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Raph Nogal Photography - Toronto Wedding Photographer | Wedding Photography Blog: April 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Under New Management (Motorcycle Season Is Here!)

I FINALLY took my bike out of storage today. It was a gorgeous afternoon and I thought I heard some noises coming from the shed... turns out, my bike was screaming to get her out... yup, it's a she :)

The love affair between me and my motorcycle started in April 2007 (and I won't go into details about my ex from 2005)... we'll actually be celebrating our 4 year anniversary on the 30th :) Now, I must tell you, Kristi (my wife) was very open to the addition when I brought home the shining blue beauty. Despite the rumours that lurk within motorcycle online communities, that as soon as you get married (or have kids), the bike is gone. I couldn't imagine parting ways with my 650cc machine.

On our wedding day (mine & Kristi's that is), as a gag gift, Kristi's uncle gave me a really very interesting license plate (seen in the photo above)...but i was relieved that it was just a gag gift, because he is known to give family members real personalized plates :) I'm also glad what the plate represents isn't the way things run in our marriage :)

I think the understanding between a married couple is very important... as well as tolerance, patience, and understanding - all which I am so lucky to receive from Kristi !

So to all you squids, crotch-rocketeers and hogs, enjoy the motorcycling season, stay safe, and take your significant other for a ride around town - they might really appreciate the emotional connection between the rider and his or her motorcycle !...and who knows, they might actually enjoy it and keep the "management" in your hands....

...and I really hope no one gets "under new management" plates as a real gift !

While you're at it.. why not take the bike to Toronto Bridal Show happening this weekend April 15, 16 and 17th. I won't be there are a vendor this time around, but once you get back with bags of flyers and promotional coupons and have a chance to go through them, send me and email and tell me how it went and if you are still looking for a wedding photographer, by all means, let me know and I'll make sure you are very well looked after !


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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Why your local box store just won't cut it for professional prints.

OK, now I have nothing against big box stores, in fact like most people, I do accasionally venture into my local Costco, Walmart, Future Shop and the like... While box stores have their issues I don't really want to get into the debate and discuss how boxstores are destroying the smaller local brick & mortar or Ma' & Pa' stores.... But what I do want to get into is professional quality prints.

Now, before I started getting serious about my photography, I was content with box store quality prints...that is until I printed our wedding photos. We did get prints from our photographer and they looked great, so we decided to do some more printing ourselves...However, things didn't seem quite right... The beautiful white dress that I thought Kristi wore on our wedding day was actually a light least it was on the prints that we got from the box store. I investigated further. Either most of the quests along with my groomsmen and I all had light blue shirts, or there was just something not adding up on the prints. I checked the closet - shirt is white and the beautiful dress - a gorgeous satin white. I compared these prints to the prints we got from our photographer - AHA! it then became all clear....

In the digital age, prints have become almost the equivalent of 35mm film. Most people nowadays display photos primarily on Facebook, send them through email, and if you got one of those digital picture frames for Christmas, perhaps you have a few digital files on a rotation when company comes over.

However, prints still grace us with their presence on most of our walls. There is just something special about a paper print - something you can touch, something that has texture and something that you can display proudly in your sanctuary - your home, your studio...

So why print at your local box store? Perhaps it's the cost? convenience? But from my experience, that all comes at a price...usually in the form of poor and/or inconsistent quality.

Although most box stores have dedicated professional printers, not everyone knows that there are places to get specific ICC colour profiles for those printers. Colour profiles?...Whatcha talkin' about Willis? To put is super-simply... it can be a very accurate preview of how your printed image will look. If you have a calibrated monitor, the way your digital file looks on the screen with the applied colour profile, will match what you see on the actual print that you'll hold in your hand, assuming you print on the printer that corresponds to that profile (huh?). A site like Dry Creek Photo is a great place to start. Now a lot of people don't have photoshop and just don't want want to deal with it...but that's not even where the problems begin.

I have a calibrated monitor, I have the colour profile downloaded and the preview on my calibrated screen looks great...I go to a local box store to get my prints. I actually go there three times to print the same file... and here are the results.

This is not our wedding photo but a part of some image just to illustrate the point. Same file, printed at the same place, at different times using the same printer, with no file manipulation in between. The prints were scanned in at the same time.

Raph 1, Box Store 0

(Well, I suppose because I had to print it 3 times and they finally got it right on the 4th, not sure if I should be getting the point... it's more like Raph 0, Box Store 4)

The whole point of this is to illustrate the importance of specialized photo labs and trusting the professionals to give you amazing and consistent quality prints. Trust your photographer to his or her experience and expertise to get you those prints from a professional lab that he or she trusts. If you get digital files from your session, seek recommendations or research specialized labs to get the most out our your prints and educate yourself on how to get the best quality prints from those digital files. Will that digital file print in 8x10" format...well, yes, but you'll need to crop the photo as the camera's digital sensor is in a different ratio...where do I crop ?, which parts do I cut off, which ones do I keep ? Will that file I got from the photographer be big enough to print a 36" x 20" canvas? if not, how can I make the image bigger ? ... but it's only $1.99 to print an 8x10" at the box store, and the photographer want $25.I think you get my point.

And yes, sure, there is the occasional time where they get it right the first time, but the issue for me is inconsistency. 

While I know it costs more, and for bigger prints - a lot more to get print printed through the photographer or a pro lab...but I can't help going back to that old saying, which I think was written because of bad quality prints,"you get what you pay for".

So next time you're thinking of displaying that beautiful wedding photo in your home that showcases that gorgeous WHITE dress you spend thousands of dollars on......remember, you're not just paying for the paper.


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Friday, April 8, 2011

Some great inspiration from today's creativeLIVE session with Jasmine Star

Wow... such inspiration. I had the opportunity to participate in another amazing creativeLIVE session (put on by Seattle's amazing commercial photographer, Chase Jarvis) with the talented, inspirational, and outgoing L.A. wedding photographer Jasmine Star. This is part of a two day 
course happening today and tomorrow and it's about photography business, that is... 

Jasmine keyed into some really important things that really resonate with my beliefs and the way I run my business; the importance of client relationships, educating your clients, and serving your clients. Three very basic concepts that really go a long way and result in long lasting relationships!

Really looking forward to tomorrow's session! Creative education at its best !

A huge thanks to creativeLIVE and Jasmine Star for making this possible and sharing the knowledge with us!

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