I always have good intentions to do more behind the scenes videos of our shoots, but as with all good intentions, it sometimes remain as intentions when not followed through with action. On a day to day basis, we have so much work to do in terms of photo touch ups and album design that editing videos like these take a back seat. In fact, I have a number of videos that we’ve shot but not had time to edit. :(
So I am glad that we managed to complete this edit, thanks to the ever hardworking Weiming. He shot and edited this video entirely on his own. Amazing work! Thanks Weiming for making me look good in video (though I cringe when I hear my own laughter).
To view the photos from Alvin & Melissa’s shoot at Carcosa, click on this link!
Do let me know what you think of our little video!
When I first ventured into the photography business 3 years ago, I was a do-it-all-myself person. I did everything from the marketing, shooting, photo editing, album design, to delivery (courier service). Though I had fun multi-tasking (I loved juggling the different roles), it was really taxing and after some time, I found I could not cope. My days grew longer and eye bags larger. Work hours started at 9am and ended about midnight on most days.
It came to a point in my life when I decided that I needed to hire somebody to help with the workflow. It wasn’t an easy decision to make because that meant I had to give up a bit of control and train someone else to see things the way I do. After all, editing images can be quite personal… hours spent meticulously poring over each image… “you mean you don’t notice there’s a tinge of green on that face?”
But giving up control and hiring a Digital Artist was one of the best decisions I made for the business.
Years have gone by and different people have come through our doors (you guys know who you are, thank you for all your contributions!)… but right now, I’d like to introduce you to Weiming.
One of the greatest pillars supporting the Stories team is the magic touch from our Digital Artist, Weiming. Almost every wedding image that you see on this website (the past 8 months) has gone through his critical eye.
After every wedding, I go through the images and select the final collection that would be passed on to Weiming. He would begin by editing the colours to make it pop and balancing exposure between the different shots taken by various cameras. As some of you know, Mark and I are Canon shooters and Johan is a Nikon user (on the verge of switching, maybe? He bought some Canon gear recently). If you have spent hours looking at photos taken by these two brands, you’ll know that the colours can NEVER match completely.
And to that, I take my hat off to Weiming. He spends countless hours editing these images. No, wait, let me correct myself… days! On average we spend about three to four 8 hour days editing a 10 hour wedding!
Shooting in raw helps a lot with the editing, but still, the sheer number of hours we spend on each wedding is incredible. We don’t even do things like arm size or tummy reduction, skin retouching… those are specific image enhancements which are chargeable and only a few ask for it.
If we didn’t have Weiming on the team working so tirelessly on each image, our backlog would be super duper crazy. Currently, we target to deliver the full set of wedding images within 1-1.5 months of the wedding date. After the delivery of the DVD, we’ll proceed to design the album layout. And then the client needs to approve the images in the layout, then the album will be sent for printing, and finally delivered. Phew…
I hope this post helps you to understand the process we go through after each wedding. A photographer’s job doesn’t end the moment the guests say goodbye after the dinner reception. In fact, only 50% of the work has been done by then.
By the way, Weiming is also multi-talented – he is a photographer, a drummer, a kick-ass futsal player! Thank you, Weiming for doing such an excellent job! You are important to the Stories team!
Image on the left before post processing (directly from camera), image on the right after post processing.
At weddings, it’s normal for the couple to request for group photographs. Most times, the group size ranges from 5-20 people. However, if you are like Ben and Angela here, you might request for ALL your guests to be in the same image. While it’s a cool idea, there are some challenges a photographer faces when shooting such a large group. How do you even organize the people? How do you see everyone in one image? How do you even light everyone properly, especially if it’s an indoor venue?
Unless you have a huge, multi step platform with about 15 steps that can comfortably fit 10 people per row without one person blocking another, there’s no way to properly achieve this shot.
Tip: So, if you plan to do a large group image like this (anything beyond 50 people)… please make sure there is a way for the photographer to be elevated above the guests.
I wish I had a behind the scenes shot to show you how we achieved this shot. The photo was taken at Zion Lutheran Church in Brickfields, and it didn’t have a 2nd floor where I could be elevated. So Ben organized a tall ladder for me, Johan placed 3 speedlights behind me and held the ladder steady while I climbed it to get this shot.
