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November 3rd, 2011

Long After Divorce, Groom Sues to Have Wedding Photos Recreated

When a bride and groom are unhappy with their wedding photos, they sometimes demand a refund. Former groom Todd J. Remis is currently suing H&H Photographers, alleging breach of contract because the photographers missed the last 15 minutes of the ceremony and took lousy photos. Remis takes his claim even further: He has also demanded that the studio pay him $48,000 to fly the wedding party back to New York and recreate the entire ceremony and reception.  Here’s the sad part of the case, reported with fitting poignancy in today’s New York Times: The wedding took place in 2003. Remis and his wife separated in 2008, and divorced last year. Her whereabouts are unknown.

A judge in the State Supreme Court in Manhattan is letting Remis’s claim of breach of contract proceed. But in her opinion, she noted a sad truth that many wedding photographers already know: Sometimes the wedding photos mean more to the couple than the marriage itself.

Quoting the Barbara Streisand hit “The Way We Were,” Judge Doris Ling-Cohan writes, “This is a case in which it appears that the ‘misty watercolor memories’ and the ‘scattered pictures of the smiles … left behind’ at the wedding were more important than the real thing.”

Veteran New York Times reporter Joseph Berger explores many angles in the case, and interviews the founder of H&H Photographers, Curt Fried, an émigré from Nazi-occupied Vienna who opened the business 65 years ago.

But our real concern is Remis.  We hope his friends have told him: It’s time to move on.

We pity the photographer he hires to shoot his Match.com portrait.

September 16th, 2011

Q&A: Zombie Engagement Photographer Speaks!

©Amanda Rynda

Photographer Amanda Rynda’s “zombie engagement photos” were an Internet sensation this past week, ending up on blogs and websites all over the world.

We caught up with the Los Angeles-based Rynda and asked her a few questions about how it felt to “go viral” and whether she thinks her ghoulishly good photos might start a new trend in wedding photography.

See the full zombie sequence and Rynda’s other work here.

PDNPulse: Please give us some background on you and your photo business.
Amanda Rynda: I’m a color stylist for Disney by day and took up photography this year in my spare time to have a new creative outlet. I’ve been working as an associate photographer with LA-based wedding photographers, Jen Harris and Charise Proctor on the weekends.

PDNPulse: How did the idea come up to do the zombie engagement shoot?
Amanda Rynda: Juliana and Ben asked me to shoot their engagement session but they weren’t into a soft, PDA filled engagement session. They wanted something fun and quirky to show off their fun-loving and creative personalities. Juliana came to me and said, “Ben and I want to survive a zombie attack and then hug because we’re in love.” It was such a fun idea, I knew right away we’d have a great time making it happen.

PDNPulse: Had you ever done anything like this before?
Amanda Rynda: No, I’ve never shot anything like this before. I’m pretty new to photography so I haven’t worked with too many clients of my own yet. I’m just so happy to have been given the opportunity to work with people as fun, creative and eager to open up as much as Ben and Juliana did for this e-session. I hope that trend continues.
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May 9th, 2011

Jason Groupp Sets Guinness Record for Most Flashes Used in a Photo

Our good buddy and occasional product co-tester Jason Groupp has set a new Guinness world record for using the most flashes ever by a single person in a photograph. The New York City-based Groupp harnessed the power of 300 small strobes to light this group portrait captured at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio over the weekend.

To read more about the shoot, check out the blog post on Jason’s site. The info in the post is a bit brief but Groupp promises to release more detail about the record-breaking, 300-flash photo in the days to come (once he catches up on his sleep).

Below is a short behind-the-scenes trailer about some of the preparations that went on before the epic shoot.

April 29th, 2011

AP to Publish Royal Wedding Keepsake Book Next Week

© AP Photo/APTN

Did a family emergency, act of God or snooze button prevent you from tuning in to watch the Royal Wedding this morning? Don’t worry, the Associated Press has you covered. The wire service sent 21 photographers to document every last detail of Wills’ and Kate’s big day.

AP picture editors are already picking through the thousands of images AP photographers made, the best of which will be gathered into a commemorative book that will be available next week (technology!) from online on-demand publisher My Publisher. The handshake between Mr. Middleton and the Prince, the exchange of rings, the kiss (!), that rascal Harry’s proud smile—all of these moments can be yours to cherish.

The limited-edition book—limited to what, you ask? As many copies as people are willing to order, we’d wager—will be available in two sizes. Prices for your very own Royal Wedding album have yet to be announced, but we’re pretty sure they’re just going to call it priceless. Well played, AP.

Watch this space: http://www.mypublisher.com/royalwedding

March 3rd, 2011

Survey: What Couples Spent on Weddings in 2010

Couples spent $2,320 on average to hire a wedding photographer in 2010, and $1,463 on average to hire a videographer, according to a new survey of 19,000 US brides. TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com surveyed brides married last year to gather results of their 2010 Real Wedding Survey.

The survey shows that the average amount spent nationally on an entire  wedding (excluding the honeymoon) was $26,984, of which the photographer fee made up roughly 8.5%.  (For comparison’s sake: The national average amount spent on the wedding dress was $1,099; the average spent on flowers was $1,988.)

The survey has some modestly good news for photographers and others in the wedding business.  About 31 percent of the 2010 survey respondents said that the recession had affected their wedding budget; that’s down slightly from 34 percent in 2009. The most common cost-cutting measure was to reduce the number of guests.

