Us photographers are always trying to find the latest technology, trends, and software to make our photos as perfect as they can be for our clients. In the most recent years, nearly everyone was using Photoshop for editing, and it was a great tool to make photos look exactly as planned. However, the times are changing and new software is making its break. A personal favorite of mine is Adobe Lightroom.
I like to call Adobe Lightroom the new Photoshop. It is now the most commonly used editing software for photographers, both amateurs and professional alike. I love Adobe Lightroom because of the convenience that it provides. Because it is a cloud-based service, you can edit literally anywhere. Whether it be on your phone, tablet, or computer, it is accessible anywhere that you have wifi or data. There have been so many times where I have had to change plans because of the long editing to-do list that I had at home. After using Adobe Lightroom, I can edit pictures on the go. Better yet, I can also share these photos with my clients from anywhere as well!
One of the ways to really leverage the power of Lightroom as a quick/batch editing platform is with presets. Lightroom allows you to save your own presets, but as a professional photographer, I often require many different types of presets for different styles and don't have time to go through and develop and refine these. I rely on Sleeklens.com for providing me with professionally developed, beautiful Lightroom presets. Sleeklens is an affordable, efficient, and effective way to edit and organize your photos.
Adobe Lightroom and Sleeklens are my go-to services for editing photos. Both of these have nearly everything I need to make the photos I take “picture perfect” - literally!
When we talk about candid wedding photos it’s always with a sort of half meaning. That is to say, it’s common for a photographer to ask a wedding party to socialize or to start getting dressed for the ceremony, etc., and then start snapping photos; the concept is staged, but individual shots are candid. It’s always a little awkward for a moment, but then people actually get into whatever they’re asked to do, and you can usually pick up some excellent candid photos.
In that spirit, we’ve put together a few ideas for a groom and groomsmen shoot that go beyond the typical posing or putting on suits. Some are a little specific, but for the right wedding party they could be perfect.
Out On A Walk
Out on a walk doesn’t sound that original at first, because plenty of wedding party pictures are taken outside. But the idea of the groomsmen (and groom) simply walking down a path, or dispersing outside somewhere, is a little bit different. We got the inspiration from a bridal site’s rundown of awesome groomsmen photos, which included a mesmerizing shot of seven groomies in kilts and sport coats walking down a beautiful, hazy path. It looks more like the beginning to some curious tale than a staged wedding photo, and is exactly the sort of candid picture so many of us want on this occasion.
At The Bar
It’s not uncommon by any means for groomsmen to have cocktails or beers while they’re being photographed in the final hours before a wedding, getting ready for the occasion. What’s a little more unusual though is a full-fledged happy hour (not that anyone should get too crazy!). If the wedding is being held at any sort of hotel or venue with a bar, think about setting up a situation in which the groomsmen and groom are simply hanging out at the bar counter, talking to one another with drinks in front of them. After a few minutes this will turn into ordinary socializing and you’ll be able to take pictures down the line, capturing the group in what may well be its most natural state.
It’s a little bit of a cliché, but there’s just something iconic about a group of well-dressed men playing cards. If there’s a suitable table, it can be a great idea to ask the guys to start a game and then take pictures of the action. And actually it can be a fun idea for a pre-wedding activity even if the groomsmen aren’t experts. Most people at least understand the basics of poker, and you can learn the blackjack rules with just a few minutes spent online or at a digital gaming platform. Both can produce great, recognizable images, either of a flop of cards in the middle of the table and groomsmen all around it, or of each individual with a pair of cards, one face-up, one down, hoping to land blackjack.
Occasionally, a wedding party just wants to chill out before the big ceremony starts. Depending of course on the groom’s preferences, that might just mean watching TV or even a favorite movie to loosen up. This kind of moment is actually perfect for candid photos as well. If everyone is dressed and ready, sitting together with eyes on a screen, you can get some very interesting photos that simultaneously show a sense of unity and detachment – like they’re all in it together but not sure what they’re in for (which tends to be the case).
