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All images by Hillebrand Photography. Used with permission.

While exploring abandoned locations is super cool, we never thought of ever having a wedding at one. But that thought process is slowly fading away.

When it comes to the modern wedding, the latest trends are to make them different from the traditional wedding in a grand church, giant wedding hall, etc. Instead, much more emphasis is put on the aesthetics and in saving money partially due to a downturn in the economy. And the folks at Hillebrand photography recently photographed a fresh take on the Jewish wedding at an abandoned warehouse in Detroit.

From the point of view of a wedding photographer, knowing a location is incredibly important. But when you have something so untraditional, it can be a bit of a challenge. We talked to Hillebrand about the challenges of a location like this–especially the lighting.

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ISO 400

ISO 400

When it comes to photographing wedding rings, lots of work is usually involved to make them look natural and to bring out all the details that you possibly can. At least that’s what you’ll need to do if your client wants that specific photo. While many photographers will use a Macro lens, ring flash (no pun intended) or a flash with a reflective panel, Photographer Craig Wilford has a different idea.

Craig’s idea involves using a video light, two glasses (wine and shot glass), a napkin, and of course the rings. Mr. Wilford’s method surely is simpler, but doesn’t guarantee you the pure sharpness that a good flash can offer. His trick involves using the wine glass to diffuse the video light and give specular highlights to the image that brings out all the little details you’d possibly want. It’s a nice trick if you’re a photographic assistant, but we’re not sure that many photographers would use it. These ring photos are the standard issue ones, but there are loads of other methods that work and are more creative that your clients may also love.

The ring shots are on our giant list for wedding photo essentials, Craig’s video on how to light and photograph a wedding ring is after the jump.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Lomography Bel Air Hands on Review (2 of 10)ISO 400

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The other night I was in a bar with a photographer that we featured here on the site recently. When we chatted, we talked about how the industry was going in general. She (the photographer) assists other larger names and does her own work on the side. For extra income, she thought about doing weddings with another photographer she is close with. The problem is that they didn’t want to deal with the editing process and everything else in the post-world that has to do with working with weddings. Additionally, everything that they found wasn’t worth the money and there are tons of low ballers out there. Essentially, that is also only one of the reasons why wedding photographers get paid what they do.

So after chatting with her and a couple of other photographers, we figured it out: just don’t post-process. If anything just shoot JPEG, cut the session down to the best images, and then hand them off to the clients. This goes for weddings, portraits, events, etc.

Again, we are not preaching laziness here–and if you take away from this article that we are doing that then you’ve obviously not read it. We’re preaching a way for photographers to make some extra cash on the side and still make the work profitable for them. If someone only wants to pay you $300 for a wedding and you’re giving them six hours of your time, just find ways to cut corners and make your time totally worth it and as profitable as you can.

On the other hand, if someone is paying you handsomely, put the according amount of work in and show that work off in your portfolio accordingly. Then always keep in mind that the high end photographers will never compete with the ones that only do cheap weddings because they are totally different price points. To the gear heads, it’s like comparing a Nikon D4s to a Canon Rebel.

Then in the end, just don’t tell anyone that you did it.


A recent episode of All Things Considered ran a piece titled, “Meet Uncle Bob, the Wedding Photographer’s Friendly Terror”. It featured an interview with wedding photographer Amy Wurdock about her experience contending with the well-intentioned family member with expensive camera equipment who inevitably gets in the way of her doing her job.

If you have photographed many weddings, you no doubt have your own Uncle Bob story or you may even be guilty of being Uncle Bob yourself. It was something that was on my mind while attending a recent wedding. Here are some suggestions to avoid having to be a wedding photographer’s painful anecdote.

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When shooting a wedding, there are loads of essential photos that are important to the bride and groom. But chances are (and we can say this with experience) that a lot more than just them will care about the photos. Lots of bridesmaids (and no, we’re not kidding about this) go crazy over photos of them at weddings for the purpose of having better Facebook profile photos. And recently, PhotoDoto shared an infographic put together by photographer Barry Page.

The infographic pretty much hits the nail on the head by saying that these photos are important to every bride out there. But there is a lot more than this is that is important to every wedding photographer. For that, we’ve got a significantly more massive shot list for you.

We’ll also be updating our recommended Gear Guide very soon.

julius motal the phoblographer life in focus charles glatzer image 01Before he took his lens into the wild, Charles Glatzer got his start in wedding and portrait photography out in Long Island. His true passion was outdoors, and it is there that he carved out his place in the photographic world. Glatzer has traveled the world with his kit, and has produced a beautiful body of work that many won’t have the opportunity to create. With a steady hand and a keen eye, Glatzer has captured moments of the natural world, much like a street photographer captures moments of the urban world. Here, he shares his experiences and insight.

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