Do you make prints and albums?
Yes. I personally craft my prints on state-of-the-art large format printers. I use gloss or professional lustre paper and print these custom prints to a standard that exceeds that of any professional photo lab that I have personally worked with. I offer several types of albums and folios that you may purchase from me a la carte; please ask for more information if you are interested. Prints start at $40, silk hardcover albums start at $1100, and handmade albums at $2300.
After our wedding is over, how long before we see our photographs?
Within a few days of the wedding, I will have posted a web gallery of 100 or so of my favourites. Within 3 weeks of the wedding you will receive a link (or mailed thumbdrive upon request) to your high resolution files. You may take these to the lab of your choice if you would rather print them yourself.
Do you work with an assistant?
I do, but this depends on my needs for the day. There is freedom to working alone, quietly, low-key. This is the way I usually work. At weddings where I know that it will be a little more technically demanding, it helps to have an assistant. I do not charge more for the use of an assistant.
Do you charge for travel?
Within the British Columbia and Western Alberta areas, no, I do not. My rates cover my own travel and accommodation. I know how much time I need to arrive and scout locations and how much it costs me to do so. I don't want to nickel and dime and I like to keep it simple for me and for you.
Did you go to school for photography?
I didn't. I actually hold degrees in Spanish Literature and Outdoor Education. In the end, making my living as a photographer is my passion and I am glad that life has led me here. I started by assisting both wedding and commercial photographers in 2002 and freelanced my own commercial, sports, and editorial work with small publications until 2004 when I opened up my own studio. It was in 2005 I supported myself solely by my photography and soon thereafter specialized in shooting weddings.
Where is your Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc?
Frankly, I'd rather show my photography than talk about it. I absolutely love every aspect of my experienced and well-honed photography workflow, from crafting a portrait, to making prints, to placing stamps on your package, and ultimately providing you with amazing photos and wonderful service. In other words, I love the actual photography service aspect of being your professional photographer. This is what you would hire me for right?
That being said, I try to provide you with your photos as soon as possible so that you may post them to your favourite accounts. I know that copyright issues are not a priority for the majority of you out there; but for my part I am uncomfortable about posting my work directly to Facebook as they can do anything they want with the photos. Knowing this, I will not make this decision for you; but if you are comfortable with it from your end, please do so. It makes me happy that you are proud to share them!
However, I do have an appetite for visual inspiration and you can follow that on my PINTEREST account here. It is more along the lines of how l how I like to waste time at my desk. Please have a visit!
I use my Flickr account like I would an image-based blog. It is a mix of my personal and professional work. You may follow my FLICKR photostream here. I express myself with my camera better than I do with words. Please have a visit!
We have ideas for some of our portraits and photos.
Great. I am willing to work with you and follow your creative muse. I also encourage clients, if that is their thing, to set up their own pinterest board that I can follow if they really want to show me what visually inspires them.
Do you photograph other things?
Yes, a fair amount of personal work; my two little girls are frequently on the other side of the camera as is my wife (They are well-covered in my Flickr photostream). I have also done a few fine art print series and art shows involving underwater and nature photography. I do get portrait and commercial commissions from time to time as well. To see some of my other professional work, you can go to http://michaelalbertphotography.ca
Who is your inspiration?
Caravaggio and Rembrandt for their use of light and dark in their paintings. Michelangelo's three dimensional paintings, beautiful sculpture and genius in any project he tackled. Mario Testino- A fashion portrait photographer with a natural style. Sebastiao Salgado- Incredible black and white film work. Antonin Kratochvil- Raw and edgy black and white portraiture. Annie Leibovitz- Opposite approach to Kratochvil; she creates meticulously planned and produced portraits...You have seen them likely. I love the annual Banff Mountain Film Festival and I'm always amazed by the BBC's nature films - Planet Earth, Human Planet, Blue Planet, etc. Not just for the amazing imagery but for the sheer amount of logistics involved into getting one shot; it gets better with each film. In addition there is James Natchwey, James Balog, and Henri-Cartier Bresson. I won't forget to mention the countless other wedding photographer colleagues that I know personally or know of and respect.
What kind of equipment do you use?
Most of the time I keep it simple and use a wide angle lens on one camera and a telephoto lens on the other. I try to quietly take advantage of natural light whenever I can. It is easy to imitate natural light with strobes, it just makes the process more cumbersome and time consuming.
That being said, I have redundant gear of the best professional equipment available. Is this important? You bet. There is a difference between consumer and professional equipment and I often push my gear to its technical limits. Cameras and lenses also break down and you need to have backup. I have three camera bodies (A Nikon D4s and two D810s); a variety of lenses (the 16mm fisheye, the spectacular distorsion-free 12-24mm f/2.8, my workhorses the 35mm f/1.4 and 24-70mm f/ 2.8, the magical portrait specialist 85mm f/1.4, the long 70-200mm f/2.8 VR and the really long 300mm f/2.8 VR). All have their use in the style of imagery I am after.
For my lighting needs, I use Elinchrom studio monolights; Elinchrom Rangers and Ringflash... and heaps of reflectors and light modifiers to coax the light to my needs. Then there are all the miscellaneous extra batteries, extension cords, light stands, etc. I am well prepared. In case you are wondering, yes, I am well-insured.
Is the photography gear that important?
My responsibility to you as your photographer for a one-time event to have the best and most reliable equipment that I can. It is also my personal need as an artist and craftsmen to have access to a properly equipped toolbox. To consistently be able to capture extraordinary moments and make good portraits in a limited amount of time requires a variety of equipment and experience of how to use it. And, no I don't use every piece of gear on every shoot; depending on the situation, I use what is necessary and appropriate.
Most photos in my portfolio come from a small handful of equipment.