James Michael Photography: Blog https://www.jm-photography.us/blog en-us (C) James Michael Photography 2019 [email protected] (James Michael Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:26:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:26:00 GMT https://www.jm-photography.us/img/s/v-12/u993701327-o701043280-50.jpg James Michael Photography: Blog https://www.jm-photography.us/blog 96 120 How to get the most out of your portrait session https://www.jm-photography.us/blog/2018/2/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-portrait-session For those of you that remember Olin Mills or JC Penny's to get your kids or family portraits taken, you remember the generic back drops, the cheesy poses and the inflexible packages you had to purchase if you wanted to get the good pictures. 

Today’s photographers are much more flexible and will gear a photo package around you and your family.  You don't have to go to the studio and have the same back drop and the same standard pictures as everyone else that came before and after you. 

The first thing to consider is location.  What are you interests?  What are your hobbies.  Do you have annual passes to Disneyland?  Are you into motorcycles?  You can pick a back drop that represents you and your family’s interests.  The back drop can be as simple as a playground if you have young children.  Another choice is a hiking trail that you frequently hike on.  The location does not have to relate to a hobby you are interested in.  There are many interesting locations in your area.  Do a little research.  Google earth has pictures of just about every place you can think of.  If you want to have your portrait taken at a popular spot, like the beach, check with your photographer to see if special permits are required.    Laguna Beach is a place that requires permits if the photographer is going to use any off-camera lighting or have a small crew with him or her.  You can also ask your photographer for some recommendations. 

The second thing to consider is what are you going to wear.  Plan on at least two outfits.   Maybe three if you have you young kids.  Cloths can change the entire look of your portrait.  If you want your family in same outfits, black and white are always the same color and it does not matter where you buy them.  If you want to use another color, make sure they are from the same manufacture and you check the color before you buy them.  Even cloths from the same manufactures can be slightly off if the material is from a different die lot.  Different shades of the same color will stand out like a sore thumb.

The third thing to consider is hair and make-up.  A hair and make-up artist can be worth their weight in gold and if you can afford to hire one for your photo shoot, it will make a difference.  If you are like most us, you are doing your hair and make-up.  Make sure you bring everything you need to touch up your hair and make-up at the photo shoot.  While Photoshop is a great tool and can fix most things, it is much better to get it right in camera the first time. And the photographer may charge more to do extra touch up work on your pictures. 

The fourth and last thing to consider is what you want to receive from your photographer.  Everyone seems to just get digit pictures these days. Those are great to have.  But how many of you actually get them printed?  They end up on your cell phone, laptop and tablets.  At some point you replace them all or they die and did you remember to back them up some place?  I highly suggest that you include prints in your package. Pictures will last forever. They are great to pass down and look back on years from now.  It is something you can add later, but you are more likely to get a better deal if you include them in the beginning. 


[email protected] (James Michael Photography) family portrait photographer portraits https://www.jm-photography.us/blog/2018/2/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-portrait-session Mon, 19 Feb 2018 18:00:00 GMT
Why Do Professional Photographyers Cost So Much? https://www.jm-photography.us/blog/2018/2/why-do-professional-photographyers-cost-so-much From time to time I hear people complaining about how much their wedding photographer cost or I will give someone a price for a photo session and you never hear from them again.  Everyone seems to have the Uncle Bob who picked up Canon or Nikon DSLR kit from Costco and now they are a "photographer" and we all have cell phone cameras. 

While your cell phone and Uncle Bob's DSLR camera can shoot some great pictures.  The range in which that can get great pictures is small.  Lighting needs to be just right and the subject needs to be still when you take the picture.  You are at the discretion of the camera to process those pictures, adjust the white balance and pick the right thing to focus on.  

So why are professional photographers so expensive when cameras so inexpensive?  There are several reasons for it.  A good professional photographer shoots in one of the manual modes on their camera.  They adjust the shutter speed, f stops and ISO to get the desired results when they push the button.  There are always tradeoffs when you are making adjustment to the camera.  If it is a little dark, the ISO goes up so you can keep the shutter speed fast and the pictures are not blurry.  But with a higher ISO, your picture could become grainy.  A professional photographer will know the limits of their camera and where they can make the tradeoffs without sacrificing the quality of the picture. 

