Billy Beach Photographs Real Weddings.
All the images you see on this website and in my portfolio are actual people on their wedding day. A little known secret of wedding vendors is that they get together every so often and hire a very attractive model and stage wedding pictures. It's for the venues and bridal shops to showcase their business but the photos often end up on multiple photographers portfolios. Everything is perfect as it's all strictly controlled.(It's really a commercial shoot). It's great to have a chance to play with lighting and try out some new techniques. It's even cool to put some of those images on your blog. What's not cool, is putting them in your portfolio so that some potential clients think their from real weddings. All my portfolio pics are from actual weddings, in varying lighting conditions. I don't go to the "fake" commercial sessions, as I don't have the time and working in a camera store (part time) and owning a piece of a film lab I have enough photography talk during my work week. I also try to dissuade brides from too much artsy-fartsy stuff on the wedding day. Yes, that picture of the Bride and Groom sitting on the suitcases with their bridal party sitting in the mustang convertible is cute; but at what cost to the couple on the wedding day? While they're doing the shot guests are running out of conversation and wonder where the wedding party is. Weddings are fast paced, with a lot to do in a few hours. I pride myself on being adept at getting great pictures in a very short amount of time. You're not just getting married, you're hosting one of the biggest parties of your life. As a good host and hostess, you need to be with your guests, in the moment and enjoying every minute.
EQUIPMENT CHOICES AND ASSISTANTS
Equipment choices and assistants. I travel light, with simple camera's, a handful of lenses and a couple of portable flashes. I don't use a ton of lighting and assistants at a wedding as I strongly feel it is intrusive. I've been to weddings where the video crew had 4 people, the photographers had 3 shooters and the DJ had two people with them. I remember thinking that it was like a TV show and not a wedding. I try to work unobtrusively or to be more like a guest with a really good camera, taking pictures and capturing moments as they happen. I've used multiple lighting setups including moonlights and radio triggers, but I find I'm paying more attention the the equipment than the subjects. Simple is better. Many clients tend to hire me for the most memorable moments of the wedding: The ceremony, the group shots, romantic images, first dances and perhaps the cake cutting. With seemingly everyone having cameras today, many clients opt for their friends to shoot the getting ready shots, and some of the reception. I think this is a good thing as it gives a very natural flow to the wedding day.
I Only Shoot Weddings. The only exception is family beach portraits.
Wedding photographers can get rusty. If they're only shooting 15 or 20 weddings a year you have a hard time hitting your stride. This is why I specialize in wedding photography and shoot lot's of weddings. I don't know what to do with a Saturday off. If I do get the rare Saturday free, I'm sorta jealous, wondering why "nobody picked me." I don't advertise for senior portraits, maternity photos, baby photos or sports photography. I only shoot weddings. (The only exception to this rule, is family beach portraiture.) I'm constantly striving to perfect my technique, use of equipment and seeing things in new ways. This way I'm always sharp, on top of my game and ready for the next great wedding.