A few months ago I received and email from Kyra asking if I would be interested in photographing a courthouse wedding in Boulder CO. As I pondered the though of what exactly a courthouse wedding was, many silly images came to mind and I wasn't sure what to expect... but I am always up for ANY new adventure!
Kyra and Shaun flew in from Chicago to Boulder to reunite with the CU campus where they first met and planned to make their 7 year relationship official on none other than Cinco De Mayo! :)
Despite the forecast of rain and thunderstorms the Boulder skies parted clouds and revealed the most gorgeous spring day I have seen in a long time.
Brian and I were all geared up waiting outside the Boulder courthouse to meet with this wonderful couple of whom we had never met or even spoken with!!
Sooner than we knew it, here came Kyra and Shaun floating down the sidewalk in their tux and gown with smiles of excitement and of course nervousness, frozen across their faces. They both were such beautiful people and had the most relaxed and charming personalities.
As I mentioned, they met on the CU campus and wanted to get married in the city they fell in love in, but I am guessing they didn't want the fuss of all the stress and planning that came along with a destination wedding, so... the courthouse it was! :)
I LOVED it. I have photographed many weddings and this one was so untraditional and unique it immediately was filed away as one of my favorites... Brian and I even got to sign our names as witnesses on their marriage license!
Even though Kyra and Shaun didn't plan a huge expected wedding, they still experienced all the sweet emotions and feelings that come along with professing your lifelong commitment to someone you deeply love through getting married... I could tell there was no shortage of "twitterpation" with one another. (I love making up words)
After the serious part was over, we headed out to the CU campus to snap some shots and ended the day at a the most gorgeous park with the most breathtaking light! Being thespians in college, Kyra and Shaun were so comfortable in front of the camera and were more than photogenic! These guys were pro's and having their photo taken as you will soon see. I seriously felt like I was a fashion photographer shooting a spread for a wedding magazine!!
BAH! I loved it.. I loved it all. :)
I loved it so much I couldn't narrow down my favorite photos to less than 24... so here they are... :)
Kyra and Shauns adorable "Officiant"
"Do you swear...." aka... "Do you take..."
and they are married!
love this... :)
this is a favorite!... such beauty!
another favorite... Brian's idea.
I REALLY loved photographing Kyra, she had such confidence!
and last but certainly not least...
THANK YOU Kyra and Shaun for finding me and allowing me to photograph your lovely faces! You guys were the BEST!
If we are ever in Chicago, we'd love to stop by and say hi! :)
Best of luck!
I have been getting many emails lately from beginner photographers wanting some advice on how to get started. I haven't had a chance yet to respond to some but it got me thinking... maybe I should post a blog about it. I hesitated a bit though because I really don't have the answer on "how to be a photographer"... its quite presumptuous to me when people think they know the answers on the "how to's" in life unless you have a doctorate degree or something of that sort...
So maybe I'll just share how I got started and how things have worked out for me and maybe that will help you on your way.
My grandfather was a photographer in his later life, just as a hobby. He bought all sorts of camera equipment back in the '70's... and of course it was all film back then. When he passed away, the cameras were left to me. I was 15 and already had an overdeveloped right side of my brain, so photography was a new medium I wanted to try. I loved navigating the manual film settings of my grandfathers Canon A-1, and that was the start of my love affair with photography.
When I came to Colorado Springs for school, photography took a back seat for a while. Until....
I met a boy... a boy named Brian. He loved photography just like me and thats where audreyhannahphoto was conceived... and we married 2 years later. :)
So here's my advice...
1. Canon or Nikon?
This is the most common question I am asked. And to be honest, there is not a life or death difference between the two if you ask me!! The only difference I found is that Nikon has slightly cooler tones than Canon, which seems to have more reds/oranges in the photos... but really this is not noticeable to most people. The two brands are in a "I'm better than you are" war and keep producing superhero cameras at lightning speed!! At the moment I am a Canon 5D girl with a few Canon lenses. My favorite lens in the Canon 28mm 1.8. I love the character it adds to photos.
But for beginners I would suggest the Canon 50D. This is pretty affordable and can still produce professional looking photos. It has an on-camera flash for you to mess around with. if you don't have the bucks yet for an external one.
