Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Grass Valley Engagement Pictures- Logan & Tyler (An Engagement Preview!

This time, you wouldn't believe it but we ALL escaped injury! Practically broke my record! I'm serious! If you don't come back scarred for life, either emotionally or physically, then I probably wasn't the photographer. I hope y'all aren't too disappointed with me!

In keeping with my other tradition, holding my clients hostage after we take care of business to yak about basically nothing, I stuck to my guns. I faithfully bored these two to tears and prevented them from leaving the 110* degree dirt parking lot for AT LEAST 20 minutes. SUCCESS!

Who can recognize this re-run location from earlier this spring? :)

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Baby Jax (Foresthill Family Photographer)

Baby Jax is so cute... and he gets extra cuteness points because he neither pooped, nor peed on me during the session! WHEWHOO! GO BABY JAXTON!

Btw, Jaxt's full name is Jaxton Paulus. Doesn't that make you think of Jackson Pollock?

Jax could TOTALLY do a painting like this:



Hopefully, he won't look like this and be sucking on a cigar whilst painting like big Jack though:



Ok, now everyone oooh and ahhh please. I am sure Jaxton's Mommy would appreciate everyone saying how darn cute her baby boy is. Don't you think they should have a whole little herd of babies? They make 'em good, RIGHT? Everybody HOLLA!

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Cousin Michael:

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Simple Plea for Mercy!

I recently sat down and realized that my regular work hours, per week, at a minimum, exceed 90 hours a week. And I do work all 7 days per week. My correspondence, as it has for the last year, still sucks! This is why I need an intern! (Anybody? All parties whom have expressed high interest do not live locally! LOL [Hello Ms. Perth Australia!] I need to post an ad on CL I think... when I have time!)

But, although correspondence gets like, a D+ at the moment, my editing and turnover times are fantastic and I am totally proud of myself. This is where the pleading comes in!

The oldest order I am working on right now was shot 10 days ago.

This means no one has been waiting any longer than 10 days.

Only the people whom I have worked with in the last 10 days (5 sets of clients + fam & friends) are waiting on images. Everyone else has been taken care of.

So, please, try your very hardest not to check in with me on the status of your images at this time. My turnover times last year were, at the very worst period 12-16 weeks. Right now, I'm getting you guys done in 5-14 days. I know everyone wants to see their pictures and I am working as fast as I possibly can, however, every moment I am spending on email responding to those, "How's it coming?" from XYZ whose pictures I shot a mere 36 hours ago are moments I am not working on your pictures and thereby delaying the time until you get to see them! Also, answering all of those emails (there are many... from many people so this is not directed at any one person!) is taking time away from the people I NEED to talk to, which are the people I am trying to get scheduled in for their sessions and go over wedding details and answering questions and giving advice to "my" new moms and brides as we prepare for our meetings.

PLEASE know that I am working as fast as possible and I will email you as soon as the images are completed. It is not going to be a long wait, but I appreciate your patience in waiting at least a few weeks before starting to check in. Ok? Pretty please? If you find me a nice, young little intern-slave they can answer all your emails, all day long, LOL, but until then, since my cats can't type so it's just me.

Thanks guys.

Em

PS: My sweet baby Amelia had surgery this week on her mouth and she is home on painkillers and drinking kitty milk MY POOR BABY! (And my poor pocketbook, OMG I am going to have to move into a cardboard box behind the dumpster to pay her bills!)

PPS: To those of you that I NEED to be talking to for scheduling, I'm sorry I'm so retarded! Feel free to smack me upside the head if we ever get you down on the calendar, ok? Just know that I have room for ALL of you and we will get you ALL done with plenty of time. I've scheduled everything very carefully so I can keep up this pace on post-processing. It's just a matter of penciling you in. (And if you know any photography wanna-be slaves, send them my way and I can hire them to schedule you.)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Walnut Farm Wedding in Winters under the Circus Tent (aka Erin & Matt's Martha Stewart Wedding)

Matt & Erin have been married for a whole year. Oops. Just getting to their blog post now....

Ok, so MAYBE I had planned on attempting to have this wedding published because I thought the details were SO freaking neat! Martha Stewart to the MAX! So I held the wedding hostage for awhile, ok, quite awhile! So, if you hate it, we can just blame it on the fact I shot it a year ago and am much more advanced now! LOL But, of course, how could you not love it? LOOK at these details!!! Erin was SO creative in everything that she did for this wedding... it blew my mind as soon as I walked up. It was gorgeous.

