My Thoughts on “Toning” and “Killer Tones” and “Excellent Conversions”

Tones, Tonality, Processing and Development, lightroom presets, bride, elegant, vintage

There’s lots of fuss about image processing in modern portrait and especially “wedding” photography. Processing used to be determined by careful and sometimes lucky film selection, but is now the product of experience, dedication, creativity, software, free-time and lastly . . . . taste.

See the image above? Isn’t it interesting how different each “treatment” makes the image look? We use our own creative opinions of what images would look best with what type of treatment, and 99% of the time, client’s LOVE them.  Keep in mind though, that if you favor a particular “look” that you’ve seen here or anywhere else, let us know so we can do our best to maintain that look throughout your edited images!


Engagement Photography Tips

Girl puts flower behind mans ear | Nashville Engagement Photos

1. Wear clothing that makes you look and feel like yourself, don’t pull out that shirt that looks nice, but you NEVER wear.

2. Avoid patterns or really bold stripes as it distracts from your wonderful face

3. Don’t wear matching clothes. Please. It looks cheesy and doesn’t provide separation between you two unique individuals.

4. Bring a change of clothes if you want a different look. Maybe several depending on timeframe.

5. Don’t camouflage yourself!! If we’re outside in spring, don’t wear green – if were in a concrete alley doing some grunge shots, don’t wear grey!
Kiss on Cheek with sunlight and warmth | Engagement Photography

6. Men or women can wear jackets or other accessories to vary the look.

7. For ladies, I recommend getting hair and makeup professionally done for any session. Some photographers provide one, I have several who help with my sessions if you’re interested!

8. Mineral makeup is wonderful in photos. Regardless of mineral or not, bring some extra to touchup mid-shoot.

9. I ask everyone I shoot to meet with me several days before-hand for drinks/coffee – it sounds strange, but its the best way to get good photos as we skip the whole “getting to know eachother” 1/2 hour

10. My photos are about YOU so don’t you dare act like anyone but yourself – and let me know some of your FAVORITE PLACES before hand – I’d like to shoot there!


How hard is it to photograph a wedding?

This is a great article published by the BBC which does an EXCELLENT job of demonstrating why wedding photography is a daunting task, and a worthy investment for your once-in-a-lifetime occasion!! To read the article click here for an excerpt, read below:

“But how hard can it be to get great shots at a happy occasion, where everyone is dressed up in picturesque locations? Most guests bring along their own cameras, after all.  Harder than it looks, says Paul Cudmore, a past winner of Wedding Photographer of the Year, who has been in the business for 18 years. “It’s all about emotions and capturing emotions. And obviously you’ve got to look out for vans driving past in the background.”  Most tricky of all is the group shot most couples want, if not for themselves, then for Mum and Dad, Auntie Mabel, and their grandparents.  To get that many people to stand in the right place, to look in the right direction – and to smile at the right time – can be like herding cats.”

Don Wright shooting Groomsmen in Murfreesboro TN

Don Wright shooting Groomsmen in Murfreesboro TN

It really isn’t as easy as picking up your new canon 100000D with your shiny new lens, and switching it to “AUTO” mode and snapping away. Wedding photography takes planning, preparation, experience, and teamwork – let alone a careful eye and well trained shooter! I’ve heard HORROR stories about brides in the Southeast region who decide that they’ll have their “good friend from college” or “uncle who knows photography” document their special day for only a couple hundred dollars, and end up with nothing afterwards but a couple snapshots and dead flowers! :(

Groomsmen in Murfreesboro TN

Groomsmen in Murfreesboro TN

Please, I beg you to research your next wedding photographers’ portfolio and talk to them about their experience. I’ve even posted a quick guide to questions your should ask your photographer!  For more tips on how to get the most out of your hard-earned dollars for photos that reflect artistry, magic, and professionalism, please check out the rest of my site by exploring!

bride at top of stairs | Nashville Wedding Photography


The Perfect Wedding Photographer

It has been said this is the most important day of your life, so you have the right to be picky about who documents it! At DWD, we know how to take great photos that make your friends wish they had hired us too!

Photographs are more than their effects.

When browsing a photographer’s portfolio, it can be easy to get distracted by the “cool effects” of an image. Don’t forget to pay attention to the actual subject. If a photographer can’t capture the right moments, no amount of Photoshop techniques will make it better. With multiple photographers at your wedding, we make sure nothing is left out, even the moments you may have missed yourself!

Notice styles.

All photographers shoot in a unique way, so make sure to pick a style that matches you and your fiancée. If a photographer poses every image, your wedding will look stiff and rigid. We can shoot in a variety of ways, but we most enjoy letting moments happen on their own!

Personality is important.

Meet with any potential photographers. Their work might be fantastic, but a rude photographer is not worth having at your special day. Look up reviews for each photographer, and don’t be afraid to contact past couples and ask about their experience.


Why Prints are Better than Digital Files

Or how I learned to stop worrying and have tangible memories of my cherished moments in life . . . . .

