FAQ For Photographers

I get a few emails from fellow photographers every week so I decided to compile a FAQ that I can point them to. So, if you’re not a photographer this might be boring to you or you just might learn something new :)

The number one question I get asked is actually not photography related. Everyone wants to know what song is on my website! It’s “Chocolate” by Snow Patrol. Isn’t it great! I have really wanted to change it to “Love Today” by Mika, but it’s a totally different vibe. What do you think? Change it or leave it?

The next most often question I get asked is how I get vivid color in my pictures. Let me first say that I can’t even express to you what a huge compliment that is! That other photographers like my work enough to ask ME for advice! It means so much to me! I by no means think that I’m an expert, but I have been working really hard the last couple of years to get my pictures to look the way they do and to develop my own style.

There are 4 components to how I get bright color in my images:

1) Everything you see on my blog was shot in Jpeg. For engagement shoots and portrait sessions I shoot solely in Jpeg. But, for weddings I shoot in RAW and Jpeg. It’s easier to color correct 1000 images in RAW. But, it’s easier to edit the pictures for the slideshow and my blog in Jpeg. Plus I like the color that comes out of Jpeg much better than RAW. It’s much more bright.

2) I use prime lenses primarily. My current favorite is the Canon 85 1.8 (the one I got in a car accident at 37 weeks pregnant to get!). I shot with the 24-70 L lens for a long time thinking that it was a superior lens because it is really expensive and it’s an L series lens, but once i started shooting with prime lenses my pictures were much more crisp. And they are cheap(er) lenses! I also like the 28 1.8 and I think I’ll eventually hop on the bandwagon and get the 50 1.2. I’ve rented the 50 a few times and didn’t LOVE it. So, we’ll see.

3) This is pretty obvious, but correct exposure and good lighting helps! I think most people think that if a picture is under or over exposed they can just fix it in photoshop after the fact (especially with RAW), but once you can nail the exposure in camera your pictures start to pop! This takes practice, practice, practice!

4) I use Totally Rad Actions. The Oh, Snap! and the Pro Retouch are my favorite. TRA are by far my favorite actions. They just came out with a new set. I’m not sure if I’m going to buy them yet, because I really like the first set, but we’ll see.

This is something I’ve never done before. Here’s a before and after shot from a recent engagement session:

Straight out of camera:

Edited with TRA’s Oh! Snap and Contrast Luma

And here’s another SOTC

And after with Oh! Snap, Pro Retouch, and a Curves Adjustment

I hope this helps a little!  I feel that consistency in your images is super important.  So find what works best for you and stick with it!

By the way, I have the best “blog stalkers”! I get the nicest emails and comments from you all and it really means the world to me. I think the best compliment I can get is from another photographer so thank you all for taking time out of your busy schedules to write me. You all rock!

Have a radtastic weekend!

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15 Responses to FAQ For Photographers

  1. Lauren says:

    Oh Drew :) How I love you!! This was awesome. You are so super sweet! Rock on girl :)

  2. Ashley says:

    Thanks for all the helpful info Drew! I love seeing before and afters. Oh- and don’t change your song. I think the Snow Patrol song is so much better than the other one!

  3. Juliana says:

    Hi Drew, its Jules from Brazil… I loved the FAQ session. About the song, dont change it ! The snow patrol one is really great!
    My favourite thing is the opening slideshow from your website. I fell in love with it from the first time i saw it.

    Love

    Jules

  4. Soupy says:

    please don’t change the song!!! i won’t come back if you change the song! ;o) thanks for all the info, i love to see the before and afters!

  5. denise says:

    : ) i love info posts…. Thanks for the tips girl! hope your doing good!!

  6. Julie Z. says:

    Thank you so much for posting your tips and secrets with us. I am a starting-out photographer and “blog stalker” and have been researching tons on how to get that crisp and vibrant look you just explained. It really helps a lot!
    You are a wonderful photographer, but I’m sure you hear it all the time!
    Thanks again for sharing!

  7. Vania says:

    Great info! Love your song and gorgeous images! Is their a way to get your blog by e-mail. Just wondering how many weddings you take a month. Trying to balance it all as a mom and this is my first big wedding season gone digital. I was film and it was so different as far a workflow.
    Love your site.

  8. Thanks so much for your tips, Drew! I love reading your blog and seeing what new and fabulous ideas you’ve come up with. Those last couple posts with the couple in town and on the beach are really phenomenal and I was so inspired when I saw them. You are awesome, girl! :)

  9. abriana says:

    how sweet of you to post that for all of us who LOVE your blog! the before/after was especially helpful. :)

  10. Kierstie says:

    Being one of those blog stalkers I really really appreciate this!! I just bought the TRA and love them! This post seriously just made my day! I LOVE seeing before and afters from pros like yourself! Thanks! Kierstie~

  11. Leslie says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! I love your blog, and getting a little sneak peek into your process is so fun! Thank you!

  12. courtney says:

    Wow, you are AMAZING to share this!! :) Thanks for being awesome :)

  13. Jessica says:

    I for one and thrilled you did this post. I’ve been a silent blog reader for too long. THANK THANK THANK YOU! I too loooove TRA.

  14. heidi says:

    i love seeing before and afters! it makes the after that much more awesome. ;) you’re are fantastic photographer, so talented. thank you so much for divulging your see-ca-rets!

  15. WOW thanks for all of the great info! You rock Drew!

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