Wedding FAQs

About Mark Tantrum Photography Ltd. Weddings

Thank you for your interest in my wedding photography. Here are some frequently asked questions that I get.

What experience do I have?

I have been doing wedding photography professionally since 1996. It was humble beginnings initially, covering friends and family members weddings. I was fortunate the following year to spend two years assisting an award winning West Australian photographer who has been named New Zealand and Australian photographer of the year for multiple years. In 2001, I moved to the US and started in earnest shooting weddings and portraits in addition to working full time as a staff photographer. In the 10 years following, I have covered more than 50 weddings and have shot hundreds of portraits.

Who will actually be photographing my wedding on the day?

I am the principal photographer for all wedding assignments. I have assistants that help carry gear, set up lighting, download and file digital photos- however it is my experience and expertise that I offer exclusively to my clients. I have optional additional photographers that I can contract to work with me, this is great to capture the full range of activities that my be happening at the same time. There is also great candid moments that can happen while more traditional portraits are being set up.

What type of equipment do I use?

I have made the decision early on that I would not compromise on quality when it comes to the photographic equipment I use. I have a full range of the latest professional Nikon lenses from wide angle, standard and portrait, through to tele-photo. These lenses have Nikon’s Extra-low Dispersion (ED) Glass and Nano Crystal Coating. (ED) elements control chromatic aberrations while enhancing sharpness and contrast. Nikon’s Exclusive Nano Crystal Coat further reduces ghosting and flare for even greater image clarity. In combination with the finest Nikon lenses, I also use the flagship D3 and D700 cameras. These are “Full Frame” (FX format) cameras that have the same sensor size as 35mm. A revolution for digital cameras. The D3 FX format CMOS imaging sensor was designed from the ground up to offer exceptional light transmission properties, so photographers can acquire outstanding image quality even in low light conditions. With a pixel pitch 15% larger than competitive cameras, means high-quality images under very low light levels are now possible.

What about backup gear?

I carry 2 primary cameras, and have a 3rd professional camera body, a Nikon D300 in reserve. For lenses, I carry spare lenses that double the focal lengths I need for a wedding, in case a lens gets dropped, I can still keep shooting without interruption. There are spare batteries for every device I own, and I have invested in lots of compact flash storage so I never have to clear memory cards while on a wedding shoot. I also make sure to download the photos during the day to a laptop and 2 other external hard drives so there is no risk of loosing the photos after they are captured.
How about getting familiar with the location and venues?

If I have not been to a particular location or venue before, I always make a point of doing a full location scout to get familiar with the best photo opportunities. I also research other photography that has been done at the location prior so I don’t miss anything. Often I find looking for new angles and opportunities at a scout can produce creative and original photos. I also carefully map out and plan driving directions and times so that there are no logistical surprises on the day.

What style of photography do I do?

Style is an interesting term in relation to photography. As opposed to genre, which wedding photography is one, style is in the eye of the beholder. Looking back, my strongest work is in capturing peak moments of expression, emotion and timing during weddings. My experience as a photojournalist helps in covering the events of the day, in a photo essay format enabling me to tune into what is happening and capture the valuable candid moments. In addition, I have had a solid formal training in portraiture, both traditional and creative. The combination of candid, documentary-style imagery as well as the creative, edgy portraiture forms what I would describe as my “style”

What happens to the images after they are taken?

Professional digital photography differs from its consumer cousin in large part in Post-Production, after the shutter is pressed. I capture all my photos in RAW format. A camera raw image file contains minimally processed data from the camera. Raw files are so named because they are not yet processed and therefore are not ready to be printed or edited with a program such as Photoshop. I process the RAW files with a raw converter called Adobe Lightroom. I can edit in a wide-gamut internal colorspace where precise adjustments can be made before conversion to a “positive” file format such as TIFF or JPEG for storage, printing, or further manipulation.

Raw image files are sometimes called digital negatives (DNG), as they fulfill the same role as negatives in film photography: that is, the negative is not directly usable as an image, but has all of the information needed to create an image. Likewise, the process of converting a raw image file into a viewable format is sometimes called developing a raw image, by analogy with the film development process used to convert photographic film into viewable prints. The selection of the final choice of image rendering is part of the process of white balancing and color grading.
Like a photographic negative, a raw digital image may have a wider dynamic range or color gamut than the eventual final image format, and it preserves most of the information of the captured image. The purpose of raw image formats is to save, with minimum loss of information, data obtained from the sensor, and the conditions surrounding the capturing of the image (the metadata).
I produce for clients proofs to view from these adjusted DNG’s, either as a web gallery or via low resolution JPEG files on CD. From there the selected images are opened in Photoshop, with fine tune retouching and possibly image compositing, with output sharpening per the intended use of the  image and saved as high resolution TIFF for printing or JPEG files in a variety of sizes for delivery to clients for use online.

What is the timeframe for receiving the proofs/ final images?

A time-frame will be determined at the time of booking your wedding photography- mostly it depends on the existing workflow as to how long proofs will take to get done. Ideally, I like to process a wedding within 2 weeks following the wedding date so that the images are still fresh and exciting in everyones minds.
Whats the deal with copyright?
I retain all copyrights to all images I take for any assignment. I retain the rights to keep and use the images to promote my business to other clients. If an image is suitable for stock licensing, I will contact you and let you know beforehand. For wedding clients, I issue a personal image usage- this means you can use the images for any purpose except commercial use- selling them or using to promote any other business etc.

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