Posts Tagged 'Rinat Halon'
Congratulations! You did it! You are now Mr. & Mrs.!!!
The photographer sent you a link to the online gallery for you to choose photos for the album. You use your Smartphone to choose the photos.
A few weeks later the photographer emails you the album layout design for approval. You view your album on your Smartphone again. You email the photographer back that the album is approved. And you cannot wait to see it.
Another couple of weeks go by and you to pick up your album from the photographer. The album is perfect, of course. After all, you approved it. You take the album home and start showing it off.
Then you realize there is a small stain on your husband’s shirt sleeve. You never saw it until now. Another thing you realize all of a sudden is that on your engagement album you had the photographer write your nickname. On the wedding album you had the photographer write your full name. Now your engagement and wedding albums don’t match. Oh well, you’re just going to have the photographer fix all this and produce a new album for you. Right?
In this day and age we are so used to the disposable world we live in. We are also used to doing everything fast, on super multi tasking mode. Everything is replaceable, so we don’t pay our full attention to almost anything. Why bother? If it’s not right – we’ll get a replacement.
And yet, the art of creating custom designed albums is still something that takes time and effort.
When I design an album, first I start with retouching all the pictures that go into the album. I hand retouch each single photo, a task that can take me between half an hour to an hour for each image.
Once retouching is complete, I move on to designing the album, taking into careful consideration the storyline, composition and page layout. This task, depending on the album size, can take between 8-12 hours of work – that is – to design one album. My goal is to create an outstanding art piece that supersedes the previous one I created – every single time.
When I email the album layout to be approved by the couple, it is their turn to pay full attention to this art piece I am creating for them. Unlike other purchased art, the couple has a say in the creation of this one. They can ask to change a page layout, a background color, or to remove a pole that appears to be “growing” out of uncle Ad’s head. This is their chance to make sure I did not miss anything that is important to them. Because as with any art work – once this album is printed – it is final.
I ask my couples to take the time, sit in front of the biggest computer screen they have and slowly go over the album details. Make sure they are absolutely happy with it before they turn back to me and approve it.
Because, as the years will go by – this album will stay the reflection of their special day. And the album, as is their love – is not replaceable.
* The photos in this post are some of the album pages I designed for Gabrielle & Bob, who were married at 71 years young at the beautiful Heathrow Country Club. Love these two, Happy Ever After to you love birds!
Before I photograph a wedding I do everything I can to ensure I will be able to do my job to the best of my ability, and produce great photos for the bride and groom. There is what I consider to be the obvious – I take the time to make sure all my equipment is up to par, that I have all I need to shoot the wedding, and I visit the location (if I have never been there before) to understand what I will be working with on the wedding day in terms of grounds, light and backdrops.
Beyond that, I take the time to plan and create a shot list with the couple. We go over the wedding day timeline together, determine where and when which photos will be taken, and who needs to be there for it. I then type the list up, email it to the couple, and print myself a copy for the wedding day.
Lastly, I find out who are the vendors who will be working with me. I compare a wedding day to a battle field – everyone needs to know their part, and work together, to ensure we will “win the battle”.
I am always happy to know I will be working again with vendors I have worked with for years and years. I know they do a good job. And I know they understand the importance of working together as a team.
In the wedding industry here in Orlando, the professional vendors take the time to get to know each other. There are vendor luncheons we all meet at monthly, and I go to quite a few one on one meeting with vendors I never met before, hear about their company, their ideology, and how they work. This behind the scenes process is SO important to create a wonderfully relaxed wedding day.
But what do we do with all the so called professional vendors who do not take the time to know other wedding vendors? Who could care less about working together as a team, and do not understand the importance of it? That is the problem nowadays. And here is why:
It’s a domino effect. All it takes is one vendor who does what they want, with no consideration to the other vendors, and the whole carefully planned wedding day can fall apart. For example, if the florist and the photographer don’t talk to find out when the pictures start, guess what? More than likely there will be pictures without the bouquets and boutonnieres. Let’s stick with the flowers for another example: If the DJ does not let the photographer know it is time for the bride’s bouquet toss, guess what? There is a good chance the photographer will not make it on time and miss the moment.
And it is so sad – because this can be fixed so easily. All it takes is some time and effort communicating.
