Lets talk about “Available Light Photographers”

We’ve come across many individuals who claim to be “available light photographers,” and we always advise our clients to be on the guard when they hear that. While this may be a bit controversial, I firmly believe there is no such thing.

If we break down the root meaning, photo literally means light. A “photograph” means to make a picture with light, or to paint with light. Therefore, a photographer literally must be the master of light and/or light painting.

If your photographer claims to only use natural light, you should immediately become cautionary. Since a photographer must be the master of light—all light, in all situations—a photographer must know how to manipulate light.

I love natural photography as much as the next—natural light is beautiful and often flattering—but the truth is, you will not have natural light in every situation. As any great photographer will tell you, 75% of photography is trouble-shooting.

Case and point:

We recently had a wedding shoot—we love weddings and were, as always, super excited to get to the venue and scope it out well before start-time. A point of pride for our team is being able to “find the light—“ we love taking amazing portraits and dynamic scenes with natural light shining through windows, skylights, stained glass, etc. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the venue, we were faced with a conundrum—NO WINDOWS—not a single one.

Literally, there were no windows in the entire venue, not even a single skylight in the bridal suite. To make matters worse, there were mirrors—wall to wall, ceiling to floor—everywhere.

We decided that we would shoot our portraits and our bride and groom outside. It was an overcast day in the beautiful Astoria, Queens area of New York and we were sure to get some cool shots with brick walls, or on the water with amazing views of the Triborough (RFK) Bridge in Astoria Park. When we came back upstairs to go outside, there was a downpour. Not your drizzle kind of rain, not the “we can just grab some umbrellas and it’ll still make a cute shot” kind of rain. Nope. Full on monsoon. Our bride made it VERY clear that she was not going out in that – who could blame her

We would have to make our own light.

With 2 cameras, 4 lenses, 4 flashes, and 5 soft boxes for our flashes, we got our game faces on. From bouncing the light off of the mirrored walls and ceilings, to strategically hiding behind our subjects in the mirrors, we were able to really capture some amazing shots. At the end of this work day, we both agreed that this was by far, the MOST challenging shoot EVER.

In the end, photographers must know LIGHT. Period. Available light, natural light, artificial light…. we MUST know it all and know how to work with it, how to manipulate it.

So stay cautionary when you hear “natural light photographer,” because without the knowledge of how to use light, it’s just another person with a really nice camera.

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The Beauty of Band Shooting

There’s another part of Theresa and Carrie’s lives they haven’t mentioned enough, in my opinion, and that would be me! My name is Catherine Weston and currently I’m interning for the studio in regards to the public relations aspect, and yes, you read that correctly, I’m also Theresa’s younger sister! I’ve worked with both Theresa and Carrie on numerous occasions and I have to admit that working with Carrie Weston Studios has really helped to expand my interest and love of photography. While I do enjoy all different types of photography and I love what the studio has to offer with its unique outlook on weddings, family, etc., I believe that band photography takes the number one spot on my  list of favorite categories because not only is there an aura of excitement and positive energy, but there is also a mixture of passion for the arts that’s hard to find anywhere else…

Excitement is in the air, the lights are low, anticipation is high.

The crowd looks excited and they’re all waiting for the show to start; the equipment is all set to go.

Having the right atmosphere and the proper sound means everything to a band about to perform in front of a live audience, so that’s all they need…right?

Wrong.

New bands need decent marketing—and it’s true, a band won’t get anywhere without good quality recordings and a clean website to display its contact information. So what else is missing?

A photographer!

Photography is one of the key factors in moving a musician/band toward the success that they’ve always dreamed of; how are they going to take the right steps to make it big if there’s nothing to show the world aside from some low-quality demo videos on Youtube? When prospective listeners can see a visual of how hard the band is working and the energy being thrown around on stage or behind the scenes, they become more interested.

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Just this past week, I was doing a shoot for the up and coming band “We Build Tomorrow” as they played a show at the Summer Festival in Potsdam, NY. As I ran, crouched, and climbed on some things I probably shouldn’t have to get the perfect shots, it was one of the more fun shoots I’ve done in my life thus far! The most rewarding feeling isn’t even getting the amazing shot you work so hard to achieve…it isn’t even the gratitude received by the members of the band after the show is over…the real feeling that makes it all worth it at the end of the day is knowing that I helped some talented people gain some really amazing recognition. Throughout the rest of the summer festival there were compliments thrown at the band left and right, but when I got back to my computer and threw those pictures up online for them, the amount of views, “likes,” “favorites,” and “re-tweets” skyrocketed.

