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Old Feb-25-2012, 09:28 PM
#1
Jamesbjenkins is offline Jamesbjenkins OP
Live, shoot, post, repeat
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Lauren + Rick... my first wedding post on Dgrin
Hey all, I've been an active member here for a while, but this is my first time posting wedding shots here. This was my third wedding ever, and the first with my new D700. I'd love some feedback! I was really pleased with several of them. I'm beginning to figure out my signature look. Enjoy...

1.


2.


3.


4.


5.


6.


7. One of my favorites! The groom's parents are on the right, the bride's on the left...


8.


9.


10. They love these high contrast, sharp b&w's. This is another favorite...


11.


12.


13.


14.


15. Special request of the bride. Terrible lighting forced ISO 3200... :(


16.


17.


18.


19.

I tried to show some diversity with my selections. I'd love to hear what you think! Thanks.
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Last edited by Jamesbjenkins; Feb-25-2012 at 09:39 PM. Reason: added links
Old Feb-26-2012, 01:51 AM
#2
Matthew Saville is offline Matthew Saville
Wedding Photographer
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Hey James! Great images, my only problem is the watermark being way too obtrusive. I know you're just trying to protect your intelectual property and profitability, but I think the whole thing could be MUCH lower opacity and still do a fine job of protecting you from theft. If you feel a need to watermark the image so prominently, lower the opacity until it is barely discernible. If you don't want to lower the opacity, go with something along the very bottom or in the corner.

As a wedding photographer, I want my watermark to ENCOURAGE clients to still share their images online, not deter them. I want my brides to right-click the heck out of their proofing gallery, and re-upload to facebook, etc. etc. It may seem like I'm forfeiting something, but really I'm gaining SO much more in the end.

Just my two cents! I'm sure many others will chime in with some good feedback too. Welcome to DGrin!

=Matt=
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Old Feb-26-2012, 04:20 AM
#3
Jamesbjenkins is offline Jamesbjenkins OP
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I appreciate your two cents. That's funny, cause I just changed the watermark from a much smaller option in the bottom right corner because a lot of pros told me I needed something more "in the way". I think I'll consider returning to the bottom right or lower the opacity. That watermark is set on a 70% fade through smugmug's interface, but maybe it should be 85-90%. Thanks, Matt. I've read hundreds of your posts on here. Your opinion carries weight... :-)
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Old Feb-26-2012, 04:36 AM
#4
Jamesbjenkins is offline Jamesbjenkins OP
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How's this? Fade is up to 90% now...

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Old Feb-26-2012, 05:27 AM
#5
VayCayMom is offline VayCayMom
making real life prettier
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Very nice !!!
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Old Feb-26-2012, 05:51 AM
#6
Jamesbjenkins is offline Jamesbjenkins OP
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Matthew, I decided to switch up the watermark idea entirely. I think you might recognize it from somewhere...

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Old Feb-27-2012, 02:14 PM
#7
Matthew Saville is offline Matthew Saville
Wedding Photographer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesbjenkins View Post
I appreciate your two cents. That's funny, cause I just changed the watermark from a much smaller option in the bottom right corner because a lot of pros told me I needed something more "in the way". I think I'll consider returning to the bottom right or lower the opacity. That watermark is set on a 70% fade through smugmug's interface, but maybe it should be 85-90%. Thanks, Matt. I've read hundreds of your posts on here. Your opinion carries weight... :-)
Don't listen to anyone who tells you that. This is the 21st century, and you can leverage certain things in your favor even if it feels like it "costs" you a little bit in low-res image licensing / print sales. In other words, the POWER of allowing, no, ENCOURAGING people to circulate your images on Facebook etc. is one thing that can make or break your business. Anyone who tells you to watermark the heck out of a 600 pixel image is living in the past.

Don't get me wrong. I did a test the other day, I printed a 4x6 from a 750 pixel image I downloaded from my blog. It made a GREAT 4x6. But you know what? Losing a few $$ in 4x6 sales here and there is NOT nearly as bad as losing THOUSANDS of $$ in potential clients. I'm not saying that a watermark alone can damage your clientele, but it can be a slight annoyance that DOES harm your "buzz" factor.

I like the new watermark, however I would go even lower with the opacity. 50% or less! Personally, I JUST put my webiste across the bottom, and that's it. It's not there to scare people out of right-clicking it and saving it / printing it / circulating it, it's just there to tell people who took the photo.

If you're afraid of people cropping out such an edge-based watermark, well, just discuss it with them. I tell my clients up front that I watermark my proofing gallery images not to deter them from downloading or sharing, but just so that people know who clicked the image. If they have a need to crop my logo out, well, that's what their disc is for...

