on the fly. Much like wedding photography. I hope you’ve enjoyed this batch of New York City street photography.

street photography NYC

street photography NYC

street photography NYC

street photography

street photography NYC

selfies

street photography

candid

trump tower

trump tower

Fuji 23 1.4 vs. Fuji 23 2 lens comparison

I’ve seen this topic come up a lot on different Fuji groups for Fuji mirrorless users. I thought I’d do my own Fuji 23 1.4 vs. Fuji 23 2 lens comparison with my findings. There are probably a bunch of them online, but many gear reviews with excessive pixel peeping get my blood boiling. So I will keep it simple and show photo examples using both lenses with the same settings, as I currently own both the 23 1.4 and the new 23 F2.

Why would I own both versions of the Fuji 23mm?-

For wedding photography especially, the 23 is my most used focal length. I keep the 56 1.2 on the second body, it gets used almost as much. I love my mirrorless gear as a documentary wedding photographer, it helps me maintain an understated presence. The 23 1.4 is an amazing lens, no doubt about it. In lower light especially, I was having more focus issues than I had hoped. So, I tried the new 23 2.0 WR. Technically, because of the faster Fstop of the 1.4, it’s referred to as a faster lens than the newer F2 version. But with the added size and weight of the 1.4, and 7 aperture blades instead of 9 on the 2.0 WR version, it doesn’t have as fast Autofocus performance. However,  the 1.4 boasts a depth of field difference, even both using f2 settings side by side. Have a look.

Fuji 23 1.4, shot with XT-1, F2.0, 1/180 shutter speed, 200 ISO, large JPG. –

Fuji 1.4 vs. Fuji 2.0

Fuji 23 2.0 WR, shot with XT-1, F2.0, 1/180 shutter speed, 200 ISO, large JPG. –

Fuji 2.0 WR

Here’s another.

Fuji 23 1.4, shot with XT-1, F2.0, 1/180 shutter speed, 200 ISO, large JPG. –

Fuji 23 1.4

Fuji 23 2.0, shot with XT-1, F2.0, 1/180 shutter speed, 200 ISO, large JPG. –

Fuji 23 2.0

Conclusion of the Fuji 23 1.4 vs. Fuji 23 2 lens comparison –

If I were a pixel peeper, I’d have the camera on a tripod and keep it at the same height, I tried my best and used the focusing grid to keep similar composition. But I’m not a pixel peeper and this isn’t an overly technical review. Right off the bat, I will say the depth of field on the 1.4 version is nicer. Both are damned sharp. The 1.4 has a very slight sharpness advantage when shooting wide open close to subject. But the depth of field difference is more noticeable than the sharpness. The difference in the spider web clarity may be because the height wasn’t the exact same. But the frog’s lip and the top of the fence post were the focus points, both run a close race there.

The 23 f2 has a noticeable advantage with AF speed / performance, which thrilled me after the last wedding. It made a noticeable difference for sparkler exit shots and night time reception dancing  catching focus. Both deserve a spot in my bag at least for now. But for street shooting or more demanding conditions at weddings, the 23 f2 will be my pick. If you are that concerned with creamy bokeh, you wouldn’t be using a wider lens like this anyway. Pixel peep all you want, for me the AF performance in demanding conditions is what matters most. If I had to choose, for that reason, the F2.0 WR would be my pick in the Fuji 23 1.4 vs. Fuji 23 2 lens comparison.

In a nutshell, the 2.0 is cheaper, smaller and lighter.  AF performance of the 2.0 is superior to the 1.4. The 1.4 has the depth of field advantage over the f2, as well as crisper focus up close, even with both at f2. Color and contrast are about equal. You be the judge.(I kept the 1.4 and sold the F2 once I saw that the focusing speed difference was negligible when upgrading to the XT-3.

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Why is a professional headshot important?

Why is a professional headshot important?

This is a legitimate question, and most professionals and aspiring actors / models understand the need for a professional headshot. With today’s advanced cell phone camera technology, they produce a fair product! It’s fine for a social media snap or snapshot of a casual outing. For updating a professional resume or marketing materials, company website and social media, you need a professional headshot. Why is a professional headshot important? Effort put into what you do.

Headshots Nashville

-Why is a professional headshot important? Effort and accountability. A similar concept to going to a job interview or a date dressed appropriately. Having a sloppy appearance says “I don’t really care”. It’s as much about the effort as it is having a nicely lit and properly composed photograph that represents you. Not only as a professional, but a person as well. A professional headshot photographer knows how to light and compose for each unique subject and make it flattering. Here are a couple gentlemen who came for headshots for their updated company directory and website. This company is a property development management group, ironically right in my neighborhood!

Why is a professional headshot important?

headshots Nashville

If they did selfies and called it good enough, how would that look to clients paying top dollar for their services? In the grand scheme of things, headshots aren’t terribly expensive and they represent the individual well if done properly.