There are still a lot of lavish spenders out there. Approximately 1 in 5 couples spent more than $30,000 on their wedding last year, and 12 percent spent more than $40,000. The survey notes that the location where couples spend the most on their weddings is Manhattan, where the average wedding spend last year  $70,730.  (Not, we’d like to point out, any Manhattanites we know,) Utah had the lowest average wedding budget:  $13,214. According to the survey, destination weddings are still on the rise, and 1 in 4 considered their wedding a destination wedding.

Thanks to recent trends, more brides may be using engagement photos and other portraits in new ways.  The number of couples creating personalized web sites devoted to their weddings grew 23 % between 2008 and 2010. In addition, 40 percent more couples in 2010 created or sent their save-the-date  notices and invitations online, compared to 2008.

More survey results can be found at TheKnotinc.com.

February 24th, 2011

WPPI Seminar Report: How to Thrive in a Down Economy

The 31st annual Wedding and Portrait Photographers International 2011 officially kicked off Thursday, February 17th with WPPI U, a two-day workshop geared towards emerging photographers who were given the opportunity to learn lighting, marketing and postproduction from pro photographers including Jerry Ghionis, Cliff Mautner, Doug Gordon and Dane Sanders. Sanders, author of Fast Track Photographer and Fast Track Photographer Business Plan, emphasized that photographers need to value their worth and not sell themselves short to clients, advice that seemed to be an underlying theme throughout the week’s course lineup.

Platform classes later in the week drew thousands of attendees, all of whom seemed interested in learning how to increase their business and continue making money in a bad economy. Popular topics ranged from how to price your wedding packages and upsell to clients to why you should be embracing new ways of storytelling, including the use of DSLRs that also record audio and shoot HD.

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February 18th, 2011

Friday Fun: Amateur Wedding Photos FAIL

No, just because you own a Canon Digital Rebel doesn’t mean you should become a wedding photographer. To wit, check out these horrendous amateur wedding photos and try to understand why any self-respecting bride or groom would settle for paying less when booking a photographer.

Some wedding pros we know might do well to link to this page on their website to prove to clients how bad it can get if they decide to go the cheap route.

November 1st, 2010

Denis Reggie Interviewed on Controversy Over Bella Pictures Alliance (VIDEO)

Jeff Caplan from DWF sat down with wedding photographer Denis Reggie during PhotoPlus Expo to discuss the controversy over Reggie’s alliance with Bella Pictures.

Here’s the full interview so get a cup of coffee, find a comfy chair, and share your thoughts in the comments below once you’ve watched the video.

Jeff Caplan interviews Denis Regie about Bella from Jason Groupp on Vimeo.

October 29th, 2010

PDN’s Parent Company Acquires Rangefinder, After Capture and WPPI

Tonight at the PhotoPlus Expo bash on the Intrepid, PDN publisher Lauren Wendle announced that The Nielsen Company, which owns and operates successful trade shows, magazines and online properties, including PhotoPlus Expo and PDN, has signed an agreement with Rangefinder, Inc. to acquire Rangefinder and AfterCapture Magazines, and the Wedding and Portrait Photographer International trade show (WPPI). The acquisition is effective immediately.

Under the agreement, the Nielsen Photo Group will house all of Nielsen’s photo-related properties, which currently include Photo District News (PDN), PhotoPlus Expo (PPE), PDNedu, Independent Photography Network (IPN), PhotoServe.com, and PhotoSource.
 

Rangefinder magazine is a 60-year-old monthly publication dedicated to the advancement of wedding and portrait photographers. AfterCapture Magazine is the premier publication focused on post-production photography work.

For over 30 years, WPPI, The Wedding and Portrait Photographer International Trade Show, has focused on the wedding and portrait segment of the photography industry. Exhibitors include manufacturers and sellers of photography equipment, photo albums, lab services and software for photographers.
 
Rangefinder magazine and WPPI tradeshow staff, including founder Steve Sheanin, will continue to operate the properties in Los Angeles, under the direction of Joe Randall, Sr. Vice President, Nielsen Expositions.
  
Please visit PDNonline.com’s home page for more updated information.

October 29th, 2010

Elizabeth Messina, Jasmine Star at PhotoPlus Expo

Wedding photographers Elizabeth Messina and Jasmine Star, both based on the West Coast, flew East to PhotoPlus Expo to share the photographic techniques and branding tactics that keep them at the top  of what has, in the past several years, become a very competitive and lucrative genre of  photography.

In Messina’s seminar, “Getting to the Heart of Wedding Photography,” attendees were presented with several slide shows of her work (accompanied by upbeat Lauryn Hill musical tracks), free memo pads  (with an image by Messina on the cover), and giveaways from Big Folio and Graphis Studio.

At the heart of Messina’s seminar was the message that “wedding photography is a team sport and everything you as a photographer are there to capture, someone else had a hand in creating.” She advised photographers to urge subjects to always open up and give more. “Find a way into their space and create lasting memories.”

Messina also stressed to the packed seminar room that it is important to continuously nurture your creativity, and keep advancing your brand, both through personal projects and assignments as well as through blogging. A year ago she created the blog kissthegroom.com, which went on to win design awards as well as nab the attention of paying advertisers (see the article on her successful blogging endeavor in PDN’s November issue.).

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