FAQ / the little things matter

I've been thinking up this blog post for a few months already. It's somewhat of a collaboration of all the little things I've learned to help improve my pictures along the way, and I wanted to share those with you!

1. Calibrate!!!
I can't stress this enough! Until you finally do, you have no idea how off your computer screen colours actually are! For the first 8 months of my business I edited all my pictures on my laptop. I always had to crank the warmth in the white balance. Thought it was just bad Auto White Balance in my camera. When I bought my Mac desktop in September I was shocked at how different the images on my blog looked on the new computer! I couldn't stand the idea of my clients looking at my photos online or on their computers and seeing something totally different than what I saw on my computer! Yikes!  So, pretty much the day after I bought my desktop, I bought the Spyder 3 Express calibrater. It's a little thing that plugs into your USB port and hangs over your monitor and goes through all the colours and figures out what your screen needs to be at in order to be the right colour. Let me tell you, the difference was insane! Not as insane on my desktop, but my laptop was a HUGE difference (you can use the Spyder on as many computers as you want, and it's portable too!) So now at least I know that the colours I've edited my pictures to be are true, and that's why I highly recommend ordering prints through me because my lab also calibrates their monitors so the colours come out pretty much exactly the same! I can't tell you how many photographer's pictures I've looked at where the colours are so off. They're probably good on their own computer, like I thought mine were, but in actuality they're pretty off.

2. Check your background!
This is so important. Look at what's going on behind your subjects when you're taking their pictures. There are so many potentially distracting objects out there. Not buildings and other normal background stuff, but little things like purses and cups or cars or anything else that takes away from the moment of the picture. We tend to focus on our models, which is a good thing, but we still need to keep our backgrounds in mind. Move your body so that the couple's bodies hide that stray garbage can in the backdrop, or move the couple all together if there's too much distraction, or move the garbage can! Set your scene! I still have to constantly remind myself about this. Too often than I'd like I end up having to delete an image because I didn't make note of what was going on in the backdrop.

3. Line 'em up!
Another big thing of mine is having straight lines. I'm uber anal about it. I'm one of those people that will get a twitch if I see a picture frame that isn't hanging straight. The same goes for my pictures. I level out most of my pictures, at least any that have an obvious line in them. It's a small thing, but it makes a huge difference. There's nothing worse that looking through photos taken at the beach and in every picture the horizon goes off at a 45 degree angle. When I first got my camera last January I was so busy focusing on how to use the camera and on my subject that I didn't even think about the background. I had some pictures with buildings in the back that were all tilted and it's been ever since then that I take time to notice my lines. That's just my style. If you like the tilted look, heck, tilt away!

4. Filter!
When you're going through your images, don't keep any that don't "wow" you. And don't keep any that are even slightly blurry, no matter how great the couple/subjects look. This was one of the biggest things I learned at WPPI and I'm so grateful for it! Nobody but you knows that that image ever existed so the clients will never wonder what happened to it! Instead of giving them a blurry image that makes them unsatisfied, why not give them only your crispest images that make them gasp in awe! And, along with blurry images, get rid of any where someone in the picture looks funny, or where there's bad lighting, etc. You are representing yourself and your work in your images, and your clients will show these images to their friends and family... if they like them. And if they don't, they might show them and say negative things, which is SO not what we want! Aim to make your clients rant and rave about you your work and their experience with you!

Those are my rambling thoughts for the day! I have been there, done that, and this is what I've taken from my own personal experience! Hopefully it will help someone else out there!

Thanks for reading!

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