James Connolly – European Wedding & Portrait Photographer
European based photographer James Connolly shares his experience of becoming a photographer after starting his career as a professional poker player.
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Tell us how you got into photography?
Relatively new to photography, was following other photographers and three years ago I purchased my first camera. Followed a Street Photographer in London, Bansky
Wanted to be a Poker player originally (was making some money – played in the European Poker Tour)…used the mindset of repetition to improve my skills.
No real artistic background
Found photos from Sean Archer which inspired me
Observed a photographer with a step ladder which made me look at different ways of taking photographs…this photographer spent a little time with me and gave me pointers that helps me today.
Are you a full time photographer?
Yes…full time photographer within three years of starting
Being in London has helped, self promotion, networking, many opportunities.
Weddings & Portraits:
Nikon shooter; favorite lenses
80-200 Nikkor; mainly used at weddings
How did you learn to use flash
Learned from a photographer out of South Africa
His photographs had a certain look, especially outdoors.
Practiced at first shooting with the sun and strobes on trees to get the correct balance
Attempt to slightly underexpose and Dodge/Burn in Photoshop
How do you pick you locations?
Depends on my mood…winters I am in the city while in the summer I am to go where I can find the sun…not much sun in London.
Adobe Photoshop / Lightroom?
First step is the High Pass
Need to resize the image at the beginning…if posting to Facebook
Image Size; 2048 x 1365 (6×4)
What is the portrait business like in Europe?
In the US you have a culture of hiring a photographer while in Italy you won’t see that, only hiring for events / weddings. In London, there is no real market…such as Senior Photography
Most of the jobs are for Portfolio filing versus a portrait session
How is the wedding business in Europe?
Got into weddings with a photographer that does portrait (glamor) work
Really enjoy taking wedding photographs
Where do you do most of your photography?
Now is the season for bookings…mainly weddings
Separate Website – own site and weddings?
Yes, it helps since there are two photographers. I also link from my own site to the wedding site.
Any issues at weddings that helped you improve?
First wedding in Poland…don’t know the language and you need to guess what is coming next. Watching people for what is going to happen.
Favorite part of wedding photography?
London – many varied weddings
What about the future?
Looking to get into videos, however, it is way more complex and expensive. You have to edit the video which is time consuming
What is Viewbug?
Came out before 500pix, very nice platform for posting photos. Go into competitions where you can submit your photos. Voting systems…awards.
Where can people learn more about James?
Website / Facebook
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