Recently I photographed a wedding for a couple I really like. We did the engagement session, so they could get comfortable in front of the camera. We created their shot list. I was so happy when they told me one of their vendors was someone I worked with many times before and knew did a great job. I never worked before with any of the other vendors of that particular wedding. I went out to check the location and met the coordinator. The florist contacted me to ask when to deliver the flowers. The DJ emailed their timeline for the reception. It seemed like all was going well.
So imagine my surprise on the wedding day when two – not one – two videographers walk in. When asked the bride about it she said the DJ gave them the videographers last minute – as a gift.
I love working with videographers. To be completely honest, it’s for a very selfish reason – I love their video light, and find it produces great natural looking photos. When a wedding has both me and a videographer, we work side by side, enjoy the benefit of their video light, and get great shots.
In this wedding though, that was not the case. I didn’t know the videographers, and we never spoke. It was important that we talk before the day starts rolling to ensure we are on the same page. I introduced myself to both videographers, and asked them the most basic courtesy request – that they not be across from me when I am shooting, so they don’t “photo bomb” the pictures.
Imagine my surprise when I came out after the bride and found one of the videographers on the stage with the bride, groom and officiate. I could not get one shot without the videographer in it. I looked over at my second shooter who shook his head at me. He was having the same problem. I mean, the videographer was in their faces! He may as well could have put the rings on their fingers, he was standing right there!
And it just got worst from there. The rest of the evening, every photo I was composing to take – the videographer was in it. It was just so sad. All the careful planning, all the hopes this couple had for their beautiful photos I wanted to capture for them – it all went up in smoke. When I asked the DJ to speak with the videographer – after all, he brought him – the DJ told me he is not getting involved. I walked over to the videographer and pleaded with him to work with me, not against me. This is for the bride and groom, I said, let’s work together. The videographer looked at me, shrugged his shoulders and said “I don’t know what you’re talking about”
And it hit me. He really had no idea. He had no idea what it means to be a professional in a wedding. All he could think about was the great shot that he has to get – at any price. Like he told my second shooter who confronted him when his composition was cut off yet one more time by the videographer jumping into the frame:”I didn’t see you” said the videographer to him. That was the problem. He didn’t see him. He didn’t see anyone. He had no idea what it meant to work as a team.
I was so sad to edit these photos. Looking through the wedding day photos; the videographer is in every other photo. What a shame. Here is how you prevent something like that from happening in your wedding:
Ask the wedding vendors you hire about each other. Find out if they heard of the other vendors before. And if one of the vendors offers to bring you a videographer or photographer as a gift, remember this: You get what you pay for. If it’s free for you – it will undoubtedly produce compromised results. Or worst – it will interfere with the work of your other wedding day vendors. Decline the gift gracefully and know you invested in high quality professional vendors to ensure your wedding day is absolutely wonderful – and know you are in good hands!
Recently I created a Personalized Image Bank for Deb, a talented and caring massage therapist. We wanted to capture her Professional demeanor, alongside her personal connection with her clients & the relaxed and peaceful atmosphere Deb projects. We also wanted to reflect the growth in her business, as Deb is currently expanding, adding more massage therapists to work in her business.
Deb’s OLD photo she has been using is this photo (Photographed by Joseph Boy):
As she is now planning a shift in her business, giving fewer massages and concentrating more on running her massage therapy practice, we decided to capture her new portrait to reflect it, here is her NEW portrait:
Deb posted the new portrait to Facebook, and started receiving remarks on it from her friends. A couple of her friends were very angry. Here are some of the quotes they wrote on her Facebook wall:
Joseph wrote: “I was looking forward to seeing what someone else. (A profession could do) in my non-professional opinion, your really need to tilt your head down a bit to showcase the jaw and hide the neck. The angle is all wrong… Since I have known you for a long time I under stand the subject of your character and know the photographer could do alot better to bring out the real you. (bring that sexy out, and when you have that natural smile your shots will be perfect) But really glad you are trying to see what some professionals can do”
Carol wrote: “… Good, but it could be more flattering. You look better in person. The eye of a camera is harsh. Also something else may fit your personality better. You have a lot of pizzazz that is not coming across here.”
