Notes from WPPI – Session with Mike Colon

Every photographer is going to relate to a different Mentors! I found this out in Vegas…Mike Colon has always been one of my favorites but, my room-mates gravitated to others. There’s no right or wrong with picking another photographer to learn from 🙂 Mike has similar values to mine and is really easy to listen to. I get the way he shoots and I love his style! (As Simon would say on American Idol, “It’s just an opinion!”)

Here’s his website: for all his workshop stuff. And for his work.

We are historians – photojournalists (capturing stories as they happen)

Real, Timeless, Clean, Simple, Flattering – this is the code he lives by when shooting

His goal is to capture the natural and comfortable moments – real life happening! I love that he said, ” You need to be inspired during the wedding!” There’s nothing like the feeling of taking the shot, looking down and knowing that you nailed it in camera…and it’s magically when you can share that with the bride and groom!

1. REAL: You should know your clients! What is their personality? Pictures should be different from shoot to shoot because every client is different.

2. TIMELESS: Be ahead of your time by keeping some traditional so it’s still cool in 20 years! ex. too many Photoshop actions can date your images.

3. CLEAN: Crop in and keep it simple, revolve around the subject. Shoot with a wide open aperture to blur the background (that just means go as low as your lens will let you – 4.0 or 2.8 or lower) Keep the eye sharp and everything else falls into place.

4. SIMPLE: How do you decide when to switch an image to Black and White? When there’s too many distractions of colors. Note: Bright green will always pull your eye away from the subject. Colors need to compliment the image! Earth tones are simple and compliment skin tones.

5. FLATTERING: You need to make people look better.

Available Light  – preserves natural look, less shine, gives you freedom to move and create, unobtrusive, and don’t forget that everything needs to be done quickly because time is precious…especially at a wedding!

BAD LIGHT is BAD LIGHT! Sometimes you need to use a flash! Be ready and know how to use it! TIP: Use the videographers light during the reception. 🙂

When shooting with assistants he asks them to shoot with the opposite lens. If he has a fixed lens then they are shooting with the telephoto and vice versa. This will guarantee variety in your images. AND he only shoots with one camera because he never has to change the settings…only the lens!

Poly Mendes - March 27, 2008 - 9:46 am

Very interesting information Noemi… This was the Pictage workshop in Vegas, right? I was totally itching to go but there is a lot going on right now so Vegas had to wait… Between getting ready for my upcomming renewal of vows and new job I was just swamped.

When it comes to bad light, and having to use a flash, I LOVE Gary Fong’s lightsphere and Whaletail…

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