It’s fairly traditional as mentioned for groomsmen to be photographed as they’re getting ready – which is to say putting on their suits, etc. But one thing we overlook is that men have to actually get groomed as well. You can find all kinds of grooming tips for men in wedding parties, and a lot of men pay more attention to the finer points of their appearances than they might outwardly let on. Consider making this part of the photography process as well. It’s almost combatting a stereotype, capturing the men prettying themselves up the way we so frequently think of women doing the same!
Facial Expressions and the Photographer
There are two types of people in this world: people who love being in front of the camera, and people who hate it. If you’re anything like me, being in front of the camera makes you nervous, and half of the time you hate the photos once you see them. It can be so frustrating that you just don’t want your photos taken at all. However, special memories with loved ones can’t be replaced. Being able to go back and look at old photos is something that your children and grandchildren will cherish, and it is important that you get pictures taken in order for them to do so. You may ask, “How do I get photos taken without hating the outcome?”
Well, I’m here to help! One of the most common complaints I hear my clients say is, “I don't like my expression in these photos.” Although a photographer can coax a smile or "great expression" out of a client some of the time, there are some things a client can also do to prepare themselves for a great expression. Here are some ways to get the perfect facial expressions that you are hoping for:
One thing you can do is find a photo of you or someone else exemplifying the mood and expression you want to convey. Hold this in your mind and provide it to your photographer.
Another thing you can do is hold an idea or image in your mind of something that makes you feel relaxed, enamored, or thoughtful, or happy- whatever the emotion/expression you want to display.
Last, practice makes perfect! If you are really struggling to find a comfortable facial expression that you think looks best, try practicing in the mirror! Better yet, take your cell phone out and snap a few photos. Even if you’re not the “selfie” type, you can practice many different facial expressions, and delete the photos afterwards!
Whether it comes to attending a special event, receiving an award, or getting family photos taken, we always here that one word: smile. Of course smiling is important when one is being photographed, but after using the muscles in their face for a long time, it can be exhausting. Welcome: Smile Fatigue.
During events such as weddings, graduations, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, family reunions, etc. clients are often smiling throughout the day, for hundreds of photos. It is common for the jaw, lips, and eyes to become fatigued, droopy, and less responsive to the brain's cues over a large amount of time. The worst scenario is getting great photographs that are properly composed and lit, but the client looks exhausted, bored, or sleepy! So what can you do to overcome the battle of smile fatigue? Here are a few tips to help you out:
If you found this post helpful, be sure to share it with someone who might would also find it useful. And if you'd like to book a session or wedding with me, please do get in touch.
Getting engaged is such an exciting time in your life! Having a fiance to cherish and hold forever is simply one of the most beautiful feelings you experience. Not only is it a wonderful part of life, but having the moments documented by a professional photographer will give you the chance to celebrate that big question that changed your lives for the better.
When it comes to an engagement session, you want it to be one of the most special moments in your life. You want to show your friends, family, and everyone in between the love that you share with your partner. One of the most crucial factors of an engagement session is the location. The location of your engagement photos should be somewhere special, but also somewhere photogenic. A skilled Engagement Photographer like myself (Eli Zaturanski) can adapt to most lighting scenarios, but there are also important things for a client to consider.
First, you should pick somewhere that is special and memorable for you and your partner. This will help bring up fond memories that will be reflected in your facial expressions and body language. It will also make for a wonderful story for your children and grandchildren that will look at the photos several years from now!
Next, it is beneficial to find a place where you can interact with your environment in interesting and playful ways. Posing always works better when there is real emotion/fun behind it. Having fun scenery will also make your pictures a talking piece at your wedding or other family events.
Finally, don’t forget to let loose and have fun. Being romantic on camera can be a little awkward for some, but don’t let yourself feel too uncomfortable. Be yourselves, enjoy your time together, and remember what brought you to this moment.
Weddings are arguably the best day of your life, and it takes a lot out of you to make it just right. We tend to want our special day to be perfect. The perfect venue, dress, flowers, etc. All of this doesn’t come easy. Let’s face it, you invest a lot of time and energy in preparing for your wedding. It’s a lot of work, and there is nothing more that you want than for it to simply fall into place. Part of this “perfect” day includes a wedding photographer that can document your special moments. Someone that can make your memories last a lifetime.