Heidi wrote: “…Not sure if arms crossed (closed off) is what you’re looking for. Your personality draws people close to you and this is a little stand offish…”
And on and on it went. First of all I was blown away. I mean, I know everyone’s a critic, but it seems since the reality shows epidemic, many people feel it is ok to shame others in public. And that is unfortunate.
After reading the reactions, I went back and compared the two photos –the one Deb was using, and the new one we shot for her. They were definitely different. It actually looks like a different woman. In the old photo Deb is a sweet, smiley, massage therapist that is here to make your aches and pains go away. In the photo I shot she is a business woman – one with a vision and a plan. She is no longer the smiley sweet harmless woman – this woman in my picture, who is standing strong in front of you, will not take any crap from anyone. Now she is also looking you right in the eye – as oppose to her old photo in which she is submissive as she leans down on the table with her inner arms exposed – her sole purpose in life is to please you. Now she is standing tall, running the show, and one more very important detail – she doesn’t need anyone to help her! She is definitely not being objectified and “bringing that sexy out” as Joseph suggested she should do.
Yes, I know it is 2015. Yes this type of woman – a strong woman- is still considered a threat to some people.
Others have a hard time with change. Seeing Deb go overnight from the sweet massage therapist to a calculated business owner was too much for some to take. As Carol wrote” the eye of the camera is harsh”, and Heidi suggested arms crossed is not a good idea. What they were really saying is: please don’t change. People have a hard time handling change in other people, as it may change the relationship with the changed person, and they like the relationship the way it is. Another thing is that a change in one person reflects on people in their lives, since sequentially it gives them a chance to turn the mirror on themselves and see if they are happy with whom they are. They may feel threatened by Deb’s advancement in life; they may feel they are not good enough. Either way – they deal with it as one would when feeling threatened – they just want it to go away.
When I sat with Deb and asked her to tell me the difference between her two photos, she saw some of the things written in this post right away. Other things I showed her, and she was surprised at first, yet agreed with me. The bottom line is that she is very happy with the pictures I took for her, and since she is the client – that is what’s important. What’s more, it is going to be interesting to see what type of clients Deb will draw using her new photo, as opposed to using her old photo. One thing is for sure – it will be people who appreciate a smart, strong, caring & professional massage therapy business owner.
To see more photos from Deb’s Personalized Image Bank click here: http://rinathalon.com/soul-2-sole/ , and here is my favorite shot from that session:
Therapeutic Photography just came to me. I was in a spiritual retreat, and suddenly, during the workshop realized that I can show people the reflection of their soul through the use of my camera.
First of all it is important to understand I am NOT a therapist. What I am is a very sensitive being that is walking the spiritual path and has professional photography experience. Saying I have a professional photography experience is an understatement as I love, live, and breathe photography in all its elements. All these reasons combined are why I can use photography as a tool for inner-work.
What does Therapeutic Photography mean? For example, let’s use a 30 year old woman who walks in to my studio and immediately says “I am not photogenic”, proceeding with arguments to support her claim: “I don’t like my eyes, they are too small”, “I’m fat”, “I have big teeth” and so forth.
In the Therapeutic Photography sessions that are done in the privacy of my home studio and are completely confidential, the camera functions as a mirror for the person being photographed. A mirror of their soul, reflecting what they hide behind the façade they usually put up when being photographed. These sessions bring up the things we normally don’t look at.
The process starts with a phone consultation, during which I listen to the person being photographed tell me why they are coming, what it is they wish to see. Based on what I am told I advise them what to bring with them to this session. The next step is the Therapeutic Photography session itself. Arriving at my home studio usually feeling very uncomfortable about what they are about to do – which turnes into a sense of surprise when they realize during the session how freeing it is – by the end of the session many people find themselves dancing in front of the camera.
The process continues when they see their photos from the session for the first time. Using the photographs, they look back at the process they went through during the studio session, and now can see their inner selves reflecting back to them. Many realizations come up in this stage of the process, which can sometimes feel uneasy as this is an unfiltered reflection.
When I photograph, my goal is to become one with my camera in order to reflect to the person in front of the camera their beauty – even the parts they like less about themselves can appear beautiful through this different perspective.