Ideally I would have liked to see everyone’s faces better without any distortion, but given the space constraints, I could not use any other lens other than a wide angle lens.
Having said that, I am quite happy with the results and I think it’s a pretty cool and unique group photo!
So, it is possible to take large group shots and also make it interesting. Hope that helps! Over time, I hope to share more tips on planning for your wedding, especially from a photographer’s point of view.
UPDATED AS OF: 17 May 2011, 1:05am
They say that copying is the best form of flattery. But not in this case.
Thanks to one of our Stories’ readers (Cecilia Loh), I discovered today that a fair bit of our work has been copied by another photographer in Indonesia and claimed as his/her own. Our watermarks were removed, replaced with this photographer’s logo, and fake blog posts were written about the shoot experience… The amazing thing is that it’s not just one image, but a whole series of images from multiple clients of ours.
I am a little sad to see things like this happening. It has happened to other photographers I know, but I never thought the day would come when it would happen to me. Enraged? Violated? Of course, but at the end of the day, how am I do react to such a situation? What do I do to bring justice?
It’s interesting to see how many photographers have banded together to help support me and make it known that plagiarism has happened. While I am somewhat thankful, I would also like to hear what Yuda Photography has to say first. Everyone makes mistakes, and the key is to learn from them. I’m sure this serves as a shock to them, knowing they can be found out.
Should they reply to my email and apologise, I am more than willing to forgive, as life is too short to hold grudges. I always recall the words from the bible that say…
You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.
Matthew 5:43-47 (The Message)
I have yet to hear a response from Yuda, but rather, I see their blog posts and Facebook pages disappearing quickly, as if it is more important to cover their tracks first, before responding to me. To all our clients who are affected, I am truly sorry this had to happen. I am taking measures to make sure this is rectified.
I feel sorry for the clients that have booked this photographer, with the assumption that these images are theirs. I wonder what kind of images they got in the end. Here are just some of the screenshots I’ve saved based on the plagiarism.
All of these thumbnails below are our images.
Whenever I go to a foreign country, I don’t know what to expect. The surroundings are unfamiliar, I don’t know where the best angles are to shoot from, what time the sun rises and goes down, whether we will get chased away from locations (which did happen)… there’s just so many uncertainties. But the thrill of being in an exotic country shooting portraits is every photographer’s dream.
It’s only been a few days into my trip, but I’ve already learnt a few things, which hopefully will help brides and grooms plan for a pre-wedding / engagement or portrait shoot overseas.
1. Do your research about the locations you’d love to shoot at. How far is one location to another? Do we need to allocate more days for the shoot? Edwin and Dawn, my couple in Turkey, did an amazing job researching all the best places to go to and knew exactly what they wanted. It helps the photographer a lot!
2. It is best to travel with a make up artist, if possible. It gives you flexibility as you can decide when to start your shoot. And it’s a lot easier communicating with a Malaysian make up artist than one who speaks a foreign language! Unless of course, you’re like Dawn, who has an amazing Turkish vocabulary even though this is only her 2nd time in Turkey. For your information, a make up artist in Turkey is called a makyaj (pronounced mak-kias).
3. Do bring your own gowns and outfits (I think that’s quite obvious!). Though you can do some portraits in a casual outfit, I think it’s quite different wearing your wedding gown or a beautiful evening gown against a scenic backdrop.
4. Depending on the season you travel in, there are pros and cons – for example, if you go in summer months when there are heaps of tourists, you may have to visit major tourist hotspots in the wee hours of the morning or at night if you want to get shots without tourists in the background. For winter months, the sun sets earlier, so do plan for that, because it means less daylight for your shoot!
5. If you plan to go inside a tourist location, be prepared to be chased away. Most locations require some sort of permission – but in our case, even if permission is granted, sometimes it can be taken away! Nothing is certain when you are traveling… just be prepared to be flexible and not get upset when things don’t go the way you expect it to.
6. Be prepared to walk a lot. So do bring along a good pair of walking shoes, especially when you are not posing with your heels!
7. For photographers, here’s a tip – tripods and monopods are considered “professional” gear – at some locations, you will be required to check it in before entry. If you don’t need one, leave it behind. We had a monopod with us as we’re doing a bit of video, and the trained guards spotted it a mile away!
At the end of the day, have fun, enjoy yourselves and create memorable images!