“I’ll print them myself one day.”

This is a common excuse for not ordering prints after a photo session. In fact, there are many excuses people use for only purchasing a disc of files. Unfortunately, these people are missing out on many fantastic benefits that come with having a print. Here are a few points to consider when ordering memories from your photographer:

Technology changes, prints don’t.

Records and 8-tracks have seen better days, so why should we think DVDs will be different? Whether we like it or not, things change and files get corrupted. One day, you may find yourself struggling to view your beloved wedding photos. Prints stay consistent and make the perfect heirloom piece in your family. And besides, you spent all that money to have photos taken, so why not keep a visible reminder above the fireplace?

“I’ll print them one day.”

Let’s be honest. You’re not actually going to get your photos printed. It will get put on your To-Do List and slowly fall to the bottom until it has been six months since your photo session. At that point, you’ve probably also permanently misplaced the disc of images. Life gets busy, so let us worry about getting your memories printed.

“Look at this beautiful… disc?”

Passing around a shiny piece of plastic at the next family gathering is not the way to grab Aunt Betty’s attention. With a print, everyone can instantly see just how cute your kids can be when they aren’t running through the house.  No computer required, just immediate satisfaction.

AUTO is for amateurs.

I love printing, and I want to make your photos as beautiful as possible! Taking your files to be printed at Walgreens will leave them in the hands of someone who has no personal concern for your images. At Don Wright Designs, we have control over every aspect of each photo. We pay attention to details and make sure that your charming face matches your quality print. For those of you looking for a little more pizzazz, we also have a nice selection of materials and paper types to choose from for your images.


Questions you should ask your Wedding Photographer

These are simply questions that I recommend you ask ANYONE you are interviewing to consider to shoot your wedding, this will help you eliminate any doubt that you know their policies, and that you know whats going on! Ive answered mine in blue

Will he/she be taking the photos at your wedding?
Absolutely. I shoot all weddings and bring only my BEST photographers along!

What styles do they specialize in? Do they do any creative shoots?
I’m comfortable shooting any style you’d like, but I prefer to stray away from Olan Mills – style work.

What type of camera will the photographer use?
Equipment list is as follows (updated regularly)
Nikon D700 Body
Nikon D300s Body
Nikon D200 Camera Body x 2
Nikon D90 Body

Nikkor 70-200 2.8 VR ED IS Lens
Nikkor 17-55mm 2.8 ED Lens
Nikkor 50mm 1.4 D Lens
Nikkor 85mm 1.4 D Lens
Tamron 17-50 2.8 Lens
Nikkor 35mm 2.0 Lens

Multiple Flashes x 7
4 Pocket-Wizard Wireless Triggers
2 Alien Bee 1600 Watt Studio Strobes
3 Alien Bee 800 Watt Studio Strobes

Software I use:
Adobe Photoshop CS5, Adobe Illustrator CS5, Adobe Lightroom 3, DXO Optics Pro

Does the photographer use an assistant? Is there an extra charge for this?
Assistants are Included at Every Wedding I shoot. There is no extra charge as they are included in price.  Why do I need assistants? To help handle the lighting equipment that I use to make your images POP, to hand out information on where guests can find photos online, to help run and find missing groomsmen when we’re trying to shoot a group photo, to hand me lenses while I’m shooting, to hold a sunshade to block your eyes.

Will there be backup equipment available? And what happens if the photographer is ill?
We have more equipment than necessary and I have 4 Photographers who I trust unequivocally to cover for me if I’m in the hospital.

Can other people take photos while you are taking photos?
Only AFTER I’ve gotten the group shots I need . . . they can shoot all the candids they want, but you have HIRED me to do the best job I can possibly do documenting your wedding, and I need 100% participation from your wedding party, which means not distracting you with other cameras flashing at you while I’m trying to create a well crafted, beautiful image.

Has he/she worked at your event locations before? How did it work out?
Lighting issues and restrictions on using flashes may come up as a surprise once you are at your event location. If your photographer checks out the location beforehand, he will be prepared for these surprises.

Should your event last longer than scheduled, will they stay? Extra charge?
Depends on what we have agreed upon prior, but make sure and ask this question when you sit down with a prospective shooter!!!

What types of photos will be taken (B/W, Color, Antiques, etc..)?
You should know what type you want and if the photographer is willing to take more of what you want.

Will they accept of list from you, for specific photos to be taken?
Make sure the photographer is willing to accept a list of your must haves!

What attire will they and their assistants wear?
We wear Dark Colored clothing and stay professionally dressed – blend in with your attire

How long after the event will the proofs be ready?
Proofs will be ready GUARANTEED WITHIN EIGHT WEEKS, sometimes as soon as 3 Days

Will they give you the negatives or what is the charge?
For me, it depends on what we have agreed upon price-wise for your particular wedding, but PLEASE make sure and ask this question so there are no necessary surprises!