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Robert Wheater

a personal photoblog

New Brochure [download here]

This is my new brochure. There is a wedding version of the brochure coming soon. I have revised all of my wedding services and the new wedding photography one will be up in a week.

Click here for the Robert Wheater Photography brochure

My favorite wedding photographers

There are thousands of wedding photographers out there. Few shine above the rest. A wedding photographer is not just a photographic artist. The photographers that shine above the rest can reach their subjects on an emotional level and remove the camera between them. I compiled a short list of seven wedding photographers I have followed for the last few months. All of these photographers are award winning and considered by many to be the best wedding photographers.

Wedding photographers might take a few great pictures but these photographers are able to take great photographs consistently without flaw. One thing I have always tried to do with my photography is emulate the very best. Each year, I take a look at the wedding industry and find photographers that inspore me. I once looked at local wedding photographers and as my skill increased I began looking outward, then went to art school and continued to evolve. Today, I watch the best in the industry. I have my own style but I like to incorporate several styles into my photography. I look at the industry and say what do they have that I love… then I try to incorporate that into my own photography.

Without further wait, here are the best wedding photographers:

Del Sol Photography

Brett Butterstein

Heather Waraksa

Amy Deputy

Brian Dorsey

f8 studio

Jasmine Star

California Wedding Photographers

I travel throughout California for weddings. If you need a photographer in California you can call me today at 5569.623.7423 or fill out this quick contact form. If you like, you can also email me at photo@robertwheater.com.

Fashion Photographer

The beautiful Natalie

The beautiful Natalie

Over the weekend, my photography group got together to take a look at lighting. I used between 3-4 off camera strobes. Our model was the beautiful Natalie Symanski. Fashion photography is natural for me, the style and the look are part of the way I learned. I looked at fashion advertising and media when I needed inspiration for photo shoots. My wife gets a kick out of our magazine subscriptions today, she loves Maxim magazine and I love Vogue. She hates ads, I love them.

I am attracted to fashion photography like a moth to fire and I have found that it is definitely a niche of mine in the area. Fashion has a look that a lot of people can’t get down and can’t figure out. For my style of fashion photography, I move fast, I use a minimum of three strobes and I try and create dramatic shadows. I’ll shoot through objects like a plant to throw shadows across my backgrounds. I like to visualize myself as a viewer of the fashion, a critic of the situation in front of me instead of as a photographer. I try and think of a scenario that involves the camera being a participant… the camera might be a voyeur in the closet, it might be a stranger on the couch, a shoe… I try and create a scenario that puts me in a different place in a different state of mind.

I love shadows... pianos are a plus.

I love shadows... pianos are a plus.

I apply fashion photography and photojournalism with a unique twist for wedding photography. I approach a bridal preparation session like a fashion event of a major designer… looking for dress and shoe details, details in the room and exploring the area involved from a scenario point of view. I love to come into the room and think about a story I can tell from a different point of view and I love to hide my strobes around the room as I work, moving them as I move. Usually when I first walk in.. I look for a closet and start there… as a piece of clothing or a shoe or a hanger… I will move around the room imagining the motion and evolution of what is happening to the bride.

Weddings are treated as runway shows for me. The unique look of high end fashion photography applied to weddings is amazing to say the least. First, every person coming down that aisle is a story. Using long, fast lenses I am able to remain outside of the limelight and shooting the procession as if they were each their own part of a greater story. That’s what a wedding is, it’s a story. A story you only get once. As I shoot in a fashion style, I also get all the traditional shots that everyone loves to have. The combination of fashion and photojournalism in weddings is one that makes weddings look incredible. Wedding photography is not a competition, I always ask brides to find a photographer that has a portfolio they love. When a bride comes to me, she is usually looking for a fashion edge in her wedding photography. A lot of wedding photographers have the same look and a lot of brides like that same look… and they can save a little money. This isn’t about money, this is about a fusion of art and memories.

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Brideography Package

I am now offering a Brideography package. It covers several photo shoots and is designed to cover several months to a year while you prepare for your wedding. The Brideography is a photography story of you preparing for your wedding day. It can be purchased separate from your normal wedding photographer or you may add it on to one you already have with me or the one you are going to get.

