One of the most terrifying things in wedding photography is a bridezilla. You've likely read the stories of photographer's careers being ruined by an impossible to please bride. Of course, this is a worst case scenario and fears become heightened by the bridezillas you see on TV.
But it's normal for photographers to encounter some level of bridezilla behavior. The question is how to deal with it.
I've learned from photographers like Joe McNally, Zack Arias, and Jasmine Star that it's our job as photographers to make great photos – no matter what.
So if you're faced with a bridezilla (or any overwhelming person) at any point in your career you simply need to know how to handle them. Here are 3 ways you can do that.
Even the most difficult situations become easier to deal with when you understand what's going on.
The truth is, most bridezillas never actually wanted to become bridezillas. So why do some brides act like that? Major changes in your life come with stress. Marriage comes with one of the highest levels of stress. In addition to the stress, there is also decision fatigue, personal baggage, and pre-wedding depression.
Maybe the question should be why there aren't more bridezillas!
They don't start out as Bridezillas. Not long ago she was living a normal life as somebody's girlfriend. Then in the blink of an eye, her entire life changed as she became engaged.
When you put a person in a dramatic situation, you find out how much they can take before they crumble under the pressure. Planning a wedding provides more than enough stress and drama to make a person blow up.
Everybody reaches a threshold of how much stress they can handle. And for a variety of personal reasons some brides reach that threshold on or before their wedding day.
Bridezillas are people like you and me who have discovered what it takes to make them break.
There is more than enough time leading up to the wedding day to anticipate who might become a bridezilla.
You can almost guarantee that if a bride comes from a happy family and she handles stress well then she isn't going to become a bridezilla. But if her life is filled with stress and chaos and she doesn't handle it well, there is going to be trouble on her wedding day!
When I meet with a couple who is interested in having me as their wedding photographer, I ask questions that let me know what sort of temperament the couple has.
Ask about their vision for the wedding. Then ask what would ruin the wedding for them. I had great fun with a couple who insisted that even if a tornado came along and they had to move the wedding to a basement shelter, they still wouldn't care because their family is what means everything to them. The dress, flowers, and the decor were all secondary.
Ask other questions like, “What simply must be perfect?” or “What is your biggest fear for the day?” and “What would totally ruin your wedding day?”
Ask how quickly her emotions change to the negative and what cheers her up most in life.
If a bride tells me that the most important thing to her is that she has a perfect Pinterest wedding, I know there could be trouble.
There are enough problems with the dress, flowers, and decor to drive anybody crazy. If the bride is anxious and disagreeable, to begin with, planing her perfect Pinterest wedding will drive her nuts. She's a perfect candidate to become a bridezilla.
Being a wedding photographer means knowing how to work with people. So if you can't handle the stress of working with a bridezilla, you should politely decline weddings when you think there is a good chance she'll become one. Let her know you don't think you're the best photographer to help her have a perfect wedding.
If you understand the things that lead to bridezilla behavior, and you're happy with the challenge of working with one then good for you! You could actually help her get through her wedding day without baring her teeth and lower her stress level.
The truth is, most bridezillas don't enjoy being bridezillas. You can't help the ones who enjoy it. But you can help the ones who are afraid of becoming a bridezilla.
If she's open to having help, you can assist her in setting goals, seeing the big picture and embracing what is truly important about her wedding day.
Find out what's bugging her the most and share stories about other couples who have dealt successfully with these things. That way you're not just pushing your opinion on her, but sharing stories of real people who found a way not to crumble under pressure. You can even publish these stories on your wedding photography blog.
Help her see her goal and what is truly important to her. Help her pivot around obstacles, and there will be less of a chance of her crumbling under the pressure of her wedding day.
No matter what you do, be the one who helps, not somebody who makes it worse.
Happily Ever After
No photographer wants to photograph a bridezilla. No bride wants to be a bridezilla.
You can surpass a bride's expectations of you as a photographer by understanding her situation and being the most flexible, helpful, encouraging person on her wedding day.
All it takes is one good friend to be a calming presence amidst stress and anxiety to help a bride not turn into a bridezilla. This person could be you.
The post Wedding Photography Tip – 3 Ways to Tame a Bridezilla appeared first on Digital Photography School.
How do you know if your photography is any good? Probably the most common way of assessing this question is to compare your work to others.
Whether such an approach is advisable or effective in the long term can be debated, but comparison is a pragmatic first step in critiquing your photography.
Then, of course, there's the option of asking others to critique your work which, for most people, means turning to the internet.
You can get feedback almost instantly - for free. The problem is it takes a level of confidence to have strangers review your images – confidence which you might not have in the beginning.
Also, the internet is sometimes populated by self-proclaimed experts who are better than you in every way and trolls whose only purpose in life is to derail constructive conversation.
So, what are you to do if you're looking for someone to critique your work?
We will always advocate for the Shark Tank here on Light Stalking but if you are not ready to send your images into the ether then my suggestion is to do it yourself.
These seven questions will get you critiquing your photography like a pro.
1. Does My Photo Have Great Composition and Framing?
Often considered the most important element of a photo, start critiquing your photography with an assessment of composition. Some questions to ask yourself:
2. Does My Crop Enhance Or Detract From My Image?
Does the way your photo is cropped complement the composition and framing? Avoid cropping in a manner that makes your subject look awkward.
