Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Onward, semi-pro photogs. Onward from the ranks of the Legion of the Snappers. That should be one of your primary goals as an emerging pro – to move your photography beyond the point-and-shoot simplicity of the so-called “snapper,” (the “guy with the camera” haplessly snapping pics, pawning himself off as a pro) to become a vision-driven photog, shooting with purpose every time out. This blog post is the second entry in my series designed to guide you there – beyond the Legion of the Snappers.

To recap, the three major steps in the transition from snapper to semi-pro include 1) developing the ability to produce a quality product with consistency over time, 2) learning how a pro interacts with his clients, and 3) developing a sense of how to walk the walk as a pro photog. The first blog in this series covered the photographer’s product and laid out three ways to ensure a consistent, quality product – know your equipment; know your client; and know yourself. This post will focus on the second major step in the transition – learning how a pro interacts with his client.

The broad categories in this phase of the photographer’s evolution from snapper to pro include a laundry list of items that sound as if they’re lifted from the pages of the Boy Scouts’ Manual, but they are as applicable to the pro photog as they are to the Eagle Scout – a pro photographer distinguishes himself from the amateur by being 1) reliable, 2) trustworthy, and 3) accessible to his clients.

Being reliable as a pro photog means a client can depend on you to deliver a consistent, accurate product in a timely fashion. We talked about consistency in the previous installment of this blog series. By learning the ins and outs of yourself (as a photographer) and your equipment, you can produce a consistent, quality product. Quality over time translates to reliability. A pro’s work cannot be hit or miss. It has to be right in order to keep the client satisfied. Not only does it have to be right in the technical sense, it has to be right in the aesthetic sense. This, again, means getting to know your client and getting to know his or her desires for the finished product. Clients have to be able to rely on the pro photog to translate their vision into reality. Accurately capturing the client’s wishes and accurately delivering what was promised are fundamental to reliability. Timeliness is another critical component of reliability as well. If a photog takes months (or years, gasp, as we’ve heard in horror stories from clients) to deliver a product, word will spread quickly. In order to be considered reliable, the pro must deliver when he says he will. Together, these elements (consistency, accuracy and timeliness) lead to trust, another fundament trait of a pro.

A pro photog is trustworthy. Just like a patient places trust in her physician, a client places trust in her photographer. In many instances, the pro photographer is shooting an event that is merely a moment in time. Often, there are no “do-overs.” If the photog misses the shot, the opportunity is lost. Events like these range from weddings to birthdays, bar mitzvahs to quinceaneras, but it’s not only events that require precision; other photo ops are one-time only opportunities. Senior portraits are a good example. If the photographer doesn’t capture the cap-and-gown experience, often there’s no going back because the graduation regalia was rented, or grandma was only in town for a day. Family portraits, reunions, anniversaries are also fleeting moments. And, this concept doesn’t just apply to event photography. Pro shooters who shoot with celebrities generally get one shot. A glamour photog gets one shot with a model on set, and the list goes on. When clients hire a pro, they are placing special trust and confidence in that photog to get the image – at the first, and possibly the only, opportunity.

In addition to being reliable and trustworthy, the pro photog must also be accessible – that is, available to his clients. And by available, I mean, both physically (the client can actually reach the photog when desired) and mentally (the client can count on the photog to interpret what is desired and translate it into a product). Just like the horror stories of the photogs who don’t deliver what was promised, my clients also relay stories to me of previous experiences where they were no longer able to reach their photographer once money changed hands or the shoot was over. In extreme cases, clients have had to resort to lawsuits and the courts to attempt to wrest a finished product (or a refund of money) from the photographer. The actions of the photog who shoots and runs are tantamount to theft, and we all suffer the consequences. Clients are traumatized by such experiences, and photogs, in general, take a hit because we are viewed collectively – you know, one bad apple spoils the bunch. By remaining accessible – keeping the lines of communication open with our clients – we can ward off most misunderstandings that lead to bad feelings and damaged reputations. Pro photogs must remain engaged with the client throughout the creative process. By making ourselves accessible mentally, we as pro photogs can interpret our clients’ needs and make sure we deliver for them.

For this installment, we covered the elements of the pro photog’s interaction with his clients that separate the pro from the snapper. A pro photog distinguishes himself by being reliable, trustworthy and available. We didn’t cover the rest of the Boy Scouts’ attributes – thrifty, brave, and other things I can’t remember, but maybe those would be appropriate for another blog article down the road.

