Philadelphia, Down town club, Caitlin and Ryan, Album

Volume I and II of the Caitlin and Ryan Wedding! The photographs that flood these beautiful albums were taken in Philadelphia, PA!
Volume I and II of the amazing and energetic Caitlin and Ryan Wedding! The photographs that cover these beautiful pages were taken in Philadelphia, PA at a Down Town Club. The two volumes fit perfectly into the costume box created just for Caitlin and Ryan’s album!

What a wedding! Caitlin, Ryan and all of their family and friends never stopped dancing! I am telling you, I don’t think Philadelphia has ever seen so much dancing at one wedding. It was incredible to watch and so much fun to photograph.

I loved working with Caitlin and Ryan. They are such an easy going, fun couple. Once I hung up my dancing shoes, I went back to the Photo Loft in North Wales, PA, and tried to narrow down the photographs to just one album. But I couldn’t. There were so many amazing moments captured and beautiful people, I couldn’t let Caitlin and Ryan go without a two volume album! The images that were created were just too good! Between photos of the couple, the dog, their families and friends, the dancing, etc… I loved it all.

And did I mention how perfect the lighting was during the getting ready photos. It was a dream come true for a wedding photographer.

Caitlin and Ryan, I hope you guys never stop dancing!Philadelphia_Down_Town_Club_Caitlin_and_Ryan_Album_spread_002_003_20160801_0037 Philadelphia_Down_Town_Club_Caitlin_and_Ryan_Album_spread_004_005_20160801_0038 Philadelphia_Down_Town_Club_Caitlin_and_Ryan_Album_spread_006_007_20160801_0039 Philadelphia_Down_Town_Club_Caitlin_and_Ryan_Album_spread_008_009_20160801_0042 Philadelphia_Down_Town_Club_Caitlin_and_Ryan_Album_spread_010_011_20160801_0041 Philadelphia_Down_Town_Club_Caitlin_and_Ryan_Album_spread_012_013_20160801_0043 Philadelphia_Down_Town_Club_Caitlin_and_Ryan_Album_spread_014_015_20160801_0044 Philadelphia_Down_Town_Club_Caitlin_and_Ryan_Album_spread_016_017_20160801_0045 Philadelphia_Down_Town_Club_Caitlin_and_Ryan_Album_spread_018_019_20160801_0046 Philadelphia_Down_Town_Club_Caitlin_and_Ryan_Album_spread_020_021_20160801_0047 Philadelphia_Down_Town_Club_Caitlin_and_Ryan_Album_spread_022_023_20160801_0048 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Hope you enjoyed seeing these photos of Caitlin and Ryan’s wedding in Philadelphia, PA!

Bucks County, Washington Crossing Historic Park, Heather and Tyler

 

Heather and Tyler's forever session in Bucks County, right outside of Philadelphia Proper at the Washington Crossing Park.
Heather and Tyler’s forever session in Bucks County, right outside of Philadelphia Proper at the Washington Crossing Park.

In the beautiful Washington Crossing Historic Park, located in Bucks County, PA, I was lucky enough to photograph Heather and Tyler on what it felt like was the perfect Philadelphia evening. The sun was setting just right, the weather was just what we needed and the excitement was in the air!

Heather, Tyler and I had a blast! We couldn’t stop shooting even when the sun was long gone. Tyler and Heather’s playfulness was evident in each and every frame I took. They were laughing. They were dancing. They were relaxing in the grass. It was cool to see them as a couple and even better to photograph them for their forever session! I love how my forever sessions take me all over Philadelphia and Washington Crossing Historic Park is now one of my fav. locations of the summer!

After the session, we put together an epic wall collection which I couldn’t be happier with. The collection showcased their love in such a unique and beautiful way. The photographs flowed together in such a way that really shows Heather and Tyler’s story.

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Philadelphia – Philadelphia Art Museum, Pat and Ed, Wall Display

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This is the wall collection I helped Pat and Ed put together for their home. The photos are taken in Philadelphia right outside the Philadelphia Art Museum. Love how this collection looks together! So awesome.

When I met up with Pat and Ed at the Philadelphia Art Museum, I could only think one thing, this is what true love looks like. They were playful, fun and in love. Their infectious laughter had me cracking up behind the camera. Couldn’t have asked for a sweeter couple.

