FAQ : Reader Questions XIV


It’s been a few months since I answered questions from the FAQ section of the Discussion tab on my Facebook Page, so I decided to dive back in and connect with questions. For those of you who help each other by answering questions, supporting each other, and offering encouragement, thank you. You make Facebook an extra shiny place to be on the web…I love seeing sharing on the web!

Lerissa asked: How do you clean and maintain your gear?
I’m lucky enough to live driving distance to the Canon Center in Orange County. Every two months, I drop my gear off for sensor cleaning and a good cleaning for my lenses. I’m a CPS Member, so I receive three coupons for a free sensor cleaning, as well as discounts on other repairs/cleaning/maintenance. However, before every shoot, JD cleans the lenses and uses a blower bulb to brush away unwanted dust from our camera sensors.

Richard asked: We see a lot of great photos of when you are JD are out and about, what gear do you take with you? Just the 5d and a 50 1.2?
Yes, I usually travel with my Canon 5DMII and the 50mm, 1.2 to snap photos. I usually carry it around in my purse, wrapped in a pashmina (this is basically a scarf, gentlemen) and it’s treated me well for years.

Lauren asked: Especially with men, I’d love some advice for helping people to loosen up and open up so I can better capture their true selves.
This isn’t an easy question to answer because no one guy is the same. I don’t have a certain approach or technique to help guys loosen up, but I will say keeping magazine clippings for inspiration has helped. A lot. While my photos may not look like the photos I saved, they help me think in new ways when it comes to working with a guy in front of my camera. I keep them posted or in a notebook and I’ll review them before a shoot.

Meggan asked: How much time do you allot before the ceremony for shooting. Do you shoot only the couple or the entire bridal party & family? Also, do you present your bride with list of possible shots for her to think through or is this something you discuss in person at a meeting after booking?
If the clients opt for a First Look, I’ll take however much time before the ceremony. If it’s 30 minutes or two hours, I’ll maximize our shoot time and this will hopefully open for more flexibility with the bride’s schedule later in the day. I adore when we can photograph the bride and groom, the bridal party, and the immediate family before the ceremony, so this would allow for 10-15 minutes of sunset photos…and the couple has the option to join cocktail hour or enjoy a quiet time by themselves. These decisions and the timelines vary from client to client, but the important thing to remember is to have a detailed conversation in advance to ensure everyone is on the same page and expectations met.

Natasha asked: How do you not get your laptop/ipad stolen or damaged at the reception when leaving it to display the slide show?
I usually set up the same-day slideshow (on my laptop) in an area where people usually congregate, usually the bar or by the photobooth. It’s a great conversation starter while people are waiting for a drink or for their turn in the photobooth. Because people are watching the slideshow, it also acts as a safeguard against thievery because someone wouldn’t simply walk up–while people are viewing it–unplug the computer, shut it, and walk out the ballroom door without someone saying something. However, use common sense. Don’t put the slideshow close to entry/exit where someone can easily slip in and out without being noticed. The biggest deterrent is people around the computer, so just make sure and place it in an highly trafficked area.

Hope this helps and if there are other questions, feel free to shout out in the comment box or on Facebook! Happy Monday!