Truth In Disclosure: Professional Photographers

28 06 2012

As some of you already know, I’ve been working on a book called, “So You Think You Can Be a Rockstar Photographer”.   It examines the impact that social media has had on the profession of professional photography.

In compiling the research for this book, it became very clear that there’s so much misrepresentation and fraud that the entire industry is beginning to appear not credible.. It is so easy to “appear” as an established professional photographer (as in the story of Meagan Kunert)  and there’s so many things that a potential bride and groom may not know to ask photographers that they’re considering hiring.

A lot of brides for example, would have no idea that their photographer should carry a certain amount of liability insurance, or to ask if the images on the photographer’s website were taken at actual paid events, or at a shooters workshop (where a professional photographer hires models and stylists)  for participants to use as samples of their work online.

Misrepresentation in photography is very damaging to the industry. The public at large may soon begin to not trust professional photographers in general.

Here are some early images of the questionnaire.   It will probably have a few final tweaks, but once it’s done it will be released to potential brides. I think for you, it would also be a great gesture, (and a great-booking advantage) if the you gave your potential client a copy of this form completely filled out and signed.

Just like the diamond industry goes to great lengths to educate their consumers that a) a diamond should cost the groom three months salary or b) what the four C’s mean in measuring the quality of the diamond.   Having a standardized, “Truth in Disclosure Form” will at least protect the consumer from fraud.

I understand that to some photographers this may seem intimidating because your natural tendency would be to look through every single one of these boxes hoping that you would score an “A” on every answer. But that’s not the point. The point is to be truthful in the categories listed, and with that information, the potential client can simply be more informed. I think this is extremely important to have circulating around for these reasons.

As for, “will the brides even know meaningful answers?” I plan on publishing a guide to the range of answers possible, and how to weigh their meaning.

gary fong truth in disclosure form questions to ask your wedding photographer

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questions brides should ask professional photographers

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Father’s Day Photo Contest

18 06 2012

We appreciate all of you who participated in our Father’s Day Photo Challenge. The fan with the most “liked” photo is Heaven Sent Photography-Seminole. Please contact with your contact information so we can send you your prize. 


We Are Headed To Toronto

17 06 2012

We are super excited to be making our way back to Toronto, this time for the ProFusion Pro Imaging Expo. Gary, Alison and I will all be there and we are really excited for a great show.
Please make sure to come by and visit Gary for his program.

We will also be giving out lots of great prizes during this event. Make sure to tweet and let us know you are there. (!/GaryFongInc) using hashtag #garyfongPFE and you just might win something.

Hope to see you soon.



Ugly Room Transformation Series – Color Backgrounds!

16 06 2012

Outside the Men’s Room – In this image, I used two lights to create different colored backgrounds behind the subject. Using the simple Phottix Odin Radio slave unit, I have one light on the floor to give a soft color wash for the background, and a  PowerSnoot as the main light. Because the PowerSnoot give such a direct beam of light, no light intended for the subject will spill on the color, thereby leaving the color undiluted.

Turning The Men’s Room Door Into A Portrait Studio!

16 06 2012

One of the first things a photographer typically stresses out a little bit too much over, is the selection of a place to do the photography. But once you know how to control the lighting, you can use any place and turn it into a portrait studio. In order to illustrate this, I grabbed Stephanie Tracey, one of the instructors at The Center for Arts and Technology, Okanagan to model for me for this series of fantastic lighting in portraiture outside of the men’s room! Off-camera flash has always been popular among professional photographers for its ability to create a nice ratio to give a more dimensional lighting to face when doing portraiture. While the Lightsphere creates a soft “wraparound” like when used in its traditional position, you can quickly turn any wall into a soft box by simply pointing the open top at a wall between yourself and your subject. The Lightsphere itself creates a “fill” light so that the bounce off the wall is not too harsh.


15 06 2012

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Available Light Photography – Improved

7 06 2012

I often hear people say, “I’m an available light photographer”.  Most often, the people who say are really intimidated by speedlights and typically don’t own or use one.

Available light is nice because it is natural.  However, when soft flash fill is added, flesh tones are MUCH more beautiful.

The photo on the left is available light.  Those of you who shoot in open shade (especially Nikons that are non D800 or D3s or D4 – which use Sony sensors) are familiar with the cool cyan cast that comes with auto white balance.  Forcing the camera into “open shade” white balance often looks too brown.

The cure is to use a Lightsphere Collapsible, with the amberdome pointing straight forward, as I did on the photo on the right.  Unlike the photo in the center (where direct flash blew out the flesh tones) the Amberdome gives a beautiful light that looks incredibly natural.

Hint: when setting up your camera for outdoor shoots, select color style “Neutral” which means that saturation and contrast are set to “0” or flat.