A creative and skilled Wedding Photographer like Eli Zaturanski can capture those memories and present them in an elegant way. A way that brings your true love story to life. But what can you do to make sure that you and your spouse-to-be look as beautiful in those photos as possible? Here are a few tips to prepare you for your wedding photos:
Be Basic – Simple and basic preparations can make a world of difference. For example, make sure you get plenty of sleep the night before your shoot to prevent bags under eyes. Getting enough rest will ensure that your face looks fresh, fabulous, and ready for the camera.
Be Clean – Don’t use that rusty old razor laying on the side of your bathtub or sink. In order to get that freshly clean shaven look, buy a new, high quality razor to shave with. Be sure to moisturize afterwards. This will help you get a smooth look that will leave you looking nice and professional for the photos.
Be Natural – Makeup is an essential for the ladies when it comes to weddings, but it can definitely be overdone. Women, make sure your makeup doesn't make your face look too reflective. This doesn't look flattering in photos. Don’t be afraid to communicate this to your makeup artist. Less is more!
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Having a professional photographer take photos of your and your family is such an exciting event! These photos are something that you want to cherish forever. However, there is nothing worse than getting photos taken, and being unhappy with the turn out. At Eli Zaturanski photography, the last thing we want is for a client to be unhappy with their experience.
Fortunately for you, we have several tips and tricks that will help for any experience that may pop up. One common problem that most folks struggle with during an engagement or portrait photo shoot is that they move too much and too quickly during a posed "stroll" or even a mock run. People often look awkward when their motion is stopped during a fast walk or trot; there is often too much motion blur, their arms may look funny if they are too high up, their hair is likely to be all over the place, and they are not being mindful of their expressions.
So, at Eli Zaturanski Photography, we have found the perfect solution to this ongoing problem. Rather than going about your session in a way that you would normally behave, we invite you to walk very slowly, even though it may feel weird! Walking in slow motion will help you to be mindful of your expressions and reduce the risk of motion blurs. It will also give you the opportunity to take a look at the beautiful scenery around you. As a result, you will be more relaxed and focused on your appearance.
Photography: the art or process of producing images by the action of radiant energy and especially light on a sensitive surface.
Light is a huge factor of capturing great photos. However, it can also make photos turn out less than expected by bothering the client’s eyes. Many people have very sensitive eyes that are overwhelmed by consistent flashes, glare, and bright sunlight. This can result in photos where folks are squinting, or worse, blinking! The last thing anybody wants is for the client to have their eyes closed in all of the photos. Not to mention, the best photos happen when the client is stress-free and comfortable. Bright light sensitivity isn't something to be ashamed of, just something to be aware of and to plan for.
One thing that works very well, I have found, is for the client to get into an established pose, look into the camera lens, and then close one's eyes. Tell your photographer you are doing this, and then have them "count you in" by calling out "3, 2, 1" and then you open your eyes. This simple adjustment will help you to be prepared for the flash, and will minimize the amount of light reflected.
If the session is taking place outside, try to find a few shady areas. Doorways are great for this, as they allow sunlight in the photo, but a bit of shade on the client. If you are in an area where there is no shade, you can create shade with an umbrella or other prop. Also, looking down or at an angle is a comfortable pose to avoid direct sunlight in the eyes.
All in all, the best way to avoid bright flashes and sunlight is to be prepared. Think about all the factors, such as location, and create a plan with your photographer!
When it comes to advertising for your company, one of the most critical aspects is making a lasting impression that will leave your future clients intrigued and wanting more. That’s why head shots and company images are so important. Whether you are using it for your company website or your LinkedIn account, this is your chance to make the first impression you need.
