Questions to ask your prospective photographer.

     I know the drill like the back of my hand. Photography is my business and you should make it yours too. I'm not saying start a photography business. What I am saying is, you need to educate yourself a little bit on the subject before hand to really get a great deal on exceptional photography. You like most people would really be surprised at the work involved in getting a good event done and well. I will not get into it all here, because it is just to much info for the average non photographer to even care about.

       So, what am I looking for in a good photographer? Can I really tell just by looking at their   photos? The answer is surprising. Did you know that their are photographers out there who post and use photos that are not even theirs. So the answer is no. A good way to make sure someone is for real is to get a recommendation from a friend or family member. Asking for references from your photographer is also a good thing to do. If he or she has been doing it for any amount of time, they should have no problem suppling some. Physical albums are a thing of the past, but they can also be good indicaters to the quality of work a photographer can produce. 

      Gear, it's not everthing but it does help. As I mentioned earlier it's a lot to get into but you don't need to. I like to think of it as painting. If I gave you a canvas to make a painting, one paint brush and one color of paint, could you make a master piece? The answer, you bet you can. That is called creative vision. That vision is either natural or acquired thru years of  study.  It is the diffence between good photographers and average photographers. Wait a minute, so why is gear important? I know that everyone would agree with me if I said anyone can make a painting right. Now, I'm going to hand you one hundred different paint brushes and twenty five colors to use. Will it make you a great artist now that you own lots of good gear? No, not if you don't know what it is that each of those brushes does, right.

    Working with one brush while painting is very limiting to say the least. Would you agree that using only one color of paint would not allow you to paint every type of scene you might encounter on a day out painting. The same holds true in photography. If your guy is showing up with one camera, one lens, and maybe one flash he or she may run into trouble at some point. I always come prepared with my one hundred brushes and some times it takes all of them to get the job done right. 

    Here are some of the questions that you might want to ask your photographer.

1:   When can we meet to sign the contract?       Contracts are important for both parties. They                                                                                           lay out what you should expect from them.

2:  What does your lighting setup look like?        They should speak about it with excitment as                                                                                             lighting is the second most important tool                                                                                                 they should be using.

3:  How long have you been in business?             This is just a question to inquire about                                                                                                         experience, Would you trust a ten year guy or                                                                                           a six month guy with your photo's

4:  What's the plan if you can't make it?               If they can't answer without hesitation I would                                                                                           be concerned.

These are just a few questions to keep in mind when shoping around for your next photographer. If you have any other questions about this topic feel free to drop us a line and I will be more than happy to help even if you don't hire me. Promise.

 

 

 

Is photo editing really that important?

      As a professional I get this question a lot. Well there is no easy answer and the answer is neither right or wrong. So wait, not right or wrong? What gives Mr. photographer. Photography is subjective and beauty is only in the eye of the beholder. I can not tell you how many times I have had a client come to me and request a touch up after the fact. Many times the touch ups are so minor that no one other than the person asking for it would notice. Then why make any changes right, that is my thought. Well in truth it is for them personally and not any one else, 

Unedited photo from a Canon 70D

Unedited photo from a Canon 70D

Same photo fully edited in Lightroom CC  

Same photo fully edited in Lightroom CC

 

   There are many different styles of editing and each brings with it something unique. As many of you know I am more of a portriat photogtapher because I really like people. My opinion on editing is to keep it simple. I'm more concerned with getting exposure and colors in my photos just right and not over done. I very rarely correct anyones personal features such as eyes, nose, lips, or cheeks. If I ever do, it is usually by request only. It would get noticed, right away by the people you spend the most time with, like family and friends. It works well in magazines because chances are you will never see that person in real life. You can't compare two things without having them right next to each other.

An office in downtown San Antonio

Same photo as above with a few elements removed.

Same photo as above with a few elements removed.

Things aren’t always as they appear in photography
— Alfonso Chavez

   In this type of editing we are removing elements that don't contribute to the photo as I want. Notice how I said, "As I want". I do like the look of the wall with the green plants covering it. In my opinion it makes for a great backround in a portrait session. That would be the reason for an edit of this kind. As you can see I am not that great at it. If you where not there with us on the shoot, you would never have known it was even there if I didn't point it out. I am prone to do this type of edit if I think I can do it easily. No picture is ever perfect, but with a little editing it can be nice.

Another example, plain looking.

Another example, plain looking.

Senior portrait session ready

Senior portrait session ready

    Editing is an important step in the total process of photography. There sould be no question at all about the value of a good edit and the time it takes to do it right. Your camera and settings can get you close but editing puts you over the top in my opinion. You really can take a good photo and make it exceptional. 

We all need a fresh start. This is mine.

     My name is Alfonso. I have been the owner of Camera64 for a little over seven years. Our original web-site Camera64.com was established in 2007 and waited in the wings until early 2009. I personally was very proud of my web site and all that it stood for, but boy have the times changed. It has grown out dated, kind of like me. I felt that a change was in order for the old web site and there is no better time than the present my grandfather always said.

    The photography business has changed in many ways, both for the good and the bad. For the past year I have spent many nights looking only at the bad. This has lead to many stressful nights as you might imagine. I will not speak for all but rather only from my own experience. Photography for me like most started as a hobby but soon became so much more. For me and my family it could not have come at a better time.  We were in some tough times to say the least, so it was almost heaven sent.

     Photography paid the bills for me, for many years. It was a hobby that I truly enjoyed. That is where the issue comes into play. I have been blinded by the fact that photography for me can no longer pay the bills. With that said, it was blinding me to the fact of why I even started in the first place. My love was to take and make good photos. I had lost my way and didn't even notice. Well today with a second part time job in place, I get back to what I LOVE photography.