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SNAPSHOT - PHOTO NEWS FROM BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to SnapShot, the weekly newsletter on
the art of photography from
BetterPhoto.com


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IN THIS ISSUE - Tuesday, June 28, 2005
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* SPOTLIGHT: BetterPhoto's Next School Session Is Coming Right Up!
* BETTERPHOTO: Enjoy Daily Photo Tips from BetterPhoto Instructors
* BETTERPHOTO: BetterPhoto Summit: A Weekend of Instruction and Inspiration!
* BETTERPHOTO: Two Great Ways to Show Off Your Photography
* FEATURED GALLERY: Photographing Fireworks: Celebration of Light and Color
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: He's Still a Photo Hobbyist / River Runs Over It
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: Stock Photography: Maxi mize Your Efforts ... by Charlie Borland
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: Wedding Photography: Tripod Vs. Monopod
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 2: How to Use Photography for a Cause
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 3: Optimum Burning Speed for Image CDs?
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 4: Focusing Through the LCD Screen
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 5: Upgrade to Photoshop?
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 6: Dirt Spots on Scanned Slides
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 7: How to Shoot a Wedding?
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 8: What Do I Charge?
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 9: Cleaning a Digital Sensor


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT - ADVERTISEMENT
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BetterPhoto's Next School Session Is Coming Right Up!
Our Summer online photo courses begin July 6th, and several classes are already full, while others are filling up fast. So if you have been considering a course, don't hesitate to enroll. Also, here's an added incentive: If you sign up for a course by this Friday, July 1st, you can receive free shipping on any DVD or book that you order from the BetterPhoto Bookstore! Review our courses at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/categories.asp

Or browse the BetterPhoto Bookstore at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/store.asp


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WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to the 218th issue of SnapShot!

Hi

So many awesome things are happening at BetterPhoto! Our online Summer school is rapidly approaching and it promises to be our best session yet. Besides new instructors, we will also debut our improved Campus Squares - with many fun new features. But, if you still aren't sure if you're ready to take a course, then take our quiz:
http://school.discovery.com/quizzes31/betterphoto/GEN01.html

Once again, you asked for it, you got it! You now have a ten-day advance notice on the monthly contest theme. See our new page dedicated to this theme category:
http://www.betterphoto.com/contest/themes.asp

In this issue of SnapShot, don't miss our other regular features: the Trivia Quiz and the questions-and-answers section.

That's it for now. Have a great week of photography!
Jim Miotke
http://www.betterphoto.com/MG.asp?ID=124


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Enjoy Daily Photo Tips from BetterPhoto Instructors
Many of our top online instructors share their thoughts and techniques via BetterPhoto's online journal called Better Blogs. Regular contributors to "Instructor Insights" include Jeff Wignall, Tony Sweet, Brenda Tharp, Jim Zuckerman, and Peter Burian. Read their entries at:
http://insights.betterphoto.com/


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BetterPhoto Summit: A Weekend of Instruction and Inspiration!
Our first-ever BetterPhoto Summit is definitely a "go" ... September 10th and 11th, 2005, near the Seattle airport. Meet many of BetterPhoto's instructors - in person! - and learn photography during one jam-packed weekend for just $297. Also on tap: a Friday night social ... specifically, a pre-event event for limited first-come, first-served attendees. For the Summit details, go to:
http://www.betterphoto.com/summit.asp


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Two Great Ways to Show Off Your Photography
Check out our cool Premium BetterPholios™: With your Member Center, it's easy to convert to a sleek Premium BetterPholio™ that really puts your photography in the spotlight. Take an illustrated tour at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/tour-photo-sharing-1.asp

With the Deluxe Pro package, you get control over the look and feel of your Web site. A Pro site offers all of the features of our Deluxe BetterPholios™, plus many other powerful attributes. Check things out at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/sites4photogs/deluxeProWebsites.asp