=Matt=

What my blog / facebook watermark looks like:



What my proofing gallery watermark looks like:
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Old Feb-27-2012, 08:52 PM
#8
Jamesbjenkins is offline Jamesbjenkins OP
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Thanks for taking the time to share your method and reasoning. I'm definitely taking notes. I'm trying to go full time this year, and I have a lot of refining of the small details to do before that's possible...
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Old Feb-29-2012, 01:23 PM
#9
jpc is offline jpc
bokeh junkie
I agree with what Matt is saying, but it's much easier to feel comfortable with a tiny watermark if your client has already purchased a CD, or the CD is built into your contract. If they have not yet purchased a CD, you want them too, of course. So, it's natural to want the watermark to be a little obtrusive. This is an issue I'm still wrestling with.
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Old Feb-29-2012, 02:57 PM
#10
Matthew Saville is offline Matthew Saville
Wedding Photographer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpc View Post
I agree with what Matt is saying, but it's much easier to feel comfortable with a tiny watermark if your client has already purchased a CD, or the CD is built into your contract. If they have not yet purchased a CD, you want them too, of course. So, it's natural to want the watermark to be a little obtrusive. This is an issue I'm still wrestling with.
So, you shoot a job and edit / publish images, WITHOUT having yet sold a DVD, or something else that holds enough value to make it worth your time? Maybe that's a one-time situation for you, but I thought I'd mention that it's a pretty rough business model to get yourself into, in my opinion.

My thinking is, I get myself paid enough up front to at least cover my cost in editing / publishing, and "forfeiting" some web-res caliber sales in exchange for the circulation / traffic that those images would bring.

=Matt=
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Old Mar-01-2012, 05:15 AM
#11
jpc is offline jpc
bokeh junkie
Of course I'm getting paid for the session, but the contract does not always include a CD. It's up to the customer. Sometimes the client won't commit to purchasing a CD until they've seen the processed images. It also jacks up the contract price, so sometimes the deal is easier to get done without including the CD upfront. Many times, the client uses my watermarked images for Facebook and purchases prints from my site without ever purchasing a CD.
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Old Mar-01-2012, 04:45 PM
#12
Kinkajou is offline Kinkajou
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I'm going to go off the watermarking discussion and back to the images... :)

I really love the lighting in the ceremony venue. You did a great job of getting clean, crisp light in those shots! The light in 18 is also gorgeous :) Some of the toned and contrasty ones that they like don't do it for me personally, but it's clear that you can produce some really classic images. Nicely done!
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Old Mar-01-2012, 09:29 PM
#13
innershell is offline innershell
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Welcome to the forum. I will give you my opinion (as it relates to my style preference) and should be taken with a grain of salt.

Looking at the range of processing, you are clearly capable of any style. However, I strongly encourage you to pick a style and stick with it. Future potential clients may not know what kind of photos you deliver if all your shots in the same session are randomly processed. For example, when doing B&W, I keep all my tones exactly the same in the neutral tone. #2 and #3 are B&W neutral. However, #4 is either B&W warm or very light sepia (not sure which one). #17 and #19 are processed very differently from the rest of the set.

Re: watermarks ... I don't use any watermarks at all. I don't sell prints and my work is prepaid. So steal away. It's a different business model ... that's all I'll say. :)
Old Mar-04-2012, 08:19 PM
#14
Jamesbjenkins is offline Jamesbjenkins OP
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Thanks for the feedback!
Thanks for the input everyone! Your thoughts on processing and watermarks are much appreciated.

This was my first wedding shooting full frame, and I did a lot of experimenting in post, to see what looks I was happy with.

As for the consistency point. I completely agree that the styles need to be consistent so people can know what to expect. I think this wedding went a long way toward helping me figure out my style.

And obviously, the most important part is that the bride and groom were ecstatic with the results. I'm now done with the editing and delivering their DVD this week.

Now on to the next one. Cheers!
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Old Apr-09-2012, 11:53 AM
#15
Hugh Anderson is offline Hugh Anderson
Beginner grinner
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So, there are a couple of threads running through here.

The images - very nice! I like the feel that the have to them, the finished processing - in particular, the first two. Did you run an action on these?

Watermarks - always a hard one, isn't it. I have personally found that people will steal images from your blog - period! They will crop out those watermarks that are on the corner, print the image, and drop it into a frame. We even had someone make a gallery wrap from a stolen screen grab.

The other point is that if an image can be screen grabbed, then it can be sent to family and friends, put into FaceBook galleries, etc. Once they have it for all of those things, the need to buy it has disappeared.