To get a good headshot, keep in mind that your appearance represents your brand. Think about your company’s core values, and try to reflect on that in your photo. In order to do so, the right location and the perfect outfit are key components. Pick a location that isn’t too busy, but also has a little personality as well. peerspace.com is a great website if you are in need of location ideas. A wall with a pop of color or maybe an outdoor session would do the trick. Your outfit should reflect your character, so wear something that you feel comfortable, yet professional in. After all, we tend to get nervous for photos, so it’s important that you are wearing something that makes you feel beautiful or handsome. Don’t be afraid to have fun with it! Sometimes a professional headshot is all you need, but a non-traditional headshot can be powerful as well. Your future clients may appreciate how relatable and fun you are.
We recently had the amazing opportunity of working with Bay Bridge Capital Group to capture head shots and company images for them. I was very impressed by these guys, as they had such amazing work ethics. Their communication was excellent, and we were able to make a plan for the session right away. To choose a location, we used peerspace.com. We were able to find the perfect location that fit the company’s style and energy! I loved this team’s willingness to let loose and have fun. We were able to get traditional head shots, as well as some unique company images of them doing what they love - playing in a band, getting into a game of chess, Mardi Gras, and so much more fun photos that will definitely have their clients smiling! I ended up loving these guys so much that I actually ended up using their services for my personal finance planning. They seemed highly trustworthy and experienced, so there was not a doubt in my mind. All in all, we got some amazing photos for the folks over at Bay Bridge. Their website is www.baybridgecg.com if you are interested in looking into their financial services.
The holidays offer a great opportunity to play around and practice using new equipment or settings on your camera. There is no pressure to capture that perfect image when you are the photographer in the moment with a group of friends. They will just be happy to have something tangible that reminds them of the fun time everyone had together and it allows you to have some fun doing what you love, with the people you love.
I did just this over New Years 2018. My friends and I had a great time hanging out and sharing the things we love with one another. Some of us love to cook, others love to sketch or paint, yoga was a fun activity for the participants as well as on lookers. These activities were a great chance for me to capture images of lifestyle photography as well as food photography.
Our hikes lent themselves, not only to exploring the beauty of our surroundings but an opportunity for me to capture some gorgeous landscape images and fun candid portraits of my friends.
To capture a beautiful image of any of these moments, it was important to be aware of the lighting from one environment to the next. Understanding the settings on your camera is also a key element to producing the perfect picture. Each setting is specific to the way the light interacts with the subject of the image. Knowing and understanding these settings and the different types of lighting are key to creating a picture worth printing.
John Burton, the prior chair of the California Democratic Party, celebrated his 85th birthday at the Fairmont Hotel the other night, and wow, what a fantastic time it was. Burton has done it all - congressman, assemblyman, Democratic chairman, and state senate leader. This incredible man is known for his epic role in politics, and was celebrated by a large crowd of supporting people.
There were many familiar faces in the crowd, including lovely Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi is serving as the minority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, and has made quite the impact herself. Willie Brown, politician, came to show his support for the congressman, and so did DL Hugheley, a political commentator.
There were many speakers that showed their attendance in support of Burton. The room was filled with pride, passion, and laughter, as these people made many remarks about the successes of John Burton. He was known for his quick wit, sharp political instincts, and his endless charm. It was apparent that he had many supporters and countless friends in attendance.
The birthday party was a non profit event where all the proceeds will go to John Burton Advocates for Youth. This organization was founded by John Burton himself, with a goal to improve the quality of life for California’s foster, former foster, and homeless youth. This non-profit party truly speaks character of Burton, as he is not only a politician, but a servant for the people. If you are inspired by the efforts of Burton to help the youth of America, please donate to his non-profit organization by clicking this link http://www.jbaforyouth.org.
Burton’s birthday celebrations are always quite successful, leaving guests interested and excited about future celebrations. Happy birthday to this hard working and successful man. May he have a blessed new year.
Damon was in need of a personal branding photography session to capture images for updating his social media and website to promote his art work. He is a metal sculptor. It was really fun to see him in his element because he is such an awesome guy with passion for his work. His sculptures have such a unique touch to them which I found so incredibly intriguing.