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FEATURED GALLERY
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Photographing Fireworks: Celebration of Light and Color
Displays of fireworks are such striking events - and it's no surprise that they've captured the attention of BetterPhoto members and instructors. The upcoming Canada Day and the U.S. Fourth of July, of course, offer excellent opportunities for shooting these spectacular bursts of brightness. But regardless of where they light up the sky, fireworks always place high on the "Wow!" scale. View the BetterPhoto gallery at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=290

But, like many subjects, shooting fireworks involves planning and preparation, as well as some special shooting techniques. Read the BP how-to article on the subject (with links to additional info):
http://www.betterphoto.com/article.asp?id=64

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PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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Last week, we asked:
What well-known comedic actor - and avid photo collector - said the following? "I've always enjoyed photography and started collecting ... I'm really not a good photographer. I'm like one of those people who, you know, they can't do something, so that makes them appreciate it all the more."

The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Eric Lee is:
I think the answer is Ben Stiller. I just read an article about him (at least I think it was him) and that comment stood out to me. I definitely remember reading the article!

Editor's Note: Right you are, Eric! The article about Ben Stiller appears in the current issue (July/August 2005) of American Photo magazine.

To see all answers to this question, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/trivia.asp?stat=PRV

And Now... This Week's Photo Trivia Question - River Runs Over It - entered by BetterPhoto member Jim Miotke

Why does George toss Lucy's photographs into the river in A Room with a View?

Submit your own answer to this question by visiting:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/trivia.asp

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THIS WEEK'S PHOTO TIP
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Stock Photography: Maxi mize Your Efforts ... by Charlie Borland
When you are shooting images for stock photography, you need to shoot for all potential uses that a client may want. The first simple rule with all your stock shooting is to shoot both horizontal and vertical. Place your subject at the top, at the bottom, on the left side of the frame and the right. Zoom in tight, then back off for a wider view. Get down low, get up high. Always look at all angles and for opportunities to create space where copy or a logo can be placed. I always shoot a few placing the subject on the right side of the vertical frame, leaving room for a magazine headline. Cover your bases with all the possibilities you can think of. NOTE: Charlie Borland teaches the following online courses at BetterPhoto: Stock Photography, Lighting for Commercial Photography, and Lighting for Commercial Photography-Advanced.

Top Ten Tips:
http://www.betterphoto.com/exploring/tips.asp

All Tips:
http://www.betterphoto.com/exploring/allTips.asp

Add Your Own Tip:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/login.asp?category=tip&inputType=tip

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ADVERTISEMENT
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Absolute Beginner's Guide to Taking Great Photos
My new book guides you away from the point-and-pray method of taking pictures to shooting with confidence. In this simple and clear how-to book, you will learn:

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You can order this book online, call our toll-free order processing number 1-888-927-9992, or simply send a check or money order for USD $16.90 (or USD$18.90 if shipping to Canada or USD$24.90 to other international addresses) to:

BetterPhoto.com
P.O. Box 2781
Redmond, WA 98073-2781 USA

To order online, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/product/ourProductDetail.asp?productID=1096


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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - NEW THIS WEEK
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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - CONTINUING FROM PREVIOUS NEWSLETTER
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CONTINUING QUESTION 1: Wedding Photography: Tripod Vs. Monopod
I will be using a Canon Elan 7N to take some wedding photos for a friend of mine. My lens is a 28-135mm zoom. I was wondering if anyone had input into using a tripod versus a monopod for taking the photos inside the church. A tripod would be quite cumbersome to keep moving around, but a monopod would be better. The film I will be using is Kodak Portra 400VC and Kodak T-max 400. Does anyone have any suggestions or experience with this? The shutter speeds will be quite slow and I'll be using 85-100mm most of the time shooting at f/4 or 5.6.
- Michele King

