One of the most common questions wedding couples ask is “Are the digital files of our photos included in our package?” and the answer is YES! This was really important to me when I was getting married, so I’ve always made it easy for my couples to have them too. In addition to an online gallery to share with your friends and family and order prints from, you also get high resolution files of the edited photographs. Engagement sessions get a digital download of these files, and wedding images are delivered on a USB drive for you to keep. (And don’t forget to make a backup while you’re at it!)
I was recently sent some samples of new drives by USB Memory Direct to try. I chose customized wooden usb drives and really love how they look with my logo and that the bamboo is more eco-friendly. I’m excited to be adding these to my delivery packages for all my 2015 weddings!
When getting a portfolio review from an incredibly talented photographer whose work you admire, you might not expect to be flattered by them squealing “This girl’s a weirdo. I love it!” but that is exactly what happened when I took Diana ‘Yan’ Palmer’s workshop last fall.
I’d been wanting to photograph more families and especially to photograph them on film, and Yan is pretty much the best ever in that field. So when her Yan Fam Way Workshop came to Los Angeles, I was already sold on it. Before the workshop, Yan reviewed each attendee’s portfolio and website and gave detailed, very insightful feedback. I was really impressed and moved by how quickly and decisively Yan was able to zero in on what my strengths and weaknesses were, what I was going for, and where I should focus my attention to keep improving. She also gave each of us an assignment to complete before the workshop, and they varied depending on what her feedback was for each photographer. On the day of the workshop, we all went around the table to introduce ourselves, Yan talked some about herself and her photography, and then we went through each person’s assignment and got to learn from each other.
Pretty much every workshop, conference, book, or mentorship for photographers trying to grow their business will tell you how important it is to find your voice. Because it is really important – being able to consistently photograph in a way that represents your own vision and style is what makes you stand out. However, knowing it’s important to find your voice and figuring out how exactly to do that are not the same thing. Yan’s genius and what makes her workshop different was she gave us very clear suggestions and assignments for how to identify your personal style and start implementing it in your work and filter everything you do through that voice. (Her ideas were really helpful and easy to follow, but I don’t want to lay them all out here since everyone should take her workshop for themselves!)
After a lovely lunch, Yan went into a lot of detail about how she conducts a family shoot – choosing light, the order of shots, her focus and priorities, and (my favorite) a whole bunch of games and tips for getting kids to be comfortable and natural in front of the camera. Then we got to watch her in action photographing 2 families in the living room and alley outside the house where the workshop was held. All of the other photographers – maybe 12 of us – were encouraged to jump in and direct the families while Yan was changing film or to shoot over each others shoulders. I was mainly interested in hanging back and watching Yan and trying to absorb as much as I could, so I only ended up shooting about 1 roll of 35mm myself. When the family sessions were over, we all gathered for a debriefing of the shoot and some final suggestions and thoughts on how to define our own styles, stand out, and get clients we connect with.
I really loved this workshop. Yan is very warm and sweet, but also very knowledgable and direct. Which is the perfect combination for how I like to learn and who I get the most inspiration from. She was open about her own photographic and business paths and very passionate about encouraging everyone else on theirs. I’m so happy I decided to spend a day with her and all the other talented photographers who signed up. I can already see changes and improvements in my photography as a result of taking this workshop, and I’ve been recommending it to anyone who will listen!
If there is a Yan Fam Way coming close to you this year, do yourself a favor and sign up, or feel free to contact me with any questions about the workshop or to set up a family session!
I have known Elissa R for many years through different photography forums and we became great online friends. So I was thrilled to finally meet her in person last year when she came out to California to photograph a wedding in Long Beach, and even more honored to get to assist her with second shooting! This wedding had so many cool elements, from the bride’s traditional Japanese attire, to the groomsmen’s custom rings, to all of the geometric designs in the flowers, cake, and table settings. And getting to spend the day watching Elissawork her magic and make me laugh was just the best! These are a few of my favorite images I shot for her.
Most of you reading this probably know that I photograph weddings and engagements. I absolutely love couples and weddings and that’s been my main focus since I started. But becoming an aunt and seeing so many of my friends have babies in the last couple of years has definitely made me want to capture more families. I have a relaxed approach, with a focus on genuine moments of connection between parents, children, and siblings.
I’ve started shooting all portrait sessions on film, including all of the images from family sessions that are featured in this post. Family sessions cover everything from maternity, newborns, kids of all ages, or multiple generations. They can be out in the world at your favorite LA locations, or in the comfort of your own home.
For 2015, family sessions on film are starting at $650 for one hour sessions. Longer “day in the life” documentary sessions are available as well. I would love to tell your family’s story, so get in touch to set up your photos!
New Year’s Eve was so cold, at least by LA standards. But everything about Gretchen and Bryan’s wedding at Elysian completely warmed my heart – romantic glowing lights for the night time ceremony, hot cider and delicious food, loving toasts and lots of hugs. And then there was the dancing at the reception. Gretchen and Bryan were breaking it down all night, but there were also conga lines, a dance off with some impressive splits, and then Bryan’s amazing standing backflip! We all rung in the new year with champagne, sparklers, and fireworks at midnight. Such a great celebration and way to wrap up last year, and I’m so happy for these two!