January 27, 2012

Off-Camera Flash: Adventures of Steve & Cecilia

End of 2011 I decided I wanted to learn how to shoot with off-camera flash.  Literally, all I had been doing till that point was shooting with my speedlight on-camera in TTL, bouncing the light wherever I could.

First thing I did, was try playing around with it myself.  Sometimes I can figure things out and teach myself.  I had a lightstand, flash, wireless triggers and even a softbox and umbrella.  I dragged my husband & gear out to "test" it out and experiment and failed big time.  I think I walked away even more confused.  :)

Second thing I tried, was talking to other photographers for advice and tips.  No luck (and usually this is an awesome way to learn!).  It seemed like a lot of photographers weren't sure themselves and it started discouraging me.

"Play with the settings,"

"I don't really know what I'm doing,"

"eventually one of the settings will work for you,"

YIKES!  I couldn't imagine "playing around" with my settings for 10 or 15 minutes while a bride & groom stood there waiting for me to take their photos!  To me, off-camera flash became a monster I didn't want to face and I started feeling really apprehensive about it.  I wasn't getting any clear answers or concrete advice, I started to think that it MUST be SUPER hard and technical and was ready to leave it alone.  Only, I kept thinking of ideas that I wanted to shoot and these weren't possible without off-camera flash.  I check around to see if any local photographers taught off-camera flash and found Paul McDermott from PMD Photography who teaches off-camera flash workshops!  And even better, he also offers one on one tutoring!  I called him up and booked a time for Steve and I to meet him to learn the basics.

Today was the day!  Steve and I headed out to Port Moody this afternoon and met up with Paul.  And, you know what?  We both learned something. :)  Surprisingly, it was way easier than I expected (maybe because of our great teacher!), but Steve and I both learned and we are at different experience levels.  Steve started shooting and learned how to shoot in manual this past summer (2011), where I have been shooting as a business for 2 years now.

And, even with our "poverty wizards" (cheap wireless pocketwizards: Yongnuo) we rocked it. :)  The biggest thing I learned was to expose for the background (where when you shoot weddings and portraits in natural light, you expose for the person/face!), then your flash will take care of your person.   Your speedlight then has 3 variables you can adjust:  the distance the light is from your subject, the focal length and the power.

So do you want to see what we shot today?  Haha, we are total beginners, so these shots are set up pretty basic/boring and most of the time with only 1 off-camera flash (some have 2!).

Here you go!  Any photos of Steve were shot by me!  Then, obviously the photo of me was shot by Steve. :)

January 22, 2012

January Winter Contest Winner Announced!

It's time to announce the winner for the January Winter Contest!  The lucky person drawn will win a $20 gift card for Starbucks! :) I wish I could have entered. (I love Starbucks!)

First of all, thank you to everyone who entered. I had a bunch of entries via comments on the blog post, facebook likes and tweets on twitter!  You'll have to watch the short video clip to find out if you are the winning name... if you are the winner, please contact me at cecilia@ceciliaflaming.com and I will get your gift card in the mail to you!

Here we go:

January 10, 2012

January Winter Contest: Warm up with Starbucks!

It's a CONTEST!  Who doesn't like contests? :)  January is "slow" compared to the rest of the year, so I thought I would liven things up with a contest!

Right now around Vancouver, it's a bit snowy, frosty and COLD!  I spent most of my weekend next to the fireplace with a book and Starbucks! :)  The weather is usually a bit grey and dreary this time of year, but that shouldn't mean we still can't enjoy our winter right?  Well, you may know I love Starbucks, so I'm giving away a $20 Starbucks Gift Card to help you "warm up" from the cold and frosty weather!

It's going to be super simple... here's how it's going to work:
  • To enter, Leave a comment on this post telling me how you are  enjoying your winter! (that's it, simple simple!)
  • For an extra entry, "Like"  my Facebook Page, and include in your comment on this post letting me know you "liked" my page!
  • For another extra entry, you can follow me on Twitter and tweet "I just entered to win a $20 Starbucks Card from @CeciliaFlaming Enter to win at: http://bit.ly/yw3juZ #Starbucks20"
  • Deadline is Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 6pm.
  • Winner will be picked by random draw and receive a $20 Starbucks gift card. (valid in Canada &  USA)
Looking forward to reading how you're enjoying your winter and beating the winter blues!   Remember, your comments will only be counted if they are left on this post (not on facebook).  The contest will be on for few days only, so don't put it off!

Don't worry if you don't see your comment appear right away, I have to approve each comment, so I'll try and keep up!

January 7, 2012

Wedding Details of 2011: Bouquets, Shoes & Jewelry

While accumulating the photos for my "Best of 2011" post, I realized that I have a bit of an obsession with details... especially bouquets and shoes.  My second shooters equally have an eye for detail shots and I noticed in one wedding we had over 20 shots and angles of the bride's gorgeous shoes! :)

I thought I would pull some photos from the 2011 wedding season of wedding details: bouquets, jewelry, and yes, shoes!

Here's some of my favourites from various weddings of 2011:


January 4, 2012

BridesView: Top 10 Most Loved Photographers of 2011!

Brides View posted on their blog today their Top 10 Most Loved Photographers of 2011 and Cecilia Flaming Photography has made it onto the list!  Crazy! I would never have imagined being on such a list this early on... but BridesView has been amazing this past year and featured most of my 2011 weddings on their site!  If you haven't visited Brides View before, it's a pretty neat website!  Brides View is a wedding inspiration community that helps you envision and plan your wedding collaboratively with friends, family and vendors!

You can browse real weddings for inspiration, "love" photos and save them to your "Bride Board" and find wedding vendors who match your style and vision!  It's perfect for anyone engaged and planning their wedding.

Thank you to Brides View for listing the top 10 and congrats to everyone else who made it on the list!