Saturday, September 24, 2016

Second Photographers

One question I get asked a lot is "Do I need a second photographer at my wedding?".  The answer is, it depends!  Every photographer is different.  Some photographers always work with one or more shooters and more recently I've noticed the trend is actually leaning towards three.  I tend to mostly work alone (sometimes with second photographer as needed) to be as unobtrusive as possible.  Every photographer's style is different so you have to find what works best for you.

My general rule of thumb is that I can best represent a wedding of 150 or under by myself, but beyond that I always recommend a second shooter.  The reason for this is really because with a higher number of guests, I don't want to take my time away from the bride & groom because I am worried about capturing every single person who attended.  If the photographer you are considering is like me, most photographers have a great network of shooters that they contract out for this... mine have actually become close friends!  We have a similar approach and and shooting style so our work blends together nicely.  They shoot, provide me with the files and I edit the whole wedding together to keep things as consistent as possible.

"How do I use a second photographer"?  I usually start off by figuring out how long they are needed.  I like to avoid having a second photographer with me all day because I don't want people to feel like there is a constantly a camera in their face.  It typically ends up being that the second photographer shoots the groom and his guys getting ready as well as reaction or balcony shots of the ceremony and the recessional.  Then we move on to the family/bridal party photos.  Depending on the timing of the day, they either come with me to capture candids OR head to the reception to take details shots.  They also capture whatever part of cocktail hour I might be missing.  Sometimes they stay longer if table shots are requested, but after cocktail hour I'm generally ok on my own.

"I want a second photographer to capture my groom's reaction when he sees me as a bride for the first time!".  The is my favorite moment to capture at a wedding!  Truth is, a second photographer won't really be the one to capture this.  The photographer you hire will position his or herself somewhere in the isle to photograph the processional.  Once the doors open they should snag a few photos of you first and then turn around to capture the groom.  Then its back to the camera being on you.  All of this happens fast, but if you are a skilled and experienced photographer it should not be a problem.  This is a beautiful moment to preserve, but DON'T hire a second photographer for this moment alone.  In almost ten years of photographing weddings, I've never missed this shot.

Some last food for thought... I never take a second photographer when I photograph the bride and groom.  I like this to be as intimate as possible so the couple feels comfortable and relaxed.  I believe the best photos are taken when this happens, but also that it is important to take a break from the craziness and enjoy being together.  In most cases it will also be the first time they get to really be alone after the ceremony.  This time is short and sacred.  Also, it is usually the only one on one time I get with a couple on their wedding day so I naturally prefer it to best represent me.

To wrap this all up,  I know a lot of people go with multiple photographers for security, which is totally understandable.  If you feel this way, just understand the vibe that multiple photographers will bring to your day and make your decision accordingly.  Don't forget to factor in the type of wedding you are having, the amount of guests and your personal style.  Whatever you do, hire a photographer that you feel confident with and trust them implicitly.  They will feed off your trust and go above and beyond for you!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

A Few Thoughts

I genuinely love my clients and the feeling that I get when they chose me!  I know that whatever the job, they trusted me to do my best and picked me because my work speaks to them in one way or another.  When I hand over photos to a client I am excited and nervous, but always confident that I gave it my all.  At this point I start to second guess myself... Could I have color corrected that image more?  Do I really like that crop?  Will they like the way they look?  The insecurities come pouring out.  When you have the ability to manipulate an image the possibilities are endless, which makes deciding when you are finished a rather daunting task.

Once I finish a job and I start thinking about social media.  Should I post this job?  Did I tag all of the right people in the photo and properly credit the vendors?  Did I make sure the vendors got my photos?  Should I submit the wedding for publication?  Do I have time to do that and get through the editing that I still have on my place?  There is ALWAYS more editing to do.  Do I finally bite the bullet and start a photo blog?  I struggle a lot with this... finding the time for all of the above seems to be one of the hardest and most difficult tasks I have as a photographer.

As a photographer you are constantly defining yourself by the work you put out.  Potential clients look at your website, Facebook or Instagram and expect a consistent style that represents who you are.  Once you nail down your style, maintaining it can be challenging.  I spend so much time choosing the right image to share, over analyzing it for hours.  Often times I change my mind, delete the image and share a new one.  I always ask the same three questions when I choose a photograph.  Does this image best represent me?  Will my client like seeing this?  Does it flow nicely with the other images?

And then there is the issue of looking back at old work.  As I grow as a photographer, naturally my photos get better and my shooting/editing style changes a bit.  I suppose this is much like any job, but because mine is visual, the evidence is out there for the world to see and sometimes looking back is hard.  When I look back I notice mistakes I made that I wouldn't make now.  I often cringe at an old image knowing what I know now, I didn't know then.  It is inevitable that this will continue to happen.  I will always have trouble looking back, but I guess that is what life is all about.  For now, I'm going to find solace in the quote "Life is about the journey, not the destination" and choose to be happy about how far I have come.

The point of this post was really inform everyone about the insecurities I know many photographers face, but more importantly to give a heartfelt thank you to anyone who has hired me or will hire me.  I appreciate you for supporting me on this journey!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Little About Me

Since I'm just starting this blog, I wanted to introduce myself to anybody who might be reading.  I'm a photographer based in Norwalk, CT.  I grew up here and went to college for photography at Rochester Institute of Technology and Fordham University at Lincoln Center.  I also took classes as The School of Visual Arts.  My first job in photography was assisting and second shooting for various photographers in the area.  I moved onto shooting for a local daily newspaper, which I loved and still continue to do.  I officially started by business in 2009 and here I am today.  I live in East Norwalk with my husband Oliver, my daughter Zoey and my dog Ringo.  The photo above is me with my daughter, who is now a little over a year old (I can't believe how quickly they grow up!).     

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Hello World!

Hello world!  My name Danielle and I am a professional photographer under the name Danielle Robinson Photography.  I started this blog to share my thoughts about photography, particularly for those of you who might be in the market for a photographer.  My hope is to provide some insight from the point of view of someone who eats, sleeps and breathes photography.  If you like what you see or would like me to cover something specific, feel free to contact me.   I would LOVE to hear from you!