I sure hope it rains on your wedding day!

Umbrella Clare and I used to joke with our clients (somewhat seriously) that if they hired us, they'd have good weather on their wedding day. And, after over 20 years of photographing weddings, we only really had one that was seriously altered because of rain. Good luck? Maybe. Either way, we would always plan for any kind of weather and began storing fun colored umbrellas in our trunk to bring to every event. Umbrella Soon we found that the umbrellas could be great props even if it didn't rain! We stashed enough for an entire wedding party and did some really fun images with the rainbow of coverings. They are also great sun shades to keep your subjects cool when photographing in full sun, and they can be great diffusion for the sun so your portraits don't endure such harsh lighting. If you use a brightly colored umbrella for diffusion, Umbrella just pay attention to the color cast it may impart and either compensate with your white balance or use it for effect. Having a prop to hold generally makes people more comfortable in front of the camera, so umbrellas tend to loosen up the poses and help our brides relax. You may not want to use them at every wedding, but keeping a few in your car gives you options and keeps you prepared for anything. Let it rain!

Bright sun lighting tips!

Lighting - Kevin Kubota
The summer sun is out, birds are singing, unicorns are happily playing, and photographers are cursing the lighting! Everyone wants beautiful outdoor portraits, but the bright sun can pose a challenge to your soft, flattering light desires. I've been a wedding photographer for over 20 years and faced challenges from sunny beaches to baking hot concrete parking lots. Here are some of my full sun lighting tips.
  1. Find shade! This might seem obvious, but many photographers neglect to simply ask their client to move locations. Either they are too shy, or think the client absolutely loves their current stake of ground. If you kindly suggest to them that the light is MUCH more flattering to their faces if you move "over there", they generally oblige.
  2. Use the sun as a backlight or hair light. If you have any direction to the sun at all, meaning it's not directly overhead, then you have a potentially beautiful backlight or hair light. Just make sure the sun is not casting dark shadows on the face and then create your facial lighting with a soft, white reflector or a diffused flash. Our LunaGrip works perfect for this.
  3. Create a sun shade. If you have a larger diffusion disk of 40" or so, or better yet, a larger scrim (a translucent white fabric on a frame), then you can shade your client and create an amazing soft light. Ask an assistant, or two, to hold the diffuser overhead – or wherever the sun happens to be. Sometimes you may also want to add a reflector, or diffused flash, to complement the diffused overall light from the scrim.
  4. If you get really desperate and can't move or shade your subject, then fill flash might be your only option. I prefer to use a diffused flash instead of a direct one. This gently fills the shadows and doesn't look so snapshot like. Use a small softbox, LunaGrip, or other flash diffuser directly above your camera lens to avoid creating cross shadows. Take a test shot or two to find the right exposure balance and open up those eye sockets.

About the Image: The LunaGrip is used with a single speedlight to add beautiful lighting to the subject's face, and sparkling catchlights in her eyes. I moved her just out of the bright sun to keep her from squinting and to eliminate the harsh shadows. The LunaGrip keeps the bright, sunny day feel, but creates the perfect portrait lighting. Get a LunaGrip now on sale for under $100!

Thailand photography service workshop

Workshops With Purpose Thailand 2017
 
 
We are doing a very special photography workshop in Thailand this fall! I've led workshops all over the world, but this one is particularly unique. Why? Because we'll give our talents to one of the most important causes in the world, with some of the most caring people in the world, in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Join the Workshops With Purpose instructor team in Thailand this November.

This workshop is designed for photographers to learn to use their talents to directly assist local service agencies who are creating positive change around the human trafficking situation in Thailand. You'll be guided by photography educators, experienced in world-travel and service work in 3rd world countries. You'll learn while actively donating your photography services to the local agencies that serve Thailand. We'll experience some of the challenges facing Thailand, but not without appreciating its immense beauty, rich culture, and warmhearted people. Oh yah, then there's the food. Wow.




DATES:
November 1-12, 2017 (Participants will need to arrive in Bangkok, Thailand by the 1st)

LOCATIONS:
Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Chiang Rai

ORGANIZATIONS:
WWP will be working with HUG Project and The Freedom Story. HUG Project is located in Chiang Mai and “exists to prevent, protect, and restore children from human trafficking, exploitation, and abuse.” The Freedom Story is located in Chiang Rai and works to “prevent child trafficking and exploitation through scholarships, mentorship, and resources for at-risk children.”

INSTRUCTORS:
Benjamin Edwards, Kevin Kubota, and Andrew and Marianne Nicodem

WORKSHOPS WITH PURPOSE GOALS:
The WWP team will adventure to Thailand in pursuit of learning and loving as we explore a new culture, hear from those creating positive change, and give back with our photography. The photography we capture will allow HUG Project and The Freedom Story to further promote and educate others about the important work they are doing. During our workshop time, we will cover the latest workflow techniques, efficient editing in Lightroom, troubleshooting while photographing on-site, off-camera lighting, and the legalities of working with nonprofits. We’ll discuss how we can use our talents and passions to inspire and give back to the world around us.

ITINERARY:
Day 1 (11/1/17)
  · Team arrives in Bangkok.

Day 2
  · Group Introductions. Meet organization leaders in Bangkok who are doing their part to fight against human trafficking. Dinner at a surprise restaurant that is delicious and fun!

Day 3
  · Fly to Chiang Mai.
  · Explore Chiang Mai - massages, amazing food, markets, lantern festival, etc.

Day 4
  · Team meeting and class time.
  · Lantern Festival.

Day 5
  · Work with HUG Project, which “exists to prevent, protect, and restore children from human trafficking, exploitation, and abuse”
  · Evening visit to the night markets, last day of lantern festival.

Day 6
  · Work with HUG project.
  · Chiang Mai sightseeing.

Day 7
  · Travel to Chiang Rai.
  · Explore Chiang Rai - markets, temples, more amazing food.

Day 8
  · Work with The Freedom Story, which “prevents child trafficking & exploitation through scholarships, mentorship, & resources for at-risk children”

Day 9
  · Work with The Freedom Story.
  · Evening sightseeing.

Day 10
  · Team prepares images for HUG and The Freedom Story.
  · More Chiang Rai sightseeing.

Day 11
  · Visit the picturesque Anantara resort and elephant sanctuary for elephant experience and amazing lunch.
  · Closing team dinner.

Day 12 (11/12/17)
  · Fly back to Bangkok to fly home, or explore other parts of Thailand!

INVESTMENT:
$3995. This investment covers most meals, transportation (including two in-country flights), and accommidations while in Thailand. This also covers group adventures, translators, instructors, and financial donations to HUG Project and The Freedom Story. Attendees are responsible for their flights to and from Bangkok. Sign up now.

Payments will be made to The Freedom Story, which is a 501(c)(3). This is tax-deductible.

AVAILABILITY:
There are only 12 spots available for this workshop! Please let us know as soon as possible if you'd like to apply to join WWP in Thailand 2017! We're so grateful for your interest in Workshops with Purpose, and hope you'll join us on this life changing journey! Get more info here.

RESOURCES TO CHECK OUT:
WWP Bolivia Highlight Video
WWP Kenya Highlight Video
Drone Footage of where we'll be going in Thailand
Ben's reflections on WWP Bolivia
Holli's experience at WWP Bolivia
Hadassah's experience at WWP Bolivia
Resource Magazine "Kijabe Project - How 10 Photographers Changed their World"




Please let us know if you have any questions.

Can't wait to hear from you!
Kevin & Clare Kubota & the WWP team