Our photo session was timed perfectly, if I do say so myself, with an incredible sunset in the background and an awesome couple in the foreground, what could make a photographer happier!?

Photographing Pat and Ed at the Philadelphia Art Museum was the perfect way to showcase their love. They are a strong, beautiful and confident couple and the Art Museum is nearly as strong and beautiful as they are. The intricate architecture of the Philadelphia Art Museum has always stood out to me, and now whenever I am in Philadelphia and see the Art Museum, I will think of Pat and Ed, the love they share and the fun we had.

Once the session was over, I went back to the Photo Loft and put together a collection of photographs for the amazing couple. They loved everything almost as much as I did! I had the honor of helping Pat and Ed put together a wall collection. Four of the beautiful photographs we created during their session are hanging in their house for everyone one to see, and I have to admit, it looks pretty cool!

To a hundred more years together, Pat and Ed!

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We’d love to hear from you! Give me a call or shoot me an email if you want to set up your own forever session with your SO 🙂

 

Blue Bell- Normandy Farms, Austin and Rob, Album

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This album is just as vibrant and loving as the couple inside of it. Austin and Rob are an incredible pair who are genuine and true in every sense of the word. Their love for each other is evident every time I see them. Austin and Rob’s wedding was perfect for their unique and lovable manor.

From the polka dotted bridesmaid dresses, to the suspenders that the groomsmen wore, to the style of the brides hair, this Philly wedding celebration was the perfect mix of modern and vintage.

It was one of the my fav. stylish weddings I had seen this summer in the Philadelphia Area! It screamed Austin and Rob and I was honored to have the privilege in photographing this fun, aweosme and original wedding!

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Austin and Rob are an amazing team together. I could not have been happier to photograph them on the day they said I do at Normandy Farms, only 20 miles away from Philadelphia! Austin and Rob are sweet and true all the way through. They know who they are and who they love which shined bright on their Wedding day! I love the color and the vibrance of the entire day! Thank you Austin and Rob for being such a pleasure to work with!


Contact us
to hear more about what we can do with your style for your wedding!

Leola – the Inn at Leola Village, DJ and Matt, Album

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The Inn at Leola Village was the perfect location for this incredible couple. Couldn’t have found a better location in the Philadelphia Area for this energetic, lovely day! The colors were brilliant, the happiness was contagious and the love between DJ and Matt was awesome to witness.

Photographing this wedding was both fun and unique. Obviously, the couple was fantastic to work with, but this wedding was so cool… I mean come on, they even had some horses! What’s not to love!

There was never a boring moment. Always something cool to photograph. My second shooter and I were captivated the entire time. Between the clothes, the colors, the food, the traditional ceremony and the goofy moments in between, I was never not shooting and I was never shooting the same thing twice! It was a wedding photographers paradise!

These types of weddings are my favorite, so much happiness, silliness, tradition and fun. It was an honor photographing this couple on their special day and I look forward to photographing them in the future!

Not only was the wedding fantastic, but making this couples wedding album was an awesome project. The rich red leather material worked perfectly with the beautiful and vibrant images of this exciting Philadelphia Area Wedding!

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Contact us  to chitchat about Mike photographing your wedding!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The day was beautiful, the colors were vibrant and the love was real at this Philadelphia Area wedding, located at the Inn in Leola Village! Thank you DJ and Matt for having such a fun, vibrant and beautiful wedding.

Congrats again DJ and Matt! Your wedding was an absolute blast!

Philadelphia- Los Caballitos Cantina/Geno’s Steaks, Samantha and Phil, Engagement Session

 

This couple was a blast to photograph! Sam and Phil's happiness is so captivating that it even made the orange wall at Los Caballitos Cantina in Philadelphia seem less bright. We had such a good time hanging out in Philly, walking the dog, eating cheesesteaks and, oh ya, creating photos! Between the two of them and the puppy, I was one happy photographer : ).
This couple was a blast to photograph! Sam and Phil’s happiness is so captivating that it even made the orange wall at Los Caballitos Cantina in Philadelphia seem less bright. We had such a good time hanging out in Philly, walking the dog, eating cheesesteaks and, oh ya, creating photos! Between the two of them and the puppy, I was one happy photographer : ).

