Archive for the 'Choosing a Photographer' Category

King 5 TV Evening Magazine- Best Photographer

We’re Nominated! King 5 TV Evening Magazine lists Janet Klinger Photography for “Best Wedding Photographer in Western Washington”! We’re thrilled to be included as a nominee in their 16th annual “Best of Western Washington” contest.

Voting ends Monday, October 13th. King 5 is encouraging us to reach out to our colleagues and clients to participate in the process.

If you would like to, we’d be honored to receive your vote and perhaps even a review of our work.

Vote here! Then simply press the yellow “Vote” button.

Best of Western Washington Nominated: Best Photographer in Seattle

Top Fifteen List: What Every Photo Assistant or Second Shooter Knows

Whether you shoot weddings, mitzvahs, or corporate events, working as a photo team has advantages. Since 1991 I wouldn’t consider working an event without an additional photographer. While the biggest benefit is having a second set of eyes to capture moments I might not see myself, or to cover a second location simultaneously, the advantages are many. However, before asking these more advanced responsibilities of team members, I like to make sure the basics are covered.

Here is my Top Fifteen “What every Photography Assistant and Shooter Knows” list I like all members of the JKP team to know from day one, helping keep not only the event running smoothly, but the post production time to a minimum.

  1. Sync your camera Date/Time with the Primary Photographer’s camera before the event.
  2. Count all pieces of gear before and after the event, including notating the number of CF cards. Put the numbers list in the “exposed CF cards” bag.
  3. Only shoot macro close-ups at an aperture of 4.0 or less if you are on a tripod or are at a shutter speed of 1/125 of faster. (It helps to take off the heavy camera bag.)
  4. Unless it is incredibly bright so that you are unable to get your desired aperture, you are usually better off shooting at ISO 400 than 100 (here in the great NW).
  5. Unless you are going for a motion effect, or are capturing ambient light in a dark space, please shoot at a shutter speed of 1/45th of a second or faster. If using a long lens, your shutter should be at least as fast as your longest lens capability until you know you can succeed otherwise. Example: if shooting a 24-70mm use a minimum shutter speed of 1/80. If a 70-200mm use a minimum shutter speed of 1/200.
  6. Do not exceed ISO 1000 on Canon 40D and “below”. If you must choose a higher ISO, use the custom function “reduce noise”. Triple check your exposure when shooting in low light to avoid noise.
  7. Everybody blinks. Shoot at least the number of subjects plus one, up to a max of eight exposures. 2 people= 3 exposures minimum, 5 people=6 exposure minimum, but 8 people=8 exposures.
  8. Group shots (6 or more people, or 2 rows +) require a minimum aperture of 5.6 unless using a 20mm or wider angle lens where 4.0 is fine. (Obviously you can play with small depth of field making one or two people stand out, but don’t let this art shot be the only variation of a group.)
  9. If shooting over the main shooters shoulder, use a radically different lens or your image will probably get rejected as a similar.
  10. Use manual exposure when shooting against a window, large doorway, bright sky, or other back lit situation. In a pinch, simply stay on auto, set to over expose by 1-2 stops depending on the desired effect and amount of back light present. Work on checking exposure regularly to avoid forgetting to reset exposure.
  11. Check your histogram at least once every new lighting situation to be sure you are capturing appropriate highlights and shadows. This is much more trustworthy exposure check than your preview.
  12. To capture someone walking towards you, choose a shutter speed of 1/125 or faster, Al Servo mode, “all” focus points, and I prefer one shot mode for regular speed walking to select “the moment”, and a fast motor wind for a hustle walk, run or jump in combo with a shutter 1/250 or faster.
  13. Download CF cards to portable drive as soon as full.
  14. Keep CF cards/film on your person at ALL times, even when we shoot out of state weddings and hike, dine, or partake in other adventures. (Water related events we choose a third party to entrust with cards until we are safe and dry.)
  15. While downloading to a portable drive immediately gives us a second copy of all images created, this is not a fool-proof system and therefore does not replace downloading each and every CF card individually to the main production hard-drive immediately upon arriving at the studio.

Now for the fun part- Let’s go shoot!

Seattle Bride’s Best Photographer. Me?!!! (Best Wedding Vendors 2008)

I am thrilled and honored that the Readers of Seattle Bride voted me, Janet Klinger, the “Best Photographer 2008″. THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart. Granted it was a TIE, but according to Ali Basye (the Editor of Seattle Bride) we split the largest number of votes ever cast in a tie. Spreading the love.

The fabulously talented J Garner won Best Photographer in the “Vendors Choice” category along with his wife, Katarina. These two are not only incredibly talented, but industrious, personable, and business savvy. Hmmm. Wait. Don’t hire them. Hire me! After all, this is MY blog.
Janet Klinger laughing on winning the Seattle Bride Best Photographer 2008 Reader's Choice
Other Winning Vendors (A partial list as it’s late. Purchase the latest edition of Seattle Bride for details.)