I was excited to share my passion with him when he contacted me to document his personality in updated head shots. I liked that he expressed himself with his personal style through his outfit. His checked button down, jacket and newsboy cap had a certain flair to them that not everyone could pull off but totally worked for Damon.
This gives someone that happens upon his pages to feel connected to him and like they know him before ever meeting him in person. We also captured images of him working on some pieces in his studio. It was great to see his process and capture it for him to be able to share on his sites. From sketching and designing to actually manipulating the metal, this process was fascinating and sure to give anyone who owns any of his work the ability to have even more of a connection to their piece because they can see the time and love that goes into each one.
Getting married is a time in our lives that we want to remember forever. A time that we cherish. Memories that we want to share with our children and our children’s children. There’s no better way to cherish these moments than by having a photographer capture them for you. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and it’s true. Photos of your special day are something that will last a lifetime.
I remember as a child I would go to my grandparents’ house and get out the dusty old albums from the attic. My siblings and I would laugh hysterically when we would see old photos of ourselves and our parents. We would smile and sometimes cry at the pictures of our loved ones that had already passed. Those albums may have been dusty and old, but they were (and still are) such a treasure to my family. I find albums to be the most tangible and accessible way to relive those special moments.
Your wedding day is a day that you won’t want to forget, and documenting those sweet memories in an album is a must. Unlike a computer, there won’t be any technical problems, distracting sounds, or ads. There’s no need for electricity, so if the power goes out, you can light a candle and still relive the moments. Sitting with an album ready at the cafe table or in the living room will allow you experience that special day over and over. There’s nothing more beautiful than looking at your wedding album with your loved one by the candle light and with a glass of wine in hand.
At Eli Zaturanski Photography, our albums are made with true craft makers, equipped with thick, heavy paper and printed on a professional photography paper using archival pigment colors and museum quality. If you are interested in an album for your special day, we’d love to chat with you! Feel free to contact us with any questions.
One of the greatest things about my profession is the ability to travel the world. Traveling Photography allows an opportunity for others to share in an experience from across the world. It has the ability to open people’s eyes to events happening on the other side of the world. It is such a blessing to be able to see and experience so many places and capture authentic photos.
On this trip, I was traveling with Adam, who leads lateniteart.com, whose purpose is connect people through creativity. Also traveling with us was Zaq, who was sharing the love of yoga with those on our travels. We were visiting the Karen Hill Tribe near Mae Hong Son, Thailand’s province. I met Coleen, the founder of the NGO, Kleo. Kleo is a non profit, 100% volunteer run organization focused on providing educational and humanitarian support to Karen refugees in Ottawa, Canada and disadvantaged Karen communities in North West Thailand.
Despite families having lived in the same villages for over 100 years many of the Karen Tribe are unable to obtain titles to their land and obtain citizenship. Without citizenship they are ineligible to enroll in school, welfare or healthcare and unable to vote or run for office. Despite all that, the children we met were friendly and happy. We had the opportunity to connect with them and play. The portraits that I captured show that despite their situation they feel lucky to have the little that they do.
Whether Bar or Bat Mitzvah the celebration of the B’nai Mitzvah is a crucial rite of passage and an incredible Jewish ritual. It is cause for celebration in the community. Do, as a Jewish Photographer it is important to capture all of the layers that this day includes. This day is a right of passage. It is a momentous moment for the families where the children come of age and take ownership of building their very own lives. This day includes the entire community celebrating the individual with their family members. It is a joyous and energetic occasion filled with life, love and laughter.
Not only are Bat Mitzvah's a celebration (and should be treated as such) they also were intended to document the young person and who they are. This is where a range of emotions show (love, celebration, respect for the ceremony) and, most importantly, shining light on the personality of the person in which the Bat Mitzvah is being thrown. Some may be shy and some may be extroverted. Whichever is the case, it is our job to document what it is that they are! From the dances, how they show up to the ceremony, conversations and quiet whispers between them and their friends, getting ready, etc. There's a multitude of moments that can be documented if you just look. :)
When documenting a Bat Mitzvah, it's our responsibility to make it easy, playful, and comfortable.
How should a photographer go about documenting this ceremony?