3. Is My Exposure Right For My Intent?
To say that you should nail exposure is a bit vague, as “proper” exposure isn't necessarily a universal concept. A high key shot or a silhouette are two examples that don't fall into standard exposure principles, but no matter what the subject/scene is you want to avoid blocked-up shadows and severely blown out highlights.
4. Is My Photograph In Focus?
The most important part of your photo should be in focus. I say “should be” instead of “needs to be” because depending on your style of work, there are times when less-than-perfect focus is the intent.
5. Have I Thought About The Background Of My Image?
Does the background or a background element detract from the subject? This is a common problem with portraits - trees, light posts and other objects that appear to be growing out of a subject's head, all of which you want to avoid.
6. Is My Image Impactful?
Is your photo a cliched yet technically competent shot, or does it possess a legitimate wow-factor even if flawed in a minor way? Know what purpose your work serves to help determine how it will be received by viewers.
7. Processing/Technical Quality – Have I Improved My Image In Post?
Does your photo exhibit excessive noise, color fringing, dust spots or obvious distortion? These are things that can and should be corrected. Is your photo over processed? Heavy-handed post-processing can ruin even the best photos.
I don't see good photography as being perfect photography - there's no such thing. Critiquing your photography should be about improving on the deficiencies that reveal themselves in your images and assessing your growth over time.
It's fine to subject your work to the constructive criticism of others if you so choose, but no opinion is more intrinsically valuable than your own.
Is it possible to be objective about something as subjective as photography? Not entirely, but the seven guidelines above hopefully provide a way for you to take a well-rounded look at your own work.
The post 7 Critical Questions You Should Ask When Critiquing Your Photography appeared first on Light Stalking.
Urban exploration, also known as urbex, is a popular subcategory of architectural photography and it features various kinds of ruins and urban decay.
Since many major cities around the world have abandoned industrial areas full of old factories, urbex has become an alternative to more traditional architectural photography.
The process of finding urban ruins and exploring them poses certain risks and it is popular mainly among young photographers and explorers who are looking for adventures and a really interesting series of photos.
The following tips will help you get prepared and stay safe while capturing some really great urbex shots of deserted buildings:
1. Research Your Urbex Location
Nowadays, thanks to the Internet and Google Maps, it's quite easy to find any location if we have the correct address. However, getting the address and entering the building might be somewhat tricky.
The safest place to look for abandoned buildings are various urbex forums – many countries have their own local forums with useful information for anyone interested in urban exploration.
One of the largest urbex portals (Oblivion State) is very active and it's getting updated every day so that is probably the best place to start from when it comes to urbex photography
Photo by Ashim D'Silva on Unsplash
2. Don't Go Urban Exploring Alone
The most important thing when exploring abandoned buildings is safety. Since these buildings are often located somewhere on the outskirts and they aren't supervised in any way, it's advisable to ask a friend to join you. You have to make sure that someone can give you a hand or call the emergency services if something goes wrong.
Once you arrive at the building, don't forget to respect its history and integrity. Photographers shouldn't be vandals – it's best to leave everything exactly the way you found it (no littering!) so that other urban explorers can enjoy it safely in the future.
3. Don't Break Anything
One thing that is absolutely prohibited in urbex is breaking doors or windows in order to enter the building or some locked-up rooms inside the building. Even without breaking anything, urbex is usually not the most legal activity, so it's really important not to make it even more suspicious.
In case you can't find any easy entrance to the building, you shouldn't enter at all. However, this is usually not the case, since almost every abandoned building has some missing doors or windows.
4. Try To Pack Light
Urbexing shouldn't be something like a studio set up – instead of bringing all the equipment you have, you should think carefully about the stuff you really need. In the best case scenario, it should all fit into an average-sized backpack.
This is a list of the most basic photo equipment for the urbex aficionado:
5. Know What To Shoot And How To Do It
Before you start shooting the building, it's good to have a walk around in order to get some ideas in terms of best angles, most interesting details and lighting in general.
You'll probably have to shoot it in low light, which means you should know well how to properly set a long shutter speed, a wide aperture, or a high ISO. All these settings depend on your equipment.
In case you're using a tripod, you don't have to worry too much about ISO since you can do longer exposures. This means that you can keep ISO relatively low (around 400) and avoid noise in your images. On the other hand, if you're shooting handheld, you will need a wide aperture and a high ISO.
When it comes to flash, while it's usually not necessary to use it if you're shooting during the daytime or early evening, you can still include it in your photos if you want a more creative approach that combines natural and artificial light.
Finally, when it comes to post-processing of urbex photography, a great technique to try out is HDR. It usually looks amazing in these photographs since it enhances all those interesting textures and colors we can find inside abandoned buildings.
Despite the fact that urbex can be risky and dangerous, there is something truly exhilarating about exploring urban decay.
On a deeper level, it also allows us to see the power of nature against man-made structures. If given enough time, everything that we humans have made will crumble down and nature will reclaim its territory.
In a way, urbex is a unique homage to the neverending battle between nature and the built environment.
The post 5 Tips To Urbex To Get You Started With Photographing Urban Decay appeared first on Light Stalking.
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