Preparation shoot is included with brideography package 3

Preparation shoot is included with brideography package 3

During the reception, you will also get a slideshow with music showing the preparation that you went through to get to your wedding. To do the Brideography, you coordinate with me before you go searching for a dress, the florist, the venue, etc… You get several sessions leading up to your wedding that tell the story of your preparation.

The Brideography comes in three packages for varying numbers of shoots and reserved days. The first package covers the search for the dress and the bridal shower. The second package adds on another on-location shoot (maybe the florist) and the bachelorette party, although you get to see the pictures before anyone else… you can blackmail your girlfriends.

The third and final Brideography package covers the search for the wedding wardrobe, I will also follow a bridesmaid group on a separate occasion (if needed). I will follow you to the florist and other vendors as planned. I will go to five different vendors with you. You will get your bridal shower covered and the bachelorette party (if you want it covered). On the day(s) leading up to your wedding, I will shoot a spa or stylist and your preparation for the wedding.

The brideography packages start at $1000 and you get a disc with your images and you get a slideshow. The length of that slideshow is based on the package you purchased.

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Fashion + Wedding Photography

I love fashion photography. It is bursting with creativity and many times edgy. I understand that people like different things in their images. I like to bring a fashion/glamor edge to all my photography. I can edit photos to the preference of my client. Classic black and white images for your wedding, I have a few styles of black and white and sepia styles to choose from. I usually edit images with three different styles. My three primary styles of editing are black and white, color and a style I like to call ultra-real.

My black and white editing also has a few choices ranging from deep black, to high key and then what I likc to call classic chocolate. Deep black focuses on bringing out the deep shadows and mood of the images, high key black and whites are bright and filled with a lot of white, the classic chocolate is not quite a sepia tone image but more of a mix between a deep black and a sepia.

My color images can be edited in a few different ways. One way is the way it was taken right out of the camera with little editing. Another style is soft and vibrant where I work to bring out great color tones and glow without making the image look edited, usually just small editing for perfect color and a little saturation is done. The last color style is toned down to be a mix between a black and white and a hint of color. A lot of black and whites for my child photography are done like this where I make a black and white image and then bring out small bits of almost undetectable color in the eyes, cheeks and lips… sometimes the hair too. It is almost undetectable at first but you will definitely see the difference in some images, especially up close facial portraits.

My signature style is what I like to call ultra-real. It is time consuming and is the reason you might have noticed something different about my images. There is no exact way to edit an image for this style of editing because most images have to be approached on a piece-by-piece basis. Images take a great deal of work to get to jump off the picture. These images have more depth and drama than normal.

I like to mix all these styles up in my photography. I love to sit down with my clients and come up with the way they want their images to look. Many wedding couples want a mix of black and whites, maybe the bridal images in ultra-real and then the rest in color. There is no difference in the cost of different editing. I just like to explain to my clients that they have a lot of options and showing samples of the editing really helps sometimes. I also stress the importance of continuity in the sessions and they should really keep parts of the sessions to similar images. A bridal portrait session might look great if it is all black and white but together they would look like they were not a set if they were a mix of color, ultra-real and two different types of black and whites.

Here are some examples of the editing styles. These are by no means limitations, these are just suggestions for the bride and groom.

Deep Black

Deep Black

High Key

High Key

Chocolate

Chocolate

As Shot

As Shot

Soft and Vivid

Soft and Vivid

Hint of Color

Hint of Color

Ultra-real (Signature)

Ultra-real (Signature)

Free Texture Tuesday: Paint Splatter

Today’s free texture is called paint splatter and unlike the last few, this one is not created from a photograph and was created in Photoshop. I hope you guys enjoy it.

Right Click and Save Image As...

Right Click and Save Image As...

Here is an image with the overlay layer style applied and dimmed a little. Feel free to contact me for more information on getting textures. I can also custom make texture sets for those interested.

Sunni, a model in Visalia with the paint and splatter texture applied.

Sunni, in her wedding dress with the paint and splatter texture applied.

Free Texture Tuesday | Fibers

This Tuesday for our free photoshop texture we have our fibers textures. The way I use this texture is to create a fiber or almost gallery wrap-like effect. It is great to make formal images look more classic with that textured look you would find on a gallery wrap up close.

Right Click and Save Image As...