It has been said may times that better and more expensive equipment does not make a better photographer, but that is not necessarily true.  If the photographer does not know how to compose a picture and light it correctly the best equipment in the world is not going to make them a good photographer. But, professional grade equipment will allow a photographer to shot in harsh conditions and still get a good picture.    Glass lenses over plastic lenses will give you a brighter more vibrant picture.  As with any tool, better quality lenses will focus faster and more accurately.  There is a reason a mechanic uses Snap-On tools over the generic tools that you can buy Target.

A professional photographer will always shoot in RAW.  RAW is a digital negative.  RAW pictures must be post processed just like pictures from a film camera before they can be delivered to the customer.   Most photographers use either Lightroom or Photoshop.  Both programs are created by Adobe.  A RAW picture gives the photographer much more range to correct and adjust a picture over and JPG picture created by a cell phone and Uncle Bob's DSLR in "Program" mode.   However, post processing has gone way beyond what could be done with a film negative. While the phrase " that pictures have been photoshopped” has become a somewhat negative statement.  Good photographers use Photoshop to fix small imperfections that exist in every picture to make it more appealing.  

Look at the two pictures below.  The first picture is straight out of the camera with no adjustments and that second has been Photoshopped.   Can you tell the difference? The first pictures is perfectly acceptable straight out of the camera.  Most people would think nothing of the little distractions in the picture. besides adjusting the white balance and the exposure.  The leaves have been removed, the stains in the sidewalk are gone, the dent in the corrugated sheet metal has been removed and the bushes have been trimmed.  They are all small things, but removing them keeps your eye on what is important, the bride and groom. 

Professional photographers are continually honning their craft.  We buy new equipment to help us craft the right look for the picture we are trying to get,  and we spend at least two to three times the amount of time to process the pictures we took as it did to take them. 

So when you ask yourself why do we cost so much, look at what is done in the process to give you the best quality pictures. 





[email protected] (James Michael Photography) portrait photography wedding photography https://www.jm-photography.us/blog/2018/2/why-do-professional-photographyers-cost-so-much Fri, 09 Feb 2018 05:24:09 GMT
AXS TV Worlds Greatest Tribute Bands - Fan Halen with the Red Rocker https://www.jm-photography.us/blog/2016/2/fanhalen Week two of the Worlds Greatest Tribute Bands saw the return of Fan Halen, but this time they were accompanied by a Sammy Hagar tribute the Red Rocker.   Again the evening was filled with Van Halen Classics that took you back to the 70's when Van Halen was playing at the Whiskey A Go Go.   The first concert I ever went to was a Stadium show at Anahiem Stadium with Sammy Hagar, Van Halen, Black Sabbath and Boston.  I went to see Boston, but Van Halen stole the show with a parachute jump into the stadium and all of their hits from their first album.  

[email protected] (James Michael Photography) AXS TV Katie Daryl Whiskey A Go Go Worlds Greatest Tribute Bands https://www.jm-photography.us/blog/2016/2/fanhalen Tue, 01 Mar 2016 05:34:32 GMT
Worlds Greatest Tribute Band Season 6 Strange Days https://www.jm-photography.us/blog/2016/2/wgtb-season-6-strange-days Last night was the beginning of season 6 of the Worlds Greatest Tribute Bands hosted by Katie Daryl.  The season opened with the tribute band Strange Days, a tribute to The Doors.  On May 23rd. 1966 The Door first performed on the very same stage for the first time.   Being at the show last night almost seemed like a time and moved back 50 years.   Jason Tosta has mastered the persona and sound of Jim Morrison.  Robert Carsten performed as if Robby Krieger was back on stage in 1966.   The unique sound of the Vox Continental combo organ originally play Ray Manzarek was brought back to life by Michael Jacobson. And Derek Smith kept the beat with the same level of detail as John Densmore.

The Doors had broken up and Jim Morrison had past away long before I started going to concerts, but I was always a fan of their music.  The great thing about tributes bands is they can take you back in time to a bands prime and Strange Days takes you back to the 60's.  I have seen them perform a few times and the band is always spot on.   Check out there web site, strangedaystribute.com and go seem them perform.   They are well worth paying to see

[email protected] (James Michael Photography) AXS TV James Michael Photography Katie Daryl Whiskey A Go Go Worlds Greatest Tribute Bands https://www.jm-photography.us/blog/2016/2/wgtb-season-6-strange-days Fri, 19 Feb 2016 05:05:02 GMT