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

An Open Letter to Young Aspiring Artists (and Old Navy)

Young Aspiring Artist Old Navy

“Every child is an artist until he’s told he’s not an artist.” – John Lennon

Dear Young Aspiring Artist,
By now you’ve seen the Old Navy t-shirt with the words imprinted “Young Aspiring Artist. President.”   Old Navy Young Aspiring Artist President T ShirtThose words hit me because I believe it’s hard work being an artist.  Some how I want to believe the person who created it  was trying to convey this. Or maybe I’m being kind and Old Navy just wanted to sell a design the helicopter parent demographic would buy. Either way since nobody really talks about the cost of creating art, I wanted to share this with you.

Art is Scary. Art is Sorcery.
I believe art is sorcery.  The good kind – I swear but still it’s scary. Art has the ability to change how the future looks.  8 years ago I had this crazy idea my

Mike Allebach is called The Original Tattooed Bride Photographer by Rock n Roll Bride and The Tattooed Wedding Photographer by Inked Magazine. He works with both tattooed and non-tattooed couples in Philadelphia, Lansdale, Lancaster, North Wales, Brooklyn and Washington D.C.

business could be built around photographing brides with tattoos. I loved the idea of punk rock brides. Back then this was unheard of.  People thought I was weird and asked “why would you want to do that?”   People still don’t understand what I do.  I did it anyway. I photographed brides with tattoos and put it all over my website.  Art is sorcery, it changed me.  It changed my path.  I remember graduating high school and I wanted to be a computer programer. I somehow ended up in this world where I get to photograph all of these super fun people.  Clients I love. I realize today it’s not as much of a big deal to see a bride show off a tattoo but back in 2007 it was.  Art creates new realities and can envision a future which doesn’t yet exist.  It did for me.

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”
— Neil Gaiman

There is no such thing as an “aspiring” artist.
You either are an artist or you aren’t.  In order to be an artist there is only one requirement, you must create. Once you put your creation into the world, YOU are an artist.  When the pen hits the paper, the brush hits the canvas, when you print the screenplay YOU are an artist.  I’m guessing if you are reading this YOU are already an artist.

But…if you selfishly keep your ideas.  If you hold onto them – never sharing them with the world, you sadly aren’t. Artists create.

Before you start asking questions, let me make this perfectly clear, you do not have to go to art school.  You can even support your art with a job. Or you can make a few extra buck by selling your art on Etsy.  There are no rules to being an artist other than creation. Spending an hour on creation work doesn’t make you less of an artist than spending 50 hours.  In fact many people are much happier when they don’t have to rely on their art to pay the bills.

Create. That is it, create something and show us. Please, please, please don’t hold back.

“If you find yourself asking yourself and your friends, “Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?” chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.”
― Steven Pressfield

The obstacles within
I want to let you in on a little secret I’ve learned:  Every artist I know gets scared.  At some point in the process of creating things worthwhile you will face fear.

Sometimes we as artists feel unworthy to create. Sometimes we go through dry spells. Sometimes artists don’t feel one ounce of creativity. Don’t think it will get easier if your art somehow makes you famous. When you get to do what you really really love, and get recognized for it, the more of a fraud you think you are. You’ll probably wonder if your success is a fluke. Imposter Syndrome. Maybe you’ll even convince yourself you don’t deserve this notoriety.  Amanda Palmer talked in depth in her commencement speech to the New England Institute of Art’s Class of 2011.

The critic
If you decide to make art you will face critics.  Now your critics might be imagined or they might be real.  Jon Acuff explains critic math as 1 insult + 1,000 compliments = 1 insult.  Be prepared for it. Realize when you are just imagining it. For some critique is helpful. Maybe you love your art being critiqued. I don’t. During the learning stages it can be great to find out the proper way to hold a brush, take a properly exposed photo or sing on key. Sadly, many times criticism can be destructive, even if the giver was trying to be constructive.

“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.”
— Émile Zola

The Reward
There is nothing more beautiful than knowing a creative work is finished.  When you overcome the obstacles of fear within and the critic we imagine outside, there is a reward. I’ve told you all of the obstacles you will face in hopes it will prepare you to create. We need you to practice your art.  We need you to show a future we can’t yet see.  Evoke love and anger and passion in our soul. We need your art to see beauty invisible to us.  I promise if you are willing to let it, art will reward you for it.

Create art.

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. 

Philadelphia Wedding Photographer

Allebach Photography is Philadelphia’s Wedding Photographer.  Rated Top 5 in Philadelphia.  We know all the best Philadelphia photography places.   If you need ideas for your engagement or wedding venue ideas look no further.  Contact us today to see if your wedding date is still available!  We also offer Elopement, Engagement and Boudoir photography. 

Dance-

Elmwood Park Zoo Norristown, Pa

Tattooed Bride and Groom Dancing

Bride and groom stand next to the Prallsville Mills before a storm on their wedding day.  I photographed this image and soon after saw an Eagle flying above.  It was the first time I saw an Eagle in the wild so it was pretty amazing.  If you are looking for New Jersey wedding photography at the Prallsville Mills give us a call or contact us on the Contact Me page.   To contact the venue use this info: Operated by the Delaware River Mill Society 33 Risler Street Stockton, NJ 08559 T  609-397-3586

This outdoor wedding near West Chester, Pa shows off a fun new unique tradition.  Have you ever thought about doing an Irish Car Bomb on your wedding day?  Neither did I until I saw this couple make it happen.  The officiant ended up finishing part of the bride's drink.  Even if it's not your cup of tea as they say, you have to admit this wedding tradition takes the cake for being unique.  Want us to photograph your wedding?  Just shoot us a message on the contact me page.

