Monday, July 09, 2012

The Ziser Wedding Series: Experiencing The Complete Wedding Weekend

Good Morning Everybody,

I sure hope everybody had a great weekend was able to stay cool in whichever part of the world you're from. Our temperatures in my part of the world were hovering in the low 100s and, I have to tell you, most of us were trying our best to try and stay cool. 

World Choir GamesBut in spite of the heat, another very cool thing happening in our part of the world here in Cincinnati, Ohio was the fact that we were playing host to the World Choir Games. The World Choir Games is the Olympics of choral music. It is an event that brings together hundreds of choirs from around the world performing and competing in various venues throughout our lovely Midwest Ohio River valley.  This is the fist time the event has been held in the USA so it’s quite the big deal for our part of the country.

There are so many choirs in town for this giant event that many choirs have been giving free performances throughout the city. On Saturday I heard that one performance was taking place right down the street from us, in Northern Kentucky, in a beautiful setting above the Ohio River overlooking downtown Cincinnati, OH.   In spite of the 104° weather, I grabbed my camera and headed out to record the event.

Choir Games 2

It was quite a treat. My favorite choir performing at this presentation was the Melodia Choir from near Moscow, Russia. Their performance was tight, enthusiastic, and par excellence. In fact, they received three standing ovation's from the crowd that had ventured out in the sweltering heat to see and hear them perform.

Choir Games1It really was HOT!  As I wandered around the venue in the hot, direct sun, I don't ever remember my camera feeling that hot in my hands. It wasn't so hot that was burning my fingers but, I have to tell you, that black camera body was darn hot!  Anyway, my heart went out to the young people in the choir who were there in full dress attire performing for 30 minutes in a blazing 104° heat.  I love how the translator introduced one of the songs – it was about winter she said, the Russians’ favorite season of the year. Upon making the announcement, the entire audience giggled as beads of sweat poured down their brows.

As a side note…. it was later reported that neither the Russian choirs or the choirs from Ireland have ever experienced the extreme temperatures we have been having in the Midwest. They considered it just part of their travel experiences!

In any event, once the music started and you caught the enthusiasm of the performers, the effects of the heat quickly disappeared and you reveled in the musical miracle you were hearing and seeing before your very eyes.

The Choir Games are scheduled to go on through next weekend and I’m excited to see if I can catch a few more performances before the end of the event. It’s well worth it fellow Cincinnatians!

The Ziser Wedding Series: Experiencing The Complete Wedding Weekend

Today I’m beginning a new series entitled “Experiencing The Complete Wedding Weekend”. In this series I plan to walk you through a day-by-day synopsis of my recent experience photographing a fabulous wedding for some of my favorite clients which took place in northern Michigan two weeks ago. I’ll try to walk you through every nuance of that entire experience from the preparations we had to make before our arrival into Frankfort, Michigan and then the play-by-play for each of the three days, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, that I photographed the event.

I'm going to try to keep these reads fairly short so that you’ll not lock yourself to your computer for hours every morning trying to follow along. I'm also going to break the series into about 12 sections.   So, I hope you'll stick with me over the next several weeks as I share with you one of my favorite weddings. Here we go...

Part 1:

Do Something Special For Your Clients

SlideshowWhen I photographed the bride's brother's wedding a little over a year ago in Phoenix, Arizona, I volunteered to put together a short slideshow of the couple showing the good times when they were small children through the present day when they were enjoying each other as an engaged couple. The presentation went over quite well last year and the clients loved the results. We eventually made three Hi-def DVDs for both set of parents and the bride and groom to enjoy on their big-screen TVs.

I offered to do the same for Genevieve and her fiancé, Kevin, for their upcoming wedding too. In today’s post I'm going to cut to the chase and give you the quick play-by-play on how to put together a slide presentation for your clients.

Organization Is Key –

This is how I did my best job to keep things somewhat organized for the project.

Gen 1One - I asked the bride and groom to gather their childhood images from all the family albums that they could get their hands on. That’s my bride missing the tooth in the image on the right.

DAZNOTE:  This is also an image I made for the family over 20 years ago when I was just starting my business.  They still enjoy those family albums I created for them even today. 

Two - This is an important step. I asked him to arrange each of those photographs into year-by-year order allowing me to photograph the entire sequence without much confusion or guessing of the correct time-line.

DAZNOTE: It's important that the client does this for you because, no matter how good you are at guessing ages, you'll never get 100% of those images in the proper time sequence.

