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Teaching Archives - Page 2 of 4 - Steven Joseph Photography

Steve teaches photography locally to professional photographers, and enthusiasts wanting to improve their photographs. This section is where all things teaching related will live. Sometimes Steve is teaching through the University of Utah, or at Pictureline, or in his home studio. Sometimes Steve is offering quick tight little tips on one very narrowly focused topic.

It’s Cool Being Ten

October 6, 2010 | By | No Comments

My oldest boy built a nice strong bike ramp, from an entertainment center discarded by a neighbor. He and a couple of his brothers and a best friend tried it out tonight. It’s cool being ten years old.

Being eight is cool!

Being eight is cool!

Being ten is cool!

Being ten is cool!

Being eight is cool!

Being eight is cool!

4 Reasons to Hire a 2nd Shooter

September 14, 2010 | By | No Comments

I always encourage my brides to consider hiring a second photographer or “2nd Shooter” on their wedding day. I only work with 2nd shooters whose photography and interpersonal skills are at the highest levels. I pay them well because they are worth it.

Following are 4 very good reasons for every bride to consider hiring a 2nd photographer, for at least 3 hours during your wedding.

1. More complete coverage. While no amount of coverage can guarantee that your photographer gets every shot you want, more professional, artistic eyes clicking shots on your wedding day will result in more and better photography that you’ll love.

2. Insurance, distributed risk. While it’s never happened to me (thank You, God 😉 ), bad things can happen to your principal photographer on the way to your wedding or to your photos after the wedding. Having a 2nd photographer travelling in a 2nd car using a 2nd camera and lenses and CF cards distributes the risk, and assures that you will get coverage and photos of your wedding.

3. Faster flow. Your photography moves more quickly if you’ve hired a 2nd photographer. If your principal photographer uses strobes, someone must set up those lights. If you’ve hired a single photographer then your whole party must wait, and photography stops, while that happens. If there’s a 2nd setting up lights or shooting family portraits, the flow keeps moving, you and your guests are happier.

4. A different artistic perspective. A 2nd camera is also a 2nd set of eyes. How awesome for you to get two distinct, fresh, artistic views on your wedding. You’ll be delighted by the extra variety and creativity.

Dance - Principal Photographers View

Dance - Principal Photographer's View

Dance - 2nd Photographers View

Dance - 2nd Photographers' View

For surprisingly little money, hiring a 2nd photographer will give brides fuller coverage, a faster pace for group photography and therefore happier guests, distributed risk, and a fresh artistic eye and greater variety in their photography.

#10. Never Go Full Retard. Go Easy on the Photoshop.

June 16, 2010 | By | No Comments

Apologies to anyone with a mentally challenged family member or friend … That jarring headline is a quote from “Tropic Thunder”, where Robert Downey Jr.’s character advises Ben Stiller’s character to pull it back, dial it down, never go all the way.

Throttle back your Photoshop effects. Or better, use none at all. Photoshop actions can be so exciting, especially to the new photographer. But – like government and habanero salsa – it’s best to use them sparingly. I’ve ruined many photos by applying Photoshop actions at 100%. Now – if I use Photoshop actions at all – I start at 20% opacity and slide the opacity around ’til it looks best. Then I back that off a little bit 😉 Everybody knows, you never go full retard.

#9. Move Around.

June 16, 2010 | By | No Comments

Move Around. Crouch and look up. Stand on a ladder & look down. Put your subjects above you. Put them below you. Get real close. Provide your viewers a look, an angle, different than the one they see in everyday life.

Look around at a wedding. 99% of the people with cameras are either standing or sitting, taking their photo with the same view one sees by just standing there.

Move around and suddenly your photos look different, you’re *making* photos.

#8. Shoot Into the Sun.

June 16, 2010 | By | No Comments

If you don’t have off-camera strobes or don’t know how to use them [see #4], turn your subjects’ backs to the sun, shoot in manual mode and expose for your subjects’ faces. Your photos will immediately be better than any point-and-shoot civilian who tries this. Their photos will be dark and underexposed.

Turn your subjects’ backs to the sun.

#7. Say “Thank you”.

June 16, 2010 | By | No Comments

I’m shocked to learn how seldom people say “Thank you.” I recently moved my family to Las Vegas from out of state. Many people made time to meet with me as I was scouting Vegas, and I tried to send thank you notes, and often little gifts, to all of them. Once I moved here, many told me how unusual it was for them to hear any sort of thanks. My “thank you”s stood out. Many of these people have since referred work to me. Say “thank you”.