I met up with Samantha, Phil and the coolest dog in the Philadelphia Area at Los Caballitos Cantina for their engagement session. The first thing I noticed was how awesome this couple is and how excited I was to photograph them. The second thing I noticed was this bright orange wall that was completely and totally epic.  I immediately thought how great this couple (and the pup) will look against the orange. Their outfits (and puppy) really popped from the orange background. We had a good time working with the orange, working the poses, laughing  I love how these photos turned out!

It was a typical hot Philadelphia summer day, but none of us noticed because of how easy going, fun and beautiful Sam and Phil are. You can tell by just looking at them that they make a killer team. Their love for each other was evident in each and every frame.

 

We enjoyed our time at Los Caballitos Catina and walked the puppy over to Geno’s Steaks for some cool photos, a different scene and some of the best cheesesteaks in Philly! We stopped along the way to Geno’s to dance, play and ride in shopping carts! The energy and love of this couple shined even brighter as  the day went on . Finally, when we got to Geno’s they dug into a cheesesteak in “Lady-and-the-Tramp” style.  Nothing says Philadelphia love than sharing a cheesesteak!

No one has ever made a shopping cart look so romantic, loving and stylish! This Philly couple killed it around Center City and we had an awesome time at their engagement session!
No one has ever made a shopping cart look so romantic, loving and stylish! This Philly couple killed it around Center City and we had an awesome time at their engagement session!

 

Sam and Phil, Congrats! Loved how your engagement session came out and cannot wait for more in the future!

Contact us to find out more about booking your own portrait session.

-Mike

Philadelphia Headshot September Sale

It’s time for our annual Philadelphia Headshot September Sale!

Time to dust off your old LinkedIn headshot.  Your friends have been talking behind your back about it.  Your boss is embarrassed.  You really want to find a new job but nobody will hire you because your headshot is embarrassing.

We can totally tell your headshot is a cropped version of your wedding photo to your now ex. The tux is a dead giveaway.   So call us today.  You’ll feel comfortable in our studio located 40 minutes from Philadelphia via the Lansdale-Doylestown line.Philadelphia Headshot Photographer

Book Allebach Photography for your Philadelphia Headshot Session! Check out our September $199 deal for 1 headshot. Call us at 610.539.6920 to book.

Business

Best Photographers in the World Ad

I feel so honored to be featured in Profoto’s latest ad campaign in magazines along side of the best photographers in the world. To be featured along with your photography heroes was pretty epic.

Using the best lighting in the world has helped!

World's Best Photographers
World’s Best Photographers use Profoto Magazine Ad

Watch it until the end. My first retouch video.

Everyone requested I post this outside of Facebook.  Here you go.
Thanks to everyone who has the same messed up sense of humor I do!

Sharing my behind the scenes work. I decided to make my first retouching video with National Geographic’s Homo Naledi…

Posted by Mike Allebach on Thursday, September 10, 2015

10 Amazing Floral Arrangements That Every Wedding Needs

Flowers add color, vibrancy, and life to every occasion, especially weddings. Without these beauties, a wedding would not feel like a wedding at all! Florists make it a point to create elaborate flower arrangements that liven up a wedding by cultivating an atmosphere of romance and delight. Here are some must-have flower ideas for weddings to get you started!

  1. Ceremony Garlands
Martha Stewart Weddings
Photo Credit: Martha Stewart Weddings

Ceremony garlands can usually be found adorning a window or an arch. They are a classic part of weddings, perfect for the entryway to a church or a banquet hall. They can be crafted by tying together a variety of flowers with baby’s breath. If you’re taking the DIY path, you will need some rope and foam wreath forms to complete the project. These garlands not only add glamour to thresholds and windows, but also make for a beautiful backdrop.

  1. Boutonnieres
Image 2
Photo Credit: Martha Stewart Weddings

While the bouquets carried by the bride and her bridesmaids get most of the attention at a wedding, no wedding is complete without boutonnieres for the men. A boutonniere is typically a single flower bud worn through the lapel buttonhole. A loop holds the stem in place at the back of the lapel. Though a boutonniere is small, it adds a pinch of character and style. Use the same flowers and colors for the boutonnieres that you use for the bridesmaids’ bouquets for the best effect!

