Open Iris Photo & Films

Category: Wedding Photography

5 Survival Tips to Wedding Photography

how to prepare for wedding photography

What they don’t tell you about wedding photography.
5 Survival Tips..

1. Good Night’s Rest

This may sound pretty obvious, but sleep may be one of your best friends come wedding day. I know most people think that the job of a wedding photographer is licking lollipops and galloping around with a camera taking pictures of pretty things… but it’s hard work. More than likely you’ll wake early due to the anticipation and morning prep, and be on your feet from anywhere between 4-10 hours or more depending on the agreement. There are not a lot of breaks so it’s important that you stay hydrated and that extra sleep from the night before will ensure you’ll be a champ by the time you hear the last Black Eye Peas song at the reception.

2. Be Organized

Nothing will bring out “bridezilla” faster than your lack of organization and shoot from the hip mentality. Sure, be relaxed but prepared as well. Your bride has spent her entire life dreaming of this day, as a paid photographer you should do anything possible to make it as fairytale as possible. Make sure you have met with the bride two weeks before the wedding to schedule times, places and coordinate overall photography. This will give a bride peace of mind and she will put you on a pedestal if you pull it off.

3. Have the right Equipment

Whether you have been shooting for years or are just starting out make sure you have the right gear come wedding day. You don’t have to own it, just make sure you have it. Places like Borrow Lenses are great for renting professional gear. If you are a paid wedding photographer you should have at least two working camera bodies, wide-angle lens, telephoto lens, and something that stops down to F/1.8 or less. A flash is not necessary but highly suggested. The night before test all your gear and make a checklist so nothing is left at home or at the wedding venue. For good measure clean your gear and make sure batteries are charged so you have no surprises come wedding day.

4. Be Nice To Everyone!

Easier said than done. I can’t stress this enough. At the end of the day your photography will be judged not just by how awesome your photographs are but by how polite and courteous you were through the entire process. I know some amazing photographers who are just plain a-holes and they wonder why no one will work with them. There’s going to be times were the bride may snap at you or an uncle has had too much to drink. Just keep your cool and it will pay off. Your photos may be par, but if they loved you and the overall experience… THAT MATTERS!

5. Comfortably, Look your best.

Yes, there’s an unspoken dress code at weddings. As a professional it’s important to look your best and be comfortable at the same time. Nothing will hurt your reputation faster than showing up looking like a slob to a wedding. If you’re not sure it’s okay to ask the bride. It’s also important that you don’t stand out. Leave your bright green polo at home unless requested by a bride. Most photographers wear black… but I say dress to your brand without drawing attention and looking cheap.

Mike + Brooke Engagement – Moorpark , Ca

I’m pleased to announce that Open Iris will have the pleasure of photographing Mike & Brooke on their wedding day ! We had a great time with them in downtown Moorpark. They look awesome! Congrats to them both!

Photos from Open Iris Photography in Ventura, Ca.

Santa Barbara wedding photographer , Ventura Wedding photographer :

Moorpark wedding photos

engagement photos Moorpark

wedding photographer Moorpark

Engagement photos Ventura , Ca


Why Engagement Photography Matters! A Bride’s Perspective…

Engagement photo

Photography has progressed remarkably in the recent decade.  Cookie cutter poses, matching sweaters and faux backgrounds are all a thing of the past.  The perfectly angled chins, crossed knees and modeled hands appear, just as they are, to be staged and plagued with a lack of natural sentiment.  Today, photographs taken at the hands of professionals can truly depict a story.  Photography transports portrait observers to the setting, we imagine the climate, feelings, and love shared between the subjects in the framed photos.

Engagement photography is one of the most extraordinary photographic occasions in a couple’s life.  Candid Polaroid pics, cell phone snap shots, and photo booth images are common place when it comes to recording a pair in love’s relationship.  For engaged couples about to embark on a married existence, professional engagement photographers offer sessions that are a highly desired commodity.

Imagine professional pictures of you and your fiancé hanging on your wall or mantle.  They tell a story of romance, affection and the comfort of a love shared.  These are often the last portraits of a twosome before their wedding; before the well-rehearsed vows, pressure of a perfect kiss, perfect dance, uniting of incomes, furniture and family.

Wedding photographers are an essential part of a bride and groom’s big day.  They provide the married couple, their family and friends with the opportunity to remember this highly celebrated and honored day for years to come.  An expert photographer with an impressive portfolio will likely be a sizable expense when it comes to a wedding budget; however they are providing an essential service and skill.  If you are concerned that engagement photography may not play into your wedding budget, don’t lose hope.  Often times quality photographers will offer clients packaged deals when they book multiple options: engagement photos and wedding coverage or wedding and videography.

Shane + Karrisa Engagement Ventura ,Ca

Shane and Karrisa are such a fun couple. They both play music and do life together. They wanted something different for their engagement photos… so we scouted beautiful Ventura ,Ca and this is what we came up with . Their wedding date is September 1,2012 . We can’t wait.
engagement photography ventura, ca
engagement photography ventura, caengagement photography ventura, caengagement photography ventura, ca

3 Reasons to “SHOOT MORE VIDEO”

Everyone loves cinematography! It’s a centric part of our everyday lives and nothing soon is changing that. I was recently asked to put together a product shoot plus produce a small video in between photos. Of course I wanted to say that it’s not that simple. Instead of saying no I just nodded and said, “I’ll get it done”. I didn’t want to say I no, because saying no leads to nothing. I completely understood why this hair feathers company wanted a video. (Video below) Video is the new black! If you have the ability to shoot and edit here is three reasons why you should shoot more video.

1. Video Emotionally Connects

I’m sure you still remember the most memorable scenes of your favorite movies. Or maybe you find yourself talking about the latest digital short from SNL. The point is that video causes and evokes emotion. When we laugh, love, or whatever we produce endorphins which are addicting. Addiction is good when it comes to people watching your content. The more that people connect with your content, the better it will be for your business.

2. Video is good SEO

Video is trending up for SEO use. With YouTube being one of the biggest search engines for content its no wonder why businesses are using video to reach more clients. It’s more likely that if you make a video for your business that the video will be seen before your website. If you’re a photographer why not make a behind the scenes video of your latest shoot? It will take more time and effort but the results may surprise you!

3. Video for Social Media

What I love about Social Media is that it allows the King to come out of his castle. For example, I love the fact that Zach Arias, Chase Jarvis, Jeremy Cowart, and others are posting to their Facebook and twitter accounts. Having a conversation with either of these two people would have been impossible before social media unless you lived close to them, or had a friend that knows a friend that know them. With video it’s a progression from words on a page. Not only has the king come out of the castle, but also now you can see, hear, and in some ways feel him…in a very hipster way. Using video for social media allows your users to connect with you and your brand on a more personal level.

If you have any questions or want some really great resources to help you with video just e-mail me or post below!


10 Tips to help photographers with Contracts from CHASE JARVIS – Good Stuff!

If you love photography, and love the ethos of it… then you’ve probably heard the name Chase Jarvis. Chase is a great photographer, social guru , and all around giver to the creative community. Check out his lastest post about helping photographers with contracts. A contract for photographers is super important. It will also help guide you and the client down the right path. A must read for any photographer.. especially wedding photographers. Don’t get caught with your pants down!
Check it here :