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Through the help of this one, single shoot combined with true musical talent, “We Build Tomorrow” is now becoming more popular and they are on their way to recording their first official demo album.

Photography can help achieve many things and not just the expected—it is especially handy in achieving the unexpected too! Shooting for unrecognized bands might just be my favorite thing to do with my camera, and it taught me that through pursuing my own passion and working together with other people involved with different passions, more doors can open and anything can happen.

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* To check out more of my stuff and see how Theresa and Carrie inspired me to pursue my own dreams, feel free to follow me on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/CatherineWestonPhotography?ref_type=bookmark

Helping other women feel as beautiful as we do.

We had long decided that the two of us needed some shots in the studio. Professional, playful, sexy… photos for our marketing material and website. While we had gone out a few weeks earlier, those were casual outdoor photos (we will totally still be posting those as well). But we needed to engage in the full experience that all of our clients are experiencing when they come to us – hair, make up, flattering outfits… beauty and laughter. Now, after our shoot, all I can say is WOW. We looked AMAZING!

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You can view the full album on our Facebook page here.

So before I say the rest, know that this is Carrie-Anne writing. Great 🙂 That being said – I will tell you this. There was a period of time where I just wasn’t feeling sexy, let alone beautiful. It was easy for me to bring out the beauty I see in others, but when I looked in the mirror, I just couldn’t find her… the strong, confident, SEXY Carrie. Where the heck did she go and why?! Okay, I know why – lack of going to the gym, weight gain, clothes that just don’t seem to fit me right anymore… I felt like just everything, was exuding “not sexy.” Then we did a Carrie Weston Studios shoot; and there I was. Our team came together to make ME feel beautiful; my hair done by Shears of Elegance in East Northport and my make up done by BettyLynn Tims. The end result astounded me.

Now, I have to tell you this and it is completely un-narcissistic, I swear it! But, I have a photo from that shoot as my screen saver on my iphone and whenever that doubtful Carrie appears, I just click on my phone and look at me. That woman, that woman on my screen – she is beautiful, she is confident, she is ME. She needs to be on my wall in a canvas print!

This is the feeling we wish to give to all of you. Come to Carrie Weston Studios. Don’t make excuses, don’t wait to loose a few extra pounds, don’t wait until you can afford new clothes, don’t wait at all… just come now and allow us to show you how beautiful you really are – right now- in this moment of your life. No matter what your inner-self may be saying – know this – You ARE beautiful and we can show you if you’ve forgotten.

Time to refinish and rebuild

We put it out to the universe that we wanted different shelving and a TV unit for the studio. Something that hides our stuff, but looks classy and simple. Then this was pretty much left on our door step. Well not literally 🙂 We had to pick it up. In a matter of days after “putting the energy out,”  we got the call that our friends were redoing their living room and would like to know if we needed this (and 3 other shelving pieces) for free! We took it.

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CarrieWestonStudios_LongIsland_NewYork_Wedding_Photography_01  We think a rich black would be perfect! Stay tuned for photos!

The New High School Senior Portrait – Part 2

Truly a once in a lifetime experience. Today’s High School Seniors want to be seen for who they are; from jocks to preps, from band, to goths, to hippies… today’s senior just want to BE SEEN. They are not like everyone else, they are unique in their own right.  Why not record your senior as they truly are in this moment of their lives? Book your senior portrait session today…you won’t be disappointed.

View the full album of our a recent on location shoot with 18 year old Andrew here.

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Sisters

The painted backdrops and reflectors worked amazingly. We were able to bounce around the natural light in order to achieve the look we were going for. It was such a pleasure photographing these sisters in the studio. With make up by Betty Lynn Tims and custom jewlery by Callie Contopoulos Viegas, these sisters got the girls day out they were looking for.

To view the full album, check out our facebook page here.

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Photo Shoot

It felt weird to be on the opposite side of the camera, but we had a great time getting our own photos taken today. Here are a few, including some outtakes.

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March 21, 2013 – Photo Stealers

So I’ve just received this link from a good friend of mine. It totally “exposes photo stealers all over the place! I HIGHLY recommend checking out their blog here:

http://stopstealingphotos.tumblr.com/

AND “Liking” their Facebook page. It was unbelievable what people are doing. Making up stories to go with their stolen images?? SOOOOO CREEPY!!!!!

Off to Home Depot and the material store. Today’s project – building backdrops.