  1. Focal Point: Spray Centerpieces
Image 3
Photo Credit: Martha Stewart Weddings

You will also need a centerpiece for each of your banquet tables. These are the focal points which draw the eye. For that reason, each centerpiece needs to exude glamour and extravagance. Baby’s breath is essential, as it fills out the arrangement and gives it balance, rounding out the cluster of blooms. Set up your spray centerpiece in a vase, or hang it low from the ceiling over the table. Either way, you will achieve a stunning effect!

  1. Flower Arrangement: Tablescape
Photo Credit: Martha Stewart Weddings
Photo Credit: Martha Stewart Weddings

While a centerpiece serves as the focal point for a wedding table, you also need to create a beautiful tablescape of flowers that runs down the center from end to end. The key to a tablescape flower arrangement is the color of the flowers. Focusing on just one or two colors will create the most impact. Try to combine different sizes and shapes, with the tallest flowers in the middle and the shorter ones to either side.

  1. Creative Paths

    Photo Credit: Martha Stewart Weddings
    Photo Credit: Martha Stewart Weddings

    Ceremony paths or aisle runners are flowers which are placed down the aisle of a church. You can get really creative with this type of arrangement. One whimsical idea is to pair your flowers with tree branches, which has a magical effect. Another idea is to use lanterns or candles together with flowers for a grand look which is luminously inviting.

  1. Floral Wreaths on Cakes
Photo Credit: Martha Stewart Weddings
Photo Credit: Martha Stewart Weddings

The wedding cake is another focal centerpiece which is important to get just right. One easy and effective way to embellish the cake is to surround it with a wreath of flowers. If you plan to have multiple cakes at the wedding, you can choose a different design for each one. That way you create a fun and festive look with plenty of variety. Each cake will be a unique work of culinary and floral art.

  1. Wedding Bouquets
Photo Credit: Martha Stewart Weddings
Photo Credit: Martha Stewart Weddings

Even though centerpieces may be the focal points at your wedding celebration, odds are the floral center of attention is actually the bride’s bouquet! After all, she’s the center of everyone’s attention. To create a beautiful bouquet, group together flowers in complementary colors and use wire vines to create a simple yet elegant look. You want to make the bride’s bouquet the standout bouquet of the entire wedding. Bridesmaid’s bouquets should complement the bride’s bouquet but never overshadow it!

  1. Spring Flower Crowns for Weddings

 

Photo Credit: Flower Explosion
Photo Credit: Flower Explosion

A big trend right now is for the bride to wear a flower crown instead of the more traditional tiara. A flower crown can be extravagant or it can be subtle and understated. To create one on your own, you need scissors, floral tape, floral wire, a headband and some flowers. You can also add in other embellishments. This is a look which is easy to customize and utterly beautiful to behold.

  1. Pomanders
Photo Credit: Flower Explosion
Photo Credit: Flower Explosion


A pomander ball is simply a ball of flowers. They look great as table centerpieces, either hanging low from the ceiling or placed directly on the table. They also can be used to line the aisle at the actual ceremony. Pomanders can provide a look which is fun and whimsical, but with a touch of elegance. Red roses make for a particularly classy and elegant vibe. You can add other materials to your flower pomander to embellish it, like fake butterflies.

  1. Edible Flowers
Photo Credit: Country Living
Photo Credit: Country Living

Several types of flowers are edible, including chamomile, geraniums, nasturtiums, and violets. What can you do with them? Consider using them as cupcake toppers or décor for your wedding cakes. Make sure you know where they came from and that they were grown pesticide-free. They can add a dash of unique flavor, and a look of gourmet elegance.

Every wedding needs to feature these flower arrangements to make it an occasion to remember! Let your creative juices flow. You can order your arrangements directly from the florist, or buy flowers wholesale and DIY. Either way, free your imagination, and you will achieve a beautiful ambiance for your special day!

Contributed by Flower Explosion:

Flower Explosion is a florist that provides high-quality, fresh-cut flowers — including done-for-you wedding flower packages at DIY prices.