Right Click and Save Picture As...

The image below was made by placing the image over one of my beautiful brides, Dana. All I did was made it an overlay layer. Then, I went and erased the fiber layer off her face and parts of her arm. My eraser was at 20% opacity and 70% fill as I worked to give it a more organic transfer to areas covered by the texture on the image. I like to avoid textures on skin for the most part. Dana was the bride for a great destination wedding that I shot in May.

Dana, one of my brides, with the fibers texture overlay

Dana, one of my brides, with the fibers texture overlay

Destination Wedding

Charlie and Dana just got married and I was lucky enough to be their photographer. Awesome couple, married at Halfmoon Bay, California at the Mezza Luna. The Mezza Luna was great and they treated me well, some places don’t even feed the photographer. My beautiful wife was with me, ever the greatest partner. When we arrived on Friday it was rainy and wet, we went a little north to Berkeley first. We have to stock up on LUSH bath stuff anytime we go near an outlet. I still hate driving in big cities and love living in a suburban world. Don’t get me wrong, I love to go to the city, almost daily if I can… but I like to live outside… far outside of it.

As a photographer in Visalia, I love getting out of town for weddings. Not only do they give me a chance to travel a little, I get to face challenges that I would normally not be able to. I will do destination weddings anywhere pretty much, but I prefer to stay within the United States and Puerto Rico, Hawaii too… I still want to do a wedding on a boat also. My favorite…. the beach early morning or sunset. Beautiful shots. I really want to say to anyone getting married out there… if you want the best pictures, get married outdoors in the early morning or late afternoon. I love indoor weddings but the best photography (in my opinion of course) comes from outdoor weddings.

Visalia photographers compete a lot for local weddings, I think that is why I prefer to compete for weddings outside of my local area. It allows me to escape and it really isn’t a big deal to travel to a wedding venue. I really do love weddings in the Bay Area but Bay Area photographers are even worse with competition, I think that is why working outside of the city works to my advantage. I am a couple hours away, willing to travel throughout California and have a passion for wedding photography.

Here is a shot three floors up in the Oceano Resort. I like the whole series and this was one of my favorite moments because everyone was really into getting their photos taken.

Dana Parker at the Oceano, Halfmoon Bay Wedding

Dana Parker at the Oceano, Halfmoon Bay Wedding

Photo Session [engagement] Charlie and Dana

First, Charlie and Dana were awesome. We had a blast up at Halfmoon Bay, north of San Francisco. The couple will be having their wedding there in a couple months. In order to create some continuity in the shots, I wanted to have the engagement session there but some ways down and near sunset to sunset.

I like to start off engagement sessions with my Lomography cameras. I hand the couple a few Lomo cameras and have them go to it, while I just watch as they loosen up really quick.

At the end, we had a really windy sunset and it lacked a lot of color. We will not have an opportunity to really take sunset shots on the wedding day because it starts in the morning. Here is one of the shots off one of the cliffs during the sunset. We did not have a good location and the car is literally parked on the freeway. But, I saw the sunset from a better angle than a few minutes earlier so I stopped the car and had them run out and grabbed a few shots.

Charlie and Dana, sunset

Charlie and Dana, sunset

This next shot is probably one of my favorites. It was shot beneath some trees at about chest level. The engagement session was really windy. There were very few shots where Dana’s hair was still. This was one of them, a lot of the shots Dana’s hair was whipping all over the place. Also, because of the large green field behind me in the shot, Charlie’s glasses had a green tint, I took care of most of that post-process.

Great Engagement Photo

Great Engagement Photo

This third engagement portrait was interrupted, well, we had a visitor fly in and want to take part — so I added him into the shot. A pelican flew in and posed for the camera for a bit. While by far not the best of the shots from the photo shoot, it was funny and has a story for them. It kind of chased us around while we were on the pier there. I think it wanted my 70-200 2.8 lens. I liked this shot warm, the sun was near setting — 82 Warming Filter.

Engagment Portrait + Pelican

Engagement Portrait + Pelican

We had a great time, had some dinner at the Halfmoon Bay Brewery, the music was awesome. I thought I would add one last image. This last image is probably the keeper for the guest book.

Charlie and Dana, Engagement Portrait

Charlie and Dana, Engagement Portrait