Photographing Megan and Eric’s Wedding

If any of you have seen the profile picture on my “Harry Lim Photography” fan page on Facebook, then you know I shot a wedding recently. Oh, and thanks to my assistant for the day, Todd Salter for taking that picture and all his help on that day. 

It was Megan and Eric’s wedding in Sorrento, FL. It was a small but elegant affair in the backyard of their beautiful home. Below are a few composites I made from the images of that day. 

Megan and Eric's Wedding

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Megan and Eric's Wedding

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Megan and Eric's Wedding

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Megan and Eric's Wedding

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Brenda’s Maternity Photoshoot in Baldwin Park, FL

I met Brenda and Kendal at a party last month. I was photographing the event and when she found out that I am a professional photographer she mentioned wanting to have some maternity images done. 

She contacted me shortly afterwards about photographing her baby shower and then came up with the idea of having a printed book of maternity pictures to pass around at the shower. So we met in Baldwin Park for the shoot with her and Kendal. 

Brenda and Kendal

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I love to shoot wide! Yeah I know, most photographers love those long telephoto lenses; but I love environmental portraits, showing the subject in the background and how they relate to each other.  The shot above was taken with a full frame camera at 17mm using a single Alien Bee with a medium softbox camera left. 

Brenda and Kendal

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For the next shot I decided to mix in a second light. Up until now, I’ve been a one-light shooter. Getting the flash off-camera was a priority early in my photography career, so now I’m trying to venture out into using 2 or 3 lights but still make the light “logical” so it doesn’t call attention to itself. The photo above uses the same lighting set-up as before but I added a bare 580 EXII with the wide panel to spread the light. You can see the affect it adds as a hair and rim light on Brenda’s right side (camera left). 

Brenda and Kendal

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Brenda and Kendal were great to work with and I’m looking forward to the baby shower in a couple of weeks. Check out the their gallery for more images from the shoot.

Tale of Two Meteorologist in Baldwin Park

This is just a quick teaser on a photo shoot I did yesterday for one of the covers for the June issue of Baldwin Park Living Magazine. Yes, I said one of two covers…I’m shooting the other on Sunday. 

(UPDATE 5/23/10: The shoot was cancelled so there will be only one cover.)

There are two meteorologists who live in Baldwin Park; Jason Brewer, with NBC affiliate WESH lives on my street. Brian Shields works for the ABC affiliate, WFTV (turns out Brian lives near me too). 

I had two concepts in mind: the first was each of them toasting the other with tropical drinks, complete with little umbrellas. The other concept was the “sad-face-happy-face” of the drama masks. So I had Jason put on a rain coat and umbrella while Brian smiled with his shades on and his drink in hand. 

Baldwin Park Meteorologists

The original picture I submitted to the editor would have cropped out the lightning in the upper left hand corner. So I made it rain on Jason instead. I’ll post the actual cover when I get the issue, but it’s basically cropped in on the sides to their elbows. 


Photography Education and Inspiration

You don’t have to go to school to be a photographer, but you do have to educate yourself. This involves more than just going out and shooting. If you go on one hundred shoots and don’t learn anything, then you’re just running in circles. So in this post, I hope to share with you the sources I turn to for education and inspiration. When I wrote about my top blogs to follow, I was hoping you would find some blogs to follow yourself. So in this post I’m sharing the main sources I turn to to learn about photography.

1.) Scott Kelby. If you’ve never heard of him, Scott Kelby is the president of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals and a best selling author of photoshop and photography books. He tours the country giving photoshop seminars and publishes a blog which I follow every single day. He also heads up KelbyTV; the central location for episodes of Photoshop User TV, D-Town TV and more…and it’s all FREE. D-Town TV  just launched it’s third season. I highly recommend going back to watch the first two. The first season was Nikon-centric, but the principles and tips are universal. The weekly online show talks about gear, how to use it and great tips.
  But wait, there’s more. is where I learned photoshop.  It’s a subscription service; $24.99 per month or $199 per year. The first three lessons of each course are free. If you look at the list of courses, not only is it comprehensive, but they are taught by the best known names in their fields.
  I mentioned Kelby is a best-selling author; for photography check out his Digital Photography books. There are three volumes. It’s great for beginners, but even more experienced shooters can pick up some helpful time-saving tips.

2.) David Hobby. He is better known for his blog If you want to learn about off-camera flash, this is the place to go. Start with Lighting 101; watch the 8-minute video and continue reading the series.