For more information on Flower Explosion visit:

http://www.flowerexplosion.com

FACEBOOK

@flowerexplosion

Welcome to the Family Rogue!

We’d like the welcome the newest member of our family Rogue, an English Bull Terrier. She got off the plane at Philadelphia Airport and went straight to our North Wales studio for a pet photography session.   Isn’t she the cutest!?!?!?!Lansdale Pet Photography

Pet Photographer North Wales and Lansdale, Pa.
Pet Photographer North Wales and Lansdale, Pa.

Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography English Bull Terrier Rouge Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Bull Terrier Pet Photography Rouge the Puppy Puppy Photographer Bull Terrier Puppy Playful Dog Bull Terrier Dog under the Couch Bull Terrier Pet Photography North Wales Pet Photography

 

 

 

 

 

Totally adorbs!

Photo session by Allebach Photography at 403 E Walnut Street North Wales, Pa 19454. Contact us for your pet photography session here. 

The Tattooed Bride Manifesto

Philadelphia Wedding Photographer

I recently had some issues on Facebook with people being surprised by what I post. Here is the manifesto I posted.

12 things wedding photographers want to tell you, but can’t

Offbeat Bride
All photos by Allebach Photography

Most wedding magazines will give you a list of questions to ask your wedding photographer. Stuff like: “Can you describe your style? What equipment do you shoot with?”

Let’s be real: Those questions are boring. And you probably don’t actually care about the answers anyway.

So I surveyed some brides and photography-friends, and put together a list of all those questions you really want to ask, and all those things we really want you to know. 

Tattooed Bride
Natural wedding photos by Allebach Photography

1. How do I pick a good photographer when there are hundreds listed in my area?

First, look for a forum or blog that appeals to your style. Obviously, if you’re an Offbeat Bride, you’re in the right place — I receive my best clients through the Offbeat Bride Vendor Guide. The photographers listed are both gay-friendly and accustomed to photographing offbeat weddings.

Once you’ve got a few favorite photographers, narrow it down to a handful of favorites, and set up a time to meet them. Make sure you’re meeting with the person who will be wielding the camera at your wedding, not a sales consultant or studio owner. You have to, like, trust and get along with your photographer — that way you can leave the magic of photo making in the photographer’s hands. Not only should you like their images, you should also like them! You’ll be spending many hours with them during your wedding day.

New York + Philly Wedding Photographer
See wedding photography by Allebach Photography

2. How many photos do I get?

The wedding photographers I surveyed typically deliver 50-100 photos for every hour of coverage they provide. Four hundred photos may seem like a lot, but your wedding photographer is preserving all those little details and the moments you missed while you were mingling.

Tattooed Bride
Book your wedding by Allebach Photography

3. I love those photos with the blurry backgrounds. How do you get that look?

You’re talking about shallow depth of field. Photographers get that look by using professional lenses that are able to focus tightly on the subject.

4. I found one photographer whose images look soft and pastel, one whose images look clean, and one whose images look like they were shot on old film. What’s the deal?

Every photographer has a different way of editing their images using computer software (the high-tech version of a darkroom). This is called “Post-Processing.” Most photographers do some basic lighting and color adjustments, but you can also use editing software to create a unique look. Three popular styles right now are:

  • Clean: lightly processed to appear natural
  • Matte: a low-contrast look with muted pastel colors, similar to vintage film
  • High Contrast: a vibrant look with rich colors that pop

It doesn’t matter which style you go with, as long as you love it!

Trash the Dress New Jersey Allebach
Wedding photography by Allebach Photography

5. Why is wedding photography so freakin’ expensive?

This is the question I see most from brides on the interwebs. Wedding photography seems like easy money — work for one day and rake in the cash, right? But most full-time wedding photographers I know carry over $15,000 worth of wedding gear and often work 60-hour weeks. (Remember those 800 images from question #2? It takes several full days just to edit those.)

Add insurance, taxes, software, advertising, albums, repair, shipping, and studio expenses, and many photographers end up making less than minimum wage for the first few years of their career.

Profoto B2 photo by Allebach Photography
Book Wedding Photography by Allebach Photography

6. How can I make sure I look good in my photos?

Relax. Trust your wedding photographer.

If you’re relaxed, it’ll come through in your photos.

