Q&A: Best Time To Shoot At The Beach, ISO For Indoor Weddings, B&W Vs. Color

Over the weekend I had a sweet engagement session in downtown LA, and also hosted a Photography 101 Workshop for beginners. Me likey my job. 🙂

Here are answers to some questions from last week’s Q&A! Q&A’s are every Friday from 9:30-10:30am on Facebook.

1. Evelyn I:  Black and white photos or color photos? Which do you prefer and why?

It depends on how I want to tell the story. I like B&W for classic, timeless photos and have noticed I’ve been using it more. It really depends on the subject.

2. Martina R:  Your beach wedding/engagement photos are amazing.  What are your tips for shooting on the beach?

My favorite time of day to shoot on the beach is right before sunset. That 30 minutes is golden, unless weather is overcast. In that case, you can shoot anytime of the day.

3. Angel W.:  What ISO do you usually use when photographing indoors/weddings?


4. Courtney E.:  What are your recommendations for shooting indoors with less than ideal light.  I noticed bumping up my ISO makes the photos noisier than I’d like, and the shutter speed has to stay so low that it’s difficult to get pics that aren’t somewhat blurry.

When it’s too dark like that, I use my 580EX flash and bounce it off the ceiling. If there is no ceiling, I’ll tilt the flash to a 45 degree angle so it’s not directly aiming at the subject. This makes for a slightly softer light.

5. Angel W.:  In circumstances which it is really sunny (a beach wedding), how do you adjust or fix if there are harsh shadows on the people?

I do my best to lighten the shadows in Adobe LightRoom. To avoid this, it is a good idea to educate your clients about what an ideal lighting situation is. I tell all my clients that the best time of day for pretty pictures is usually late late late afternoon. Most people want to look good in pictures, so they will listen!

6. Poogongthai R:  Do you think good photos are the result of good technical knowledge/techniques or is it do with the equipment?

Equipment makes a difference, but technique is definitely more important. I have photographer friends who take amazing photos with 35mm point and shoot cameras from the 1990’s.

7. Christine C.:  What do you recommend as the best way to deliver finished photos to clients if you don’t have the budget yet to use something like SmugMug? Burning all full res images on a CD? Posting on a free photosharing site, etc?

You can use Dropbox, or deliver photos on a USB.

8. Brittany A.:  What are your thoughts on the photography industry? Not just wedding photography, but in general. A lot of people that I talk to, they see photographers as a “dying species” because small basic point-and-shoot cameras are getting better and better now.

The industry is changing fast. Technology is making it easier and easier for people to take better pictures, but I think in terms of professional photography, true skill will always stand out. A lot of photographers are going back to shooting film now. Digital can never replicate that

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