3.) Joe McNally. When it comes to using off-camera flash, Joe is a master. He’s shot for Time, Life, Sports Illustrated and National Geographic. Whether it’s one flash or four, his approach is simple, but the results are amazing. Joe’s coming to Orlando this weekend and I am psyched to see him in person. Joe is also a good writer and his blog is always insightful and entertaining.
  His first book, “The Moment it Clicks,” is more inspirational than educational. His second book, “The Hot Shoe Diaries,” is more educational, though Nikon-centric. I liked how the chapters were divided up by how many flashes he uses. So Chapter 2 shows you what you can do with just one flash. Chapter 3 progresses with two or more flashes etc.

Those are my top three heavy-hitters. But I consume photography information everyday; from blogs, articles and even twitter links. Go back and check out my top blogs on AllTop. I scan those everyday the way someone would scan a newspaper. If routinely read at least 10 articles from those blogs, provided there is new content. 

This is a list, for example, of the articles on one site I visit: Virtual Photography Studio. As you can see, the articles about building a photography business are extensive…and that’s just one site!

If you’re interested in wedding photography, check out David Ziser’s Digital Pro Talk blog. David is a renowned wedding photographer and his blog features techniques and business tips.

The Still Image with Crash Taylor is an awesome site for inspiration. It features one or two photographs from a photographer who explains what equipment they used, the creative process and post processing.

I subscribe via email to the Digital Photography School. It is packed with quick-read articles on photography, gear and post-processing.

I’m sure I’m leaving something out, so I’ll be sure to update this post as I come across other useful resources.


What Kind of Photographer Are You?

Just a quick note that will hopefully clarify something for my fellow photographers:

I once heard a photographer say they were going on an editorial shoot, but it wasn’t being published. Another organized a “photojournalism” shoot, but the very act of staging it takes out the “journalism” part.

The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) says there are three main categories of photography. They are: Commercial, Editorial and Retail. Commercial photography is used to sell a product or service. Editorial is for education or journalism and retail is for personal use.

So let’s say you get hired by a local business to take pictures for their website; that’s commercial. Shooting something for a magazine? Editorial (unless its selling something which is commercial). Wedding photography or portraits fall under retail.

This is where licensing your work (aka, getting a signed contract) becomes so important. You see,  the categories are not mutually exclusive. Let’s say, for example that you shoot a wedding (retail). Then, you submit an image to a wedding magazine (editorial). After running it, the dress designer decides they want to use it in an ad (commercial). Can you say “pay day”? By licensing your work you can make money each time the image is used, charging different amounts for each license.

By the way, “photojournalism”,which falls under editorial, means to observe and document an event without interfering. It’s a personal pet peeve of mine when it’s misused having spent the majority of my adult life in that field.

Another pet peeve of mine is when someone photographs a “trash the dress” shoot and the dress is not actually trashed. I’m just sayin’.

Ok, got that off my chest. 🙂 Here are some reading suggestions:

ASMP Professional Business Practices in Photography, 7th Edition

Best Business Practices for Photographers, Second Edition

Photographing Motion at the Baldwin Park Doggie Derby

Recently, the organizer of the Orlando Digital Photography Group, Charlie, posted an image on Facebook of a man on a bicycle in Winter Park. It sparked some conversation about the panning technique where the man was in focus and the background is blurred to show motion.    

I chimed in with some tips and a note about a setting on the Canon 70-200mm IS lens. It has two modes of stabilization, one to reduce shake in “normal” situations and one while panning. So when the Baldwin Park Doggie Derby rolled around last weekend, I thought it might be a good time to put it to use.    

Doggie Derby

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The 3rd annual Doggie Derby raises money for Canine Companions for Independence which provides assistant dogs to people with disabilities. It was a hot day but there was a good turnout. Adding to the vibe was bluegrass versions of popular songs like “Walk This Way”, “Sweet Emotion”, “Final Countdown” and “She Will Be Loved”.   

The image above is really the only good panning shot I got. I got a few others, but they’re not tack sharp to my eyes.  It takes some practice and experimenting with different shutter speeds.   

I saw a couple of other photographers with pro-level gear there and judging by the pictures I’d seen of past events, they were getting the same shots; dogs coming right at them or dogs frozen in motion…and all while standing. I crouched or squatted down for most shots to get a different perspective. And I tried the panning technique to get a different look.   

So the next time you’re out shooting a moving target, try it. First, make sure your camera’s focus mode is set to capture moving subjects (it’s called AI-Servo for Canon, AF-C for Nikon). Then focus on your subject and press the shutter half way. Pan with your subject and fire while panning. The slower the shutter speed, the more blurred the background; but you’ll have to play around with it to find the sweet spot. I can’t tell you how many shots I threw away!   

Scott Kelby posted blogs here  and here about the technique while shooting indy race cars. To paraphrase, you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you get the shot.   

You can check out more pics from the derby on my Flickr Pro photostream.