A new family of Four…

Recently I photographed small wedding ceremony for a couple at Sydney’s at the Forks.   The entire invite list consisted of 15 people included the two of them – a small but cozy affair at a great restaurant.  After the family photographs were completed at Sydney’s  the couple, their children and myself headed out to a heritage building for an hour worth of portraits…


The START of the Jets Party!

I was leaving the Fairmont Hotel after taking photographs at the Woman Business Owners of the Year Awards when I heard a commotion coming from Portage and Main.   I saw lots of Winnipeg Jets jerseys, signs, hats, as well as everybody was celebrating.  I asked the first person who I ran into if the deal has been signed (to buy the Atlanta Thrashers and move them to Winnipeg).  I was told the Globe and Mail reported it had been and was sticking by their story.  Remember the G&M is owned by Thomson, the big money  behind the True North.  It would be a perfect scoop for your OWN newspaper to break the biggest news in Canadian sports.  So I spent the next hour + celebrating with them and photographing the goings on.  People screaming, horns a honkin’…police not there to stop them, but even complying to the chants of “FLASH – YOUR – LIGHTS! FLASH – YOUR – LIGHTS!
The crowd was getting bigger and bigger as the time went on.  There were several hundred people there when I left around 11:30PM, and people were still coming down.
Welcome BACK Winnipeg Jets….you were missed very, very, VERY MUCH!  Please remember, this simple display of outpouring emotion is NOTHING compared to when The OFFICIAL announcement is made!  Expect the entire city to go CRAZY and at LEAST 50K (I personally feel it’ll be closer to 100K) at Portage and Main!  Winnipeg has been waiting for this party for a long, long time.  This city DESERVES IT!  Enjoy Winnipeg…..ENJOY!

Let There Be Light….er at least after the RAIN!

As you may or may not know, Steve Hiebert (of Personal Expressions Photography) and myself are the instructors at Impact Seminars.  As we have two upcoming programs on lighting with speedlights we went out on Saturday and did some “After Images”.  By that I mean that some of these images will be printed and will be made available for the attendees of the two lighting seminars to see.  It’s difficult for everyone in a large class to see the back of a digital camera, so by creating images ahead of time and printing them those in the class can see what the final results will look like while we are demonstrating the techniques right in front of them.
Of course we had “intended” to demonstrate the use of Speedlights outdoors in conjunction with available light – controlling the available light, over powering natural sunlight, etc…but just as we finished setting up and were “just about” to start photographing this couple the heavens opened up and down came the rain.  Keep in mind I said rain, not “showers” or “sprinkles”….RAIN!  Thank you Mother Nature (maybe she was peeved because she knew we didn’t get her anything for Mothers Day the next day).  Ok, so after a quick race to get all our gear out of the monsoon… we decided that we would change locations (good plan me thinks!).
This site being an indoor covered parking area allowed us to use speedlights full on just as if they were studio strobes…which is also part of both seminars.  So, here are a bunch of sample images for the seminars you may find interesting.  Keep in mind they were all created with handheld flash units (Nikon), even when in conjunction with a studio softbox.
If you are interested in taking the Speedlight  Seminar or any other photography classes form rank amateur to pro level check out the “Seminars” section of my main website.
May 11, 2011 - 7:42 PM

Marlene Fast - Absolutely amazing what you can do with these lights! I will send people your way – having learned from you in the past, I can vouch that you definitely give a great program!

IMPACT Seminars

Impact Seminars is a series of 10 educational photographic seminars designed to teach photography to a wide variety of skill levels. From a total newbie to an aspiring pro attending these seminars will go a long way to allow you to master lighting, control composition, start your business off right or simply take better pictures of your child’s birthday party!   Currently course levels 2-6  are scheduled and registration is open.  See www.IMPACTseminars.ca for full details.


10 Tips: How to Look HOT in your Wedding Photographs!

#1 Mucho Importanto!
Never stand straight on to the camera.  No matter how thin you are (or are not) turning your body 45 degrees to the left or the right is much more flattering than being square on to the camera.  Most people automatically square their shoulders to a camera and that will make someone look their widest possible in the finished photograph.

#2  Save your back…and look AWESOME!
Everybody does this when they are in bored waiting in line somewhere….. they put their weight on their back leg and slightly bent the front knee to rest it. Now turn the toes of the front leg towards the camera.  This give an angle to your body that appears natural to the viewer.  It flatters most body types and is an great overall position to look good in as well as to save your back from the stress of being on your feet for an extended period.  Now slightly bend “IN” the knee of your front leg – the one you unlocked to rest.  This gives a woman back her “S” curves and is much more flattering to the female body. Even though your legs are under your dress doing these things will greatly change the way you look – even in only head and shoulder photographs.  The results can be seen in your shoulders and hips – making for a much more pleasing look.