Elmwood Park Zoo Wedding

Tattooed Couple Kissing on Their Wedding Day

The bride places the ring on the finger of the groom during this wedding ceremony in New Jersey.  Many of our weddings occur in New Jersey right across the bridge from Philadelphia.  This happened to be one of those weddings.  If you are looking for a photographer for your special day be sure to use the contact page on our website to reach out.

B2atWedding-1

B2atWedding2-1

B2atWedding3-1

Profoto-B2-at-Wedding-PrincetonNJ-1

Softbox-1x1-B2-Profoto-1

Offbeat-Bride-Allebach

heritage trust mt sinai

heritage trust mt sinai

eastern state 7

eastern state penitentiary allebach photography

eastern state penitentiary allebach photography

eastern state penitentiary allebach photography

eastern state penitentiary allebach photography

Allebach Photography Front and Palmer

Allebach Photography Front and Palmer

Allebach Photography Front and Palmer

Powel House Amada Allebach Photography Philadelphia

Eastern State Philly 21

Eastern State Philly

NormandyFarm4

NormandyFarm

Philadelphia Wedding Photographer

Greystone-Hall-Wedding-Dance.jpg

Greystone Hall Wedding, West Chest
Greystone Hall Wedding with 1920s Flapper Flare

Book us for your Philadelphia Wedding!   Contact us today to see if your wedding date is still available!

Tattooed Brides

Here are tattooed bride photos by Allebach Photography. Book us for your tattooed wedding today. Rock n Roll Bride calls us “The Original Tattooed Bride Photographer.”

The Tattooed Bride Photographer: Mike Allebach from Mike Allebach on Vimeo.

Tattooed-Brides-Philadelphia-New-Jersey-8

Tattooed-Brides-Philadelphia-New-Jersey-7

Tattooed-Brides-Philadelphia-New-Jersey-6

Tattooed Couple Kissing on Their Wedding Day

Tattooed Bride and Groom Dancing

Tattooed-Brides-Philadelphia-New-Jersey-2

Mike Allebach is called The Original Tattooed Bride Photographer by Rock n Roll Bride and The Tattooed Wedding Photographer by Inked Magazine. He works with both tattooed and non-tattooed couples in Philadelphia, Lansdale, Lancaster, North Wales, Brooklyn and Washington D.C.
Mike Allebach is called The Original Tattooed Bride Photographer by Rock n Roll Bride and The Tattooed Wedding Photographer by Inked Magazine. He works with both tattooed and non-tattooed couples in Philadelphia, Allentown, Baltimore, Lancaster, North Wales, Brooklyn and Washington D.C.
elmwood park zoo, giraffe, norristown, wedding
elmwood park zoo, giraffe, norristown, wedding

Elmwood Park Zoo Wedding

Dance-

Tattooed Bride

Fun Bride and Bridesmaids Photo

Best Lancaster County Wedding Photographer

Bride and groom stand next to the Prallsville Mills before a storm on their wedding day.  I photographed this image and soon after saw an Eagle flying above.  It was the first time I saw an Eagle in the wild so it was pretty amazing.  If you are looking for New Jersey wedding photography at the Prallsville Mills give us a call or contact us on the Contact Me page.   To contact the venue use this info: Operated by the Delaware River Mill Society 33 Risler Street Stockton, NJ 08559 T  609-397-3586

Best Tattooed Bride Photographer

Best Brookyln New York Photographer

This outdoor wedding near West Chester, Pa shows off a fun new unique tradition.  Have you ever thought about doing an Irish Car Bomb on your wedding day?  Neither did I until I saw this couple make it happen.  The officiant ended up finishing part of the bride's drink.  Even if it's not your cup of tea as they say, you have to admit this wedding tradition takes the cake for being unique.  Want us to photograph your wedding?  Just shoot us a message on the contact me page.
This outdoor wedding near West Chester, Pa shows off a fun new unique tradition. Have you ever thought about doing an Irish Car Bomb on your wedding day? Neither did I until I saw this couple make it happen. The officiant ended up finishing part of the bride’s drink. Even if it’s not your cup of tea as they say, you have to admit this wedding tradition takes the cake for being unique. Want us to photograph your wedding? Just shoot us a message on the contact me page.

Wedding Cake Smash Photos

Lesbian Wedding in Asbury Park

The bride places the ring on the finger of the groom during this wedding ceremony in New Jersey.  Many of our weddings occur in New Jersey right across the bridge from Philadelphia.  This happened to be one of those weddings.  If you are looking for a photographer for your special day be sure to use the contact page on our website to reach out.

Hattie Watson in Black and White

Hattie Watson in Black & White

Hattie-001I never fully processed these photos until today. This photo session with Hattie Watson was completed over a year ago and I’m finally blogging it!

Watch the video for the shoot from start to finish.  Here are a few frames from the photoshoot:

Hattie-Watson-BW-33

Hattie-Watson-BW-40

Hattie-Watson-BW-99

Hattie-Watson-BW-100

Hattie-Watson-BW-67  Hattie-Watson-BW-42

Hattie-Watson-BW-63

Hattie-Watson-BW-56

Hattie-Watson-BW-18

Hattie-Watson-BW-52All of these photos were shot in studio at our North Wales location in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

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