Presenting images with personality
Contact Joan (518) 346-4485

What Will Become of Photography? Hire A Pro.

Almost everyone on this planet can take photos now. Whether it is through a camera’s lens or an iPhone. It really doesn’t matter the form….unless you CARE about your photos. WOAH. What does that mean? It means when it really counts and you want lasting images for keepsake and to pass down from generation to generation, it is really really important to hire a professional photographer to take those really important images. It is fun to take images on your iPhone and it is so much fun to post them on social media outlets. But are they really the photos you want in an album? Are they the quality you want in frames in your house? I suggest they are not.

So hire a real professional photographer who knows how to “sniff out those moments” and get those intimate moments from your family portraits or special events, or even a wedding or bar or bat mitzvah. Hire a pro who is skilled in capturing pictures with personality. Hire a pro and you don’t have to worry that they will bring their iPhone. Are you kidding?  They will bring real cameras and back ups of cameras and all the equipment they need to bring to get those images you want for your very special event!

Photography — The Universal Language?

Almost everyone loves to look at photos. We are drawn to faces, to something awesome, something beautiful, something simple… something different.

Surfing the web, looking at highway billboards, checking out Facebook, picking up a book or magazine, checking out peoples’ iphones…everyone and everywhere are pictures, pictures, pictures.

No matter where you are in the world or what your are doing, photos are the universal language, and you will understand that person even if they speak another language. For photography has become the number one universal language!

We are drawn to pictures. It is our way of recording our existence. We have been depicting people since the cave man. In Greek and Roman times, only those with high status and money had their pictures done. When photography came in existence, it was no longer relegated to the rich. Everyone could have them now! And more and more, there are billions of pictures circulating all around the globe for us to enjoy and comment upon. How delightful!

 

Is it important to see keepsake albums when choosing a photographer?

Yes! As many images as possible and as many venues photographed as possible are critical in choosing a photographer for your wedding or bar or bat mitzvah. This will give you a great idea how expert the photographer is in different lighting conditions. In fact, how good the images are in various lighting situations separates out the professional from the less experienced amateur.  Don’t you test drive all the cars you may consider purchasing?

Same with photographers. View as many images as possible whether online, in slideshows, in proof albums or keepsake albums. Not only do you get a great idea of the professionalism of the photographer, but you also get great ideas for poses if you choose to want to duplicate some that you have seen and really enjoy.

Your photographer and you can discuss the types of photos you may want in your album at that time and it is a great way to get to know each other better which will enhance your special day!

Tips on Hiring the Right Photographer for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah

Your son or daughter will be bar or bat mitzvah shortly and you have no idea who to hire to photograph such an important day. Do I google? Do I ask whom others have used? And when I get a list, meet all those photographers and  am ready to make a decision, what do I do?

The majority choose the cheapest photographer. “Well, why not. All photographers take the same events of the day. And I spent so much money on the venue and food, I really don’t have much of a budget for photos.”

Folks, the only item you will have left after the glory fades will be the photographs. Why not consider a budget for the memories which WILL last a lifetime!

Not only that, why not choose someone with the lifelong experience of being Jewish? She has the complete knowledge of what is important; and can even help you plan your bar or bat mitzvah down to the types of candles to buy. (they are dripless, by the way!)

Why not choose the photographer who has years of experience with bar and bat mitzvah vendors who have worked in Albany, Schenectady, and Saratoga Springs, NY?

When choosing a bar or bat mitzvah photographer in the Albany, NY area, you may want to consider the knowledge and experience which will make planning your event less stressful and fittingly more joyous.

With years of photographing dozens and dozens of bar and bat mitzvahs, please strongly consider contacting Joan Heffler Photography!

And Mazel Tov

How important is it to consult with my prospective photographer in person?