ANSWER 1:
Using a tripod is always a positive recommendation. Using a monopod is the way to go when a tripod can't be used.
Having said this, based on the weddings I've shot, you may not be able to use either. They're just too awkward. And, you won't generally have the time to properly "set up" due to the action of the event.
Because of distance involved, I've used a "big flash" - GN greater than 100 and haven't had a problem (if flash and/or photographs-during-the-ceremony are allowed). However, with ISO 400 film, I've fought reddish skin tone in candid shots.
I haven't used ISO 800 film to shoot a wedding, but I had great results shooting "hand-held" in Rome's basilicas and the indoor museum in the Greek Isles. This might be you other option. (I think you'll find ISO 1600 films too grainy.)
Remember, you're shooting the Special Day. Don't get trapped by equipment like tripods/monopods. Be flexible so you can move around the church and reception hall.
- John Sandstedt

ANSWER 2:
Michele, I have used a tripod for weddings, only for the shots in the church when flash is not allowed. You will have to set it up quickly and take it down just as quickly. I would like to make one suggestion, though. Don't use Portra VC film. The colors are great, but it is not really good for skin tones. I use Kodak Portra NC for weddings.
- Kerry L. Walker

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=17288

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=17288

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CONTINUING QUESTION 2: How to Use Photography for a Cause
As much as I love to share photos with family and friends (and anyone who cares to look at them!), see them posted on my Web site, or published in a magazine, I really want to find a way to "make a difference" using photography in some way - contribute something to the greater good. I would welcome any and all suggestions.
- Juli

ANSWER 1:
Well, to be honest, you need to find that within yourself. Each person leans towards a different "better good". What you can do is photograph the needy people and show a side that portrays them as not having much but still able to smile, and that gets them day to day. This will help remind those of us who are fortunate to be blessed with extra money, then can give and not feel that we were guilted into it.
- Julie M. Cwik

See Julie's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Hi Juli -
First, congratulations for having a good heart and wanting to make a difference! Far too many of us spend too much time worrying about ourselves and too little worrying about others. Kudos to you!
Now, some ideas: As a former clinical social worker who primarily worked with abused/molested/traumatized children, I discovered - early on - the great healing power of artistic expression for these kids. Quite a few years ago, Kodak started a program where they donate cameras, film, and other supplies to programs that encourage children to use photography as a means of expressing themselves and showing their worlds. A number of community-based programs are still – at least to my knowledge – in existence around the U.S. If you live anywhere near a large city or even some smaller towns, you might want to contact a community center, special school, children’s hospital, or clinic, and find out if they either offer such a program or if they would be interested in starting one. You don’t have to be a great photographer yourself to help in such a program. The primary consideration is if you have the time, energy and interest in working with kids.
If your interests run more to helping the environment, you might wish to consider volunteering your time and skills to help document local environmental hazards and concerns. Another idea (one that I am currently involved with) is to volunteer at a local nature center or refuge. Many of these places need photographers to help document natural specimens ranging from birds and animals to trees and flowers. I started volunteering at a local nature preserve several years ago, and now I sell some of my images to people who visit the center.
These are just some beginning ideas; I am sure that if you do some local research you will find even more options. Good luck!
- Irene C. Troy

See Irene's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
If your causes include peace and justice, the environment, opposition to torture, ethical treatment of animals, and other progressive causes, look at independentmedia.org and locate an indy-media organization close to you. They are more likely to be in big cities. To look at one, see dc.indymedia.org. People who submit news stories, opinion, and photographs are amateurs. These folks, however, are not kids; they check their facts very carefully, and are articulate and civil. You can attend events of any organization whose ideals you agree with, and shoot, and give them the photos for their newsletter.
- Doug Nelson

Visit DougNelsonPhoto.com - Doug's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 4:
Three great responses, thanks! All are already giving me ideas and direction. Julie C. - you are right. But I've been thinking about this for so long - "paralysis of analysis?!" - I was hoping that insight such as what I've received would help move me past thinking. And it has. Thanks again!
- Juli

