Open Iris Photo & Films

Category: Wedding Photography

The Shutter Second, When to walk away.

The emphasis on being a great photographer is always there. Creating goals and achieving them should always be what we strive for. Working hard plus blood, sweat, and tears is a necessity. Yet all this should be second in life. The shutter… Should be second. Photography is important, but it’s no comparison to living your life.
The idea is this. You photograph to live, not live to photograph. Does that make me a sell out? Does it make me less committed to the craft? Some would say yes. Yet without the ability to live there is no photography. Without a life wrapped around family and friends, God and community, or whatever you live for … your photography will suck. Yes, suck!
It’s your ideology, family, and friends, pain, love that will ultimately drive and influence your photography. Without these things creativity may present itself difficult. Yet with these things you may find photography less important. My son Huntington has been sick the last couple of days. Not just sick like taking some Tylenol sick… But sick like …get admitted to the hospital sick. My life the last couple days have been wrapped up with his recovery. The last thing on my mind has been photography, lighting, the newest dslr… Whatever. Photography is the last thing on my mind. Don’t get me wrong, I love photography, but there’s so much more than the shutter.
Spending sometime away from the shutter is just as important as perfecting the craft. I challenge you, dare your … walk away from your camera for a couple days, weeks, maybe a month, breathe and come back. 
The results may free you!

Capturing Emotions

One of the hardest things to do as an artist is capture and convey emotion. As a photographer there is a difference in taking a picture and capturing a moment. All of us at one time has taken a picture and couldn’t stop looking at it because it captured more than just an image, it conveyed something with much more depth and emotion. Before I take a photo I always ask myself, what am I trying to say and convey with this image? I don’t complicate the process, but I always have a vison in mind when shooting photos. I’m not one of those shoot from the heart type of guys and hopefully I get lucky with the results. I know my camera and my vision, and I use that as a spring board to create images that say something, mean something, and last. The image below was the result of the above. I had a vision, I know what I wanted to convey, this was the result of that.Good photographers plan thoughtfully over the images they take. The better you know your camera and understand photography, the more you can put into the creative process.

Low light Photography

Nothing sets the mood better than candle lit rooms or low ambient light. Some of the greatest moments in weddings/events take place in these settings. It’s really important to have a photographer that can shoot and adjust for these types of moments. Furthermore, nobody wants to flip through a bunch of dark and under exposed pictures. The simple solution would seem to be the flash, yet a flash can overexpose and produce harsh lighting on it’s subjects. Plus, if the moment is intimate sometimes a flash can distract or take way from the mood. I recently shot some photos at a church where a flash could not be used and the lighting was low to set the mood. So I adjusted to the low light and exposed for my subjects face and the results were fantastic. The photo below really says it all. I was able to capture the mood and emotion by adjusting to the environment. When looking for a photographer make sure he/she is able to shoot excellent quality photos in all situations.

Event Photography

“Polaroid For Fun”

Before there was digital there was Polaroid. Instant gratification with every shot. Polaroid holds a special place in all of our hearts! Here at Open Iris Photography we love the vintage feel that these camera’s produce. We love them so much that we offer them as an add on to any wedding  or event. Imagine how many cool pictures you will get from a wedding reception with Polaroids at every table. Plus we like the creativity and fun factor they add to any wedding or event. If you are wanting to pick up a Polaroid camera for fun check your local thrift stores, Craigslist, or even your local camera shop. In Bakersfield you can actually buy Polaroid 600 film at Henleys Camera. You shouldn’t pay over $50 for the camera but the film can cost anywhere between $15-$35 for 10 shots. So get creative with your wedding plans and consider Polaroids, or just go get one for fun and shoot till your hearts content.



Everyone loves old snapshots that hold memories. One of my favorite times taking pictures was from an old Polaroid camera. I still have a 35mm Holga film camera that I keep in my back pack so that I never miss a snapshot. Chase Jarvis loves snapshots so much, that he decided to create a gallery dedicated to them. Open Iris Photography has submitted some snapshots to his gallery. Check them out here.

It’s a plus to consider a package with a second shooter at weddings so that you get more snapshots of your special day. Snapshots make things fun and interesting, which make for great conversations later. So consider a second shooter when making plans and choosing a photographer.

Also get out your old camera and take more snapshots! Snapshots=Memories.

Capture Kern County

So you gotta check this out! The Bakersfield Californian has decided to put a photo competition together for Kern County Photographers. The idea is to capture Kern County and all of it’s unique beauty. We loved the idea so we submitted some photo’s ourselves.We even found some great places for people to take engagement photos for their wedding. Go check out some of our photography and feel free to vote or leave comments. Enjoy!


" Skunk at Hart Park"
Skunk Poses for Photo


Colorful Wedding with Peacocks

I think everyone should rent Peacocks to walk around at their weddings. They are so colorful and vibrant! Color is a huge part of what makes photography so beautiful, especially wedding photography. This photo was taken at Hart Park in Bakersfield, Ca. I wanted to shoot something with some color to show everyone how vibrant flowers, dresses, and other elements that may present themselves, will look like at weddings. I shot this @ 1/200sec f2.8 , 500 iso with a 70mm-200mm 2.8 lens. Experiment with your settings and see what you come up with. This is very macro, which is important when shooting weddings.

Macro photo weddings, Colorful weddings
Peacock at Hart Park shot by Open Iris Photography