When I first started Therapeutic Photography it was important to me to go through the process myself. I turned to a friend who is a professional photographer to photograph me. I chose to share this photo Yaniv Druker took of me because it is the hardest one for me to look at. When I look at it I see how much I have aged, I see I have one eye smaller than the other. But the deepest pain reflecting in this photo for me is my femininity. I found in Yaniv’s studio a wedding dress, and chose to wear it for this photo. There is a good reason why I chose it. I didn’t have a wedding dress when I got married, which to me says a lot about how I felt about myself and marriage in general. The pain I experience seeing myself in this photo is a sense of missing out on life. It is also a sense of confusion about what kind if a woman I am. I can see all that reflecting in my eyes. The first time I saw this photo I set in front of it and cried. Now I can embrace it, and everything it means to me. Now I can grow from it.
I have been a professional photographer for 17 years, and thanks to this tool, the camera, I continuously discover new worlds. Today I am happy to reflect to others a new world of their own. A world that existed in them all along – they just never saw it. What a great gift!
At the end of every consultation with an engaged couple who is considering hiring me to photograph their wedding day, I say: “You may not realize it, but the one person you will spend most time with on your wedding day – more time than you will spend with each other – is your photographer. Whoever you choose to photograph your wedding – you better like them, and feel comfortable with them”.
When I shoot weddings my job is not just to capture great photos, but so much more. From explaining to the bride where the bouquet needs to be (right in front of her belly button), to walking the couple through the cake cutting process. And in between I am an advisor, consultant, and a human Goggle (“does the boutonniere on the groom go on the left or the right?). Yes, the couple has to feel comfortable with me. After all, this is a very emotional day, and they want it to go smoothly. As I tell the couple – this is your first wedding (or second, ok) – but I have done many, oh many weddings in my 17 years as a professional photographer –I know what to do, and I am happy to do what I can to ensure your special day goes smoothly.
One of my favorite books of all times “Other People’s Weddings” by Noah Hawley is about a wedding photographer. There are many scenarios the lead character- Laurie – runs into that I can relate. Scenarios similar to the ones I described in this blog post. Two things that happen to Laurie that never happened to me, though. In the book, in one wedding Laurie gets beaten by the groom, and in another wedding she meets the love of her life. One I am very thankful never happened to me and the other could be very nice if it happened – you can guess which is which…anyway, I always think about this book when I work with a couple on the wedding day, and how it depicts so accurately the special relationship that develops between a couple and their trusted wedding photographer.
At the end of the day, when I edit the photos, and see how the bride’s bouquet sits effortlessly in the right spot, and I go through the fun, natural looking cake cutting photos – I know I did my job well. The part of my job that hides so well behind the beautiful wedding day pictures.
Wedding location: The castle Hotel, Orlando Florida
Wedding planner: Michele Butler Events
Flowers: Carly Ane’s Floral Studio
Video: Pro One Video
The last time I shot at this location was before I left Orlando, 5 years ago – and before the massive renovation they underwent. When Ryan Turnau, the Sales & Catering manager of the Palace, took me on a tour of the beautifully renovated hotel, I was elated. The wedding day shot list was coming to life in my imagination: I’m going to photograph the bride in the bistro by the pool, with all this beautiful natural light coming in through the big windows, and the green plant backdrop, providing a soft, elegant yet natural setting. Once we entered the bar area I knew immediately that is where I will be capturing the groomsmen photo. For the couple’s portraits I had a few locations in mind, depending on the time we had to shoot.
On the wedding day, my photographic plan came to life easily and effortlessly, thanks to one very calm bride & groom – the wonderfully happy Vanessa & Greg, and thanks to my assistant Priscilla who helped my notoriously crazy re-organization of the furniture in the scene without one complaint.
The photos came out just as I imagined them. And as many times happen when I shoot, my favorite photo ends up being an unplanned one. I was waiting with Vanessa on the roof of the Palace to be called to the ceremony area, as a moment naturally unfolded before me: Vanessa was deep in thought these few moments before walking down the aisle. The young man who was to escort her down the aisle was also deep in thought, gazing at the horizon. They forgot I was there. And when I clicked the shutter, I know I just captured that day’s winning shot.
As I was editing the photos back in the studio, I was thinking of all the areas in the Palace I didn’t use yet for shots, as time never permits on a wedding day…oh well – I will shoot something completely different next time I have a wedding at the Palace – can’t wait!