Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Our favorite Seniors from 2014

We would like to thank all of our clients for a wonderful year and will showcase just a few of our favorites from our senior and family sessions of 2014. 

This post will also contain a contest with prices to be had for the overall winner and those of you get at least 40 votes.  We will run the contest for 2 weeks.  In those two weeks your job will be to share this blog with as many of your friends on Facebook as you can in order to win.  

Here is how this is going to work: 

1.  Read the entire blog

2.  Share the link to the blog on Facebook and comment that you would like to win.

3. Ask for votes from your friends.   A qualifying vote is a comment on your picture that mentions you by name.

4.   We will run the contest for 2 weeks, so the more you share, the better your chances to win. 

5. Please send your friends back to the blog to vote for you so we can keep track of the votes.


First place winner (most votes from friends) receives a 12x18 metal print of their choice from their recent session.  

Entrants with at least 40 votes receive an 11x14 mounted print.

Voting friends (those who leave comments with your name) will be entered to win a free 1 hour session for up to 5 people, a $150 value.

Winners will be announced February 18, 2015.

Here are some of our favorites from last year:

 Ben, 2015 senior with lots of interests including skateboarding, soccer, and playing the drums.

Cassidy, a 2014 senior who came to me after she graduated and is a very sweet and pretty young lady.

 Devan, 2015 senior who loves horses, bow hunting, and wrestling among other things.

Timmy, 2015 senior who is in an Indian dance troop and loves football.

 Willie, 2015 senior who enjoys Lacrosse and was a lot of fun to work with.

 April who shared her family with us, letting us create some images that brought tears to her eyes, like the one above.

 April who let us capture her expanding family.

 Kayse and her family came in for Christmas pictures and her children were precious.

 Kayla and her sisters put up with icy wind to surprise their mom for Christmas

 Meghan who wore her homecoming dress for a Christmas card shoot in the park on a very cold day, what a brave young lady!

As you can tell, we had some wonderful times this past year, so pass on the link to your friends, ask them to vote for you in the comments by mentioning your name and tell them that they will be entered to win as well!!!

Here is to another fun year at Wertman Photography!!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A photographer's journey: shooting a wedding

A photographer's journey: shooting a wedding

shooting a wedding

I recently shot this wedding with a lovely couple and a great group of friends and family.
Please browse the pictures as I go through and talk a bit on how we made sure that the day went smoothly and successfully produced wonderful pictures the couple will be able to treasure for years to come. 
Bride and groom got ready in two different locations a fair distance apart on the grounds of the venue.
While I stayed with the bride and her maids, my second shooter joined the groom and his men.

from the bridal shoot two weeks before the wedding
from the bridal shoot two weeks before the wedding

I captured many special moments , goofy/fun ones, special ones like when daddy saw his daughter as a bride for the first time:

......and sweet moments like the one below with the flower girl.
during the ceremony one of us was stationed to one side of the proceedings and one on the other while we both had room to move around for different views

The ceremony was supposed to take place outdoors, but it poured buckets until 30 minutes before the ceremony, so it was too wet to do this.

to make up for the disappointment my bride felt, we went outside after the main event to get all the bridal party and family shots in the spot it was supposed to have taken place if the weather had cooperated.  I had a happy couple and we had a chance to get some different views.

                                                            and still have some fun:)......
                                                            use natural light for close-ups.......
                                      .................and more sweet shots.

 After the cake cutting, dinner and some family time with guests etc, I stole my happy couple away again to get some special shots without letting people wait on them.  The sun was about to set, but since it was still a bit cloudy, we had some interesting evening skies to work with.

As it turned out, the wacky weather actually worked in our favor for the specials and with being able to re-create some of the things from the ceremony outside, my bride was happy:)

All in all, a successful day with lots of great shots.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Studio on a budget

Today I thought I would tackle what it is like to start your own studio when you are on a tight budget and how it can be done without breaking the bank.  I started setting up my studio space while I was still in college, starting out with a roll of light grey paper backdrop.  I did not have the funds to invest in an expensive track system that would allow my to easily lower and raise the paper, so I had to think outside the box.  My husband suggested that we use PVC pipe and some hooks.  This works wonderfully, with the only disadvantage being that I have to climb on a chair or stool to lower and raise the paper. Here is a picture to show you how the PVC pipe is mounted into the ceiling.  A paper roll is straight and it is anchored into the ceiling in one of the corners of the room.
As you can see, two other hooks are mounted next to the set-up for the roll of back drop paper.  Those two hooks hold PVC pipe as well, this time to hold two sets of pipes, bent to create a 1/4 round set-up with material hung from it.  I found that the paper was too narrow for some shoots and I wanted to utilize my corners more as my studio room is relatively small.  I did not, however, want corners to show, so I came up with the idea of the 1/4 round backdrop.  In the next shot you will see how the material is hung from the pipes, creating a tract system.  I have two sets of pipe so I can use different colors depending on the shoot and I can move the fabric back and forth as needed.  This set-up cost about $50.  I found the fabric on the clearance rack at a local fabric store.
I own two sets of floodlight kits as you will see in the next shot, only one is shown.  I have umbrellas and reflectors for them.  I prefer the constant light as I can control it nicely and have not invested in the more expensive monolight sets yet.  These kits are about $60-$75 dollars at B&H Photo and Adorama.
A couple of stools purchased at Walmart and Target and an old chair, child rocker and chest complete the props I have in my studio to date.  I use house hold items as well, depending on what the shoot calls for.  It does not take expensive props to make a successful image.
Even though I have since purchased portable backdrops and a backdrop stand that I take on location shoots, I still use the initial set-up in my home studio whenever it fits the desires of my clients.  
Just remember that a studio can be started and maintained on a small budget, without spending hundreds of dollars on specific "photo props".  I found the chest at a local second hand shop.  the rocker belonged to my children and I pulled it out of the attic.  Many props can be made for less than buying them and many times you can find props and furniture for less at a regular store than when they are labeled "photo".  Do what you can with your budget.  The quality of your photographs is what counts in the client's eye, not where you purchased your equipment.  The only place you can not cut corners is your camera!  I hope this is helpful:)  Happy Shooting.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Shooting a Bar Mitzvah

Recently I had the chance to shoot the celebration of a Bar Mitzvah of a very nice and energetic family.  I had a lot of fun and was exhausted at day's end.  Sometime during the course of the evening, when I had a chance to sit down and rest my feet for a few minutes, I looked around the room and thought to myself:  "What a fun way to make money!"

