Hey Photographers! Please join me at WPPI 2017 in Las Vegas for my platform class The Joy of Mirrorless Weddings NEW! on Monday, February 6th from 2:30-4:00pm and everyday at the Sony Booth 304 of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Also… Check out all these great talks and photo walks from my fellow Sony Artisans from February 6-9th! (Thanks for letting me copy this list from your blog Brian Smith! You are a true gentleman.)
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2017
Mike Colón The Joy of Mirrorless Weddings NEW! Monday, February 06, 2017: 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM!
Room: N119/120 Session Number: PC13
Celebrity wedding photographer and veteran digital photography instructor Mike Colón has been rigorously testing and exclusively shooting with mirrorless cameras for over two years now. From camera body and lens selection, to custom settings and workflow, you won’t want to miss this photo-inspirational and information-rich presentation that will help you in your transition to mirrorless. Attendees will walk away from this session with a clear understanding of mirrorless camera systems: the features that make them a perfect fit for the wedding photographer, which camera bodies and lenses to start with, and key camera settings and custom menu setups that will help make the mirrorless transition a breeze.
Zabrina Deng Posing 101 for the Prewedding, Engagement & Wedding Photography NEW! Monday, February 06, 2017: 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Room: N226 Session Number: MC06
Class Type: Master Class
International wedding and portrait shooter Zabrina Deng will discuss different approaches to posing. From elegantly posing the bride to posing fashion-savvy couples with out-of-the box ideas on location, she will explain why, how and what to include in a photograph and how to work with the environment as well as the couples’ personalities. She will review different approaches for clients from different cultural backgrounds, age groups and body types, and will also review elements such as wardrobe, composition, lighting, emotion, mood and storytelling to craft an on-location masterpiece. The goal of this class is for students to walk away with a handful of fresh ideas for their next gig, learning to work faster than before.
Jason Lanier Master Your Lighting with Jason Lanier NEW! Tuesday, February 7, 2017: 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Room: N228 Session Number: MC22
Class Type: Master Class
Join Sony Artisan of Imagery and Rotolight Master of Light Jason Lanier for an in depth, hands-on 2 hour class on how to Master Your Lighting. Jason is bringing his very successful Master Your Lighting Workshop series that he teaches around the world into the classroom for you to learn how to create beautiful lighting in virtually any shooting situation. Jason will show you how to use off camera flash, led lighting, diffusers, reflectors and some very creative and easy to apply techniques that makes his shots come to life. Jason prides himself on using gear and techniques that the average photographer out there has access to so they can also apply these same techniques and tools in their work as well. There will be live models and demonstrations showing the lighting and some posing techniques will be mixed in as well to bring it all together. We hope you’ll join us and look forward to seeing you there!
Jeremy Chan Great tips for Composition & Post Processing NEW! Tuesday, February 7, 2017: 3:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Room: N228 Session Number: MC27
Class Type: Master Class
Jeremy Chan will discuss how to use composition and post processing to creating breath-taking storytelling images. Learn how to transform a typical photograph into a gallery-worthy fine art piece. Chan will dissect his approach to composite and retouching portrait, wedding and fashion photos using simple but essential Photoshop tools such as dodge and burn to enhance light and shadow, bringing back the detail from blown-out white and adding dimension. He will also discuss the seemingly silly but frequent requests from wedding and portrait clients such as removing double chins, erasing dark eye circles and slimming the tummy. Students will walk away with fresh, useful ideas for bringing their own digital photography to the next level.
Brian Smith ICONIC PORTRAIT LIGHTING NEW! Wednesday, February 8, 2017: 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Room: N109/112 Session Number: PC16
Class Type: Platform Class
Celebrity portrait photographer Brian Smith will break down the lighting he’s used to create iconic portraits of Hollywood’s A-list and Fortune’s 600. He’ll explain not only the ‘how’ – but also the ‘why’ to his simple problem-solving approach to portrait lighting. Learn how to control the quality of light and how the choice between hard light and soft light allows you to control the mood. You’ll learn which lighting modifiers he uses to control and shape light and shadow to sculpt light in the studio and how to overcome harsh daylight by blending strobe with ambient light on location. Learn how to take cues from reality making the most of great light when you find it and how to create it when you don’t. You’ll learn how to work quickly under pressure, on both small and large productions to make everyone you photograph look and feel like a star.
