Saturday, January 30, 2010

Kansas City Wedding Meetings

For those of you in the Kansas City area, I'll be working there next weekend (Feb. 6-7).

If you'd like to get together for a cup of coffee, give me a call and we'll set up a time to discuss any questions you might have regarding my wedding or special event photography services.

Although I live a ways from KC (Lincoln, NE, to be exact), I charge almost nothing for travel. That's because I love working out of town and because I spend a lot of time in KC, anyway. Same goes for destinations all over the Midwest.

I know other photographers who charge anywhere from $.50 to $2.00 per mile for destinations outside the Lincoln area. Those folks apparently don't enjoy road trips as much as I do. :)


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jumping Wolf Photographer Shot Down!

At first I was excited when I saw the headline -- I thought some ingenious person had trained a wolf to take pictures.

Alas, it's just about a photographer who paid for a wildlife model, in spite of the rules that clearly state "amateur models only." Hee.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bridal Show Debacle

For the heck of it, we attended the bridal show at the Qwest Center in Omaha on Sunday.

We were appalled, and I mean appalled, at the way other companies pawn off their photography services. In some cases, it was really like being at a used car lot.

I never, ever give people the hard sell. I don't manipulate my packages using questionable numbers, or press for short-term sales as a substitute for developing actual relationships with the people who trust me to make pictures for them. That trust is hard to gain, and once it's's gone.

At the show, it felt like the photographers and their helpers were simply pushing products (a la As-Seen-On-TV sales pitches), not sharing a creative vision.

I view each event as a potential art project. I don't view myself as just the guy with the camera who drops by to take some pictures.

Crassly commercialized photography for once-in-a-lifetime event? Yuck.

Artful visions? Perceptive images of vital, fleeting moments? Yes.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

How Photographers Make Great Prints

I really, really enjoy great prints. When I put a lot of work into making a picture for 40 Nights Photography, I feel a lot of gratification in holding a print that features perfect color and sharpness.

Many of my clients are excited when I tell them my packages come with a CD of high-resolution images and a copyright release that lets them make their own prints. Price-conscious shoppers who have Target's photo department bookmarked on their computers love this benefit.

However, there's more to making properly colored prints than some people realize. Often, you can't just drop off your CD at Walmart, Walgreens, or other discount print service shop and expect your prints to look their best.

Here's why.

- Prints look best when a specific computer monitor is calibrated to a specific printing system. Everyone has printed a color document at home or work and witnessed how the printed colors look different than those on the screen. Every monitor is different, and every printer is, too.

- Your monitor displays bright, illuminated images. Prints, on the other hand, aren't backlit. Colors and details look very different on dead-tree paper than they do on a glowing, electricity-driven computer monitor -- these are very different display mediums. Thus, in order to translate your computer's digital images into great analog prints, you have to adjust for contrast, color, and brightness depending on the printer or service you're using.

There's a lot of technical mumbo jumbo that goes into these processes, but you can see how things get complicated in a hurry.

Photographers like me, who want to consistently create really nice prints, calibrate their equipment and use only the best vendors who guarantee high-quality photos.

Do handcrafted prints cost more? Yup.

But when you think about the importance of the images, and the length of time you'll have them, they're worth every last penny.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Wedding Photography Tips

Creative wedding photography is challenging no matter how perfect the weather and light might be.

Once you book with 40 Nights Photography, you can help me capture the best possible photos by following a few tips.

I can't stress these tips enough. But perhaps the most important tip is simply to plan, plan, plan for your photography. And how exactly do you plan for photography?

You simply set aside enough time.

Every photographer will tell you this -- the longer he or she shoots a particular subject in certain lighting conditions, the better the photos become. If you only set aside 15 minutes for your photographer to work with, you're hurrying along a creative process that can't be rushed.

So, that said, be sure to read the tips document.

Monday, January 4, 2010

News Photos of the Decade

Reuters complied a somewhat lengthy list of the best news photos of the past decade.

It's basically a rundown of many of the top headlines of the past 10 years. But I hadn't seen most of these pictures. There are some pretty heartbreaking images, but thankfully there are some happy moments, too.

Highly recommended...