by Eric Hegwer on 5 January, 2012

Tomorrow is my first bridal session of the year.  Heck, It’s my first shoot of the year, too, and I can’t wait to work at the incredible Laguna Gloria again.  I’ve been shooting bridals for years, and know all the tricks to get you to relax in front of the camera.  I know hundreds of poses to find the most flattering angles for you.   I know all the best photo spots, too.

But this year I’m adding something special to my shoots.  That je ne sais quoi that takes the pictures to the next level.  Something that makes you look at an image and just know that it was taken by Eric.

All throughout last year I began to prepare for this year.  It started during the typical wedding slow time in the late winter, when read Outliers: The Story of Success.  I was so inspired and motivated I bought and read and the rest of Malcolm Gladwell’s books. Mastery he says comes after 10,000 hours of a task.

10,000 hours? Thats 5 years of 40 hours a week (or 1,250 8-hour weddings)

But I had an ace up my sleeve. I was going to shoot 150 different couples over the course of the year, and with each one I evaluated everything: what time of the year, and even the time of the day was the shoot? What was the location they choose to have as their backdrop, and where were the best photo locations within that location? What did they wear, and even how did their bodies move?

I began to tweak my style, ever so slightly, heading in a different direction than I had been shooting in the past.

Now, this year, I’m excited to share that with you, and the rest of the world. Stay tuned. I think you are going to LOVE it.


Chromasia Discount Code


by Eric Hegwer on 3 July, 2010

My regular readers know that I like to use film. Especially if I want a specific look for an image or particular client. But when I shoot digital I go for a clean, crisp look to my wedding pictures. I’m not real big on washes for my photos, or stylizing them in Photoshop. But that doesn’t mean I don’t know how to do all those cool effects.

There are so many different resources for learning how to Photoshop your wedding photos. I’e personally spent countless hours reading on-line and looking for the best photoshop tutorials. The ones that give a very subtle, but unique look. In my opinion, the tutorials written by David J. Nightingale. David’s blog is one of the most popular photo-blogs in the world Chromasia.

Chromasia tuts

Click this to access the tutorials.

If you are looking for that desaturated look for your photos, or don’t know how to get the look of the photographs in Dwell Magazine, or perhaps you need to do an amazing custom Black & White conversion, or you are just looking foran alternative to Totally Rad Actions, turn to the Chromasia Tutorials.

There is a small charge for this information, but I’ve paid for it, and can tell you that the information is some of the best on the web, and well worth the small membership fees.

I highly recommend them.


Put your wedding photos on Facebook

by Eric Hegwer on 3 June, 2010

It seems like everyone uses Facebook today. I know a lot of photographers want to maintain control of their work and might have restrictions about posting professional pictures on the web, but I personally have no problem with it.  I actually want to see your wedding photos on the web.  I want you to post them on your wedding website, and I love it when couples share their wedding photos on Facebook.  All I ask for is a little credit because I took the pictures.  And you don’t need to pay me anything extra :)  Most people do this by linking back to in the gallery description section of Facebook, or on their wedding blog.

I know everyone talks about copywright, and licensing pictures, and stuff, but I have a different take on it. These are wedding photos. Joyous, exciting, FUN! They are to be shared, commented on, and viewed by everyone. Not just stuck on a CD somewhere collecting dust. Now please keep in mind that each photographer is different, and many are not as liberal as I am with picture releases.

From my perspective there are two kinds of pictures – High-Rez and Low Rez.

High Resolution pictures are the kinds that make great prints.  ALL the digital data is stored in the picture.  The load slow over the internet, and make most computers grind to a halt.  They are usually 300 DPI, around 2000 pixels long, and around 3+ megabytes in size.

Low Resolution Pictures – are more lightweight.  The file size is smaller, and they load super fast over the internet.  Specifically, low rez photos are around 72 DPI,  900 px long, and about 100K.  When printed they look all pixelated and grainy.

