Here are answers to common questions regarding the studio and photography

Everyone has a digital camera now, why hire a pro?


 There are specifics absolutely necessary to photographing people effectively. It takes a lot more than photographics itself.  A mood must be created, and a stage set. Then after that the models (you) are ready to go!  Go to the moon and back, while enjoying it every step of the way.  Not to mention, there is the application of at least 10 professional techniques of photography applied with no delay during the action. Just pure fluidity. This is a learned art form. It’s unique to the individual photographer themselves. Most importantly, the real pro listens and helps his clients achieve magic. Additionally, make sure the person you're hiring is a full time photographer that works on their craft every waking minute.....well at least 23 hours a day. :)

OK, so I hired a professional to shoot my event, now what?


The first step has been taken correctly by hiring a full time professional. However, if the photographer starts talking about prices and money right from the get go, run for the hills! An event photographer is firstly a planner of movement for people at weddings. Prior to the reception a really good wedding photographer gets people excited, helps hang the dress, helps the guys with those never easy to put on cuff-links, makes grandma comfortable, and meets every person there with a handshake and a smile. Only then, can we even think about photography. See, in reality, a photographer works side by side with your family, wedding party, and friends for at least 4 hours. Not even the wedding coordinators at your venue do this. So it’s really important that the personality is awesome from the person you hire as your photographer. Once that’s established, you can now ask them about cameras, lighting, wedding albums, and service. It’s your right as a client to demand the best!

What should I be asking photographers in meetings?


 Let’s face it, if I’m paying a person $2000 dollars I'd better look like Brad Pitt that day in my photos! Ok… maybe Tom Cruise. I’m getting older. A skilled photographer on events, works with two cameras, and two backups. As well as a selection of 5 professional lenses, and a variation of on and off camera lighting setups. This is done with the realization that cinematography is big in photos now, and there are specific techniques to achieving this. No it’s not strictly on camera flash units! 

Following the above, the skilled photographer brings a skilled fashion photojournalist (an expert on wedding coordination and event management too) who works from way off angles not right next to his buddy the lead photographer. This captures the romance of it all, the dreamlike effects where the lead camera is capturing the beautifully lit, clean, crisp, stunning images. In all, there needs to be a ten way differential between 2 camera people and 4 different camera to lens combinations. Don’t forget the lighting! Be sure to tell the photographer(s) you need celebrity status for that big money! 

I'm waiting months for my images, why is that?


Online proofs should take a few days with smaller sessions, and about 8 days for larger weddings or events. If this process takes longer, it is because you didn’t hire a full time professional shooter who photographs with great precision and care. In all honesty, 98% of the perfect image is captured at the instant the shutter and lighting source is fired. Period. You cannot take badly lit images and fix them effectively on Photoshop.  

Ok, I really love my online proofs, are they mine to keep now?

Do this: Buy the rights to the all the digital files. Some photographers, the nice ones, work that into your photography package. Always, and I mean always, get the rights to the files built in even if you pay some small fee! At our studio we always include the rights to the files.

If Clive is booked on my day, who can you suggest I talk to?


I have worked with countless numbers of assistants over the years. In all honesty, what we do in this studio is a far different experience you'll find at most photo studios. We base our work on energy and creative communication. You couple this up with a huge technical skill load, and the faint of heart step down willingly saying, "Clive I can’t do this, I really can’t". It’s not so much the shooting, but the countless hours of organizing and the X factor at the wedding that needs a motivated savvy individual to generate excitement, and coordinate things to fulfill a plan.  Truth is, you just cannot have a smooth event without the coordination of a well-organized, fun photographer and their assistant. It’s so difficult to find this combination of technical skill and personality, it really is. I have two options and their names are Tera Barnes and/or Tawny Hall. These are people that seek perfection....and you know what,they are funny, intelligent, and easy going. They have the combo of the two skill sets, and I am so proud of their accomplishments. I highly recommend Tera and Tawny and their assistants for any job in this photography category.

It looks like rain out there on my event day? Clive help!


In the many years and thousands of events we have had three, yes three rain days in Phoenix, well one was in Payson a few months ago.  Here's where you really need... the person who can help with everything that’s changing without batting an eye. Still want the fly on the wall photo guy? Probably not. The ceremony needs to be moved inside…like yesterday...let’s go! Cameras down, help out. In the end, the ceremony goes beautifully and the photos are even better because everyone is livened up. There is improvisation that is needed by your photographer to get amazing images under much more lenient conditions. There are covered areas on the perimeter, gazebos that shield the rain, interiors that can be made to look beautiful by a skilled, intelligent photographer. That is all great. But here is the really important part...the photographer cannot be just the photographer. They must be the person that cares about you, your family, and your friends first! Most brides I meet with are very uncertain on how the events will unfold.....again venue coordinators do not run the action of all the activities. A good photographer does, coupled with a great DJ who will coordinate your reception. Hire these people carefully. You'll be glad you did!