I am asked often “What makes you different as a photographer”, and what an amazing question that is!
When I teach photography and business to both aspiring photographers and other professional photographers, that is one of the first questions that I encourage them to think about; What makes you different as a photographer? Why should your clients hire you over someone else?
Without going into a long spiel (I’ll save that for our meet-and-greets in the studio), I wanted to quickly SHOW one of the ways that we have excelled both for our couples and in the industry.
Three simple words – “Off-Camera Flash”
As a non-photographer, you may be wondering “What does that mean, Bryan?”, so instead of going into tech-talk of Manual power, Radio Poppers and Lightstands, and confusing terms such as Aperture, Shutterspeed and ISO, I am going to simply show a few samples. From this point on, however, let’s refer to this technique as “Bcap Lighting”. It is a technique that I have taught several seminars on, simply because it is a technique that many photographers aspire to master.
Let’s talk about the very simplest form of lighting – “On-Camera Flash”. This means that there is a flash (light source) on the top of your camera, and you point it directly at your subject. Out-of-doors, this can be useful for filling in some harsh shadows, however I still don’t like how it looks. Indoors, the use of on-camera flash is even more obvious, because it makes your subject light (with a flat, direct light), and it makes your background look dark. The result is a deer-in-headlights type of look, one that is neither flattering, creative, or emotive. It looks just like any image that anyone could take with any camera. Nothing creative or professional about it. This is why I stay away from it.
Then comes in “Bcap Lighting”, where we use multiple flashes (sometimes as many as 5), all off of our cameras, strategically set up around the reception room to light it up and provide a more realistic and life-like ambience. This technique has taken us a while to master and fine-tune, but we are now confident that no matter where we are photographing, that we are able to “bring” amazing and beautiful light.
Check out this quick comparison of “On-Camera Flash” and “Bcap Lighting” that I intentionally did from Kim and Dave’s wedding. The difference is very noticeable when you put the images side-by-side, and even though they are literally seconds apart, they tell a completely different story and evoke a completely different emotion. The “Bcap Lighting” almost makes the image jump off the page, it separates the subject from the background, and it gives it that life-like, 3-Dimensional look.
This is just an example of how we use “Bcap Lighting” indoors at a reception to create incredible imagery for our couples. We use a similar technique when photographing outdoors to create our trademark, award-winning dramatic photographs. For example, for the following few images, “Bcap Lighting” was used:
And some more examples of “Bcap Lighting” used during receptions. What a different it makes.
I hope that this might open some eyes and make you a little more aware of some of the advantages and benefits that we offer as wedding photographers. There are lots of other reasons to the original question of “What makes you different”, but let’s leave those for our meet-and-greets.
Until then … ciao for now!