I love it when creative people choose me to do their wedding photography. Ika is a visual artist and graphic designer and Gary is a molecular biologist with a great eye for street photography so they both really know what they like. Next month they are getting married in the Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam and they decided to have a pre wedding shoot to get used to being in front of the camera. They had very specific ideas in mind about the location being not really recognisable and they like dark moody emotional photography. For a wedding photographer like me to have a shoot in Amsterdam with these guys is really a treat. Really right up my street! The guys were so elegantly dressed, you can tell they think about the final photography a lot. Have a look and let me know what you think.
Hans & Alina contacted me a few weeks ago because he and his fiancee were coming to Amsterdam from Singapore and wanted to do a love shoot so they have some photography to remember their trip before their wedding in 2019. They were happy for me to take the lead and give advice on locations so we set up a two hour shoot starting at the Rijksmuseum, then heading to the Magere Brug, and around some of the lovely canals of Amsterdam. Below are some of my favourite images from the day. What a cool couple they are.
Recently I have been asked a few times by other wedding photographers about my process when it comes to editing on Adobe Lightroom. People ask "what presets are you using?", "or how do you get that look?" etc etc. This is such a long answer but I am gonna try to break it down. Its taken me a very long time and numerous hours on every project trying to get a look that I am happy with.
Before I get into it, if youre just getting started out or if you need some new inspiration for your editing process, this is a great article by the people at SHOOTDOTEDIT. You can see the article here: HOW TO EDIT WEDDING PHOTOS
I picked up a couple of tips from this article myself and it might be good to watch before you delve into what I have to say.
So lets get going and take a look at the following image and break it down.
You will notice that the contrast is super low on the main panel. This is because in the curves panels, that you can see below, there is quite a lot of contrast added in the RGB channel and also in each of the Red, Green, and Blue Channels. These contrast curves I inherited a long time ago when i was using a Kodak Portra preset. The red, green and blue channel curves make a start to the colour tone of the image and i use these for almost all of my images. The RGB curve has a very slight fade to the shadows, mid tones are brought up and the highlights are faded quite a bit to soften the overall highlights in the images.
The next thing to think about is global adjustments and more refined ones when it somes to dark and light in the images. The way I think of it is that the basic panel are more like global adjustments of brightness and contrast. The adjustment sliders below the curves panel give a much more pleasing and controlling way to adjust the light, middle and dark parts of the images. Look at the histogram of the image in the curves panel and you can see where the dakest and lightest parts of the image are. So you can adjust each of the 4 segments independently to further refine each part of the image, in terms of light: bring up the darkest shadows, crush the highlights etc. See below image to show what I mean and pay attention to the adjustment points compared to the histogram.
The clarity and dehaze sliders also adjust contrast but in different ways so play around with minor adjustments to them and see how they affect the images youre working on. I like to bring them down a little sometimes to give a super softness to some portraits for example, like in the image below. Clairty really affects edge definition and dehaze is I guess a bit of adobe magic with a special kind of contrast adjustment, but I like it.
The next thing I look at is the split toning panel. Using this panel is a great way to add a bit of colour to the highlights and the shadows. For example you might want to add a bit of blue to the highlights and a bit of brown to the shadows. This is what I did for the image at the top of this post. Here is the panel for that image below. Notice that its very small amounts of colour, very subtle in the final image. A great way to to try this out is to take an image with a bright soft white/grey sky and try to apply a subtle pink highlight tone with a value of about 350, then try with a blue highlight tone with a value around 200.. Play around with the amount but keep it subtle.
Finally there is the colour calibration panel at the very bottom. This for me was also inherited a long time ago from one of the Kodak Portra presets. I just made some minor adjustments to get the colours more suited to my Sony A7Riii/A7iii files.
So the question: "what presets do you use?". The answer... I dont really. Except that some of my own were originally based on one or two that I liked the colours of. Now I just have a basic starting point for each image.. No image is a one click preset for me. Usually I make a starting point for an image set on one image I like and go from there. The key thing for me is that the curves and calibration panels are mostly the same through all the work now. Everything else is adjusted per project.
I hope this helps some of you out there and if there is anything that you want to add then please do so in the comments below.