ANSWER 5:
I volunteer for a local animal shelter, taking pictures of the stray pets that come in every week.
- Kristina Juodyte

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=17274

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=17274

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CONTINUING QUESTION 3: Optimum Burning Speed for Image CDs?
I have heard that using too fast a burning speed when burning digital image files to CD can cause a loss of image quality. I have burned several image CDs at my burner's maximum speed of 48X, and some of the images do look a little over compressed, or at least seem to be of lesser quality than the original file from my digital camera. Does anyone have any thoughts on this subject?
- Jeff Galbraith

ANSWER 1:
My burner will only burn up to 8x, which I rarely use. Normally I burn at 4x or 6x, as the computer must be able to keep up with the speed at which the data is being transferred. Best is to turn off everything else while the CD is burning. Otherwise, the CD may crash. Gee, I can't imagine being able to record at 48x!
As far as your inquiry/dilemma is concerned, unless I'm missing something here, why don't you just burn a few CDs at different speeds, then open a file from each, and compare? Seems to me that if there is a drop-off in file quality that you can see, you'll know not to burn that fast again.
Michael H. Cothran
www.mhcphoto.net
- Michael H. Cothran

See Michael's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
When using standard CD-burning software, like Nero, or the one built into Windows XP, there is no compression to images during a CD burning process. If your images look compressed, it was likely due to using a high jpeg compression ratio during editing.
In general, you can burn up to the rated speed of the media, the rated speed of your burner, or the fastest speed your PC can keep up with and not cause buffer errors. If there is an error during writing, your software should tell you. I always select "Verify data on disc" just to be sure.
I regularly burn at speeds up to 48x with no errors, but I always verify the data just to be safe. I also have a fairly macho 2.66GHz Pentium IV with 1GB RAM, so it can keep up with these speeds. If you have a slower PC, you might not have consistent results at high speeds.
What program are you using to burn your CDs? I remember (long ago) having a program that would make a slide show of pictures, and it would compress them to fit on a floppy. Are you using a program that is doing something like this? One way to be sure is to compare the file sizes of the images on your CD to the original files on your hard drive.
- Chris A. Vedros

See Chris's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
From a technical standpoint - barring any such unique things as burning a slide show of images or movie of some kind - the speed of burning affecting the content is quite impossible. ...Other than maybe a failed burn due to a poor quality burner or media ... but if the burn completes with no errors then you've got a binary copy of the data 100 percent the same as your original.
CDs, like all computer-related storage, are binary in nature. Meaning that, say, an original file is '1010', it will be '1010' everywhere it's copied, burned, or emailed. The only thing that would change that is manipulation with a software package like Photoshop or combining the images in things like a slide show where what you end up with is not the original files separately in a folder like they started.
If you are burning a simple data CD where you end up with a file list of your pictures just like the file list on your computer, then rest easy, someone was pulling your leg or didn't understand themselves.
- Shawn Wilson

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=17262

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=17262

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CONTINUING QUESTION 4: Focusing Through the LCD Screen
I just bought a Nikon D70 and I browsed through my manual, but I find nothing in there about focusing or shooting pictures using the LCD monitor, instead of looking through the viewfinder. Can you not do this with the D70? I did it with my Fuji Finepix is why I'm wondering. Thanks! Lori
- Lori M. Jaramillo

ANSWER 1:
Hi Lori:
You can't do it with the D70. You can only view the image after you've taken it. With my old Coolpixes, I could take the picture while looking through the monitor, and it was hard for me to do without when I purchased the D70. I must tell you, though, now that I am used to it, using a camera where I can look through the monitor seems weird. I think Nikon wanted to make this a true SLR.
- Deb A. Brown

See Deb's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
To my knowledge, there are no SLRs or DSLRs that permit focusing on the LCD panel. It would simply be anti-productive, expensive to design in an SLR prism system, not to mention an excessive drain on your battery system.
Michael H. Cothran
www.mhcphoto.net
- Michael H. Cothran

