Wedding Photography Industry-Then and Now

October 24, 2015

I have been shooting Weddings since April 2008. The industry has gone through many stages. We went through the Rock Star Wedding Photographer era when the race to $ 20,000.00 per wedding was thought to be a reachable goal for every aspiring photographer. Then the recession of 2009-2011 brought the industry to its knees. Photographers realized that being a professional is more than looking the part. You have to actual manage the business. Now we are in the social media age. Everyone has a Facebook, Pinterest, or Periscope presence. Marketing is a vital part of managing a successful business. As a part time Professional I have often looked down at the marketing piece. I was happy shooting my 10-15 weddings per year without having to really work for it.  Now the market is saturated with wedding photographers with inexpensive cameras that can function better then the flagship cameras (Nikon D3, Canon 1Ds Mark III) of five years ago. Professional photographers have to distinguish themselves from the competition with their images. I am working harder to show to potential clients that it is worth spending more for a Professional and not an “Uncle Bob”. Now I am competing against iPhones and tablets. WOW.Hamer-310


Image of the Week!!!!

Image of the Week!!!

This image from an engagement shoot with Stacy and Nathan Brien who were married eleven months ago yesterday. A window light image. This image was captured with the Nikon D90 with the 50mm Nikkor f1/4 Lens at ISO 800, 1/250 sec at f1.8. Engagement sessions are important to me. I get to learn the couple’s love language and their comfort level with me. These sessions make for better pictures on the wedding day.

Image of the Week!!!

It is opening day for the hometown Baltimore Orioles. Alas, I am more of a football fan these days. I am looking forward to the NFL Draft and training camp. The following image was captured last September. My nephew Ethan Robinson plays offensive lineman and linebacker for the Randallstown Panthers. They were playing against Maplewood from Montgomery County. One highlight from this game was this running play for the Panthers. Fauntleroy No. 32 did go all the way for a touchdown. It was captured with the Nikon D300  with the 80-200mm f2.8 Nikkor lens at ISO 100, 1/320 sec at f/5. Unfortunately, the Panthers lost 21-14. Shooting these events keep my reflexes sharp for weddings and events because the same skills are needed. You have to anticipate the action or movements of your photo subjects. The camera settings have to be locked in and you have to be ready at a moments notice. Can wait to capture more images from amateur and professional sporting events this year.Touchdown!! Panthers!!!

Image of the Week is Back!!

Image of the Week is Back!!

I am back with a image from 2012. Stacy and Nathan Brien’s wedding formals were taken outside of the Richlin Ballroom in Edgewood, Maryland. This image was taken at 1:27 pm in the afternoon. Tough lighting conditions with strong directional sunlight. I searched for open shade and found it in the parking lot with nice tree folliage as a background. This image was captured with a Nikon D300 (28-75mm tamron at F/4, ISO 100 at 1/500 sec). I must have done something right. Another group of photographers from another wedding at the reception hall, setup shop, and shot their formals about 15 feet to the my left.

Image of the Week !!

Interesting week with the Presidential Elections and all. I thought that with President Obama remaining at the helm in Washington that I would post an image from a wedding that I shot almost two years ago. Juana and Fernando Villarreal were married at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in Hyattsville, Maryland. After the wedding the Bridal party ventured to the Capitol mall in the nation’s capital for a brief photo shoot. The image that I am posting today was captured with a Nikon D80 with the Tamron 28-75 F2.8 Lens. The aperture was f4.5 with the shutter speed of 1/60 of second. I fired a Nikon SB600 through an umbrella off camera via the Nikon CLS system. The ISO was set at 800. This image was captured around 5:30 pm just past sunset on 1-1-11. The atmosphere that day was so nice!!


Image of the Week Returns

My image this week is from a recent wedding in July. My bride, the now Manina Bush was relaxing before the nuptials. I am not a photojournalist so this is not a grab shot. I asked her to look out the window. The pose was all her own. I captured this image with a Nikon D300 at ISO 800 at F4.0 at 1/40 sec. This image can be captured several different ways. If I wanted to tone down the flair from the window and get more detail in the dress I  could have sped up the shutter but the bride herself would have been underexposed. This is the balancing act that photographers encounter at every wedding. You lose something to gain something. I lost a little of the dress but I gained I believe a better overall image.

First Day of Summer

98 Degrees. A  musical group and the current temperature in Catonsville, Maryland. Ouch. I try to limit my outdoor shooting to late afternoon after 5 pm in the summer. My last image of the week showed the challenges of shooting in harsh sunlight. Lighting is a challenge whether outside in the sun or in a makeshift studio space. The portrait below was shot about a 18 months ago when Emilee was in first grade. I was not happy with her Lifetouch portraits 🙂 so I decided to do my own. This was a strobist shoot using an off camera speedlight. The speedlight was an Nikon SB 600 (in Rembrandt position) firing TTL +0.6 ev. The speedlight was triggered by the Nikon Creative Lighting System via the Nikon D90 with a 50 mm f1.8 (I miss that lens).  A simple one light image shoot in my basement. I was actually pretty pleased with image. Other than using a reflector to add fill on the shadow sign of the face I really liked the image.

Image of the Week

I am back. Finally, I am able to share some of my work from the past few months. I will be posting an image of the week to this blog every Saturday.  Also I will be posting images from recent photo-shoots in my midweek report.

My image this week is from an engagement shoot from last weekend. Manina Beale and Aaron Bush will be married on July 1st. They were a fun couple and I am looking forward to capturing their big day. This image was captured during the harshest part of the day, 3:15 pm in the afternoon. This image was captured with a Nikon D300, ISO 100, 12-24 Tokina Lens, aperture f/4, shutter speed 1/160 sec with flash fill from Nikon SB800. This was a difficult image to expose properly due to the harsh sunlight. Fill-flash was needed to light Manina and Aaron and a flash shutter speed was needed to tone down the highlights in the background. Mission accomplished.

Image of the Week


I am currrently preparing for the wedding season, spring portrait season, and prom season. I will be busy. My image this week is my niece Shannon Monger. Shannon is completing her first year at Towson University. This image was from Prom Night, May 2011. I used a halo to light her camera right. I used a Nikon SB 600 speedlight via the Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS).  My camera body was a Nikon D90 with a Tamron 28-75 F2.8 Lens. Fairly simple one light setup. I did not realize this when I shot it but Shannon’s late grandmother is the woman depicted in the background photo on the wall with a similar hairstyle circa 1960. I guess the moral of this story is that classic styles never go out of style.



Image of the Week!!

These images are from the Jasper and LaShina Goode wedding that I second shot for Anthony Webb’s Jazz Images Photography.  As I stated in my earlier posts there always seems to be one image that seems to capture the essence of the wedding day. However, this wedding was a little different. There were several moments. Often during the wedding,  photographers  typically will zoom in on the bride, her bridesmaids, and her mother to capture the emotional moments. This wedding reminded me to do not forget about the groom and his family. It is an emotional day for them as well. The two pictures below show Jasper coming to the realization that he about to get married in approximately one hour.  Both images were captured with the Nikon D300, 50mm F1.4 lens at f1.4 at 1/80 sec, ISO 500.