For next time, semi-pro’s, we’ll finish up our evolutionary discussion by covering how a pro “walks the walk.”

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Leaving Behind the Legion of the Snapper

“Ok,” you say, “alright, Tony, you railed in your last blog against ‘guys with cameras,’ aka ‘snappers,’ as you called them. No one wants that ugly distinction applied to them; so how do I avoid being labeled with that pejorative moniker?” In other words, “how do I take my photography from the amateur level to the semi-pro or pro level?” How do I leave the legion of the “snapper” and become a semi-pro shooter?

Never fear – that’s the topic of this installment of the Semi-Pro Photog Blog.

Lots has been written by authors and photographers more experienced and eloquent than I, but I’ll attempt to wade neck deep (well, at least waist deep) into the issue. To tackle such a broad topic, though, I’ll have to break it down into manageable bits. Throughout this series, I’ll talk about three major points: 1) a photographer’s product – the ability to produce a quality product with consistency over time; 2) the photographer’s interaction with his clients – how a pro’s approach differs from an amateur’s; and 3) a photographer’s view of himself and his business – or how a pro walks the walk.

It’ll take a couple of blog entries to do it, but, it’ll be worth it to readers in the end. In this entry, let’s talk about product.

In my experience, the number one thing that separates amateurs from professionals is the ability to produce a consistent, quality product for clients, time and time again. That means shooting with vision and purpose every time out. That means translating the client’s wishes, needs and desires into a photograph. It means delivering a product that the client is happy to pay for, over and over. How? How does the pro photographer accomplish this? I believe all of these deliverables can be summed up thusly: know your equipment; know your client; and know yourself.

A pro photographer has to know his equipment. He has to know the tools of his trade. In another lifetime, I was a Marine infantryman (ok, it wasn’t another lifetime in the “past life regression” sense of the word, so much as it was so long ago it seems like another lifetime, but the point’s the same). The Marine Corps did an incredibly efficient job of indelibly printing in my brain that my rifle, the tool of my trade, was my lifeline. I carried my rifle wherever I went. I studied it; I had classes with it; I ate with it; I ran with it; heck, I even slept with it. I could disassemble it blindfolded and reassemble it in under a minute – I wasn’t unique or especially gifted – that’s what was expected of me as a member of the profession of arms. The same should be true for every photographer who claims to be a pro. I’m not saying you should sleep with your camera (you can love your camera…just don’t “love” your camera…to misquote Janeane Garofalo’s line from “The Truth About Cats and Dogs”), but I am saying a pro knows his equipment inside out.

That means reading the users’ manual. That means studying charts and settings, knowing what the controls on the camera do, and knowing and understanding how to apply photographic techniques to a subject using the piece of equipment in your hand. By knowing your equipment and understanding how to use it correctly, you can navigate your way through any number of shooting scenarios. If it’s too bright outside, what do you do? If it’s too dark inside, what do you do? If you want to blur the background of your photos, how do you set your camera up to do it? If you have taken the time to get to know your equipment, you’re not surprised or unprepared to handle difficult or different shooting set ups. If conditions change on the shoot, you, as a knowledgeable handler of a camera will know how to adjust your equipment on the fly to keep up. Knowing your equipment and how to use it will allow you to produce a consistent, quality product for your client time and time again.

And speaking of your client – the second component the pro photog uses to produce quality products is a fundamental understanding of his client. The ability to translate the client’s vision into reality is a hallmark of the professional photographer. The title of one of my previous blog articles was, “My Client; My Friend.” In that article, I advocated getting to know your client on a personal level. This notion is counter to the cautions promoted by other professions such as doctors and lawyers where practitioners are prohibited from forming personal relationships with clients. In those professions, it makes sense. A doctor or an attorney has to remain objective in order to give the best care or advice to his client. A doctor or an attorney can be caring… they don’t have to be callous, but to “remain professional” (in the sense of the phrase as used by the AMA or ABA), the practitioners of medicine or law must maintain a separation between themselves, their emotions and their clients. As a professional photographer, however, your role is different.

