Here is where all of your photography questions shall be answered (and the occasional Instagram shot). Hit the ask button above to ask me anything, and use the search bar up top to see what I've already answered…
Question:Although I'm slowly gaining experience, it can be challenging to get established photographers to take on people like me, who want to assist/2nd shoot alongside someone who knows what they're doing. Besides portfolio, what are the one or two most important things you'd want to see from someone you may not have an established relationship with? - Anonymous
Remember it’s not about what they can do for you, but what you can do for them. The biggest things to me in an assistant are punctuality and attitude, as well as loyalty. Basically we know that the first wedding you do to us will be a giant gift to you, but the 25th or 50th will be not as great for you (law of diminishing returns) by the end but a big help for us. So being able to commit for at least a few months of weddings and to be trained to be a great help will increase your chances.
Question:Do you have a preference for primes over zooms? What influences your decision on when to pick which lens? Are there certain parts of the wedding that you know you need a certain lens for? - Anonymous
I do, only because I know what my favorite prime lenses are going to see before I put them up to my eye, so I can frame shots without a camera up to my face limiting my peripheral vision.
Question:Hey I'm new to you lol how do a learn more about this famous method of yours? :) - misaelnevarez
I’m really glad you asked! I am going to be developing the be-all and end-all of instructional videos for really, really cheap, like coffee-and-a-scone cheap. There are some videos out there now which I’ve helped with, but I’m not very happy with them, I want to start it all from the ground up. I just need a bit of time and a video guy.
Question:Hi Ryan, how much do you feel that being part of Fearless, ISPWP, WPJA, Junebug, etc. helps on the business side - getting more clients, being able to charge more and so on? I don't belong to any one of them yet so I don't have any first hand experience. I believe that being there helps to position photographers among photographers, and that awards can be a good mechanism to get feedback and look at others' work, but I have doubts about the impact of membership and awards on the actual business. - Anonymous
I belong to Junebug and Fearless because I know and like and respect the people behind them and their missions. I do not belong to any other professional organizations. WPJA helped me a great deal when I started and still helps my girlfriend get a lot of clients even though she doesn’t even have a blog (the luddite), so everyone’s mileage will vary.
Question:Hi Ryan! I love your work, it's a huge inspiration to how I want to shoot weddings of my own. I'm really new, and I was hoping you could talk about your first experience shooting a wedding. What was it like for you? - Anonymous
Thanks and good luck! It was really interesting, and not your normal wedding. It was at the punk rock club CBGB, and the bride walked through trash and past homeless people to start her walk down the aisle. I was hooked.
Question:Hi Ryan, I am very new to photography, and the only focusing method I use is single focus and recompose. However, I am very curious about documenting a situation where a lot of actions and movements happen such as wedding. Do you rely on continuous shooting a lot? How does this work? Do you still need to focus on the subjects with a Center cross-type focus point? - Anonymous
I use continuous until shooting receptions, when I like the AF beam (which only turns on with single mode on Nikons). But my cameras have a very nice AF system. I’ve used plenty where focus and recompose is the only way. Women tend to think you’re shooting their chest, but otherwise it’s generally fine.
Question:Hi Ryan, have you had a chance to shoot with the new Sigma 35mm f/1.4 yet? Will you be doing a review by any chance? Pretty much all the lenses I have bought so far have had the Ryan Brenizer tick of approval! We really value your opinion. Cheers - Anonymous
Yes, I own one, and yes, I was a bit burned out on reviews but I wish I’d reviewed this months ago. People should yell at me to do it next week (I have three weddings this week, so my procrastination is justified).
Question:Hello,I just discovered your "brenizer method" at focus-numerique website. At first, i was : "whao ! It's fantastic, I have to test this method !". But, just 5 min after, I look at old pictures and see that I already use this more than one year ago ! But I didn't know ! So, If you want, you can look at my pictures take with your method without knowing here : goo[point]gl/MNPhp. I used a 50mm 1.8 lense on a 500D camera. I would like you to tell me what you think. Thanks. Thomas. - Anonymous
One thing: The 500D came out a year after I developed and popularized the method. But also there are tens of millions of active photographers out there. My very first post on it on my old (now erased Amazon.com blog) was “I know I can’t be the first person to have done this,” even after a month of asking everyone on Flickr to see if anyone had seen anything like this before (they hadn’t.)
So I made sure I was the first to really work on making it systematic, trying it with lighting, with flash, trying candids, etc. Nothing is really new under the sun, but we can all try to poke at the edges of the envelope a bit.
UPDATE: Ah, I misunderstood around the edges due to language issues but I think I managed to answer a question in the process even though none was posed, haha. Interestingly random forest undergrowth was some of the first stuff I tested on too.
Question:Hi RyanI was wondering if you have tried using a Giga-Pan to do your portraits, I wanted to know if it works before I go out and splash out money on one. I have never used one yet so I am not sure how quick it is, I have a feeling that it might be too slow for portraits. Thanks - Nic - Anonymous
I haven’t, but I’m currently working with B&H to test some pano heads. And by “currently” I mean “presently” and by “presently” I mean “whenever I get off my tookus.”
Question:How do you handle your 'method' files once you're done processing them. I just finished one and exported it and it was 117MB! I can deliver this on the disk to my client, but it's too big to upload to their image gallery. Do you have any magic numbers you use to reduce the images so that they would be great for printing but not create such a huge file? - Anonymous
My gallery takes anything up to 64MB, so sometimes I’ll just cap it on a nice, sharp 10,000 pixels on a side, and then include facebook-sized images as well.
I was using a Switronix torchlight and I believe a Lumiquest softbox on it. I just broke one of the battery connections the other day, but I’m going to try to turn in my “big box of broken gear” on Friday for repair.
Question:Hi Ryan, with the Brenizer Method. Where do you lock your focus on the couple while taking your first exposure. The eye of the subject, closest part. Do you pose them to be in the same plain to get them both in focus at such a large aperture. Please share any tips for someone practicing your method the first time. Thank you. - Anonymous
Closest eye is generally best, like with any super-fast aperture lens. This is just f/0.4 instead of f/1.4…