Picture This Nashville

You have got to see this!

If you have ever considered a photo booth but you thought they were to big, bulky and ugly, then you haven’t seen this.

Picture this Nashville is the photobooth with out the booth. Instead the system uses 21″ touch screen iMac computers specially created for Picture This.

I could tell you about this until I am blue in the face, but until you play with one you just won’t get it. I had so much fun at last Sunday’s bridal show, I kept grabbing friends and dragging them to the booth.

To find out more, vist their website. Go to their Facebook page to see a whole bunch of fun images from the booth (including yours truly) AND find out where they will be so you can see this set up for yourself.

You can try it out at the Put a Ring On It Bridal Show on Sept.25th

Gerard Tomko: Fine Art Wedding Photography

I get to experience a lot of wedding photographers, but rarely do I meet one as humble, funny and talented as Jerry Tomko. After 25+ years in this business, very little blows me away anymore. His work does.

To hear Jerry tell it, “I just do what I do.”  Um,did I say humble? Heck, he won’t even post his many award winning images on his website!  Uh, no my friend, what you do is fine art photography meets fashion photography like I haven’t seen before.

Take a look for yourself. All of the images are linked to the original post on Jerry’s blog. Check it out and send him some Dish love.


This is from the wedding that Jerry shot for the VH-1 reality series, “My Big Friggin’ Wedding!”

This is also from Alyssa & Tyler’s VH1 wedding. I love what this image says about the couple.

This is perhaps my favorite wedding image of all time. It just screams, “Anna Karenina”The size limitations of this blog don’t do it justice. Click the image to see it on Jerry’s blog.

Jerry isn’t for the couple that just want a record of their wedding. His is the bride that sees the art in the finest photography and understand that to capture it on this one day, that is all that matters. You can view Jerry’s website at Gerard Tomko.com.


Meet the Creatives: The Story Keeper

René Dille is one of those rare photographers whose style is so unique and amazing that hers easily stands out from the crowd. Her images are light and border on ethereal. It doesn’t matter if she is captuing a wedding or yesterday’s lunch, her style is unmistakable.  That talent  is what makes her images more art then mere photographic records. If you are in Orange County, CA, you can’t find a better  person to capture your day and keep your story. {psst…I bet she travels}

Well you know me, I just had to know more. Read below to see what René can tell you about finding and getting your own unique style for your wedding images.

The Story Keeper
Anaheim Hills, CA

Me: Rene, your style is fresh and light.  I read that you make a conscience effort with this.  How would you describe what sets your images apart?

Well, I think it takes a few things working in harmony to create a “look” that the viewer associates with the artist.  It’s how we look at things.  How we see them.  And what we want to communicate to the viewer.  Unlike writers, we have to use a visual cue to tell you what we are seeing; to make you feel it too.  Unlike a videographer, that visual cue must be a single image.  Because of the limitations of our media, that one image has to be powerful.  I think of it a little like haiku.

Since I shoot primarily weddings, my style is light.  I use a light hand when I shoot images, and when I process them.  Weddings are fun.  They are well-rehearsed, yet spontaneous.  The lightness of the day is infectious.  My goal when I process the images is to convey that lightness.

Me: As you view other portfolios do you find it true that the better photographers have developed a style all there own or are you unique in this?

I think the “better photographers” know who they are.  They have healthy egos.  They have figured out how to tell you what they saw in, not only in the way they capture a moment, but prepare that moment for it to be viewed.  Some use bright colors and saturation.  Some use contrast and shadows.  They all tell you a story.  Their work often tells you as much about them as their subjects.
There has been a lot of talk in the photographic industry about the liquidation of style; of photographers copying off each other’s papers.  But I’m not sure that’s entirely accurate; at least not to other artists.  So much of what we put into our work is uniquely our own, that it’s nearly impossible to truly copy.  The really good photographers out there don’t try to make their images look a certain way.  They can’t help but make them look a certain way.  It’s their signature.

Me:Could you give my readers some tips on how to figure out what style appeals most to them and how to convey that to their photographer?

I would tell your readers the same thing I tell brides every day.  I don’t have to tell you what to look for.  You have eyes.  You know what you like.  It doesn’t matter who took it.  It doesn’t matter how well-known the photographer is.  It doesn’t matter whom they’ve photographed.  All that matters is how you feel when you look at their images.