I have reflected on why I enjoyed this celebration so much more than the first wedding I shot two summers ago and here are a few reasons why:
1.  This family was very well organized, I had received a seating chart and course of events a week before the event.
2.  They communicated clearly with me about what the event would be like and what their expectations were.
3.  I knew exactly where and when I had to arrive at the synagogue and the venue for the party.  (I know that this sounds like something so ordinary to tell your photographer, but you would be surprised.)
4.  My questions about the event were answered almost before I had a chance to think of them.
5.  This family and their friends knew how to party and make the folks who worked the event feel welcome (i.e. the photographer and the DJ)  and part of the group, so shooting while working my way around the room was easy and comfortable.

That said, if you are planning an event such as a Wedding, a Bar Mitzvah, a QuinceaƱera, or a sweet sixteen party, please consider that the folks helping you succeed to make the party and the memories thereof great fun, are just people and need to be treated with consideration and courtesy.  Clear communication about what is expected from your photographer is key, the better prepared you are the clearer you can give directions before the event and help make it a success.

Look below for just a few images from that day.  For more, please visit my website:
 or visit my page on facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/wertmanphoto

reading the Tora

playing a game

more games

up high

dancing the night away

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Mummer's Parade in Hagerstown, MD

My hubby and I are not much for big crowds.  That said, we have been avoiding parades for years and have only gone when one of the kids was in one.  Luckily for us, our children were involved in sports that never marched in parades.  Many years ago our oldest attended a Montessori school during her Kindergarden year and they participated in the annual Rodeo Parade, we lived in Texas at the time.

This year, after five years in this town, we were invited by good friends of ours to hang out on their street and attend open houses in the neighborhood, all scheduled during the preparations for the Mummer's Parade.  We agreed to go because the big crowd thing was not a problem, we had, after all, a place to retreat to if it got to be too much, and good company and free food were helping with our decision.

That said, we were in a perfect spot.  Oak Hill in Hagerstown is the street that all the bands and other assorted organizations line up to march.  Neighbors had their houses open and the feeling of community was wonderful.  We had the option of walking down just a block or two to see the full parade, but decided to stay where we were, simply because it was fun to see the nervous energy generated by the participants.  I had taken my camera and got some good shots of the 'behind-the-scenes'.

We were also astonished to hear that Hagerstown, MD hosts the biggest night time parade on the entire East coast with this event.  It was fun to see bands from Baltimore, Ellicot City, Hancock, Virginia and the local surrounding areas as well as Hagerstown's own.  I will only post a few images here, you can see a few more on my facebook page.   I also added some photographs to my website under the outdoors impressions album.


shiny brass

State Flags

someone is not paying attention:)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Shooting with animals

I thought I would take a bit of a detour and talk about shooting animals and how best to go about it.
Contrary to what you might think, I find it easier to work with cats than with dogs.  In the beginning I thought this might be the case because we have cats and I know how to treat them, but I grew up with dogs, so I really don't think that that is the reason why.

The only 'animal only' shots I have done have been of my cats because I can pull the camera out when they do something cute.  I have worked with some owners and their pets and think that this is the only way to go when the animal is not your own.  Here is why:

The owner will help calm the pet, he/she knows the pet well and can interact with it, this makes great photos.
I will attach some photos I got out of a cat/owner session and a dog/owner session.  The cat was herself, she likes to hiss and I caught it on film, a great shot.  The dog had just come home from the groomer, since the owner wanted her to look her best.  This turned out to be a bad idea.  The dog was very excited about seeing her owner after several hours away and would not sit still.  We got some cute shots, but nothing as special as with the cat.
If you own a well trained, older, calmer dog, the shoot will go well, as long as the owner is in the room with the pet.  Let's face it, that pet does not know you, and though an animal is the best judge of character, they do not warm up to strangers as quickly as humans do.  Some pets don't want strangers in their house and are reserved when they are in a different location.
Cats, as well, have different personalities and many hide when a stranger appears in their territory.  Take our youngest cat, Rascal, you will meet him shortly, he runs and hides when the doorbell rings, whereas our older female cat, Diamond, whom you will also meet shortly, comes and greets everyone who walks through our door.  She is my guide to whom I can trust; if she does not come up to a stranger, I better watch out:)
Rascal would never sit for a photographer other than me.  I would have to interact with him and be in the shots, to get anything worthwhile.  That is how little Rosie is, whom you will meet as well.  Remember the hissing picture I mentioned, that was her:)

So, do you want a great professional photograph of your pet?  If so, ask your photographer to stay in the room with your pet or if you may interact with your pet during the shoot.  You will get great photographs and your pet will act well for you.
Meet Rascal, the shy little loverboy:)
Here is Diamond, who loves boxes of all sizes...
Feeding her treats finally calmed our little poodle down
Here is the great little hissing moment
and shortly after a cuddle with mommy.  I would not have gotten any of those shots without the owner's interaction with her cat.