Regardless of what you’re shooting, you have to know your client (and, importantly, the client is not always the subject of the photograph). Generally, the client has commissioned the pro photog’s work. The client could be a couple who has hired the photographer to shoot their wedding (the most likely scenario in the kind of photography that I do). The client could be an ad agency exec who has hired the photographer to shoot a new product or an event. The client could be a model who has hired the photographer to produce a portfolio. There are an infinite number of possibilities of who the client is and what that client’s relationship to the subject of the photograph is. The key, as the photographer hired to translate the client’s vision into an image, is to get to know the client. The photographer must understand what makes the client tick – what makes the client a satisfied customer. Meeting with the client is essential, whether in person or virtually. Establish a rapport; listen to the client; understand the client; and then, translate what you have learned about the client into the image he or she desires. When you can do this consistently, you’re on your way to being a professional.

Why did I say you’re “on your way” to being a professional? Because there is still one more element you must master. Not only do you have to know your equipment and your client, you also have to know yourself. This is perhaps the most important element of the three. You can “sort of” know your equipment (and let’s face it, there’s always more to learn); and, you can make a superficial attempt to know your client (based on similarities with others, past experience, etc.); but the one element you can’t fake and still consider yourself a pro or semi-pro is knowledge of yourself. This is where the snapper truly reveals himself.

Let’s take Uncle Bob (with apologies to anyone with a real Uncle Bob who doesn’t fit this description) as an example. Uncle Bob bought a nice DSLR camera. He used to shoot film back in the day and has decided that since he has a nice new camera that he can shoot professionally. Uncle Bob knows a little bit about cameras, and he knows a little bit about the family (aka “his clients”), but what Uncle Bob lacks is the good self-awareness of what he can produce as a photographer. There’s a huge difference between someone snapping pictures with a nice camera and a pro photographer producing a consistent, quality product for his client – the pro knows what he can produce; Bob hasn’t a clue. To take another example – I know I am not a sports photographer. It’s not something I’ve studied; it’s not something I have the equipment for. It would be wrong for me to represent myself as a sports photographer and attempt to produce images that are outside my expertise. I have to know myself and know what I can and can’t deliver.

In order to deliver a consistent, quality product to your client, time and time again, you must know your equipment; you must know your client; and importantly, you must know yourself. When you can put these three components together, then you are on your way to leaving the legion of snappers and becoming a professional photographer.

In the next installment, we’ll discuss the second major element that separates a snapper from a pro - the pro photog’s interaction with his client.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A New Definition for an Old Phrase

In my latest blog, I am proposing the coining of a new term. Or, I suppose, more appropriately, I’m proposing the coinage of a new definition of an old term – a definition that, sadly, our semi-pro photog community has helped spawn. The word I propose a new definition for – the word I propose we define in a new way that is uniquely our own in the photography world – is “snapper.” Gentlemen, keep your snickers to yourself and hear me out.

If you haven’t checked it out before, the Urban Dictionary (abbreviated “UD”) is a peculiar on-line phenomenon. Much like Wikipedia (the on-line encyclopedia for the people, by the people), the definitions contained in the UD are generally written by the users of the words themselves. The site has become the on-line repository for every word wrested from civil society and turned against itself by today’s pop- and sub-cultures. There’s not enough soap on the planet to cleanse the mouths (and the pens, keyboards, etc.) of the authors of most utterances enumerated therein; yet, contained in its raw imagery and gutter terminology, there are some nuggets of wisdom in many (certainly not all, but many) of the site’s definitions.
Despite UD’s crude definition of the word I’m commandeering, my definition has nothing to do with the female anatomy (well, now that I say that, there may be some appropriate anatomical references that might fit in later in my essay…but stay on track with me for now).

The word “snapper” is properly defined in Webster’s dictionary as any one of numerous, widely distributed marine fishes of the family Lutjanidae (or Lutianidae), many of which are prized as food fishes. A secondary definition of the word should be familiar to American sports fans – a snapper is the center player on an offensive football line responsible for delivering the football to the quarterback or kicker. According to the dictionary, the word can also refer to a snapping turtle, an exploding party favor, or simply, one who snaps. This last use of the word is the focus of my proposal.