When Inez and Hesse asked me to do the wedding photography for their wedding in Naarden we discussed doing a pre wedding shoot there so they could get used to being in front of the camera with me. It was actually a great way to get to know each other a bit before the wedding. This is really part of my process with couples anyway. Its really important for couples to feel super comfortable on the wedding day. There was lovely light on the evening we visited and it made for amazing pre wedding photography. So have a look at the photos and let me know what you think. I love them. Look out for the full wedding set of images soon. If you want to see more then do please visit the PORTFOLIO HERE ind have a look through all the recent weddings like this amazing wedding in the Hortus Botanicus, Amsterdam
Being asked to photograph one of the most amazingly themed weddings in London is always nice. I didn’t realise how fantastic it would be until I arrived on the day I definitely got a bit of a Peaky Blinders vibe. I’m not sure if Andy and Gunta meant this or not but it really was amazing. What attitude from the kids. Here’s a few of my very favourites below. If you want to get more of a taste of the wedding photography from this day then have a look HERE
So happy to let you all know that I am now a proud member of Junebug Weddings, and am featured in the best wedding photographers of the Netherlands. Please share with friends and family and anyone you know getting married. You can see the new listing HERE, Or by clicking the image below:
If youre looking for the best wedding photographers in the North Holland and Amsterdam areas then you came to the right place. Zankyou.nl (Zank You Weddings) consistently tell me I am one of their favourite photographers in the area and of course I say YES when they ask if I want to be included.!. I must be doing something right after all and am really proud to be chosen for this over the last 2 years. Of course it depends if you like the style of images I make. There are of course other photographers in the list but why not get in touch with me for a meeting. You never know... what you might find out.
If you want to see more from the BEAUTIFUL destination wedding of Judith and Igor (photo above) the click here: AMAZING WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY IN TUSCANY
CHECK OUT MORE WEDDINGS BY CLICKING HERE FOR: PORTFOLIO OF WEDDINGS
I did an engagement shoot this week with my new A7Riii, (A7Rii as my second camera) and all I can say is WOW. Some of my initial thoughts on the are below.
1. EYE Af
This really is like night and day compared to the "old-er" model. It really didnt matter where i pointed the camera, the eye and if not, the face was just on point every time. The A7Rii felt like a dinosaur in comparison. So much so i just didnt want to use it at all. I mean the faces were being nailed even when the couple were about 30+metres away. Hopefully the A7ii when it comes out has the same focusing system. If so this will be a hell of a combo for weddings. Honestly its amazing for me.
2 Custom Button Setup
I spent a bit of time setting up the custom buttons for my way of shooting and what a time that took. There are just so many possibilities. I analysed the features i used most in this years weddings and tried to make them work. I tend to shoot with lenses at the widest aperture for much of a wedding day on AF-S (single shot) with flexible spot small focusing point. Eye AF is on the whole day. For processionals or wider shots it can be anywhere from F5.6 - F8 on AF-C (continuous) and Expanded flexible spot AF.
With these 3 shoot modes as a basis for the day I had set up the A7Rii to hold these in the memory so I could recall them by switching the dial on the top. The A7Rii is no slouch and served me well. You can see the last wedding shot with the A7Rii here: Amsterdam Wedding Photography: Judith + Igor. So I dont want to say it didnt help me make images I love..It did!
The absolute beauty of the A7Riii is that i dont have to take my eye away from the viewfinder. I dont have to think about anything but shooting! All three focus modes are within reach of my thumb by assigning each mode to a different custom button.
You can see my custom buttons settings in the images below.
Recall Custom Hold
One of the great features for me is not just assigning diffferent focussing methods like eye-af and a standard focus mode, but being able to override them all with a "recall custom hold set". So if i am using Aperture priority at F1.4 on single shot AF I can go to expanded flexible shot, continuous AF and F5.6 (for walking shots/processionals etc with the press of a button and for as long as i hold it. As soon as you release the button its back to single shot AF or whatever mode youre in. So basically I have all 3 focus modes at the ready at any time. All this without even delving into the shoot mode memory recall at all (which I do need to for night shoots and architecture or studio work). You can see how I set up the Recall Custom Hold Below and how many settings you can apply for each one. There are three holds you can assign.