We use a couple of watermarks, but my favorite is the one on the attached image - it doesn't detract to much from the content, but can't really be removed - at least not easily.

The other thing we changed was that no images go on our blog until AFTER they are purchases, with the exception of a couple of teasers. Post 20 images from a shot = kill your sales. In house sales made a HUGE difference for us.

Wish I could remember how I created this watermark. :roll eyes

Hugh
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Old Apr-10-2012, 06:49 AM
#16
avangardphoto is offline avangardphoto
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Great shots! Thanks for sharing.
Old Apr-10-2012, 08:39 PM
#17
MPW is offline MPW
San Antonio Photographer
Nice images and Composition
Nice work. Number 7 and 19 , however, could of benefited from better composition and colorization imho. IMHO 7 needed to be lower on the subjects bodies and 19 could have been improve by lowering the angle and include an increased blur of the bride and groom. I'll be the first to admit I use many presets and colorizations and looking back it gets me wondering, what was I thinking on many photos!. The angle from your camera to subject is impossible to fix. The bokeh is also, somewhat, impossible to fix. I am a run and gun wedding photographer and know that it is exremely difficult to be in the right place at the right time. You have a keen eye for anticipating and composing the shot! Great Work!
Old Apr-11-2012, 09:01 AM
#18
Ed911 is offline Ed911
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Saville View Post
My thinking is, I get myself paid enough up front to at least cover my cost in editing / publishing, and "forfeiting" some web-res caliber sales in exchange for the circulation / traffic that those images would bring.=Matt=
That's the way that I do it...spot on Matt.
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Old Apr-11-2012, 09:20 AM
#19
sphynge is offline sphynge
black magic
Hi James

I think it is overall nice work - we definitely get the gist of the day, and a really good sense of the story and the personality of the couple, which is awesome! Since you're doing really good, I'm going to deep dive into the small details. This is really a question of finessing & refinement, so bear in mind that overall this is solid.

#1 seems not *exactly* square on the horizon line; maybe slightly tilted left?
#2 Love the side light and treatment. Great shot!
#3 Ok this is being very nitpicky, but - her eyelashes seem over sharpened in post. Her arm looks likes it's very close to her body and in that crop we can see some extra arm skin over the dress. I think some of the highlights might be blown.
#4 Solid shot, nice composition
#5 The horizon line doesn't seem straight; slightly going right.
#6 Good shot, obviously the lighting isn't optimal. I don't know if a different moment or a different angle could have made it even stronger?
#7 Cute! The horizon line (doors behind the couple) is also slightly tilted
#8 I like the pose; I wonder in terms of composition if it would have been better to have them a few feet left or right, because as it stands their heads are in the fountain. Also the highlights look blown on her arm.
#9 Cute shot - nitpicking warning! I don't know if this shot could have been improved with a different positioning of her hand (her arm is foreshortened) and maybe him in a different spot (he doesn't have a lot of catchlight and the background line is going across his head). She also has a post going across her head.
#10 In general I'm not a big fan of flat-footed shots (call me old school). I like the background. Her dress looks like the highlights are blown.
#11 Cute! Part of me is looking at the groom's reflection in the glass and wondering if you could have leveraged that for an artsy shot in the reflection? The back wall is such an empty canvas I think it would have looked awesome
#12 Love the feel of this shot. Very intimate.
#13 Cool mood shot, I wonder what it would have been like to get closer to the kid and crop the adults out?
#14 Fun top angle and expressions!
#15 Not a favorite, because the light is straight from the top and unflattering, and the bride's arm holding is a bit strange.
#16 Cute! I wonder if you could have moved a little sideway and have the candle be to their left/right so they would still be together.
#17 Very cool shot
#18 I like the pose but in this case I think the angle is giving the bride a double chin.
#19 Cute detail shot not sure I'm game for that post processing


Hope this helps!!
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Old Apr-18-2012, 12:59 AM
#20
bloomphotog is offline bloomphotog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Saville View Post
Hey James! Great images, my only problem is the watermark being way too obtrusive. I know you're just trying to protect your intelectual property and profitability, but I think the whole thing could be MUCH lower opacity and still do a fine job of protecting you from theft. If you feel a need to watermark the image so prominently, lower the opacity until it is barely discernible. If you don't want to lower the opacity, go with something along the very bottom or in the corner.

As a wedding photographer, I want my watermark to ENCOURAGE clients to still share their images online, not deter them. I want my brides to right-click the heck out of their proofing gallery, and re-upload to facebook, etc. etc. It may seem like I'm forfeiting something, but really I'm gaining SO much more in the end.

Just my two cents! I'm sure many others will chime in with some good feedback too. Welcome to DGrin!

=Matt=
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