Miguel Quiles Portrait Photography In Depth Wednesday, February 08, 2017: 3:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Room: N230 Session Number: MC48
Class Type: Master Class
Often times the difference between a mediocre portrait and a great one lies in one or two simple adjustments in vision and execution. In this session Sony Artisan Miguel Quiles will teach you the most relevant things he’s learned shooting portraits professionally for the last 4 years. These are the tips he wished someone had told him starting out, and now this knowledge is being passed on to you! Attendees will learn his highly effective tips on posing, lighting, and how to walk into any scenario and dial in the perfect camera settings to take your portraits to another level.
Hey local OC peeps! I’m free this Saturday so I’ve decided to do a popup mini family portrait day in South Orange County!! If you around and are free this Saturday (10/29/16), let’s make some memories for you and your family to share for the upcoming holidays! I’m so excited to do this.. I absolutely love shooting families!
I will be at Thomas J. Riley Wilderness Park (near Coto) and am scheduling 20-30min sessions back to back most of the day.
Price is $250 and includes 3 retouched images and an online viewing gallery with 30+ images. Or go premium ($500) and you will have full download access to all color balanced high resolution images (30-50), up to 10 retouched images, and a faster turn around on your gallery and retouching :)
Direct Message me on Facebook or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you a link to available times and online payment.
Hope to see you this Saturday!
Special thanks to Jessica & Jeff Norwood for letting me share some of my favorites from last year’s session!
It’s funny how I go through phases. Like the last 8 years I spent on the mats at Gracie Barra learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (still completely obsessed and train every chance I get). Before that it was tournament softball… and before that it was snowboarding… about 50 times a year. Lately, I’ve been into rock climbing and camping and I’m sort of obsessed with the physics of climbing gear. There’s just something about trusting your life to these ropes and devices while dangling off of cliffs that peaks my interest. Since driving to find decent rocks to climb can take 2+ hours from my house…and I want to be outside (not in a rock climbing gym) I’ve resorted to practicing my big wall ascents by using my gear to ascend tall trees. Now when I drive around town..I catch myself eyeballing random trees along the road, looking for that perfect branch to lasso for my next adventure.
I climbed a tree for this gear shot!
I love finding new and exciting hobbies to pair with my photo work. Photography goes hand-in-hand with almost anything. Mixing my hobbies with photography is what keeps me passionate about my craft. Next wedding season, I’ll pursue some adventurous couples getting married in remote places. Perhaps I can find a couple getting married on a portaledge half-way up El Capitan or Half-Dome.
Check out my recent gear bag shoot for Alpha Universe… All my gear spread out for ya! I even hung from a tree to get this shot!
What’s in Mike Colón’s wedding bag?
Here’s a fun behind the scenes “making of” video for your entertainment :)
Mike Colón Wedding Gear Descriptions (with Links) – Reads like a book – Starting at top left
2. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200mm f/2G ED VR II Lens - Ok, not the most practical lens… especially when paired with my Sony bodies because I lose AF capability. Still, I just can’t seem to kick my addiction to the image quality this thing puts out!