FN Menu settings
For all of the other features I need quick access to like pixel shift (for my architecture work), anti flicker, live view setting effect on/off (studio shooting with strobe), Crop mode, or focus peaking, I set them all in the function menu as you see below.
No more searching through the menus. Everything is only one button away. AND there is an option to have your own personal menu where you grab your most used menu items and have them in your own menu section. For now I have things like format, face registration, and memory recall settings in there. I am sure i might add a few, we will see.
This new model really is a PRO Tool. No need to worry about missing a moment or any shot from changing settings or looking in menus. You just know you nailed it because the functionality is right there.
3. Battery life
Not as good as i thought it would be. Maybe because its such massive files or something but I did a 2 hour shoot and was down to 35%. Not as good as the A9 I suspect. Expensive batteries too. I will do some experimenting to see how I can extend battery life. I suspect just switching off the camera when not shooting instead of letting it hang still running will make a big difference.
4 Memory Cards
I was using Lexar 32gb UHS-2 1000x cards, 150mbs speed. Tested at 135mbs ish write speed. Plenty fast enough for me and I never had any problems waiting for the buffer to clear even though I was shooting a lot of bursts just to test it out.
5. Is it worth the upgrade
All I can say is that if you are a working photographer who needs the efficiency and ease of use that the A7Riii Brings then yes, its definitely worth it. If youre looking for only image quality performance then probably not. The R2 is still an awesome camera as far as that goes. The A7Riii though, for me, is a work-game-changer.!
Now all i have to do is wait for the updated ACR so I can actually work on the files. So thats my two pence worth so far. Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments.
WOW! Is it really since July that I didnt post something here? How busy a few months it has been. Wedding photography all over the world, Architecture shoots all over Europe and some portraits too. When its too busy to even think about photographing another wedding thats when I forget to post stuff.
I love the Amsterdam wedding photographer "tag" that I have become known for, but I also love the Amersfoort, Utrecht, and Rotterdam wedding photographer "tag". Not to mention the Destination Wedding Photographer "tag". Thats what it has been like the last few months, literally all over Europe and the Netherlands. SO, just because you want to see how good a year its been, here are some of my favourite shots from the last while.
Lets start with the latest wedding in Tuscany, Italy. Judith and Igor, take a bow. You were amazing. Full wedding here: Amsterdam & Destination Wedding Photography, Igor + Judith
For photographers: All images are shot with the Sony A7Rii. If you want to see my first thoughts on the A7Riii then check out the next blog post above.
Utrecht & Amersfoort arent so far from Amsterdam so I wonder sometimes why I dont do wedding photography there more often. There are some amazing landscapes around the area including Soesterduinen and Utrechtse Heuvelrug. I really love it around there, and this wedding is a great example . Set in a forest near Leusden, Lucie and Luuk decided to have the ceremony in the middle of the beautiful trees. WOW, how amazing is that?!. Here is a small selection of images from the day below. If you want to see more from the day just click here: Utrecht, Amerfoort, Leusden Forest Wedding Photography
Wedding photography season is in full flow and I hardly have time to post anything so its been a bit quiet for a while. Finally I have a little space to make some posts so her we go with an awesome, if a little short, wedding in Amsterdam. The couple really wanted to focus on getting the most couple photos as possible. We ended up doing a few different shoots in a number of locations. First off was the Hortus Botanicus with its beautiful palm house, then we passed the Magere Brug, where apparently if you kiss then your love lasts forever. I also did another engagement shoot there a few weeks ago. You can see that one HERE. Finally the wedding happened at the Rosarium in Amstel Park and the ceremony was emotional and beautiful. Here is a small selection of images for now but you can see the whole day HERE.
Yun & Geert contacted me through a colleague to do the photography for their wedding day. We met first in Amsterdam and they told me all about the big day. It sounded like it was going to be great. There was even an owl flying in with the wedding rings. I had to laugh at this: I mean, what an amazing idea. Believe me, trying to catch an owl flying into the ceremony isnt easy. In the end it was a fantastic wedding set in Amersfoort.