See Michael's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
Lori, why would you want to do that? It is much more efficient using the viewfinder. You'll get used to it!!!
- Daniel Diaz

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=17260

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=17260

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CONTINUING QUESTION 5: Upgrade to Photoshop?
I currently have Photoshop Elements, and I am looking to upgrade to a full version. I see so many different versions and prices. I have been searching eBay, and the prices are about half of the store-bought. They claim to be new with warranty. Am I missing something here? And if I want to take full advantage of photo-editing software which version should I buy.
- Peggy J. Sells

Visit peggysellsphotography.com - Peggy's Deluxe BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
"Am I missing something here?"
Peggy, I think you probably ARE missing something here. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is just that. First, these "too-cheap-to-be-true" versions are most likely "bootleg" or illegally imported versions, and will not carry any warranty through Adobe, nor will you be able to register them with Adobe. And this means NO upgrades or updates will ever be available, and no online support. I'd stay clear, myself.
As to what version to buy, I certainly would always purchase the latest version (CS2), unless you can get a great legitimate deal on CS.
Michael H. Cothran
www.mhcphoto.net
- Michael H. Cothran

See Michael's Premium BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=17250

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=17250

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*****


CONTINUING QUESTION 6: Dirt Spots on Scanned Slides
You can see a picture that I shot with my Nikon F55 using Fuji Velvia 50. One picture is my whole image; the other one is made in Photoshop by actual pixel command. As you can see in 100-percent view, there are lots of dirt (little black points) in the image. I am not complaining about the scratches but I could not understand why the little black points are there. As you can see from the summary of the file, Velvia 50 was scanned 4000dpi in a lab with Nikon Super Coolscan 5000 ed. I tried to solve this problem with several filters such as gaussian blur, median, despeckle in PS 7.0, but none of them satisfied me.
I checked some positive film images in this site and in another, but I never saw positive film scan images as horrible as mine. They are very clear and sharp images. I also checked images that I shot with a Kodakcx4300 3.2mp digital camera - more clear then my 23mp scanned image ... how can it be? I would be very glad if someone offers me some advice.
- algan nustekin

See Sample Photo - dirts:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=981765

See Sample Photo - old car:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=981764

ANSWER 1:
Algan,
First of all, when you enlarge ANY scanned image that dramatically, you will see some dirt and/or foreign material. That's a given fact. This will indeed be relevant if you are planning on making enlargements from the scanned image. For normal Web use you look OK. (The specs are hardly noticeable on the original.)
That point aside ... your enlarged example looks to me like your Velvia slide may have been laying around a while before it was scanned. Dust and contaminants tend to accumulate rather quickly ... as I've learned when I leave my slides lying around too long before storing them.
You mentioned that your slide was scanned in a lab on a Nikon 5000 ED. Does your lab clean slides before scanning? (If not, I think they should.)
If they don't, you can do it yourself with a simple Q-Tip and a can of compressed air. Brush the slide gently in one direction toward the darkest side of the image ... then give each side a good blast with the compressed air to remove whatever residual cotton hairs the brushing action may have left.
I've given this advice in the past to many slide and film users who regularly scan their photos because it works.
After this initial cleaning, examine the slide carefully on a light table with a good loupe.(An inverted 50mm lens works great as an alternative to the loupe if you don't have one.)
If you can still see a few specs after cleaning, try again ... or apply a digital clean-up program such as Digital ICE to remove the stubborn ones.
(Note: Digital ICE comes with the standard software package included with Nikon Coolscan 4000 and 5000 scanners if you own one. If you don't, your lab may charge extra for this service.)
In the attached examples you will see the difference between the same slide ... before and after a little clean-up.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

See Sample Photo - Test 3:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=983067

See Sample Photo - Test 2:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=983066

See Sample Photo - Test 1 :
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=983065