Leave some breathing room in your schedule so you don’t feel rushed — I recommend a minimum 30 minutes for family and wedding party photos, and an hour for the couple portraits.

Oh, and get plenty of sleep and drink lots of water the night before.

Take it easy at the rehearsal dinner. Wedding-day hangovers are not fun.

Groomsmen smoking wedding photo
Unique wedding photography by Allebach Photography

7. I keep hearing about “shoot and burn” photography. Sounds painful. What is it?

Actually, yeah, it can be kind of painful. “Shoot and burn” is slang for photographing a wedding and burning it straight to DVD or USB without post-processing. It’s usually super cheap — for a reason. Bad lighting isn’t corrected, distracting elements aren’t removed (hello, Speedo-clad photobomber!), and zits remain proudly on display.

Digital files may be important to you, but find a full-service photographer who will edit the images and print reference proofs before handing over the digis.

And please, don’t let the digitals rot on your hard drive. As a photographer, I want you to proudly display your wedding photos. It makes me sad when I think of all the photos that never get printed. Don’t hide your wedding photos! I tell my clients to hang up a large print or two — when you’re having a crappy day, it’s great to look up in your living room and see a photo of an awesome day.

Philadelphia Engagement Photography
Engagement Photosession by Allebach Photography

8. Should we do a “first look”? And, um, what the hell is a “first look”?

The first look is a chance for wedding couples to see each other privately before the ceremony. Two-thirds of my clients currently opt to do a first look. It’s a great chance to get the wedding jitters out and spend a few minutes alone together. I find that first look photos tend to be some of my favorites. It’s a real moment with real emotions.

Honestly, it’s also a great way to avoid stress on your wedding day. (Some of my couples even choose to get ready together!) And many of my couples get to enjoy their whole cocktail hour because they got all of the photos out of the way before the wedding.

heritage trust mt sinai
Natural wedding photography by Allebach Photography

9. Do I really need a second photographer?

No one needs a second photographer, but they can provide you with more images and a different perspective. Many of the top photographers only work with assistants who carry gear and help with professional lighting. The best thing is to ask your wedding photographer to see how they prefer to work. You can get good results either way.

10. How far in advance should I book a wedding photographer?

Many in-demand wedding photographers book weddings at over a year out. As it gets closer to your wedding date, it will be harder to book your first-choice photographer.

If your favorite photographer is unavailable on your date, don’t panic. Ask them for recommendations — they may know someone with a similar style and a lighter schedule.

Happy Tattooed
Unique fun photos by Allebach Photography

11. You can Photoshop that, right?

It depends. As a photographer, I want to get everything as perfect as possible in camera. Posing, location scouting, and camera settings can “fix” most things before I even click the shutter. If your uncle photobombs you, I’m going to retake the photo — it’s much easier to get the photo right than to fix it with Photoshop. Many photographers charge for extensive editing in Photoshop, because it can be very time-consuming.

Eastern State Philly
Unique photoshoot locations. Photo by Allebach Photography

12. Should I tip my photographer?

I get asked this a lot. There was a great article about tipping on Offbeat Bride. For photographers, “Tips are never expected but are always appreciated.”

Hopefully this clears up some burning questions about wedding photography — and makes it a little bit easier to find the perfect photographer for your wedding day.

See if we are available for your wedding date here! 


Tattooed Bride Photographer Guy - Mike AllebachPost written by Mike Allebach of Allebach Photography.   Originally published in Offbeat Bride

Mike Allebach (aka The Tattooed Bride Photographer) is a wedding photographer who also writes tips for tattooed brides, and has an unhealthy addiction to Taco Tuesday. Book your wedding, engagement or boudoir session here

Profoto B2: Cherrish: Out of Prison Story

Profoto B2 Off Camera Flash Launch: Cherrish’s Out of Prison Story

This was my contribution to the Profoto B2 Launch.  I’ve been using the Profoto B2s for over 4 months now. Cherrish graciously shared her story of cancer fight.  The photoshoot takes place at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pa. See my review of the Profoto B2 here.

Thank you to Cherrish Krasulak for being the inspiration for the video, Ed Seiders for shooting, Ryan Hendricks for lighting assistant, Gene Smirnov for BTS and Steven Skidmore for UAV footage. I scored the music and played guitar  in the second half of the video.