True Color Events: Best Wedding Planner AND Day-of-Wedding Planner. Vendors’ Choice.
Aisle of View: Best Wedding Planner AND Day-of-Wedding Planner AND ALL AROUND BEST WEDDING VENDOR. Readers’ Choice. Go Merry Beth!!!
Luly Yang Couture: Best Custom Dress Designer AND Best Bridal Accessories. Readers’ Choice.
Luly Yang Couture: Best Custom Dress Designer AND Best Dress Shop. Vendors’ Choice.
Golf Club At Newcastle: Best Location for a Sunset Wedding. Readers’ Choice.
Flora Nova: Best Florist. Vendors’ Choice. (She’s all over this blog. Do a search!)
Aria Style: Best Florist. Readers’ Choice.
Moms, Maids and More: Best Mother-of-the-Bride Apparel AND Flower Girl Dresses. Vendors’ Choice AND Readers’ Choice.
E.E. Robbins, The Engagement Ring Store: Engagement/Wedding Rings. Vendors’ Choice.
The Healthy Bride: Bridal Fitness Plan. (I work out with her too, but I’m a healthy “Goddess”, not bride.)
The Michael Benson Band: Best Live Band/Entertainment. Vendors’ Choice AND Readers’ Choice.
Wave Link Music: Best DJ for the Reception. Vendors’ Choice.
Hotel 1000: Best Hotel for Guests. Vendors’ Choice.
A Heavenly Ceremony: Best Officiant/Clergy. Readers’ Choice.
Fairmont Olympic Hotel: Best Quintessential Seattle-Area Reception Site. Readers’ Choice.

Anyone notice anything in common? Nearly all of these vendors have been featured on Janet Klinger’s Photography Blog. Love to say I told you so. For more Wedding Vendors we adore, choose the “Vendor” category on the right.

What to Look for in a Photographer Part 2: Gear

Expensive gear can be overrated, yet having the best gear for the individual photographer IS important. That gear might be a fabulously sharp, detail-rich Hasselblad, or the quick, precise, fun Canon EOS. Equally perfect, in the right hands, could be a cheap, plastic lens equipped Holga, an instant Polaroid camera, or a panoramic Wide-Lux. Photographers who keep up with the latest techniques while also being inspired by the roots of photography offer you a complete, inspired list of classic and unique ways to record your wedding and your life! The bottom line; choose the skilled photographer for her work, not the gear.

Gear and technique driven benefits

  • Wedding reception slide shows complete with images from earlier in the day.
  • Taking highlights home (and on the honeymoon) with you loaded onto your iPod.
  • Albums as small as 3×3 and as large as 12×18, with the huge benefit of large discounts for clone albums. (“Clone” refers to an exact duplicate.)
  • On-line albums, proofing, ordering and archiving
  • Highly personalized Art images, made more so by unique lenses/camera formats
  • Personalized styles created with software or in the darkroom

Capture the details with a sharp lens


Thanks to Your Feedback, New Photography Products and Services

My first real job was as a sales clerk at Marshall Fields in Chicago. I was 16 years old. There I first heard “The customer is always right.” Even more valuable, I observed that some customers were “more important” to business than others. While initially I thought this stature was based on the depth of a pocket book, more imperative was a sense of partnership and loyalty. By choosing to state product preferences, request numerous special orders, and constructively criticize the management rather than go elsewhere, business and client became more bonded to each other.

If that was true for an enormous business, it’s even more so for a humble one. I rely on customer feedback, positive AND negative. Here are a few of the changes I’ve made because of your feedback.


Offer a large selection of albums * Discount clone albums * Sell Originals (formerly negatives) * Offer less expensive sessions with talented Associate Photographers * Make ordering easier for friends and family by posting an online gallery * Keeping galleries private on request * Re-releasing the images on request * If custom prints are not necessary, a print discount applies during the first month of on-line proofing * Same day slideshows displayed at the event * Images posted to your iPod * Use of images on your website * Fine Art Holiday, Thank You, Baby Announcement, and Save the Date cards

Have you noticed another change? Please post it in “comments”.

Keep your feedback coming and keep coming back!

Thank you. The Management. ;-)

What to Look For in a Wedding Photographer Part 1: Photographic Personality

Photographers take care of their clients; at times overtly, other times quietly. Contributing to the fun and positive energy of the day keeps everyone inspired, yet it is an equally important skill to smoothly flow from outgoing to invisibility. Ask yourself if you feel comfortable with a confident creative photographer who can playfully encourage you while creating works of art, or if you prefer she be a fly on the wall documenting the day unfolding. I wonder why you would choose less than a balanced coverage of both!

Does your photographer want to be your best friend and a guest at your wedding? Is that what YOU want? Granted I have become excellent friends with clients; going away on trips, boating, skiing, swapping babysitting. But I act on the assumption that Brides and Grooms want to socialize with their invited guests during the reception, not their photographer. Having said that, I’ve been surprised to be toasted by the Bride and Groom, publicly thanked, and invited to the post-wedding party. Still, becoming friends with clients is a gift, not an expectation. The expectation is that clients love the photography!

If you listen to your instincts when choosing a photographer, THIS relationship will blossom too!

OK, I guess I should mention this first bouquet shot is in the Spring issue of Seattle Bride. Flowers created by the ever talented John Gardner at Aria Floral. So is the welcome wreath towards the middle of this post.

Aria Floral Bridesmaids Bouquets
To help illustrate the details, I “snapped” these flowers during portraits.

A completely candid toast shot. Or is it a ring shot?

Moments ago married, this fly on the wall captured B&G sharing their new rings.

If you thought about it, I’ll capture it.

During the casual formals the B&G take a “private” moment. Is it or isn’t it posed?

Aria Floral Welcome Wreath
Adding the details to your album help create visual texture and ambiance. If you had colorful flowers surrounding your environment, color would be sorely missed if not in the album.

This B&G may have felt alone, but there were probably 50 people enjoying this kiss! Captured.