When you look at a single image of theirs, do you understand what the photographer was feeling?  Do you know how the subject was feeling?  Moreover, if you look at an entire album created by that photographer, what do you feel about the wedding?  Are you looking at pretty pictures?  Or do you feel like you were there?  Can you smell the flowers?  Taste the cake?  Feel the sun?  Hear the music?  If you can answer “yes” to just one of these, the artist has done their job.  If you can answer “yes” to all of these, then this is the photographer for you.

To better understand more about a creative, it helps to know how they got where they are and a bit of their philosophy.

I’ve been photographing weddings in Anaheim Hills with my husband Jay since 1987.  We started out shooting medium format film cameras.  It was a completely different world then.  Because we were unable to see what we were creating while we were creating it, the learning curve was sharp.  You had to know what light would do, and what film wouldn’t.  You had to know what would add and what would subtract light; and more importantly, why to do it.

It was also very expensive to press the shutter release; at least a couple bucks for each click.  Because of that, photographers had to learn to wait.  We couldn’t just shoot.  We had to wait for the moment to completely unfold.  Too quick and you missed it.  Too late and you missed it.  Sometimes I think it was the very best way to learn photography, and more importantly to learn wedding photography.  Because we learned to shoot “blind,” we aren’t encumbered today by the same rituals that newer photographers deal with………….specifically, the need to flip their camera over to see the exposure they just shot.  So often THE shot is the one right after the one you just took.  Look at the back, and you miss the “real” shot.

We went digital about seven years ago.  It was tough to change tracks, but it opened up a whole new world to me.  It opened up endless possibilities to further perfect the story I wanted to tell.  Post processing gave me that freedom.  No longer shackled to the retouching artists at the lab, I could interpret the images I had captured in the way I meant for them to be seen.

And yes, I went through the same missteps I think most of us did during that transition.  We all felt the need to kick up the contrast to unimaginable levels.  The saturation slider in Photoshop was at once my best friend and worst enemy.  We did some pretty odd blurry things to our pictures in the name of art.  By, like most pros who have been around for a long time, I finally settled into my style about five years ago.

Now I think of post-processing and retouching much like I think of makeup……………if you’re good, you almost can’t see it.  I think a heavy hand is your worst enemy.  I still want it to look like you………just better.  I still want the story told, I just want the viewer to see it a little more clearly.

Shabby Chic. Yep, It’s Officially a Wedding Trend

I have been kind of tracking this for a while. I started mostly because a dear friend of the Dish, Vicki Sanders at Branching Out Event Design has a knock your socks off collection of containers that fit but also because I love the softness of the look.
I had thought I was seeing it pop up more often in recent months but today I had confirmation that it is or will soon be the hottest of hot.

Confirmation you ask? What confirmation? Well the images below were all taken from two of the hottest wedding blogs, Style Me Pretty and photographer Jasmine Star’s Blog.  The first two collages were taken at a photography workshop hosted by the fabulous photographer, Jessica Claire. Need I say more?  Enjoy!

Shabby Chic Wedding

Source: Style Me Pretty

Images from: Allisa Ferullo

Taken at : Jessica Claire Photography WorkshopShabby Chic Decor Collage

Source: Style Me Pretty

Images from: Kari Sikorski

Taken at : Jessica Claire Photography Workshop

Shabby Chic Wedding Decor Details

Images by : Jasmine Star

Shabby Chic Table Decor

Images by: Jasmine Star

Funny Photos

As I travel around the internet I run across photos that, gosh I don’t know, I guess are just wrong. You have to wonder what these people were thinking.

First up, Bad Bouquet.bad bouquet
Sadly this came from a Martha Stewart post. I’m sorry but just ripping a bit of shrubbery out of the garden is not a suitable substitute for a bouquet.

Giant Bride.IMG_0383
I ran across this one while setting up a site for a bridal salon. This was actually on the gown manufacturer’s website. Take a good look. How tall is this bride? 14’ or 15’ tall? Or is it just a miniature landscape.

bride torso  from Cake WrecksBad Cake
This was sent to me by a fellow cake designer. Click through the photo to read the comments they really are the best part. Just be sure to put your coffee down first or you risk spitting all over your monitor from laughing so hard.

How to Choose a Photographer(s)

One of my favorite photography teams is Gray Photography.

Zach & Jody Gray

Zach & Jody Gray

Jody and Zach Gray not only have amazing talent behind the lens but are just a lot of fun to be around. If you want to help insure that you have fun and laugh through your wedding day take these tips from Jody to heart.

How to Choose a Photographer(s)

by Jody Gray

Have you ever been a part of a wedding and you’ve seen this guy as the photographer?

What Not to Hire!

What Not to Hire!

