• Jennifer
  • posted by Jennifer

  • This week on our Photo Tip Tuesday we are going to talk about using flash (as fill light) during the day in the sunlight. You can review all our past Tuesday Photo Tips on the blog.

    Less than two weeks ago, Kelly and I headed up to Tahoe to photograph Josh and Karol's wedding. Their small ceremony was set on an overlook in Emerald Bay at 1pm. 1pm is a bit rough as the sun is pretty harsh, so we often look for whatever open shade we can find. However with the ceremony location being on an open overlook, with no shade a photographer must improvise. With the crazy weather that we've been having, we didn't know what to expect, rain, snow, or sun. As it turned out it was cloudy and sunny. Not my first choice of ideal situations for photographers shooting on manual mode - as it makes us have to drastically change our settings from one shot to the next. Luckily for us, Josh and Karol decided to see each other beforehand so we could take a bit more time with their portraits.

    This was a great day to be able to showcase why you often need and can use flash for purposes of fill light during high noon harsh sunlight, and even as the clouds blew through so quickly to change back and forth from sunlight to cloudy.

    In this first series, you can see on the left how we tried to position Karol away from looking at the direct sunlight so she wouldn't squint. However, it created great shadows in her face. Using both fill flash and a gold reflector we created a much warmer looking photo on the right.

  • using fill flash in sunlight outdoors

  • Here's another similar series where in the top no fill flash was used, and in the bottom photo it was used. You can see what a wonderful difference it can make and still allow couples to choose their location without worry of what quality photos they will get.

    Thanks Karol and Josh for letting me use you two for Photo Tip Tuesday! Betcha didn't know I had this in mind as we photographed your wedding day!

  • using fill flash in sunlight outdoors




  • Carie
  • posted by Carie

  • This week's Wedding Photo Wednesday Tip is about drinking alcohol before your wedding reception. We are rarely ones to say don't drink but just hear us out. You can read our other Wedding Photo Wednesday Posts on our blog.

    You want to look your absolute best in your wedding photos, right? Well, we suggest that you keep your alcohol intake to a minimum during the early part of your big day. Of course you are going to want to toast with your girls and maybe a glass of champagne is just what you need to calm your nerves before heading down the aisle. We are totally on board with that! We are merely reminding you lovely ladies that too much alcohol intake can cause bloating and even glassy eyes. So, to look your best for your wedding day photos, don't overdo it until the bulk of your wedding photos are finished. You will have plenty of time to get your drink on at the reception. Cheers!

  • Drinking alcohol before reception



  • Jennifer
  • posted by Jennifer

  • This week on our Photo Tip Tuesday we are going to answer the question "Do you have to look at the camera to get a good photo?" You can review all our past Tuesday Photo Tips on the blog.

    Why is it that often our wedding couples fall in love with the images taken by our 2nd shooters when they aren't looking at the camera? I believe that these "not looking at the camera" photos seem more photo-journalistic and more candid. I often love these photos more myself. Let me show you a few examples from our shoots within the last week.

    In this first photo, Mike and Nicole are sharing a laughing moment without feeling the need to the look at the camera. Not looking at the camera allows people to be more relaxed and themselves. We all hate to say "cheese" and a good photographer will allow you to be yourself without ever making you feel like "cheese". Hence the importance of getting to know our our couples and families and having them feel comfortable being themselves.

  • Not looking at the camera

  • In this next example, Josh and Karol are sharing a private moment far away from the camera. While to some extent this was directed by us, i.e. having them stop along the path where this log was, what showcases how natural this moment feels is their stance and their relaxed embrace.

  • not looking at the camera

  • And this last example (while also a great example of wonderful bokeh), Aiden is not looking at the camera. This might just be one of my favorite photos from our time together last night.

    There is absolutely no need to look at the camera to get good photos! That said, we do realize that some "look at the camera" photos are expected which is why we mix up our style of traditional posed photos with those purely candid photos. It's really a great blend of styles.

  • not looking at the camera



  • Jennifer
  • posted by Jennifer

  • We met last night for our book club to discuss Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. We were missing half of our group, and sadly, none of us had time to finish this book before our meeting. It's a bit lengthy, upward of 600 pages. I have to admit that I continued reading it today and am almost finished with it even though I can say it's my least favorite so far since we started our group. Maybe if Kristy had been there to help us discuss it, since she was the only one in our group that had finished it, we may have a different opinion. Or maybe since I already have a somewhat dysfunctional family (translate to "very dysfunctional") I don't really need to spend my time reading about someone else's screwed up family.

    I found myself looking for a reason of the title of the book. My impression was that "Freedom" could have been named for a few reasons (as the author drops the word "freedom" in quite a few places). One possibility: when you make poor decisions, you have to live with it. Put happiness aside. Put freedom aside. I had hoped to see Patty, the mother figure, reach her own 'Freedom'. I'm not satisfied by the ending and sense that this will never occur. Another possibility is that Freedom is different for different people. Maybe Patty's idea of Freedom (however skewed) is the only variety of freedom that she knows.

    Either way, this book left me feeling a bit empty and sad. And while this may be very typical in today's society of family life, not the book I'd choose to read for pleasure.

  • Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

  • But on the upside, before everyone else arrived, I was able to snap a few photos of our host's children. They both clung to mommy Cy, one tired, one shy.

  • Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

  • Seriously, how could you not love this face?!

  • Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

  • Minh was pretty shy, but I got him revved up almost immediately as I started to chase him around the kitchen island table. He was so full of giggles. By the time Daddy was leaving with the kids to take them shopping for a few hours, Minh was probably a handful. :-) He was so cute!

  • Freedom by Jonathan Franzen



  • Carie
  • posted by Carie

  • This week's Wedding Photo Wednesday Post is about photography style and what you want out of your wedding photos. You can read our other Wedding Photo Wednesday Posts on our blog.

    There are many amazing wedding photographers to choose from these days. One of the deciding factors for you and your fiance should be the photographer's style. Their style should match up with how you want your wedding day photographs to look. When I refer to style I'm not talking about whether your photographer shops at JCrew or not. I'm talking about the style of the photographs and the actions they may use in post processing that make photographs look a certain way.

    For example, there are many actions that can be done in post processing that make photos look old, black and white, or super stylized. When you are looking for photographers, you will know which style you like when you browse through photos. Some photographers shoot in the high fashion style that looks straight out of a magazine. Some photographers give photos that lovely vintage-y feel. Some don't do much in post processing and their photos still look amazing. It is just a matter of what you like and what speaks to you style wise.

    As you know, our style at The Memory Journalists is a natural but vibrant style. We try to find the most color we can and compose our photos around those vivid colors. We love bright colors and while we do pump them up just a bit sometimes in post, we generally process our clients' photos to look the way they remember their day.

  • Photography actions and trends

  • That's not to say we don't occasionally throw in some cool artistic touches....

  • Photographer Style and actions

  • Or an old-fashioned looking photo now and then.

  • Photographer style and actions

  • Again, it is all about the match. You will want to choose a photographer whose photos are in the style you want your wedding day photos. Happy hunting!


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