As photographers, we’ve all heard the term “snapshot.” For me, it generally brings to mind old Polaroids of my brothers and me with my parents on our family vacations. I take snapshots of my dogs. My wife takes snapshots of the two of us wherever we travel together. Snapshots have a place in our lives…generally within scrapbooks, Facebook profiles, albums or old shoeboxes. Snapshots, however, do not belong in the portfolios of the professional or semi-professional photographer. Our art and craft demands more than the simple point and click required of a snapshot.

If a snapshot is a simple photograph taken by someone snapping a camera’s shutter, my undergraduate training in logic tells me that the person snapping the snapshot is, by extrapolation, a “snapper” – hence my new definition for the old phrase. The snapshot is the simplest of photos to take. It requires no skill, no training, no planning, no artistic ability and certainly no imagination. The snapshot simply records what is reflected onto photographic film or sensors through the lens. Nothing more.

Continuing the thought, if a snapper merely snaps the shutter, the snapper is not truly a photographer. The snapper is merely an automated finger joint which decides indiscriminately when to press a camera’s shutter button. A snapper could be a robot, a child, Aunt Millie, or the family pet (probably not a goldfish, but a semi-skilled cat, dog or chimp). A snapper can also be the dreaded “guy with a camera” or GWC, to use the parlance of our modeling community.

As I’ve discussed in my blog before, the GWC gives legitimate photographers a bad name. He generally doesn’t know an f/stop from a bus stop (to quote a former nameless colleague), and he’s just as likely to shoot his mouth off as he is to shoot his intended subject. The proliferation of excellent, relatively easy-to-use camera equipment at relatively affordable prices has contributed to the rise of the GWC. An amateur who pretends to be a professional is a GWC, and models (and other photographers) find them particularly objectionable. In my new lexicon, “GWC” and “snapper” are synonyms.

The dictionary entry would look something like:

Snap-per (sna'pr) n.
1. pl. snapper or snap•pers. Any of numerous widely distributed marine fishes of the family Lutjanidae (or Lutianidae), many of which are prized as food fishes, that are found chiefly in warm coastal waters of the Pacific and Atlantic.
2. In American football, the center player on an offensive line who delivers the football to the quarterback or kicker.
3. A snapping turtle.
4. An exploding party favor.
5. One that snaps.
6. One who snaps the shutter of a camera to record an image, in much the same way a robot or chimpanzee might snap a shutter button. syn. guy-with-camera.

To help define the term, I’ve prepared some examples. With apologies to Jeff Foxworthy:

If you have ever shot an entire roll of 35mm film with the lens cap still on, you might be a snapper.

If you have ever taken better pictures of your thumb in front of the lens than of your intended subject, you might be a snapper.

If you spend more time looking at your DSLR’s LCD screen than through your viewfinder or at your intended subject, you might be a snapper.

If you have ever done an entire model shoot in automatic mode, you might be a snapper.

If you’ve ever hired a model because that’s the closest you’ve been to a woman in years, you might be a snapper.

If you have ever used the phrase “make love to the camera” with a straight face, you might be a snapper.

The GWC might look like a photographer, but he soon reveals himself through his actions and his products to be only a snapper.

See how that use of the word just rolls off the tongue? “Ah, he’s not a real photographer…he’s just a snapper.” It’s got a ring to it, and I, for one, intend to submit it to the Urban Dictionary and use it the next time I encounter a GWC. Now, if I can just get the new definition approved by Webster.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Why Guilds are Good

Why Guilds are Good
Guild members,
I want to pass on to you an experience I had over this past weekend that really made me proud to be part of a professional guild. When we started the Semi-pro Photographers’ Guild, the founders envisioned a supportive, growing, vibrant group of like-minded photographers who could help support each others’ photographic interests. We didn’t start the guild to be a money-making venture, in and of itself, but rather our hope was that by supporting one another, we could extend our skills, expand our markets, and express our art beyond our current capabilities. In doing so, we could all benefit.
And that’s just what happened this weekend. An opportunity for a nice contracted shoot came up. A public relations and strategic communications company out of Austin needed a photographer to cover a press conference for one of its clients in San Antonio. A Guild member found out about the gig from a family member and spread the word to other Guild members who he thought could cover the event and win the bid for the job. After several photographers bid on the job, my studio, Strictly Art Photography, landed the contract. Score! The Guild relationship worked… but it didn’t stop there. Not only did my studio get the contract, but the other Guild members who knew of the gig showed up to help with set up and stayed to watch, help, learn (and even shoot).
After the press conference, my partner and I had to bolt to our next gig where yet another Guild member was already set up and waiting for us to arrive to shoot an all-weekend convention. Having the Guild member there was invaluable because we simply could not have been in two places at once.
As the convention moved into full swing on Saturday, my shooters and assistants were getting overwhelmed with photo requests, when out of nowhere, another Guild member stopped by to say hello. When he saw how busy we were, he graciously volunteered to jump in to shoot with us. We were able to keep a three- to four-shooter rotation going while maintaining our presence on the convention floor and our print operation running.
Had it not been for the Guild members jumping in to help out, we wouldn’t have been successful. Yeah, we might have survived, but we simply would not have been able to produce the kind of work we got without the help of the Guild.
I just want to say thanks to the four members who graciously gave of their time and talents to help a fellow Guild member succeed. That, my friends, is what being in a Guild is all about.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Just because you say you are a pro...