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=17215

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=17215

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CONTINUING QUESTION 7: How to Shoot a Wedding?
I'm 19 years old, will be 20 in a month. I've been taking a black-and-white photography class for two and a half weeks. I am a pretty good student, and have good understanding of photography for the amount of time I've been in class. My friend's cousin is getting married next August, and needs a cheap photographer. My friend mentioned me, and the offer right now is $800, but could be moved up to 1200, or 1500. I do not know how to put this in context. What expenses will I have to worry about? How many exposures should I be prepared to take? Will I need to buy a lot of equipment to come away with decent pictures? What amount of prints will be needed? I think that if I had the equipment, and read up on it, then in a year, I would be ready. But I'm not sure what to expect, and what will be expected of me. Help? Suggestions? Past experiences?
- Stephen J. Buttafuoco

ANSWER 1:
Hi Stephen, I work at a wedding Photography studio located in the suburbs of Chicago. Wedding Photography is a tricky situation. I would highly recommend not photographing a friend's wedding, especially if it is your "first" ... only because if something goes wrong people are not quick to forgive, especially with something that is supposed to happen only once in their lives. Our studio has been around for more than 40 years, and we charge $1400 for everything, unlimited photography, and the photographer for the ENTIRE wedding (2 hours before), getting pictures of the girls getting "ready" and pics of the bride with family and the girls.
Then the photographer would go to the church (30 minutes before the ceremony started) to get pics of the guys. During the ceremony (at most churches), you cannot use any type of flash photography, so make sure you have 2.8 lens at least!
Most people today want the traditional-posed photography, but also they want the "photojournalism" - which involves the candids, or emotional images, that the bride and groom don't know were taken. Then between the ceremony and reception the photographers will take the new couple to a couple of parks for romantic outdoor images. Then it's on to the reception, a whole evening of low light and mixed light situations. Lots of fun!
The photographer usually will leave after the bride and groom leaves. Oh, we also provide a backdrop and flash unit so couples can have "professional" photos taken at the wedding. Then after the whole wedding, for that price, it includes all the proofs (so the bride/groom keep all the proofs, no questions asked) and they are all online with password so out-of-state guests can view the images and purchase them online. Then last but not least we provide the bride/groom a free wedding album, not the best one out there, but it's free - if they want to upgrade, great! If not, that's fine too. I hope this answers your questions! So, this is how many studios in the Chicagoland area works and charges.
- Julie M. Cwik

See Julie's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Hi Steven,
I too am a professional photographer. I also write posing books (see my gallery) for those who want and need to learn the ART of posing subjects.
One of the things I tell people who are starting out is to try to start with a friend or family member's wedding - someone who will know that you are trying your best. But even at that, you do have to be careful, so when presenting your portfolio, make sure you have a third party there to witness your presentation, and be honest and discuss your qualifications.
Starting at a reasonable price is always best when getting started (read some of the other threads on wedding photography) - some of us have done events free of charge when getting started. This is OK - your price can grow as you grow. $800.00 is more then fair for someone who has no experience - if you are worried about the experiences then just decide on a fair price for yourself and then they pay the expenses. I have a friend who is in the business of sports photography - hates weddings. He's been photographing for 17 years, and when he feels he has to do a wedding he charges $600.00 and up, takes the shots, hands them the film, and says goodbye - to each his own. We argue this consistently.
Now my company shoots digital and I advertise 1-3 photographers for your event. This can yield 4000+ shots, of which I edit and then present the proofs. There are no hard-and-fast rules - you will do what you need to get started. The more experience the better your pay and the price you charge will be determined by what the market within your area will bear.
If you would like to see my price sheets I will share them with you. And if you need a posing list, I will send you one (due to the new contents of the Wedding cd, I only send out the short list now). But if you need help, just keep asking.
I think if your friends are willing and understand your experience level, then you SHOULD do it. I do hope this helps.
- Debby Tabb

See Debby's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
Also, try marketing yourself at the local colleges. There are always couples getting married who don't have a lot of money. They would jump at that opportunity.
- Julie M. Cwik

See Julie's Premium BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=17180

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=17180

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*****


CONTINUING QUESTION 8: What Do I Charge?
I have been taking pictures for a little while. I also work at a preschool, and I have been taking pictures of some of the children and showing their parents. A few of them are interested in purchasing some photos. What on earth do I charge? One photo that a parent wants is a 5x7, and I got it developed at National Camera Exchange. Another parent wants me to take a picture for their Christmas cards. Having never charged anyone for photos, can I have some ideas on what to charge? I would love some ideas. Thanks!
- Mary J. Gorton

ANSWER 1:
Mary,
One thing you might want to check on is if the school has the parents sign something in regards to picture taking ... especially if you have been asked by some to purchase them. And I'm assuming the school doesn't mind you doing this, but if you start charging, the school might find this a conflict of interest so to speak ... as far as what to charge ... that is so peculiar.
You have those parents who just don't care to take pictures period, and are so grateful to buy ones that others have taken just for the sake of not having to deal with taking them, developing, etc. Then you have the parents who will let you get things set up (I take some limited sports pics and things) and then want to take them over your shoulder because they don't want to pay someone else for it ... whatever you decide, make sure it's something you can live with and one that you would use perhaps if you would begin a more serious approach to earning some money with it.
I would suggest consistency, so if one parent pays $10, then so does everyone else (even those not at the preschool). I wouldn't want to hear that my friend paid $10 for something and assume everyone paid that price and then have it be more. Good luck!
- Michelle Ross

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CONTINUING QUESTION 9: Cleaning a Digital Sensor
I've had my Digital Rebel for a little over a year and just recently had to have the sensor cleaned because I had some major spots on it. It has been approximately 2 months and I have spots back in the same place. What gives? I change my lenses very rapidly, so I don't think I'm letting in any dirt or dust. However, I am currently traveling the East Coast and it is quite humid here. Could that be the problem? How do I keep the sensor clean? Is there anything I can use to clean it myself? It is quite pricy (and quite hard to locate a camera store that can clean the sensor) to have somebody else clean it for me.
- Gretchen Berquam

ANSWER 1:
Take it to a Canon rep. There must be a photography store in your area that sells and repairs Canon cameras. They will clean it for you for a minimal cost. Check around and see what they charge there. Another option is to send it to the canon factory in New Jersey, and they'll do it for you for free. I take mine in every few months for a routine cleaning of the CCD.
Don't ever try to touch the CCD yourself. You will most likely damage it and end up with an extremely costly repair job. The CCD is an expensive part.
The Canon factory is in the central part of the state. If you personally bring the camera in with all of your proof of ownership, they'll clean it within minutes for nothing. I'm usually out of there in less than 20 minutes. Good luck, and have fun on your trip.
P.S.:-Don't worry about the humidity. It's not the tropics. Regarding dust, it's a common problem with digital cameras wherever you live. Just care for camera as you normally would and have fun making new images.
- Donnarae ~

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ANSWER 2:
Gretchen.
I use my digital cameras for 90 percent of all my assignments now and have learned the hard way that I need to clean the sensor after every assignment. That means daily sometimes. I use the Eclipse cleaning kit, and it works fine and you can easily learn as well. It is very easy, despite your/my efforts, for dust to get in on the sensor from changing lenses. It really doesn't take much to get in there, and I have spent way to many hours retouching images before delivering them to the client. Get the kit and clean it yourself, then before putting the lens back on the body, set the camera to A (auto) and take one quick exposure of a plain white wall. Download that image to the computer and blow it up to 200 percent so you can inspect. If there is still dust, then you will see dark blobs. I have never found a spot right after cleaning with the kit. Good Luck.
- Charlie Borland

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ANSWER 3:
Wow, thanks for that info, Charlie. That sounds like a priceless piece of equipment. I wish that I knew about that years ago!! Thank you!
- Donnarae ~

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