Photographer Profile

My name is Melissa Howell and I specialize in custom portrait design for your home. You can visit my official photography website at to view more of my work and to contact me to set up a consultation.

Friday, January 27, 2012

What's Wrong 4--Discussion

This is from the second wedding I ever did. A friend of the bride called me up at 8:00 the morning of the wedding, said that the other photographer had bailed, and would I do the wedding pictures at 12:00. Since it was a desperate situation, I agreed. I did this wedding for only $100 or $200 (I can't remember) and gave them all the images on disk. This image just goes to show you that you get what you pay for!

I had no clue what I was doing at this wedding. Quite a few images came out like this, and at first, I couldn't figure out why. It all has to do with the sync speed of my on-camera flash. What this means is that my flash will only fire at a maximum 1/200th of a second. When your ambient light requires a slower shutter speed than this (say, 1/60th of a second) there's no problem. But in my case, I had my aperture set to f 2.2 (very wide, thus letting in a lot of light) and my corresponding shutter speed should have been something like 1/2000th of a second because of the outdoor light. However, since I used my flash, this automatically set my shutter speed to 1/200th of a second, thus letting in WAY too much light. So I did what any amateur photographer would do--I changed it to black and white and pretended I did it on purpose to be "artsy."

Now, do you want to trust your wedding pictures to someone like me? (I mean, someone like I USED to be?) Make sure you get a PROFESSIONAL who has lots of experience, and who is preferably a Certified Professional Photographer. Yes, you will pay more, but it's your WEDDING. It will happen ONCE, and when it's all over, your photographs are all you will have left. The flowers will die, the cake will be eaten, and you'll probably never wear your dress again. But you'll look at the images of your special day over and over and over. If you have to, skimp on the cake and the flowers--NEVER THE PHOTOGRAPHY! (Since I don't do weddings, I can refer you to fantastic wedding photographers. I do bridals and engagement shoots, though, so don't hesitate to ask me about those!)

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