4. Assorted Petzl Climbing Devices (Carabiners, Ascender, Belay, Pulley) - Trust these with my life. (I buy at REI or Campsaver.com when the go 20% off)
5. Gitzo G1578L Monopod with Acratech Panoramic Head with Lever Clamp - I mainly use this monopod while shooting bridal runway in New York. It’s extra tall – like over 7’ – for shooting from a riser in the pit. The Acratech head is amazingly smooth keeping it easy to follow the models and tilt down for close up detail shots. It also doubles as a panoramic head for stitching landscapes when I’m outdoors (Links: G-1578L Mountaineer Mk2 Tele Studex Carbon Fiber Monopod – Supports 17.60 lb (7.98 kg), Panoramic Head)
6. Gitzo GT2940LVL Tripod with Acratech GP Ballhead with Lever Clamp - This one is light, fairly compact, yet stable as an ox. The Acratech ballhead is so precise and fun to use! Great for those low-lit reception room shots, night shots of the wedding venue to set the scene, and of course doubles as a great astrophotography tripod when I’m in camping under the stars.(Link: GT2540LLVL Series 2 Carbon Fiber Leveling Tripod, GP-s Ballhead with Lever Clamp)
8. Giottos Rocket Blaster – This is mandatory for mirrorless shooters being that our sensors are exposed. Sony did a great job with the built-in auto cleaning feature in the a7 series of bodies, but even those stubborn dust specks can’t stand up to this blaster. (Link: Rocket Blaster Dust-Removal Tool (Large, Red))
9. Black Diamond Locking Carabiners – Lock it up lock it in… let me begin. Get these at REI or Campsaver.com
10. Sunpak Readylite 20 Super Battery Light Oldie but a goodie… I’ve had this forever and it still holds a charge for months. I bring this along to my weddings for a little kiss of rim lighting on the cake or tabletops shots. Also great for mounting on my camera and running a little B roll video on the dance floor.
11. Sony HVL-LBP LED Battery Video Light - Another oldie… Sony was way ahead of their time with this lightweight LED piece of genius! This is a beautiful soft light that is daylight balanced for soft fill when shooting the bride’s getting ready shots. (Link: LED Battery Video Light)
12. Sterling SuperStatic2 Red Climbing Rope & Edelrid Blue Webbing - This is for my tree adventures and soon to come big wall climbs. I’ve thought about putting on a mini side show during a wedding ceremony and zipping across the skyline between two trees for an aerial shot of the first kiss. It would be quieter (maybe not less distracting) than a drone for sure.
13. Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Distagon T* ZF.2 Lens with Metabones Nikon F to Sony E-Mount Adapter - Probably my most used lens. It gets the job done in almost ever situation. Especially those bride getting ready shots and bridal party portraits. (Link: 55mm f/1.4 Otus Distagon T* Lens for Nikon F Mount)
14. Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 Apo Planar T* ZF.2 Lens with Metabones Nikon F to Sony E-Mount Adapter – This is my favorite wedding portrait lens. It’s also pretty much my go to lens for all of my family sessions and engagement sessions. (Link:Otus 85mm f/1.4 Apo Planar T* ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F Mount)
15. Zeiss Otus 28mm f/1.4 ZE Lens with Metabones Canon EF to Sony E-Mount Adapter – I use this for wider shots of the bride putting on her gown. Its handy for landscapes, reception room shots, and any larger group photos. Also a perfect lens for the cake-cutting action photos. (Link:Otus 28mm f/1.4 ZE Lens for Canon EF)
16. Lowel GL-1 Power LED Light – This is what I use during receptions as a kicker light to add that punch to my images. I have my assistant rim light my subjects to help separate them from the background. (Link: GL-1 Power LED)
17. Eno Doublenest Hammock System – Love this hammock.. and bring it everywhere. You may even catch me in my hotel room swinging from this hammock as it’s more comfortable then most beds. (Link: Eagles Nest Outfitters – DoubleNest Hammock)
19. LaCie 4TB Rugged RAID Thunderbolt/USB 3.0 Drive - Super fast, super reliable, super durable. (Link: 4TB (2 x 2TB) Rugged RAID)
20. Alite Designs Mayfly Chair - Light, packs up small, holds up to 250lbs… perfect for camping, hiking, beach, and those concerts in the park. I never leave home without it. (Link: Alite Designs Mayfly Chair)
25. Sony HVL-F60M Speedlight - This is what I use on camera when I need TTL. I love the tilting head that keeps my flash above my lens and shadows down below my subject! (Link: HVL-F60M External Flash)
26. Seaport i-Visor Hard Case SEIV1440K3 (converts into a standing desk for tethered laptop) - This is the case that you see holding my YN560-IV Speedlites and Sony Flash. I had a custom foam insert made at MyCaseBuilder.com to keep it all tidy. The rad thing about this case is that it doubles as my tethered laptop stand for studio work… and triples as a laptop editing station when I get tired of my home office and Starbucks and need to be outdoors. (Link: i-Visor Hard Case with Slim Bundle)
27. Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 Lantern & USB Power Hub - Super bright rechargeable lantern that I take with me camping. It will give my iPhone a charge or two also! (Link: Lighthouse 250 LED Lantern / USB Hub)
29. American Kami ApocalypSpork - Forged out of medical grade titianum sourced from USA made military and aerospace scrap, handcrafted in the good ol’ USA! Berry compliant. Won’t rust or corrode. Non-magnetic. Bottle opener/pot lid lifting hook. Oxygen bottle key/small ‘biner hole. 9.3″ long. Emergency hex driver key. Want flat wear that will last you through the apocalypse? Want something that you can ram through a zombie skull? Here you go, baby. You know you want one! (Link: http://www.americankami.com/swag)
30. CRKT® Eat’n Tool - Not as cool as the ApocalypSpork but they’ll let you take this on the airplane. (Link: Eat’N Tool (Bead Blast))
31. iPhone Sim Card Tool - Can you find it in my photo? It’s so small! I need this for changing out my sim card when traveling abroad.
47. Nestle Vanilla-Caramel Coffee-Mate Creamer & Instant Coffee - Don’t judge me you coffee snobs! Mix this with Maker’s Mark for some amazing Falcon Coffee! #LTFL
49. Black Diamond Climbing Harness and Gloves in Blue – I heard first hand from a friend that gloves can mean the difference of life or death when rappelling large cliffs or canyons. If your gear fails you can slow yourself down enough to survive just by grabbing the rope. No gloves, your hands burn, you let go, and free fall to the bottom.
50. Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS Lens – My go to ceremony lens. It’s got amazing separation and bokeh for an f4 lens. And it’s so light! I can shoot on this all day without getting tired. (Link: FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS Lens)
51. Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM Lens – One of my favorite lenses by far! It’s like the Otus 85… only with AF! Sick bokeh and unbelievable image sharpness and color across all aperture settings! Sharp edge to edge even wide open at f/1.4! (Link: FE 85mm f/1.4 GM Lens)
52. Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens – My main lens for family formals, bridal party, and dance floor shots. (Link: FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens)
53. Assorted Lens Hoods - Did you notice the happy face?
54. Sony Sonnar T* FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA lens - Compact, lightweight, awesome street photography lens. Also great all-day carry lens for outings like Disneyland with the family. I carry it as a backup wide lens in my wedding case because it’s so small. (Link: Sonnar T* FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA Lens)
55. Banana (brand unknown) Was perfectly ripe. I ate it immediately after this shoot.
56. Goal Zero Light-a-Life 350 LED Light (x2) – These go with my Goal Zero Yeti 400 Solar Battery Pack which I forgot to bring for the shoot. You can daisy change a bunch of these lights to light up your campsite. (Link: Light-A-Life 350-Lumen LED Light)
57. And Last but not least… the backdrop that made this all possible… The Eno Islander LED Sunshine Blanket – The edges light up for a very cool effect at night. We have concerts in the park every Friday in Ladera Ranch. This blanket is easy for our kids to find in the sea of people & blankets. (Link: ENO – Islander LED Light Up Outdoor Beach Camping Blanket – Sunshine)
Such a great article about my very special friends and clients Jock & Erin!! Read the whole thing here.
“A guy and a girl can be just friends, but at one point or another, they will fall for each other… maybe temporarily, maybe at the wrong time, maybe too late, or maybe forever.” – 500 Days of Summer (2009)
In Erin and Jock’s case, the timing was just perfect and they have fallen for each other forever. The two of them met in 2008 at The Resort at Pelican Hill when Erin joined the wedding team. Jock worked in pre-opening Sales for Pelican Hill, and they were at opposite ends of the pre-opening office. After a lot of small talk, mostly about fun restaurants in and around Orange County, soon enough they started to frequent these restaurants together. They kept things casual throughout their fun adventures together and soon enough, conversations began to expand and become more personal. Jock explains “We were having a ton of fun; however along the way I started to feel differently. I really liked this girl. I enjoyed everything about her.” Erin enjoyed her time with Jock, but was not quite sure if the timing was right for her. After a year of Jock courting and attempting to impress Erin, she gave him a shot. They spent the next four years continuing their restaurant adventures while expanding their palates, attending black tie parties, experiencing more of SoCal, hotel hopping on the weekends, and most of all, getting to know each other.