I remember being so excited just in our consultation when I met with Erin. She had flown in for the weekend from San Diego where she and her Ivy League hubby live. (Erin is a Harvard graduate and her lawyer husband attended Stanford- and every single guest seemed to be a a graduate of either! Very neat!) The wedding took place on the small walnut farm in Winters where Erin grew up and where her parents still live. Only about 10 people attended the ceremony, as Erin and Matt wanted to keep it private and sacred... the masses arrived AFTER the ceremony for the big party, complete with three separate eating and lounge areas under swoopy-topped tents complete with flags! Sooo cute! All of the produce on the tables were locally grown, picked and purchased in Winters. The bags at each place setting, held in place by the walnut were so the guests could fill their bags with fresh fruit to take home. How about that for a original souvenir?

Here is the event in Erin's words:

Wedding vendors: Emily Heizer, Sacramento, CA (photographer); Zephyr Tents, Berkeley, CA (tents, lighting, tables); Big Fun DJ, Bay Area; Classic Party Rentals Sacramento (lounge furniture, chairs, linens); Buckhorn Catering, Winters, CA (tri tip and chicken, served family style); Lulu Paper, Austin, TX (Save the Date and Invitations); California Organic Flowers, Chico CA (most of the flowers); Farmers Market, Davis CA (some flowers); Triple R Fruit Stand, Winters CA (fresh fruit centerpieces doubling as the favors)
What made our wedding very special was that we chose an old barn in the orchard where Erin grew up - her family has been growing nuts in the little town of Winters , California since 1944. We transformed the old barn into a fantastic party with the help of beautiful tents and lighting, farm tables and lounge furniture, and homegrown fresh fruit centerpieces using Erin’s grandmother’s wedding china to feature fresh picked (that morning!) apricots and cherries, which doubled as favors with the addition of hand stamped paper bags. The reception was beautiful but what really made our day unique was the private ceremony we had immediately before the reception in the middle of the orchard, surrounded by our immediate family, the best woman, and the maid of honor, under the walnut trees and a hand painted “chapel” sign.
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Little last minute touch ups for Matt...

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Newborn Session: Twins! Jordan & Zachary are here!

Just a little preview for their Mommy & Daddy, who have been waiting a very long time for these two to come home from the NICU so these sweet preemies could have their first picture together!

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I want a baby. :( Which of my brides is making me a baby to play with next? :)

Margarita & Devan

gittin' DOWN in the flowas!

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Photographer Q & A

I got a question in my email inbox a few minutes ago and I thought it would share it with you all, as well as my answer! Maybe this will help someone else out there too. :)


Question:

I came across your blog and I saw that you don't mind if people ask questions...
I am shooting my first wedding where I was the one booked and will have a second shooter with me next saturday (i'm only making $---) I am super nervous because we are doing the couple/ group shots from 2-5ish which is the time for hard lighting with bad shadows... do you have any suggestions for getting good images at this time of day? thanks so much!!


Answer:


The two most important things keep in mind while you're doing the group shots is to be 1.) Assertive and 2.) Confident. This isn't a pep talk though... what I mean by that is early on when I first started shooting the couple or a family member would speak up and say I want to take all of the portraits over here in the rose garden (in full sun and backed up to a street or something) and because *I* was nervous and not sure, anxious to please and afraid to speak up, I'd go ahead and do what they asked, even if I thought it was a bad idea.

Further compounding the problem would be when I got them set up in that area, and I'm looking through the lens at them in that horrific lighting and tacky background, I wouldn't speak up and say, "This isn't working, we need to move somewhere else." I might readjust them where they were, but mostly I would let the client, or more usually, the client's family control the session. This is a big mistake. Don't ever be afraid to speak up if something isn't working. It happens. It didn't mean you screwed up... if you don't speak up and something looks bad, THEN you have officially screwed yourself.

When you get to wherever you are going to take the pictures, step up to the plate, act like you've done a 1000 weddings, and find the absolute best place for photos. I usually strive for a evenly shaded area. Sometimes in a retarded place- like, say, on the backside of a building, and the family is yelping, why don't we do the pictures OVER THERE, in the pretty, sweaty, hot uncomfortable garden? This is where the assertiveness and unwavering confidence jumps in.

You tell them that the absolute most important thing about pictures is lighting- spell it out,

"if we take pictures over there this really bright light is going to make everyone look like
they have bags under their eyes and and like you're sweating under a heat lamp! So, we're
going to take these pictures over here, because remember, the group portraits are just about
the people, we want to focus on your pretty faces in your fancy clothes, not so much the
background."