Profoto B2 OCF Hands On Review & First Impressions

 

Profoto B2 OCF Air TTL
Profoto B2 OCF Air TTL with Head

Profoto B2 OCF System Review & First Impressions

(updated with more photos 3/9/15)

Profoto B2 OCF pack and 2 heads
Profoto B2 pack and 2 heads

In Sept of 2014 Profoto contacted me about trying a new off camera flash system.  At first I thought they were going to show me a Profoto B1 battery powered with High Speed Sync (which was not out at the time I met with them) and a new light shaping tool for wedding photographers.  Well, I was half right.  They showed me their new Profoto 2′ OCF series Octa Softbox (which I now use at every wedding).  What I wasn’t expecting was the B2 head and pack system with built in battery and transceiver for the AirTTL system.  After using the system for 4 months I thought it would be great to give some first impressions.

Holdfast Money Maker Profoto B2
Holdfast Money Maker with the B2 attached. How I shoot some engagements

Features of the Profoto B2 OCF System  

250 Watt Seconds
Each pack support 2 flash heads
Removable Lithium Ion battery built into the B2
Battery powered with the ability for plugged in use for studio or recharging.
Approx 1.5 second recharge of full power flashes.  I haven’t tested it but it seems to be about 1.5 second at full power.
High Speed Sync (HSS) with Nikon & Canon
Ability to mix seemlessly in TTL with the Profoto B1 system
LED modeling lights
Super light weight system.  Pack weighs less than the Paul C Buff Vagabond.  Head weighs less than my Nikon SB 800 with batteries.

Profoto B2 Real World Use with the OCF Light Shaping Tools
Over the last 4 months I’ve fallen in love with this system.  All of my Alien Bee gear has been gathering dust.  The Profoto B2 system is just so damn light.  For engagements, I wear the B2 Pack on my hip via the Money Maker Strap system and handhold the B2 head myself.   For wedding I have a Voice Activated Lightstand (my lighting assistant) use the light with the 2′ Octa Soft Box.   With a lighting assistant I keep either the 2′ Octa on or the 10 degree grid on the head itself. Oh and the lighting grids just snap on so nicely and they don’t fall off.

Size of the Profoto B2 Head vs the Nikon 900 flash
Size of the Profoto B2 Head vs the Nikon 910 / Nikon 900 flash

Profoto B2 vs Nikon SB900 / SB910

Since the system is self contained (wireless remote, led light, power) you don’t have all the extra pieces that hang with my former system.  Before with Off Camera Lighting, I would have a dangling trigger when the rigged system of vecro let go on my Nikon SB900.  The ability to have both TTL and manual override on the remote means that I only have to instruct my Voice Activated Lightstand / Lighting Assistant where to stand and what angle to point the

Profoto B2 with Assistant
Profoto B2 with Assistant at Eastern State Penitentiary // Philadelphia, Pa // Photo by Gene Smirnov

Profoto B2 vs Paul C Buff Einstein

Let’s just get the obvious out of the way.  The Einstein has more power.  If you want more power like the Einstein stick with the Profoto B1. With the obvious out of the way, the Profoto B2 has some clear advantages over the Einstein.  The system is sooooooo much lighter.  I haven’t used the Einstein since I got the Profoto B2s.  I haven’t run into a situation where the B2s didn’t have enough power.  I just have my lighting assistant get closer.  The Profoto head weighs as much as your regular flash with batteries in. Your lighting assistant and Voice Activated Lightstands will love how lightweight the B2 is.

Profoto B2 vs the Paul C Buff Vagabond Mini in Size
Profoto B2 vs the Paul C Buff Vagabond Mini in Size

Profoto B2 vs Profoto B1

The B1 is twice the power of the B2,  that is the biggest advantage of the B1 over the B2.  What I see most photographers doing is buying a D1 1000 w/s for in studio or a Profoto B1 and having a 2 head B2 pack.  There are many advantages in real world use of the Profoto B2.  First and foremost is the Profoto B1 is top heavy when placed on a fan, it has a battery and fan.  You need a heavyweight stand (I love my Avenger boom stand) to safely hold the Profoto B1 due to the battery on the flash. Conversely I use the Manfrotto Nano stand when my lighting assistant is holding the B1.  Since the removable battery is built into the pack, the weight is distributed perfectly for handholding.

