Behind The Scenes At Jack Randall

Wedding Photography Style

Style vs. Stylized

Which image style should be featured on a photographer’s website?

When shopping for a wedding photographer, do you notice the artistic style of the pictures on their website? Would you rather see images of everyday people on their happiest day or or pictures of models carefully chosen for their physical appearance who are being paid to participate in a photo shoot?

Wedding Images by Jack Randall

At Jack Randall Photography in Dana Point, our website features pictures of our real clients. Our portfolio reflects images from our most recent work, as well as a few all-time favorites that we still enjoy looking at. We think it’s important for you to see our everyday artistic style so that you will know what to expect from your own session when you book with us.  We also feel there is a difference between showing off our style and showing off a commercial photo shoot that has been stylized and planned by a committee. 

What is Artistic Style?

Artistic style is best understood as “the manner in which we do things”. This is what we hope shines through in every family portrait, professional head shot and wedding ceremony on the Jack Randall Photography website.  Catching the unrehearsed giggle of a child or the loving glance of a truly engaged couple are the moments we are so good a capturing. Although a “stylized” photo shoot is useful for selling the products associated with a wedding such as a wedding dress or floral arrangements, always remember that it has been conformed to a style – whose style – you may never know because it was done with a mishmash of designer input.  

Your Wedding

Before you book a session with a professional photographer, make sure you have viewed a portfolio of actual client sessions and not over-processed images created solely for advertising purposes. There is a difference in the skills required for each.  (Or you could just call Jack…)

Orange County Family on the beach

It’s Winter in Orange County

Orange County has the best weather in the United States.  We should probably feel a little guilty when we watch a national weather forecast and we see the rest of the nation dealing with snow and rain, but hey, our weather is changing here, too.  When the sun goes down, it gets a little chilly along the coast and we need put on a sweater and long pants.  We’re not complaining about the cool nights though, because oh! these sunny days are beautiful and we could wear shorts if we wanted to.

How do they do it on the East Coast?

We wonder what the East Coast photographers do in the winter? Maybe they move everything indoors? Here, in sunny Southern California we photograph outside year around.

Not to brag, but at Jack Randall Photography we are shooting pictures on the beach today.  What are you up to?

Family Photograph

9 Tips for Holiday Photography

Hold the Cheeeeeeese, Please.

Try to limit the posed, in line group photos. A formal pose is nice – do take one, but don’t forget to have fun with the group. Candid moments that show true expressions are usually the family favorite group shots.

Get Creative

Don’t be boring and stuck in the middle. Place an individual subject off center and pull in the interesting background activity. This is a great way to add perspective and tell more of the story.

Yes, You Need to Be in the Picture

Quickly take a look at past holiday pictures. Do you see your face in any of them? Make sure that someone else takes a few pictures this year so that you are part of memories on the mantel.

Rock Steady With a Tripod/Monopod

A tripod is a must for formal pictures. This will allow you to be hands free as you help organize the group and then take a “shake-less” picture. A monopod is great for walking around inside the gathering and snapping quick pictures of all of the guests. You’ll save your back and your pictures will be crisp.  This is an easy way to say “shake it off” to a blurry camera shake.

Forget the Flash

Set your ISO higher and produce pictures that are more flattering. The artificial light produced by the flash can result in harsh shadows and red eyes. If your pictures are too grainy without the flash, add more ambient light to the room. *TIP WITHIN A TIP* Use the natural light from a window to add an artistic look to your shots. Lastly, take a few test shots before all the guests arrive so that you can be confident with the lighting.

Fill the Frame

When photographing people, get closer! Whatever your normal comfort zone is between you and your subject, take one step forward and put more of them into your camera frame. Selfies have taught us that people like to see pictures that show more facial expressions.

Zoom in On the Children

Wow. Taking pictures of small children can be like shoveling snow when it’s still snowing. Kids can be a big challenge because they don’t sit still and sometimes won’t even look at the camera. Don’t give up. Be patient and take a different approach. If you can engage with children on their level through a game or series of activities that take their mind off of having a picture, you will get lots of smiles.

Details! Details!

Don’t forget to photograph the holiday decorations! The hostess will appreciate the festive images of the house, food and décor. Seek out sentimental objects to such as grandma’s china, the handmade wreath or a beloved family photograph situated in view of the party.

Share the Love

No need to wait to show off your images! Attach your camera to a smart tv and let everyone enjoy the day’s fun while eating dessert! Unless of course, football is on the television.

Secret To Happy Marriage

The Secret Sauce for Headshots

So many times we hear our clients say that they don’t enjoy having their pictures taken.  The excuses we often hear vary from the fear of having a “fake looking smile” to the good old standard, “I need to lose 10 pounds.” Even though there is no shortage of “selfies” on social media, people just don’t seem to feel comfortable with the professional photographic “process”.

Our take on the best headshots

Our theory is that many organized and professional portraiture experiences over the years have been missing a true and personal connection between photographer and subject. A successful, professional photographer must be many things all at once: visually creative, technically knowledgeable and genuinely friendly.

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Great Engagement Photo

Good Question: What should I wear to my photoshoot?

“What Should I Wear?”

(…or more importantly, what NOT to wear!)

We, as people, get dressed every day. Well, hopefully we all do! So why is it so stressful, nerve-racking and utterly mind-boggling for otherwise intelligent individuals to choose cool clothes to wear for professional photographs?

Well, because it is! No, not really, but it seems as such at the time. When you are spending hard-earned money and precious time with a photographer you like, trust and feel comfortable with, you want to look just right. And rightfully so! These are your life moments—whatever point your at, whether it’s an engagement, newborn or family christmas card session—you deserve to look and feel the magic in the moments that we are so lucky to capture. So, follow these simple suggestions and just smile!

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Sleeping Baby Photos

The “Best Fit” Photographer

How To Choose The Photographer That Fits You Best

Let’s face it—these days, everyone including your grandmother is an awesome photographer. From Facebook to Instagram, selfies, facies and snappies (yes, all those words exist!), if you need a photo taken, someone is at your beck and call to snap it—and fast.

So how do you choose a photographer? And why spend so much money when your best friend, or Uncle Bob offers to do it for free? In this day and age of ridiculously smart phones, point and shoot cameras and DIY photography lessons, why invest in your photographer? In our opinion—because you’re worth it.

First off, trust your instincts and don’t go against your own personality or style. Finding the right photographer that fits you is just as important, if not more, than finding the the right dress that fits the most flattering. After being in the photography business for almost 30 years, there is something to be said about longevity, reputation, trust and the commitment that a photographer provides to their clients.

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