But Really, I have found that a good photo has TONS to do with your lens choice. A photo with a shallow depth of field can do WONDERS and adds such class to your picture. I really haven't ever been in a situation where I wanted a broad depth of field... hmmm maybe landscapes... but NEVER people.
So, Canon or Nikon? Canon for me. :)
2. Learn to shoot strictly in manual. NO MORE AUTO SETTING! :)
To call your self a pro, you need to behave as one. Professionals get to where they are by educating themselves on the tools of their trade. If you want to be a great photographer, you MUST know your camera front to back, no lazy "let the camera do all the work" business anymore!! So get out there and mess around with your manual settings. Learn to measure light correctly. I've gotten to the point now where I can pretty much guess the settings to use just by the position of the sun and surrounding light.
3. Use your friends.
They are the best models! I know my friend Kaitlyn was shoved in front of my camera nearly every time we hung out way back in high school. Its a great way to practice your angles and focusing before you decide you want to charge someone for it.
Aww... This was taken of Kaitlyn a few years back when I was still messing around with my camera.. she still looks beautiful even if I wasn't sure what I was doing completely. :)
4. Keep it crispy!
Having a focused and SHARP photo is the best thing on earth! It basically shows that you know what your doing. I get so annoyed when I see a blurred photo that I know was supposed to be crisp. I immediately think the photographer is an amateur. I would NEVER want to pay to have a blurred photo taken! ESPECIALLY on my wedding day! Yes, there are times when blurred images work in an artistic way... but mainly... not so much. :)
So keep it SHARP, SHARP, SHARP!
5. Check out other photographers
My creativity came alive when I saw other photographers thinking outside the box! It only spurred me on to "out do" them! :) Some people are so afraid to look at other peoples work in fear that someone might be better than them. How do you get better if you don't challenge yourself up against what's really out there? I know I am constantly looking at photographer websites to keep my outlook fresh and to keep up with the new technology out there.
I have been lucky enough to have an awesome photographer in my life who wasn't afraid to show me the ropes and cheer me on. Jason Cohen, an awesome Louisiana photographer, has been a good friend of my husband Brian for quite some time. When Jason found out Brian and I wanted to start a photography business for me, he immediately and unselfishly chimed in with all he knew, and continues to be a great source for us to this day. Thanks Jason. :)
6. Save up for a killer website!!
Ok, I am a bit lucky in this area because my husband is a super talented web designer and has his own web company called Innovado. Sooooo, I was really just HOOKED UP when it comes to web sites and branding!! :)
But if you are one of those many people who have to actually pay for one.. it is the BIGGEST investment, well other than a camera, into your new business. It is the best possible way to get the word out about your services as well as a great little house for your favorite photos to show off. A website also adds a professional feel to your business... and if your going to start charging a pretty penny for your work, then you want to make sure people trust you and can see a consistency in your work first hand.
7. What should I charge?
Dang... this is STILL hard for me to navigate!
At first I just asked what people could afford when I was first starting out because it was a win/win situation for us both. Then as I got better I charged a bit under what other photogs in my area were charging (just look at their websites or ask them). As I got even better and developed my own style and look I realized I could charge more... then when I realized I was booking up fast I charged what I wanted.
BUT one thing I do is honor my "guinea pig clients" as I like to call them, by keeping prices at their affordable level. They trusted me when I was first starting and referred me to others like crazy and for that, I keep it close to the original price I asked way back when... but there are not many of these people... so I am not giving just anyone a killer deal because as an artist you MUST respect your work enough not to devalue it.
Find a photographer you look up to and ask to accompany them on a wedding they are shooting. This is an awesome way to get a feel for the way a wedding flows. There is SO much more that goes into photographing a wedding other than showing up and creating art! SOOOOO much more. :)
One thing to remember about shadowing is that you must respect the photographer you are accompanying. To me, its respectful to credit them when you post or blog about the wedding on your own. The photos you took are YOURS, yes, but I just think its respectful to make sure you thank them for allowing you to come along for a basically free lesson!
Well I can't really think of anything else that is super important to getting started... I know 8 is a bit off balance when it comes to lists but if you are an artist anyway, you probably won't care. :)
Thanks for taking the time to read this, I am in NO WAY a master at this but I hope it helps with your new adventures in photography!