#3 P-R-E-S-E-N-T  “Flowers”!
The flowers need to be held parallel to your body so they can be seen properly in your photographs.  Often brides hold the flowers at an angle so when they look down they see how pretty they are…too them.  However, that displays the flowers at an awkward angle to the camera that doesn’t look flattering  to the cameras.  As well, hold the flowers down near your waist with your elbows bent.  Too often when brides get nervous or to help because the flowers are heavy they bring them up closer to the bust line…giving the appearance in the photographs that you are hiding behind the flowers

#4 That SINKING feeling
Often on grass a woman’s heels will sink into the ground.  Causing her weight to be distributed incorrectly for a more flattering look in the photographs. To counter act this it’s best to stand more on the balls of your feet.  Remember, what often “feels natural” often doesn’t look nice on photographs. Photographs are a two dimensional space that you have to manipulate to add back the third dimension.  It’s all about what looks good in that “one degree” of an angle the camera sees.

#5  Double chins…. Be Gone!
This is going to sound weird, but remember a camera only sees from one particular angle.  When done correctly this technique will have amazing results. Extend your neck out and forward to the camera, then lower your head back to your normal viewing angle (while still keeping it extended forward). Often people raise their head and keep it theRE when doing this technique – that’s a no no…bring it back down to the normal height you keep your chin at – just slightly farther in front of your shoulders.   When done correctly the camera will never be able to tell that your head  is 2-3 inches closer to the camera than normal, except the excess skin under your chin will be stretched taunt. Instant double chin be gone!

#6 Come on out – we gotta SEE YOU!
Most often the groom is larger & taller then the bride. Often brides put their arms around their groom and sink in and under the mans’ shoulder. This is a great technique if the bride is wider then the groom and done correctly,  but 99% of the time it ends up making the bride look proportionately awkward next to the groom – not having the expected slimming effect you would think it has.  Let him slide in slightly behind you.

#7 Arm Wrestling Anyone?
Speaking of being taller, the taller person needs to have their arm higher when two people are putting their back arms around one another. When a bride (who is usually not as tall) puts her arm on the top over his, it distorts her shoulder, make A bias line in the dress and overall is unflattering for her.  Let him have the upper hand…this time!  🙂

#8 Oh this is cool – NOT!
Photographing down from a higher camera position generally has a slimming effect on all subjects.  Photographing UP to a person has a tendency of adding strength to an image, but needs to be done very selectively as it comes with a cost.  Unless the person working the camera fully understand how the human body works and how to present it in it’s best way, this is a perspective that can add MAJOUR  weight to the subject and easily over emphasize minor double chins, a little extra padding, etc. and turn them into major issues 10x larger then they are in real life.  I’ve never had a bride say ” Oh PLEASE make me look heavier in our photographs than I am in real life!”  A talented photographer knows how to correct those things from happening, but also knows when what angle should and should NOT be used in the first place.

#9 Be pro-active …no STRANGLING
Guys don’t know any better. BEFORE they do the inevitable and put their arm around you pressing your veil into your back and pulling on your hair so your neck snaps back like you are being pulled by your hair (which you are!) WARN them they always need to have their arm UNDER your veil not over!  This saves your veil, your hairdo, your neck muscles and prevents a fight on your wedding day…everybody win!

#10  A little Dab’ll Do Ya!
They say women don’t sweat they “glow”…call it want you want  but when big areas of your face are super shiny in your photographers you still aint gonna like it!  Have access to a kleenex or small towel to dab the perspiration off your face.  It’ll make a hug difference in the final photographs. Especially since today there are so many photographers who never do ANY artwork on their images to enhance them (what ever happened to taking pride in your work?).

#11  BONUS TIP! , and most important overall……Hire a “REAL” Professional Photographer!
A real pro knows these and a million more ways and techniques of how to make their subjects look their absolute best in their images.  Today so many couples are cutting corners and hiring unskilled cheap photographers to photograph their wedding –  thinking that it’s easy and really the camera does all the work – wrong!  These are the same brides I see crying after their wedding when they come to me and ask me to try to fix up the horrible photographs they received from the cheap photographer they hired …or their uncle, or friend, or whatever…often costing them much more to FIX their BAD photographs then if they just hired someone talented in the first place.  It’s disheartening to see so many couples cheat themselves out of awesome wedding memories in an effort to save 1-2 thousand dollars.  Make it a cash bar, cut back on the meal, go for daisy’s instead of orchids flown in from China for flowers, hire a DJ over a live band, fly economy instead of first class to your honeymoon…… cut back Anywhere  BUT YOUR MEMORIES!  When everything is said and done, the meal will be forgotten, the hangover gotten over (hopefully) and your dress is packed away forever (what – you’re thinking you are going to wear it to work next Thursday?) ALL you have left for memories ARE your wedding photographs!  They are your future heritage and the memories that you are starting to build today.  Why cheat yourself, your children, your grandchildren, your great grand children, etc. out of your heritage to save a few lousy bucks?

Sorry little Johnny, your mom and I’s wedding photographs turned out so horrible we refuse to show them to anybody…but I will say we had an open bar at the reception!

April 23, 2011 - 3:38 PM

Marlene Fast - Well said, Bruce. As a professional who has photographed over 1,000 weddings in the past many years, the number one thing is to make the bride look great and to create memories for their children. I am now photographing the same couples 25 years later and they all say that their wedding album is the most precious thing they own – and when they look back on their wedding day – without the photographs – the memory of the day has faded quickly.

This is a subject that I wish more brides would seriously consider when they plan their wedding – your wedding memories are the best legacy and investment you can make!

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