This aspiring actor also has to invest, with no guarantee of successful signing of an agency or bookings. But by getting headshots, it shows he’s willing to invest in himself and is serious. For the most part, people aren’t willing to invest in others who don’t invest in themselves. Kindof a catch 22. I know I’d be hesitant to hire a professional of any kind who did a cell phone snapshot as part of their branding. I’d rather see no photo than that. Maybe because I’m a photographer and am sensitive to that, but my first thought is wondering what corners they’d cut while doing work for me.

actor headshot

Photojournalist wedding photography | Nashville wedding photographers

I know many engaged couples struggle with find the right fit with their wedding vendors such as the right style of wedding photographer. Style of the photographer is something many couples never know exists or think about enough before comparing. I’m here to show you what my own clients say when seeking my services for photojournalist wedding photography. Also known as documentary style.

What clients truly looking for photojournalist wedding photography would tell me when inquiring-

-I want a wedding photographer who needs little or no direction and knows how to tell a story naturally.

-My future husband / or I hate posing for photos, and I like how you capture people in a natural way and the people are so full of life. That’s what we want.

-I was a bridesmaid at my friend’s wedding and the wedding photographer took forever to do the group formal photos. It became really annoying. I don’t want that experience at my wedding. I don’t want to be late for dinner or miss out on time with guests, or keep them waiting.

-I do want some of the group photos mainly to appease our parents but don’t want to spend much time on those.

-Of course I do want some photos of the details and decor, as it took work to do. The primary focus I’d want should be on our friends, family, and us.

-We definitely want great photos, but don’t want the photographer or video person to take over or be disruptive to the event and the guests.

When couples come to me with anything like the above, that’s how I know I am a good fit for their needs. I understand photojournalist wedding photography isn’t for everyone. If their concern is more about the styled aspect of the event and multiple photographers / ungodly amounts of photos, I’m not the right fit. The documentary approach is simplified, non-intrusive, and low maintenance. If raw human emotion and an un-posed feel are the primary desires of a couple, this approach is for you.

I have to point these things out as a helpful resource. The photojournalist style term has become a buzz word of sorts. And the definition has become watered down. It doesn’t mean every style mixed in with some candids at the reception. It’s a thought process and a way of capturing your day that stays consistent. I’m one of the few Nashville wedding photographers offering true documentary wedding photography. If this interests you and you would like more info, please drop a line!

 

Who owns rights to my wedding photos?

As a couple, this can be a confusing aspect of a wedding photographer’s contract. Who owns rights to my wedding photos? Sometimes peoples’ biggest enemy are other people on discussion forums giving answers based on how they think it should work. Right here, I will discuss usage, ownership and what it means to the couple and professional wedding photographers. Not all wedding photographers work the same, so I will tell you how I do it, and what the average standard is for usage and ownership.

Read the contract, ask questions – What is ownership?

Regardless of anyone’s human logic, asking a photographer for sole ownership of wedding photos isn’t realistic or necessary. The wedding photographer is the creator and owner of the photos and copyrights. No photographer who knows what they’re doing offers transfer of copyright ownership, unless maybe it’s tens or hundreds of thousands, even then…. why? It can be harmful to their brand, and the only reason sole ownership takes place is for the copyright holder to sell the images commercially. No couple I know of would do that anyway. Nor is there any other advantage to you to “own” them. Ownership and shared usage are not the same thing. If you are wondering if the photographer sells images from a wedding, I’ve never heard of that and have never done it. What you see on commercials and magazines, billboards, etc. are not from an actual wedding. That type of usage would require a more stringent model release than what a wedding photography contract offers.

What is the standard – Who owns rights to my wedding photos?

The most common way (as I do it) is to grant the couple shared usage of the wedding photos. This means I still own image copyrights, and use photos for my own marketing such as website and blog content, PR and social media, studio sample albums and print goods, wedding expo displays, and advertising. The couple has rights to print from the high resolution files I provide them. I also provide web resolution versions for them to share on social media etc. THOSE 2 things are all most couples are after, and that’s all anyone really needs. That’s shared usage. The only thing the couple may not do is alter the images or sell them commercially. There again, if you’re hiring a professional wedding photographer for their vision and hard work, you wouldn’t do that anyway.

Given that scenario, who owns rights to my wedding photos? Take the word “own” out of the equation. The answer is both of you have the usage you need, all is right with the world, don’t complicate things for no reason. 🙂

BUT, what if I don’t want my wedding photos online or published anywhere? Do I need ownership for that?-

No. This is an NDA, non-disclosure agreement. Not all wedding photographers will offer this, others will, some charge a fee to do so. It’s not something I like to do often, but I honor their wishes personally. I’ve only done two in the past 8 years. But no one else besides them have seen photos from those events from me. Most couples love seeing their personal blog and enjoy the fame while it lasts.

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