Three - The amount of photographs is important that your clients select. I found that a good number for these growing up photographs  should include no more than about 100 images each. I know at first glance it sounds like a lot but, when you consider that they're going to be presented in the slideshow with about a 2 or 3 second duration, it's really not long at all.

It's interesting to note that sometimes you'll have more photographs from the bride's side than you do from the groom's side or visa-versa. That seemed to be the situation for my couple this time. Nevertheless, with some additional discussion with the groom's mother, we were able to equalize out the number of photographs for both the bride and groom in the show.

Four – One of the main considerations when putting the shows together is a fact that many of these images are already bound and included in family albums and scrapbooks.  It's sometimes difficult to remove these images without doing damage to either the photograph or the album. In this situation, I asked the bride and groom to attach Post-it notes to their favorite images with the sequence number of that image noted on the Post-it note. I just pull the Post-it note, make my copy and replace the note in case I need it for future reference.

DAZNOTE: When working with both loose images and family albums/scrapbooks, it's best for the bride and groom to use Post-it notes to sequence each and every one of their 100 images – even the ones in the albums. That way, when you collect all of those images, both in albums and loose photographs, you’ll have an easy way to keep them in order when you make your copies.  Let me assure you, that with a little organization in the beginning of the project, you can save yourself all kinds of headaches in the post production. Remember, the project’s success is the result of your joint efforts – you and your clients - to bring the show to it’s full and exciting conclusion.

Gen and KevFive – Okay, now you have all the “growing up” photographs of both the bride and the groom easily organized. Next you want to get a series of fun photographs of both of them as a couple like this one of them “hamming it up” on a trip to England. The cool thing about that, at least today, is a fact that many people have lots of much more easily organized digital images that they can share with you.

To reiterate, the “growing up” photographs are going to be older family snapshots from family albums and scrapbooks. The couples photographs, most of the time, will be the digital variety which makes it much easier to organize.

I asked a couple, once again the put together about 100 images of both of them together organizing those images from their first days together to their most recent days together. The problem of sequencing those images with Post-it notes, as we did in the earlier collection of images, mostly goes away since most of images were time stamped when the digital images were created.  That means that they sequence themselves from oldest to newest.  With these “couples” images in their own separate digital folder, it’s easily  for me to combine these with the two earlier sets of both of them individually growing up.  Hey, if we still need to make some additional copies from snapshots, it’s back to the Post-it notes for those images.

Six - If the couple hasn’t done so yet,  I suggest that we do an engagement series of both of them as the wrap-up images for their couples section. That way, I know I have the most recent images of them which provide a dramatic and classy wrap-up to the slide presentation I'll be making for them.

GatsbyDAZNOTE: For my Michigan couple,  they had a friend of the family, a very talented photographer Hannah, who created a wonderfully fun and creative collection of images of both Genevieve and Kevin simply enjoying each other. The theme was the Gatsby look complete with antique car.  It was a great series that provided the amazing conclusion to their slide presentation. 

That pretty much covers the organizational side,  collecting and organizing the photographs, of the slide show presentation. I'm going to tell you right off - sometimes it can be a challenge to get all of these images organized but, with a little effort, you can put together a collection of about 350 images that will result in a very impacting slide presentation for both families on the wedding weekend. 

Since I'm already way into my daily 500 word limit for the series, I’m going to ask you to tune in again tomorrow where I’ll discuss in our Technique Tuesday episode how to handle the post production work in building the finished slideshow.

Making good copies of many of these less than professionally taken images, although not daunting, can still be challenging in finessing the best photographic results for your slideshow. Tomorrow I'll show you a few Lightroom tips and tricks for some of those less-than-perfect images. Also, I’ll discuss image resolutions and organization in getting the final slideshow completed.

I hope you join me again tomorrow for the rest of the story.


Hey gang, that's it for me today. I'm still pounding away at my book – about 45,000 so far and I’m still slightly behind schedule.  I’m also still working on our PhotoPro Expo Summer School coming up this weekend in Louisville, KY.

Summer school2We got a smaller crowd than usual coming so I hope if you're in the area you’ll consider stopping by and being part of the festivities. Once again, you can get all the details about this upcoming weekend event right here.

We've got one heck of a lineup and one heck of a weekend planned. The cost of admission is super reasonable $89 – not bad for two days of programs. You can register right here online or, give our Executive Director, Randy Fraley a call at 606-571-1908. Randy will be happy to give you all the details and be sure you have a seat reserved for the the weekend. I sure hope to see you there.

Have a great rest of the day. It looks like it's going to be a cooler one so enjoy it and I'll see everyone sometime tomorrow.

Adios, David

No comments:

Post a Comment