Doesn't make it so.

There is more to being a professional photographer than snapping pictures and taking money. Certainly, one definition of a "professional" is that of someone who is paid for his or her services. If that's all it took, though, the ubiquitous teens snapping photos of tourists at every theme park in the country could call themselves "professional" photographers. You know the ones I'm talking about... the kids at the entrance of everything theme park you've ever been to who snap your photo upon entry and hawk them for $29.95 with a souvenir, commemorative photo frame? Sure, that's probably what goes on the kid's resume, but by no stretch of the imagination would any serious photographer consider that type of work "professional" photography.

Although a bit of an extreme example, that's what happens when anyone can buy a decent camera and has access to the internet. What was once attainable by only a few has now become commonplace; that is, good equipment and an accessible means to produce a product. In the old days (and, yes, I'm old enough to say that now) before digital cameras, it was expensive, time consuming and technically challenging to produce a "pro-quality" photograph. Now, anyone with a DSLR and a decent printer can produce a passable print and sell it.

Still, producing a passable print that someone is willing to pay for does not make you a professional.

A professional, like a doctor, or lawyer or architect, studies his or her craft for years before being able to practice. A doctor can't simply hang up a sign (or start his own website) and practice medicine. Similarly, a photographer doesn't simply open his new DSLR out of the box and become a professional. It's the same concept I wrote about when I relayed the story of shooting on the set at a Harley-Davidson motorcycle shop. A mechanic, after enviously watching me shoot gorgeous bikini models, said to me, "I should buy one of those nice cameras so I can be a photographer." I replied, "Yeah, and I should buy one of those shiny toolboxes, so I can be a Harley mechanic." He understood my sarcasm immediately.

Professionals have standards. Our craft has certain rules that apply in order for a product to be called "professional" quality. Exposure, lighting, composition, and style can vary from photographer to photographer (because, after all, we are still artists, right?), but there are certain basics that are agreed upon as essential elements of a professional photograph. Color balance, correct exposure, focal points, impact... all are elements that can be debated in a photograph, but all are essential to a good photograph and must be understood to be used (or not) properly. Professionals know this.

Professionals have associations to which they belong and which govern their actions. Although, as photographers, we're not tightly regulated like doctors or architects (photographs, although potentially powerful don't directly impact anyone's life like a botched apendectomy or a defective bridge design), we still have professional licensing, credentialling and governing bodies. Anyone who calls himself a professional should be willing to submit to the rules, guidelines and standards of the profession's regulators. Business and tax lisences are also a requirement if you are doing business as a professional.

Training, standardization and regulation are fundamental aspects of being a professional, but they are not the only criteria.

Besides training, standardization and regulation, a "professional" anything also has certain characteristics or qualities that should be upheld to claim the title of "professional." This is where how you present yourself or your product matters. A professional upholds ethical standards. A professional is on time and honors his commitments. A professional presents a professional product in a professional manner to his clients. A professional conducts himself like a gentleman on a set. These characteristics separate a pro from amateurs just as surely as training or credentialling do. Even a highly-trained, credentialed photographer can act in a less-than-professional manner. I recently won a contract for a shoot over an equally-skilled photographer because I was on time for the shoot, and he was late. It doesn't matter how good you are, if you can't "be a professional," you're still not going to go far in this business.

Train for your craft, know the rules, abide by the standards, and conduct yourself ethically. Call yourself a professional. But if you do, be willing to accept the responsibility that comes with the label.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

What's old is new, in the digital age.

