Morgan & Kristian | Austin TX Wedding Photography

Morgan and Kristian had a beautiful wedding at Antebellum Oaks. They said their vows beneath a canopy of oak trees. The reception had great food, good times and lots of dancing! They were truly amazing to work with and I am honored to have been a part of their special day. Here is a sneak peak of photos I’ve been working on. Many more to come!

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Austin Texas Portrait Photographer

I am venturing back to Texas just in time for autumn, my favorite season! To kick off the season I am offering $50 off portrait sessions for the month of October. This includes family portraits, bridal portraits, engagement portraits, baby portraits and individual portraits. Contact me to book your session!
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Engagement Portraits | Austin Texas Wedding

Travis and I are engaged! The past 3 years have been full of adventures and hold many of the best moments of my life. I can’t image anyone better to spend the rest of my life exploring this world with. To announce the news, we headed to the beach to take engagement portraits. The sky cleared up and made for a perfect evening for photos. Here are some of the ones I took at the beach and at home using the tripod and self-timer.

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Depth of Field Photography Tutorial | Austin Texas Wedding Photographer

Depth of field is a very important part of photography. Depth of field refers to how much of a photograph is in focus. Aperture, lenses and distance from the subject are all components in depth of field. The zone of sharpness (the subject that is in focus) can be increased or decreased depending on the aperture size.  A wide open aperture will give you the shallowest depth of field. For example, shooting at f1.4 will make your subject in focus and anything behind it or in front of it will be blurry. To give you a visual example of the relationship between aperture settings and depth of field, I took the same photograph 4 times all at different f-stops. You will see that as the numerical f-stops increase more of the image comes into focus.

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A shallow depth of field is often ideal for portraits. This allows your subject to be in focus and the background to be soft and out of focus, helping your subject stand out. When shooting landscapes, I typically use a high f-stop for greater depth of field. This allows for maximum sharpness so I do not lose any details in the photograph. The following chart will give you a better idea of what f-stops to use for more or less depth of field.
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Metering Tutorial | Austin Texas Wedding Photographer

Metering for the correct exposure is one of the most important aspects when taking a photograph. Metering mistakes when using film makes for a costly oversight. On the other hand, digital photography allows you to see right away whether your exposure is correct, making it easy to learn from your mistakes. Manual mode is the best way to have complete control of your photographs. Manual mode can be intimidating for those new to photography but with patience and practice it becomes second nature when taking a photo.

When looking in the view finder of your camera, you will see a small minus sign, dashes, and a plus sign. It looks similar to this -2..1..’..1..+2 (some cameras don’t have the numbers). This is the light meter. The light meter tells you if too much or not enough light is coming in. If there are multiple dashes towards the minus sign, not enough light is being let in resulting in a dark photo. If multiple dashes are extended towards the plus sign, too much light is coming in resulting in a blown out photo. To get the ‘correct’ exposure, you want to line the dashes up in the center. There are multiple steps to getting the correct exposure. You must set the ISO, f-stop, and shutter speed which I will discuss below.

ISO is equivalent to film speed sensitivity. ISO 100 is used in very bright locations, like the beach on a sunny afternoon. Higher ISOs (1600+) are used for very low lighting situations. Higher ISO settings are good when you are taking pictures indoors or at night. The higher the ISO, the more grain and noise you will get. When shooting, especially portraits, I try to use the lowest ISO possible to get clear images without unnecessary noise.

Once I set my ISO based on the lighting, I then set my aperture (also known as the f-stop). The aperture is the opening in a lens in which light travels through. The wider the aperture, the more light allowed in. Smaller aperture numbers equate to wider aperture openings. (This always confused me when I was learning.) For example, f1.4 is a wider aperture than f22. I am a visual learner, so I put together a chart below to show the relation between f-stops.

Aperture Chart  Austin Texas Wedding Photographer

An important note, the aperture controls the depth of field of a photograph. I am not going to go into detail on this today but I included it in the chart for you to see. I will do a separate blog post for depth of field.

The shutter speed is the length of time that the shutter is open. The shutter speed is measured in seconds and fractions of a second. The bigger the denominator the faster the shutter speed. Very fast shutter speeds, such as 1/5000, are good for action shots. This allows for movement to be captured without motion blur. The slowest shutter speed to use with out a tripod is 1/250th second or close to it. Once you get past 1/250th of a second, it becomes difficult to hold the camera steady enough to get a perfectly sharp image. For very low light situations, when using a slower shutter speed, a steady tripod is necessary. If you don’t have a tripod available, try setting your ISO higher or opening your aperture wider to let in more light.

These are just the basics and are by no means rules. In my opinion, the best part of photography is breaking the rules and trying new things. When shooting bridal portraits, I often let in more light than my meter advises. This allows for an etherial, radiant quality of light. When shooting a sunset portrait session in Puerto Rico, I enjoy overexposing photographs to create silhouettes while capturing details in the sky.

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Austin Texas Wedding Photographer.

Wedding Photography Checklist | Essential Shots

A wedding photography checklist is an important tool for wedding photographers. Weddings are full of excited energy and as a photographer it is great to have a list to ensure nothing gets forgotten. Below I have listed my go-to list. This can easily be modified.

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Pre-Ceremony

  • Wide angle of the church (or ceremony location)
  • The rings
  • The dress
  • Bride getting ready (I suggest the bride gets ready and dressed first so that I can snag her for a few portraits while the bridesmaids get ready.)
  • Bride details (garter, veil, shoes, bouquet)
  • Bride with mother
  • Bride with bridesmaids
  • Groomsmen prepping
  • Groom with father
  • Groom with Groomsmen
  • Bride waiting with father before walking down isle

Ceremony

  • Groom waiting at alter
  • Groom and all Groomsmen at alter
  • Each bridesmaid coming down aisle
  • Bride walking down isle (full body shot, front & profile)
  • Father giving away daughter
  • Couple holding hands (close up and full body shot)
  • Wide shot of entire wedding party
  • Prayers & vows
  • Rings being placed
  • Announcement of bride and groom
  • Couple walking out

Post-Ceremony Portraits

  • Bride and Groom portraits
  • Bride and Groom rings on hands
  • Couple with Brides immediate family
  • Couple with Brides full family
  • Couple with Bridesmaids
  • Groom with Bridesmaids
  • Couple with Grooms immediate family
  • Couple with Grooms full family
  • Couple with Groomsmen
  • Bride with Groomsmen
  • Couple with Maid of Honor and Best Man
  • Full wedding party (posed, candid & silly)

Reception

  • Wide angle of reception venue
  • Shots of each table of guests
  • Close ups of decorations
  • Cakes
  • Guestbook signatures
  • First dance
  • Father & Bride dance
  • Mother & Groom dance
  • Guest dancing
  • Toasts/Speeches
  • Bouquet toss
  • Guarder toss
  • Photo of both who caught them
  • Cutting of the Cake
  • Bride and Groom leaving
  • The Just Married Car
  • Bride and Groom in car
  • Driving away

(Please note that this list will be rearranged if the couple decides to see each other before the ceremony and get all the formal portraits out of the way before the ceremony and reception.)

Aguadilla | Puerto Rico Photography

Yesterday I was in Aguadilla driving out to Wildreness beach when I came across this old piece of architecture. The first thing that crossed my mind is “what a great location for portraits.” Anyone in the area who is looking for a mix of antiquated architecture and beautiful beach scenery should check it out. It’s roadside on the way out to Wilderness.

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