The rapport that you create with your photographer will make or break your event! Emails convey content but not emotion. Actually sitting down in a meeting with your prospective photographer (my portrait studio is in Schenectady, NY) is the right thing to do to assure a perfect event. Body language, warmth, smiles, personal connections…these nuances can only be created in person. It’s not just the content that makes the day, it’s the relationship that you develop together that makes the day.

 

 

I want to make copies of my photos. Does my photographer really own the copyright of his/her pictures? Do I still have to pay the photographer if I make the copies myself at a copy shop?

Yes and yes. According to federal law, images produced by a professional photographer are copyrighted the moment they are created. Federal law prohibits copying or reproducing copyrighted material without permission from the owner of the copyright, i.e., the photographer. If you copy or scan your photos, the photographer should be paid just as if you were buying reprints. If you or your videographer transfer the proofs to videotape, the photographer should be paid just as if you were buying reprints. If you don’t feel comfortable paying for these copies, find a photographer whose work is so good that you are glad to pay. When I really appreciate something I purchase, like a fabulous meal, an antique, a good pair of shoes, or even medical care, I do not mind paying a premium for getting the highest quality. Look for the photographer who will provide you the satisfaction of paying for job well done.

Some photographers ask that no one else take pictures during the formal photography. Is that reasonable?

Yes. If the photographer is trying to work quickly through a series of formal pictures, a snap-shooter might slow the process. A problem arises when there are several cameras aimed at a formal group – the subjects will be looking at different lenses. The diverted attention will ruin the professional’s picture. Or, if the professional is using a light-sensing trigger device (“slave”) on a second flash, other flashes will trigger this flash, ruining the pictures [that you are paying for] and wasting battery power. There are many other reasons why a professional might ask others to refrain from picture taking during formals. On the other hand, many guests find snapping a fewpictures a pleasant part of attending weddings, so it should not be a big deal for your professional to be relaxed and let people snap away when formals are over. Ideally, guests should show respect for the bridal party and photographer and put down their cameras during the formal photos.

What else should I look out for when I am looking at a photographer’s samples?

It is important that an album you see one wedding from start to finish, not just a collection of highlights from a dozen different weddings. If a photographer assembles and shows the best photos from several weddings in one album, you are not seeing an accurate representation of the results you might expect from your wedding. It is reasonable for you to expect the same quality work at your wedding that the photographer shows you when you first visit, especially if the sample images match the setting and time of day of your wedding.

What technical details in sample photographs should I watch out for?

Lighting quality is an important ingredient in superior photographs. The light in photographs should be natural and flattering, so that the pictures look three-dimensional. Overuse of on-camera flash can ruin wedding pictures. Watch out for flattened faces, harsh reflections off of cheeks and foreheads, and dark shadows directly behind or next to the subjects. With finesse, a fine photographer can work with almost any outdoor lighting situation without using flash.Look for a variety in subject size – a mix of distant, medium and close-up pictures. Even with groups, lighting and posing should be interesting. The well posed bridal portrait should minimize the subjects’ flaws (weight problem, blemishes, etc.) and express who the subject is and how he/she/they feel. The dramatic and scenic wedding image, like the red convertable on the show-room floor, attracts everyone’s attention, but most brides and their families, like most car buyers, want what suits them personally. You want pictures that tell the story simply, with immediate impact, and as if the photographer was not even there.

It’s like fixing your hair or applying make-up so that it looks natural.

Are you a photographer who does the same for every client?

Absolutely not! My creativity has no boundaries. When we meet face to face, we get a sense of each other and your uniqueness shines through. That is what I love to capture for you and I offer rich and alive images.

Kind Words

Kind Words

Over the years I have had several headshots by Joan and she never disappoints. I am extremely pleased with my recent headshot. Joan takes the time to make suggestions with your appearance and posing. Joan’s personality (upbeat, funny and energetic) makes you completely at ease which I believe helps with the outcome of your pictures. Joan takes great pride in her work and is extremely professional and personable.
I highly recommend Joan Heffler with Joan Heffler Photography.

Vicki Beyer