On May 16, 2015 they wed at Hotel Bel Air, which was one of Erin’s longtime dreams since she was only 15 years old after attending a Mother’s Day Brunch at Hotel Bel Air. Erin shared “I remember looking at my parents and telling them that very first day that “”one day, I would LOVE to get married here””. It was so magical to me from my very first visit 16 years ago, and on May 16th, 2015 my dreams came true.” Personal touches were a very important aspect of this couples wedding day, especially for Erin, who had worked in the wedding industry for years. Starting with the Save The Dates with a classic and formal photo of the two on the beach, all the way to the programs and menus that had a custom monogram the two had created together. “Oh Happy Day” and LAX-JFK were two subtle themes of the wedding day, seen on items such as Welcome Bags, cocktail napkins, and Jock’s shoes! Quotes from some of their all time favorite movies were seen throughout, as well as some of their favorite foods that reflected them as a couple. Some butler passed hors d’oeuvres at the cocktail reception included miniature Chicken Tacos paired with miniature Patron Margaritas, Sangria Infused Watermelon, Pigs N’ a Blanket, and Ahi Tuna Cones, the couples favorite Spago classic. Wolfgang Puck and his team created a phenomenal menu for this affair, which included items such as Campania Artichoke Tortelloni, Chilled Shrimp and Crab Louie Salad, Liquid Bon Bons, Sauteed Black Bass, and Mesquite Grilled Wagyu Flat Iron Steak. Guests were sure able to get a taste for Erin and Jock’s foodie favorites!
A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of covering Claire Pettibone’s 20th Anniversary and grand opening of her new flagship salon in Beverly Hills, CA. It was a fun night mingling with old and new friends. I’ve known Claire and her husband/biz partner Guy Toley for many years now. I first met them on a plane coming from New York and just happened to be sitting next to them. They are great people and so down to earth. I really enjoyed shooting this event for them. Congrats Claire and Guy on 20 years of success in marriage and in business! It was an honor to shoot your event!
Special thanks to Art Scangas and Inside Weddings for the love in the Fall 2014 Issue.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE JUNE 13, 2014
RUMER WILLIS & ANGELA KINSEY CELEBRATING THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF CLAIRE PETTIBONE
IN BEVERLY HILLS AT THE CLAIRE PETTIBONE FLAGSHIP SALON
(Images Courtesy of Photographer: Mike Colón, images available upon request)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA: Claire Pettibone had much to celebrate on June 11, 2014. On this perfect Summer evening she and husband, Guy Toley, welcomed family, friends and celebrity fans to the Claire Pettibone Flagship Salon in Beverly Hills to celebrate their 20th Wedding Anniversary and the 20th Anniversary of the renown Claire Pettibone bridal label.
Among the celebrity fans that came to show their support was, Rumer Willis, who proved that her sister is not the only one in the family to command attention! Rumer wore a showstopping white crochet and mesh cocktail dress, that, while was not as risqué as her sister, Scout Willis’ ‘free the nipple’ statement in New York last week, was nothing short of a provocative fashion statement (that we loved)!
Also in attendance was, Angela Kinsey, who was as charming and lovable as she looks in a photo hugged up with celebrity wedding photographer, Mike Colón, who shot the weddings of the huge talent including Usher and Timbaland.
Like the success of their matrimony, Claire’s business has grown exponentially over the last 20 years; she not only has she become one of the top bridal designers, but is now forging on the path to designing for the red-carpet, dressing celebrities like Carrie Underwood. Could Rumor Willis and Angela Kinsey be added to the list of Claire’s designs for red-carpet gowns this season? We can only hope and can’t wait to see what Claire Pettibone brings us next!
