FAQ : Reader Questions XIII


Well, it’s Monday. The day after the 4th of July, making it the 5th of July. Duh. And I saw the best fireworks show last night at the St. Regis Monarch Beach. My ears? They’re STILL ringing and the hummmmm that’s persisting reminds me of this awesome country, how blessed I am to live here, and soy hot dogs. Of course.

I thought today might be a good day for another found of FAQs

Joshua asked:
Your pictures have a warm desaturated feel to them. I am amusing you manually set your white balance but I was wondering if you would be kind enough to reveal what settings you use in your picture style. It doesn’t look like you use a default mode. What do you set your contrast, sharpness, saturation, and color tone to?

Like I mentioned in this post, I shoot exclusively in Auto White Balance. And, yes, my picture setting is in default mode. I don’t customize contrast, saturation, or color tone in-camera as I feel the Canon 5DMII does a great job capturing images just the way I like them.

Shauna asked:
I’m trying to get my husband to shoot weddings with me. He has a great eye, but I feel like I have to literally push him out the door when it’s time to shoot. How did you get JD to shoot with you?

Let me start off by saying working with your spouse is definitely not for everyone. I think the main thing is to ask yourself whether your husband wants to shoot on his own volition. Having a good eye or simply liking photography isn’t enough. Weddings are some of the most difficult and stressful events to document, so a person needs more than just talent. A wedding photographer has to want to shoot weddings. And, yes, I know this sounds like common sense, but it bears referencing because if a second photographer doesn’t reeeeeeally want to be there, it may add more stress to the day.
I’d suggest asking your husband what he wants to do, and support his response regardless of your desire. It’ll alleviate future frustration and allow you to build your business making long-term decisions.

Martin asked:
There are so many Kubota action sets. Can you please recommend one I should start with? I’m new to this and I am a little overwhelmed. Thx.

Overwhelmed? You want to talk about being overwhelmed? Why, yes, let’s go THERE.
When I first attended WPPI a few years ago, I sat in Kevin Kubota’s platform class and I was blown away. By him, by his neon shirt, by everything. He gave such a stellar presentation and I walked away inspired and ready to start my photography business. Then I walked straight to his vendor table and bought EVERY KUBOTA ACTION EVER CREATED. I wish I was lying. What can I say? Kevin knows how to sell! 😉
I came home with so many actions I didn’t know where or how to start. Over time, however, I found actions that I really liked and most of them can be found in Kubota Artistic Tools One…it has Fuji Snappit, B/W 70/20/10, and Kex X-Process Combo…some of my favs!

I also love the Kubota Production Tools for the Magic Sharp action…it’s my favorite. Hands down.

And if you’re feeling extra wild, check out Kubota Artistic Tools V3 for cool actions like my personal rawr action, Fashion Passion.

Cassidy asked:
But do you blog all your sessions? I sometimes shoot things that I’m not at all excited to blog about but I feel obligated to. Ever have that?

Yes. And yes. I blog every wedding and engagement session. And here’s why…
It’s too easy to sit back and coast along shooting well. You show up to a session, you know you can do a good job, and–bam!–you do. Then there are some shoots that aren’t as easy. Sure, you can think to yourself you don’t have to blog the session if you don’t want to, but I think that’s weak sauce. Truly.
Because I know I want to blog each photo session, I have to challenge myself to produce the type of work I’m proud to showcase. There’s no taking-it-easy…the light isn’t good today…I’m-in-a-funk…he blinks too much. There’s no room for mistakes or excuses and I think my clients benefit from this notion. I won’t leave the session without knowing I have photos I’m proud of. I might be totally alone of this matter, but I believe it’s helped me push myself in ways I couldn’t before.

Erin asked:
I was wondering if you could tell me more of how you got started, or maybe point me to an autobiography? Also, I have noticed that a lot of pro photographers use Canon. Do you have a reason why you use Canon? And have you ever used Nikon?

You can find my entire photo journey from the beginning documented HERE, on my old blog. It’s a little random and all over the place, but–ehh–it’s really who I am.
I shoot with Canon for the following reasons:
1. My first film camera was Canon, so it started at a young age.
2. My wedding photographer (and first huge inspiration) shot Canon.
3. JD bought me a Canon 20D when I first started, so he pretty much decided it for me.
4. It’s the best. Duh.

Happy Monday!