Here’s the strange thing:  Both High and Low resolution photos look exactly the same on a standard computer monitor.  You can’t tell which is which unless you look at the get info for the picture.

So how do I make it easy for you to download and post pictures on Facebook.  Here’s how!

This is the thumbnail view of a wedding gallery

This is the thumbnail view of a wedding gallery

Every bride gets a password protected wedding gallery.  This is the starting point for sharing wedding pictures.  You can view all your wedding, e-pics, and bridals here in an easy to navigate, organized way.

When you start out looking at the gallery, you are in the thumbnail view – this is when there are 25 photos per page, in a small size, so you can quickly view the pictures.  Each picture has a unique file name so you can easily identify each shot.

To navigate to the next page of 25 pictures click the grey next button, or use the pull down 1-25 menu to find the next batch.  I usually organize all the photos in the order they were taken, so it’s easy to find the exact picture you want.  The first beginning of the gallery has all the getting ready photos, the middle has the ceremony and formals, and the end is the reception.  At the very, very, end of the gallery are all the detail wedding shots.  I’ve found that by moving in batches of 25 or 50 it is super easy to jump around and find the exact picture you want to view.

Then when you do locate your favorite, simply click on the thumbnail to make the picture bigger.

Sample of a large image in the wedding gallery

Sample of a large image in the wedding gallery

The screen changes a little bit and offers some additional features.

The photo is bigger but you can still use the previous and next buttons to navigate, or you can click the name of the couple to go back to the gallery thumbnail view.

The photo has my blue circular logo (watermark) in the bottom left corner.  I do this because some people do screen grabs, instead of downloading the image.  That’s cool with me, but you get a better quality image if you download it instead of doing a screen grab.

Why do I have a watermark?  Because sometimes people forget to credit me with a link back to my website.

There are three grey boxes above the photo with some additional choices: Add to lightbox, add to cart, and download image.  Each of these choices is pretty straightforward.  Since this is a set of instructions about putting the pictures on Facebook, you will want to click the Download image button.

download image from gallery

download image from gallery

Click the blue 500 pixel link to download

Click the blue 500 pixel link to download

Then a pop-up window opens and asks you if you want to download the picture.  Click the blue

>> 500 pixels (may be watermarked)

link and the picture will be saved on your computer in whatever location you specify.

Now just do this for all the pics you want.  I don’t care if you do your three favorites, or the several hundred that are in the gallery.

Once you get all the photos you want, you can create a Facebook wedding gallery by logging into your Facebook account and uploading all the wedding pictures to the gallery.  I really like it when you mention Eric Hegwer Photography in the description, and be sure to spell everything correctly, too (not like me).

please add the text Eric Hegwer Photography in the description box

please add the text Eric Hegwer Photography in the description box

After you’ve uploaded the gallery be sure to share it with all your friends, and tag, and comment away!  You can even share a link to your gallery on my Eric Hegwer Photography Facebook Page, and talk about the pictures in the discussion section.

Here’s my whole philosophy – It’s your wedding, they are your wedding photos. You have hired me to capture all the details, and do a job for you. That’s what I do. You are too busy getting married to take pictures yourself (I’m sure you would if you could), so you need a photographer. That’s what I’m here for.

Now legally I still maintain copyright. But the couple gets an unlimited print release for personal use, and the rest of the images are covered under a creative commons license for wedding photography. With a Creative Commons license, I keep your copyright but allow people to copy and distribute my work provided they give you credit.

What kind of credit do I ask for? I’ve broken it down into three categories:

  1. Low Rez Photo with watermark – FREE, but my logo is on the photo.
  2. Low Rez – No watermark – These cost $1.99, and you need to buy them by adding them to your cart.  The cost is to cover my server costs, and bandwith.  Just like iTunes.  And you don’t need to give me credit when you pay for a photo.  You are buying the use of it
  3. High Rez wedding photos are provided to the bride and groom on their wedding disc, and don’t have a watermark.

Questions, comments?  Let me know in the comment section below.