I thought about titling this blog something like "Old dogs, new tricks," but that's not really an accurate description of where I'm headed with today's thought. There are a lot of us old dogs still snapping photos like we've done for years, but the digital age has changed what comes next. Before, we would have taken our film rolls to the darkroom to try out different methods to expose our vision; today, we take our electrons to the digital darkroom to create our artwork. The tricks aren't new... there's just a new way of implementing them.

From the very beginning of photography, artists have used different techniques after the shutter snapped to achieve the desired results for their photographs. In what we call post-production (or PP) today, photogs would spend hours in the darkroom with chemicals, emulsions and solutions bathing their negatives under different lights for varying lengths of time to produce different visual effects. Frenchman, Armand Sabattier, developed what is known today as "solarization" (more accurately, the technique is called the Sabattier effect) in 1862 . Legendary photographer, Man Ray, took the technique to new heights in the 1920's and 1930's.

By the 1960's, many photographic artists were experimenting with darkroom processing techniques, including cross-processing (that is, processing one type of film in chemicals intended for a different type of film) to achieve creative results with their photography. Dodging (reducing the light hitting specific parts of an image) and burning (increasing the light) techniques were commonplace.

Though commonplace by the modern era of film, these techniques were still very time consuming and labor intensive. The techniques for achieving artistic results had improved, but still, the results were often hit or miss. The outcome depended on the input. One image might work perfectly processed one way, while another image may not work at all with a particular technique, aesthetically speaking.

Then came the digital age. Fast forward through the early iterations of digital imagery to today, and you now have the tools that photographic artists toiled over for years right at the tips of your fingers. Using your computer and imaging software, you can create the same photographic effects in minutes, or even seconds, that once took days. The same solarization effects, dodging, burning, and cross-processing techniques have been captured by mathematicians and programmers and turned into the image editing software we can all access today.

Film purists (and there are still some among us) might contend that the old techniques should stay in the darkroom, but I believe, as an artist, that taking advantage of the new virtual darkroom is the way to go. I can produce similar results in seconds; my results are repeatable; and I don't have to expose myself (yeah, I said it) to hazardous, smelly chemicals that most probably shortened the life span of some of our photographic forefathers.

So go ahead and post-produce your digital images, and do so without guilt. Do you think we'd remember Man Ray today for the photographs he produced right out of the camera? No. His post-production techniques are what made him a memorable artist. The pioneers of photography paved the way for us, but it's up to us to press forward with a new vision of the future in the digital age.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

My clients; my friends

Certain responsibilities come with calling oneself a "professional." There comes certain rules, norms and standards with every professional occupation. Doctors have their Hippocratic oath; attorneys must adhere to the rules of the Bar; counselors must be certified by boards within their specialities... and the list goes on. One of the basic tenets of being a professional is maintaining a "professional" relationship with one's clients. Medicine, law, counseling, and many other professional fields demand their practitioners steer clear of developing personal relationships with their clients, for obvious reasons. Doctors, lawyers, and counselors must remain objective and maintain distance between their clients in order to give the best, objective advice they can. The relationship between a professional photographer and his or her clients, however, is different.

In order for me as a professional photographer to get the very best result for my client, I must get to know my client on a personal level. I have to know my client, not as a subject, but as a person, and often, as a friend. The relationship that a wedding photographer develops with his client is special. The photographer is allowed in the inner circle of family and friends on one of the most intimate and special days of people's lives. Remaining distant and objective is no longer an option. There must be a trust relationship between the photographer and the bride and the groom in order to capture the emotion of the day. An outsider would never be able to shoot with the intimacy and empathy required to truly memorialize the moment.

The brides and grooms and families I've shot over the years have remained my friends long after the ceremony or event I was hired to cover. That is because I take the time to get to know the family. I remember names, events, important details - just like you would in any friendship. That's how my clients become my friends.

I have to admit, even though I'm a professional, I still get choked up when I watch a bride dance with her father at the reception; when I see the mother of the groom watch as her son has his first dance with his bride; or when I watch the myriad of other intimate moments that happen when my clients, my friends, share their special day. One could argue that the tear that rolls down my cheek makes me less professional - I would argue it makes me a better photographer.

Here's to my friends who started out as clients...many happy returns on your special day.