Profoto B2 vs Profoto D1
If you never leave the studio and you have plenty of outlets, the Profoto D1 500 ws might be a better solution.   You do get spoiled quickly by the light weightness of the B2 system, so if you need portability in the studio the B1 or B2 might be beneficial over the D1.  On the road, the B2 wins hands down over the D1.

One of the best features and perhaps one of the least talked about features: The LED Modeling Light!
How amazing is it to have a super light weight system with a bright LED modeling light!  The LED modeling light has made after dark sessions with wedding clients a breeze. The LED light is just as bright as the Westcott Ice Light. You’ll notice the light is warm balanced and not daylight balanced.

Profoto B2 LED Modeling light vs Westcott Ice Light
Profoto B2 LED Modeling light vs the Westcott Ice Light at Full Power

So who is the system made for?

I would say it’s best for on location portrait photographers and wedding photographers. It’s easy to travel with and has enough power for most situations. On location I almost always stick to a one light setup.

Groomsmen Smoking Cigar Philadelphia
Groomsmen Smoking Cigars in Philadelphia, Pa

Is the Profoto B2 good for the studio? 

Yes, I use the B2s in the studio.  I’ve replaced my Alien Bees and Einstein with them. You’ll want to get 2 extension cords for the heads if you are using them in the studio.  The size of the head cord is meant for lighting assistant use, so the extension cords are a must. Again a good in studio setup with be either 2 packs with 2 heads each or adding in a Profoto D1 or B1 to the mix. The bonus to using the B2 in studio is the ability to leave the unit plugged into power during the shoot.

Profoto OCF Snoot and OCF Grid Holder
The Profoto Snoot & OCF Grid Holder and 10, 20, 30 degree grids

But wait…there is more!!

The new Profoto OCF Lightshaping Modifiers for Strobists

Profoto released a new lightweight lighting system called the OCF Modifiers.  These are special modifiers made specifically to be lightweight for the B2.  The softboxes and octabox use a new lightweight speedring.  Grid all the things!!! So the first thing I did when I got my hands on the system was gridded everything.  My favorite new OCF Lightshaping modifiers are the OCF Grids (10, 20 & 30 degree) and the octabox. I use the 2′ octa softbox for 90% of photos with the B2 at weddings. The 2′ octa is the perfect modifier for wedding photographers. The reason why I say this is it is the perfect size to get through doorways and move around at weddings and still provide nice kisses of light.

Examples of real world Profoto B2 Usage:

 

 

ProfotoB2-6
Strobist Info: Profoto B2 Heads. OCF Snoot for backlight and hair, 1.3 x 1.3″ profoto softbox for main
Softbox-1x1-B2-Profoto-1
Philadelphia Wedding in the snow. Strobist Info: 1.3’x1.3′ Profoto Softbox on Profoto B2
B2atWedding-1
Princeton New Jersey Winter Wedding. Profoto bare bulb on front seat.
Profoto Octa Softbox OCF
Strobist Info: Profoto with OCF Octa Softbox 2′
Profoto Octa Softbox 2'
Princeton Wedding. Strobist Info: AirTTL remote. Profoto B2 with Octa Softbox 2′
Profoto-B2-at-Wedding-PrincetonNJ-1
Princeton Wedding. Profoto B2 in front seat bare bulb. Triggered with the AirTTL remote.
Profoto B2 with 2 heads.  1x3' softbox with 50 degree grid and the OCF 10 degree grid on the 2nd head
Bodyscaping with Profoto B2 with 2 heads. 1×3′ softbox with 50 degree grid and the OCF 10 degree grid on the 2nd head
Profoto OCF 10 Degree Grid
Combining Profoto B2 flash and modeling light for 4 second exposure. 10 degree ocf grid overhead.
ProfotoB2-29
4 second exposure with Profoto B2 and OCF 10 degree grid.

 

ProfotoB2-11
B2 with 4 second exposure with 10 degree OCF grid

 

ProfotoB2-9
4 second exposure. Profoto b2 with OCF 10 degree grid