IN THE BEGINNING




INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the survival guide for the Photographer new to Weddings and other events with compelling issues that tend to surface causing great pain and the avoidance of possible financial losses. 

This guide book has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and we make no claims it will cure any disease, or malady caused by shooting Weddings or you possibly being shot at the Wedding by the Bride’s alcoholic inhibited Father.  On the other hand, a good laugh will sometimes prevent suicide. 

No photographers were injured during the writing of this book and if you can afford an attorney, my nephew will be available at the usual attorney fees for malpractice cases.  I will get a referral fee if you do use him.  Which is against the law which no one pays attention to.

For decades, as a Wedding shooter, wedding planner, arbitrator  and sometimes a wedding psychiatrist with 450+ weddings under the belt, I learned a lot from the myriad of Brides I photographed on their most important day.  Each one a rare and unique study into the self-imposed pressure chamber which in some cases promulgates like a vicious viral creature from Mars during the Wedding Event.  

Weddings to an outsider (that’s you the shooter) are just like STAR WARS with each new wedding like a segment exposing something different just as Luke Skywalker experienced.  

Then there are those wonderful moments week after week that I have photographed gorgeous beautiful Brides, Grooms and Bridal parties of folks you wished were your relatives.  That every wedding you photographed were cloned each week and this would be an ongoing nirvana. 

Unfortunately, that’s not life, it takes a different turn at times.  Suddenly you get to see and witness the “The Dark Side”.  A result of the high stress world today, the other extreme, when these beautiful baby blues turn into glowing red pustules where the eyes were must have been, and it will scare you. 

 

💒    The first section explains the people structure and the pitfalls, what to look out for and how to prepare to be smarter and avoid the occasional problem wedding of today.  Like  “ Boot Camp”,  It delves into an attitude of when needed, usually during some form of chaos,  when you have to assume or step up to what I call “Command and Control”.

💒    The second section is the most complete series of both mental structuring, and good business sense to succeed in this business for YOU, or any other endeavor for that matter.  I taught sections of this for large corporations and it will set you straight in the business with good learning here about yourself.

🏛   EXPANSION - “Event Photography”.  Simply means any occurrence or groups, or masses, in one place for an occasion is part one, and the recording or photographing said project is part two.   Events are trade shows, corporate announcements or promotions, holidays, feel good morale boosters, weddings, banquets, proms, team sports, anniversaries, trade shows, fundraisers, political social enterprise, and more.  More than twenty people, it’s an event.
 


GREETINGS THOUGHTS and PURPOSE
Thanks for dropping in, I welcome you to my website which is offered freely and it contains years of experience and lessons learned.  I tried to make it more of a reader with lots of common sense, a few humorous episodes I lived through and more so, less of a manual which many get turned off by.  

It has very few endorsements for gear.  Unusual since I manufacture gear.  Gear has less to do about a wedding process than you think.  This is a time and a place for thinking and planning.   It’s about people to people.  Most places pushing gear accept payment in product for good reviews about camera products.  When I do comment on an item, I will bring it to you possibly in a slightly sadistic and sarcastic written environment if it warranted being bad,  coining a new word “Sardastic”.

Gear talk can be found on any website, magazines, so-called teaching sites, and the often praised self SUCCULATION forums where the devoted brand gurus hang around.   They love the adoration they get, if they were that good at the game they would be  spending their time getting more business than trying to impress newbies with great rhetoric.  ( in their minds)


NO SMOKE / NO BULLSHIT

My logo says it all.  If something is good, it gets merit, if it’s bad you will hear about it.  I’m not shy on this subject.  I also write a consumer column. I get enough threats from those I write about concerning the food in their restaurant and a few politicians running around who should have been incarcerated.

Back to the thinking and planning part.  We will encompass relationships, processes, and tools you need to make it through a Wedding, sans gimmicks. 

Added value...But there are some low-cost accessories you can build or do yourself on this site and the tricks are free. No ads, no wasted drivel.  

The opinions expressed here are my own, I am very opinionated because mistakes are a hard teacher and I have made them. I also collect, modify and alter, and manufacture much of my own gear.  

I have been to Vegas for photo related conventions for thirty years and I also because of client relationships cover the CES recently and the S.H.O.T. shows, probably 60 plus conventions in Vegas.   

Oh, just so you know... If you differ from my thinking you are entitled to your opinion and you may keep it to yourself, thank you.  Discourse, questions, solutions, gladly answered, and if we differ you have the right to get your own site.   

I am old school, in my business dealings. I have rules for my small business which have worked for me like  I place a big emphasis on putting customers first... I like simple communication and attention to what my clients, many who have become friend’s, needs were.  

No nit-twitters, no instagram, no facebook or social meddling, I am really not into the social media.  I keep very busy and am blessed to have many friends and fans that make up enough sociality for my world on the topics I choose to be interested in.

The products I build are for primarily the wedding, event, and photojournalism shooters.  My clients are frugal, smart, climbing in their league, building their business, competitive and they know photography. 

I am brand neutral, I have been partners in retail, Wedding mills, photo laboratories, manufacturing camera gear, taught  and have worked with Kodak, Aires, Graflex, Leica, Rollie, Minolta, Pentax, Nikon, Hasselblad, Mamiya 4x5 and 6x7, and Bronica in 21/4 SQ,  SONY and Canon. I have shot every format from 8x10, 4x5, 2 ¼ to 35 mm.