And stick to that; keep it closely framed with little background if it's not so pretty or artistic. The most important thing, again, is lighting.

Remember that by taking pictures in a bad area under pressure from any other person only means that the CLIENT will be punished in the end (even if they don't realize it at the time- this is why we always explain what we're doing), and YOU will end up with poor photos for your portfolio. Nobody wins.

You can also pacify the family who want pictures taken in X unsuitable location by telling them we're going to save the rose garden for just pictures of the bride and groom, so it's just special for them and their pictures, because it's so romantic. (INSERT BIG GRIN HERE) (This is also true, and logical, by the way.)

Then use a light disc when you do those couple's portraits to bounce light onto their faces, or you can use a fill flash (I don't, I hate how it looks but that's what you're *supposed* to do. [rolls eyes]). It's much easier to fix crappy lighting when you're only doing it with two people. Also take a look around you... are there any natural light reflectors? A big white building facing the sun perhaps that you could use to get their faces properly exposed? (Having them backlit by the sun, and then lit indirectly by using the building- so they are facing the building.)

Also, I don't know what area you are from or where you are shooting, but I was in Tiburon in the SF Bay Area last weekend and it was blindingly bright outside at 3pm, when we were supposed to be doing pictures. BUT... the sun was at just the right angle that we could put the groups facing away from the sun- and me shooting right into it, that it was just perfectly giving everyone just a little light halo, but still overhead enough that their faces weren't pitch dark.

Here is are some example images from last weekend:

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So remember.... seek out the best place to do group pictures, wherever that may be- try to find a shaded area without the spotty sunshine so your subjects aren't polka dotted with overexposures from the sun peeking between the leaves of the tree or whatever. Be assertive and firm, but always kind and always explain what you are doing and why. Look for natural reflectors, and worst comes to worst, whip out your flash.

Emily Heizer
Emily Heizer Photography
http://www.eheizerphotography.com

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Call to Arms!

Today, I spent some quality time with a couple of vertically challenged folks.

This one, I think I may have bored into a coma. (It might have had something to do with that warm bottle though too...)

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This one? I think I just drove her flat out batty.

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I'm a HORRIBLE conversationalist.

Well, these two thought so anyway.

Unless you want to talk about my cats?

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Speaking of, I'm thinking of taking on an intern. What do you think? Of course, this is slave labor we're talking here. A few hours during the week, and then, as a reward for the whip-smackin' you'll take during the week, you get to come along to the weddings on the weekend, be my bag boy/girl, and maybe do some second shooting. Is that juicy enough of a bribe for someone out there ? Probably not. Especially since I would absolutely require that you baby talk to my cats like this:



But hey, it never hurts to ask.

Some of the things on my house-elf's (Insert Harry Potter-haters snicker here) honey-do list would be organizing my archival discs and contracts so I can be less of a paper slob. (This should be easy; they're all stuffed in a drawer and there might be some stuffed in the trunk of my car from years ago... PSYCHE! ... Sort of... Ahem.)

You'd also take over the process of burning master discs and all the hell which that entails, including packaging and labels. There'd be some client correspondence, advertising, some designing. There might also be some editing, prepping for weddings, and of course, I'm always here and available to be picked for ideas and advice on whatever.

On the weekends, or even sometimes during the work-week there will be engagement, family, maternity, newborn shoots and most exciting of all, weddings. I do have a second camera which you could shoot on, although it probably would be easier if the intern had their own camera, but this wouldn't by any means be a requirement. If you're too chicken to shoot in the beginning, it's totally ok too. (Because I like to be in control. LOL)

There's probably lots more things here that I am forgetting about, but, eh, this is just a general wondering right now. I'm thinking the office work during the week wouldn't take all that long to do, maybe 2 or 4 hours twice a week? I can be very flexible with hours since I work from home. (Oh yeah, I hope you don't tend to wear black... my cats are white, and they have free run of the furniture. CHEESE!)

There are a couple of pluses... instead of being stuck in an office you get to hang out at my house, which is my office, and get music or tv as background noise, and you can even do your work laying on the floor on splayed all over the couch. At least until you realize you're covered in cat hair... then you might want to sit at the table. But still... OPTIONS!

Shoot me an email if you're interested!

Oh, and BTW... cough, cough. I'M FINALLY BEING PUBLISHED!

SQUEEEEEEEEEEE!

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