I’m sitting here trying to figure out why I like this scene so much… I guess I just like the fact that his son’s girlfriend feels so comfortable around him. I think it’s sweet that she’s helping him with his bow tie. I really like the tones and balance of color in this image. Other small details like the Coca Cola “light” and the iPhone on the table help to set the scene.
I timed this image to make sure I could see the bow tie dangling there so the viewer knows what’s happening at first glance. I don’t think second image wouldn’t work by itself since it might be confusing without the first image but paired I think they tell the story well.
I shot this with my Nikon D4 and AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G. ISO1250 f2.8 at 1/200 sec. No fill flash or reflector… just exposing to naturally see detail in subjects without completely blowing out background. I used Aperture and a film filter VSCO Kodak Portra 160(-) with VSCO II film grain 100 to edit the image. I’m a huge fan of “less is more” when it comes to editing my photos. I try not to over correct or perfect my images when editing since my goal is to tell a story that is believable. I will crop, retouch, or remove distractions that take away from the moment if necessary… but I left this scene pretty much as is.
This year’s Benefit Shoot (at WPPI-3.2.2014), is certain to impress! Old Downtown Las Vegas (Fremont Street) will play host to an amazing afternoon of shooting, with leadership and training from some of the best photogs in the industry (incl Mike Colon, Zach and Jody Gray, Trevor Dayley). Then, finish the evening off with great eats, drinks, and private concert (you won’t want to miss) at one of the raddest spots on Fremont Street (The roof deck at Commonwealth). It’s a day (and night) you won’t want to miss.
Transporation provided from the MGM Signature and will return post-Dinner.
*CHECK-IN FOR BENEFIT SHOOT: 2:30PM – 3/2/3013, MGM SIGNATURE TOWER 2 LOBBY
Dinner (and Concert) Only tickets are also available for those who can’t make the Shoot itself.
*DINNER: 6PM-9PM AT COMMONWEALTH (525 E Fremont St. Las Vegas, NV 89101)
*Transportation not provided for Dinner Only tickets
Dark churches getting you down? Off-camera lighting throwing you off your game? Family formals killing you? Trust me, you are not alone. The reason wedding photography is one of the most dreaded (and highest paying) professions in the photography world is simply because it’s not easy! Mixed lighting, harsh shadows, blown-out backgrounds, fast moving subjects in low light, tall brides next to short grooms, five minutes to shoot fifteen different group shots while the sun goes down… the craziness has no end! And the scary part is, you can’t make excuses when it comes time to deliver images to your client.
I once heard a commercial photographer relate wedding photography to Russian Roulette. He said “You’re bound to get unlucky eventually and then it’s all over.. you’re finished.” He’s right… there are no re-shoots in wedding photography, and a scorned bride is not someone you want hanging around your Facebook fan page.
So here’s the good news: I’m not just writing all of this to give you more anxiety about shooting weddings. I am dedicating myself to a new workshop series called “The Uncomfortable Workshop“. I’ve teamed up with Andras Schram, a photographer in Calgary who I deeply respect as an artist in our industry. This workshop has been a long time coming and a long time planning. It’s not my regular “set up the students with insane portfolio material” workshop. If you want that go to my Vegas Shooting Workshop next month. This workshop addresses the difficult and uncomfortable aspects of shooting a wedding. It’s specifically designed to prepare you for the worst case scenarios. We intentionally booked one of the darkest churches in Calgary to do one of our live shooting demonstrations. We’ve also scheduled an outdoor night shoot for the group.
This workshop will not be easy, and will most likely stretch you far beyond your comfort zone. But nothing worth doing is easy, and discomfort forces us to find a better way. If you are ready to patch those holes in your game and become a more able and confident wedding photographer, come to The Uncomfortable Workshop.
I love photographing babies. Especially when they cooperate and stay asleep :) This is one of my favorite shots of Archer, Jessica Claire & Jeff Norwood’s newest addition to the family. I just love the symmetry, the smooth tones, and the mixture of the cold, hard chair with Archer’s warm, soft skin and blanket.