First few thoughts that come to mind:
No Fun
These photos are going to stink
This is going to be the worst and longest day of my life

Quite a few years back, I (Jody) remember being in a wedding where everyone was on edge and tense all because of one person who was making the day quite unbearable… I’m sure you can guess the role the person had at this wedding – The Photographer!

Sometimes a bride underestimates the importance of having her wedding photographer be one who she “clicks” with (pun fully intended). A wedding is the one of the most special and personal days of your life, and the last person a bride wants capturing her day is Mr. Crabby-Photographer-I-Yell-At-Everyone-All-Day.

Let us, as photographers give you one word of advice – Make sure you click with your photographers!!

Yes, it is VERY important that you like their shooting style, and that they can actually shoot a wedding, but please do not forget about liking them as a person! Your photographer (or photographers in our case 🙂 )will be with you at the most intimate and emotional times of your wedding day, and the last thing a bride wants to feel is uncomfortable because her creepy photographer is well, creepy, and mean as well.

Let your wedding be fun and a joy, and by choosing a photographer who you click with, you’ll feel as if you have your friends right along with you capturing your day, and the images will be all the much better!
Questions to Ask Yourself to Find the Photographer(s) to ‘Click’ With

1. Do they have a creep factor?
2. Is this someone I can see myself hanging out with and sharing my wedding day with?
3. Have they shown an interest in me as a person and not just asked questions about our budget?

Ask for a few bride/coordinator references to get the real down-low of how the photographer was their wedding day

*Please keep in mind that we are not saying you have to find a photographer who has to be Best Friend Potential… simply someone you feel comfortable with!

Brides are really fortunate these days to have a many wedding photographers available for them to choose from. As a bride, don’t be afraid to have high expectations and to really go after what you are wanting. Let the picking process begin!

Love Your Photographer

Love Your Photographer

Be sure to check out Zach and Jody’s website and for more tips on your wedding read thier blog. Here at the Dish we just love Jody’s sense of humor so hopefully she will keep guest blogging.

Choosing Your Wedding Album Pictures

Guest blogger Kathy Ziegler is back with more of her wonderful insight on photography for your wedding.

I’m always asked by my brides how to choose the images for their album. My suggestion is to make it about the story of your wedding day, make sure there are lots of pix of you & your new husband, not a collection of face forward family pictures; you can always put those in frames around the house. The way to do that is to choose the more candid, camera unaware pictures & use transitional images as you move from one part of your wedding day to another. We’ll help you get some of those more candid looks, even as we do posed pictures, no worries. And you know that’s your Mom, even if it’s the side of her face!

Set the scene with some getting ready images &/or your venue’s details, use images of you & your wedding party or parents walking places or getting in & out of cars or limos. Use the images that cause you to feel great emotion either because they are of the special people in your life giving you a hug or, it’s the most beautiful or fun picture you’ve ever had of yourself, or maybe it’s gorgeous lighting that draws you in. Be sure to include the pretty details you worked so hard on & make your last image have impact or the ahhhh factor.

This is why it’s important to avoid looking the camera but play to it as well; it makes for great, unobtrusive storytelling pictures to use. Read the last article about “Getting that Photojournalistic Look”. Your photographer is always willing to let you know the stunners you should probably not forget to include, take their advice for the best results.

Kathy Ziegler has been a successful wedding photographer for 12 happy years in San Diego. She recently moved East to enjoy the beauty of Mt Juliet Tennessee with her loveable husband of 19 years & her 2 dogs & 2 horses. Her work is fresh, fun, classy & timeless.

Wedding Photography Contest

Score! If you like looking at beautiful wedding photography then I have found the mother load

I stumbled across the Wedding Photography Directory site through an announcement of their WPD 2007 Summer Creative Wedding Photography Contest. Out of over 1500 entries they have narrowed it down to the top 100 images and are asking you to vote on the winner. How better to decide than to get the opinion of the ultimate consumer instead of just a bunch of other photographers.

In addition to the contest, WPD has some well written articles on everything you want to know as you do you homework on the how, when, whats and whys of wedding photography. Unlike some of the large portal sites with four or five generic articles on the topic this site is jam packed with valuable, up to date information.

If like me you like to graze through the beautiful shots you can find a listing of their member’s blogs. Be warned, you could get lost on this site for hours and hours.

Disclaimer: I don’t know any of the photographers that they list in their directory you still have to do your own fact checking; but its still a fun graze.

Image by Alison Williams, Alison Rose Photography

%d bloggers like this: