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!
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.
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.
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.
We’ve added new USB drives for slideshow videos and weddings for 2016. I love love love these beautiful flash drives from USB Memory Direct. The ones are chose are the Leather drives. The quality on the embossing is amazing!! My clients will love these.
“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.” Those 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
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
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.
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!
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.
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!
Focal Point: Spray Centerpieces
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!
Flower Arrangement: Tablescape
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.
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.
Floral Wreaths on Cakes
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.
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!
Spring Flower Crowns for Weddings
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.
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.
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.
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!?!?!?!
Renato stopped by for a professional headshot for LinkedIn. We made sure to deliver professional photography. He is based in Philadelphia and travels to Montgomery County and Bucks County. For info on headshots visit our headshot pricing page: http://allebachphotography.com/price-guide/headshots
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
After Dark Engagement Preview in Philadelphia, Pa. We now host after dark engagement sessions for couples in the Philadelphia area. This photo was taken at the Pennypack Park in Philadelphia. Schedule your engagement session here.