Amazing wedding on the IJ in Amsterdam with Anthony and Sean. They contacted me last year and told me they were getting married and would love for me to photograph their wedding. When they told me they were in the USA I got super excited and thought, "wow, what a cool destination wedding".. haha. Well it wasn't to be in the states, but instead they were looking for an Amsterdam Wedding Photographer for an amazing boat wedding this April. There were a few conversations in between and I got to know them a little by skype and we planned for the wedding photography in Amsterdam. So last week the day finally came. It was great to meet them at last. What an amazing couple, genuinely really nice, and, friendly, people. It was a pleasure to meet all their family and friends from all over the world and be part of the big day. Congrats MR & MR.!!
ROSS + ALEXA
The element of Surprise
Ross got in contact through my facebook page. He planned to propose to his girlfriend Alexa in Amsterdam and wanted to make some photos of the occasion, so needed an Amsterdam wedding photographer. He said it was really difficult to surprise Alexa because she is sooooo organised that she always knows what is happening in her schedule. A planned meeting in Paris was given up, with the help of the parents, in favour of this proposal to the love of his life on the, Amsterdam. I do love these surprise moments and always feel blessed to be part of them somehow, and this was no exception. The legend says if you kiss on the Magere Brug (skinny bridge) then the love will last forever. There were many kisses so I guess they are set for life now!
Thanks again Ross for inviting me into your special event!!
Every year in the Netherlands I lok at the wedding photos of the year and am totally astounded by how many guys wear only the same thing: THE BRIGHT BLUE SUIT! We dont all have to be the same. Here are some great ideas for you from Junebug weddings that will let the beautiful bride still take centre stage but have all you guys feeling super cool. Read the article about the images below.
Last April I got a call to do 80 business headshots in London for a group of barristers and needless to say I jumped at it. The only issue was that I would miss Kings Day in Amsterdam for the first shoot. All the way to London from Amsterdam for headshots? Well that wasnt good but the job turned out to be great fun. Over 6.5 days with the help of make up artist Oli Fowler of AOFM Make Up London we had a blast. Everyone worked well together from the clients, assistants, barristers and of course Oli. Here are a few samples from the many shots we made over the last few months.
When a wedding photographer from Amsterdam gets asked to go to Glastonbury in England to do the photography for the wedding of two creative and stylish architects how can he resist. Resist I did not.! The magical wedding of Cathrin and Michael took place on a farm near Glastonbury with 100+ guests, many of whom had helped create the fairy tale landscape that was the setting for the day. Guests camped in tents and brought the food the day from all over Europe and was only supplemented by the Pizza van that arrived in the evening to feed the party goers. The couple rally showed what it meant having all their friends and family there for the day. You can really see it in the photos and I am really happy that I have been able to show this back to them to keep the memories alive forever. Have a look below at some of my favourite images from the day. If you want to see the a bigger selection, and you SHOULD, then check them out HERE. Have a look at some more of my favourite images from this year HERE
Benazir contacted me a few weeks ago from Tanzania to say the she and her fiance were coming to Amsterdam and would like to do a loveshoot or pre wedding photography shoot in the city. I have to admit I have been so busy that I almost said that I couldnt do it. I am so glad I did do it in the end. They are a fantastic couple, such full of happiness. The told me that they wanted to find a quiet spot with less people as they didnt like the idea of everyone watching. I though "quiet place, Amsterdam?, not likely". However we settled on a first Location of the Vondelpark and I found a secluded pathway to make a start and get them to feel comfortable. We shot in the park for about an hour and they got more used to the people around and by the end of the shot we were in the midst of all the cyclists coming through the arches at the Rijksmuseum. Result! A great shoot and we made some awesome photos. Good luck with the wedding guys. If youre interested to see a selection of photos from this years wedding and loveshoot photography then click HERE. OR check out the full stories from all weddings HERE
Well my wedding photography season in Amsterdam is coming to a close, or at least getting quieter. As you may know I only do a limited number of weddings per year and so I am really able to concentrate my efforts on those amazing couples who invite me to be capture their special day. I have met so many amazing people along the way at weddings in Amsterdam, Utrecht, Amersfoort, Rotterdam, Den Haag, England, & Scotland. Everyone from the djs, the cake makers and flower arrangers, the wedding planners and of course the couples, families and friends. Its been so much fun and lot of long hours but absolutely worth it. So please check out a selection of images from the year below. If you want to see some more from each wedding you can check them out HERE.
Cathrin and Michael were amazing at their wedding in Glastonbury. More to come very soon.