Tour: Digital WakeUp Call 2009

digitalwakeupLast thursday I was lucky enough to attend a really fun and information packed class put on by David Ziser. David is mainly a wedding and event photographer.

What’s great about learning techniques from good wedding photographers is that even if you don’t shoot weddings you can still learn a lot. Here’s why: wedding photographers shoot in many different lighting conditions, they shoot fast and they don’t carry a lot of gear.

So what are some of his secrets?

Well for starters he showed us why bouncing your flash off of a white ceiling can create very unflattering images. Harsh, raccoon eyed brides are not good under any circumstance. Instead bouncing the flash off of the side wall, umbrella, reflector or even a white shirt is a much better option.

What are David’s favorite lenses?

David mentioned a love of the 18-200mm F3.5 and loves throwing the background out of focus. He also likes the 24-105mm lens.

How many pics, what ISO?

David shoots up to 3000 pictures on a wedding day.  He stays mainly in the 800-3200 ISO range. Doing 400 ISO for outside shots. He’s not afraid of noise with those higher ISOs simply because he can run a noise filter on them later.

What are a few of David’s favorite vendors and equipment?

  • He shoots Canon
  • Uses the Quantum T5d-r Flash head
  • Turbo 2×2 or smaller power pack
  • Freewire Radio controls
  • Off camera flash through an umbrella (he even invented his own umbrella, the Zumbrella)
  • He likes to use this little slave flash for back lighting
  • He uses a little Z-Ray or Mini Z-Ray for detail shots like wedding rings, shoes, cuff links etc.
  • He loves using FotoFusion Extreme to create his albums.
  • Uses MorePhotos to show his photos to customers.  What he likes about them is the ability of his customers to bookmark favorites as the slide show is running.
  • He had many books there from Zookbinders and aci that looked amazing.
  • He loves Amimoto
  • He’s also excited about the new digital cameras that have video ability and showed us an amazing and touching video from bebb studios demonstrating the results of mixing video and still shots with an engagment session they did.

David spent the 2nd half of the class talking about some great marketing ideas. I’d say the night was definitely worth my $59.00 (I had a $20 discount for being a NAPP member)

You can see if the tour is coming to your city here.

Check out David’s blog for daily info and tips. I can’t wait to read it myself.

Disclaimer: I am not in any way affiliated or getting a kickback from any of the above vendors (not that I would not love it!)

  • You know, I LOVED this seminar. It was well worth the money like you said. I still have to watch the dvd that we got along with the seminar, but it was worth it.

  • Scott

    I love all of the great information!

  • Chris S

    I am just learning to use my camera and photoshop. I love all the tips and tutorials and information you provide! Your templates are awesome. Thanks!

  • Nami

    Thanks for sharing. Great info!

  • Sounds like an interesting workshop. I’ll have to see if David comes back to the Indiana area next year. Thanks Kim.

  • Richard Morales

    That FotoFusion Extreme is a very easy software to run and creates the quickest collages. A bit on the rich side, but very powerful with a lot of variety. What noise reduction software does he use?

  • Thanks for posting Kim! I enjoyed reading that. I wish that I lived close to somewhere that I could attend a seminar like that!

  • Rosemary

    Sounds great…and lucky for me the seminar will be in the neighborhood next week!

  • I would be interested to see how he utilizes his zumbrella and how does he think it works differently than a traditional umbrella or reflector?

  • I love this site…..there are so many cool postings……………….

  • I love reading up on other photographers! Thanks for sharing.

  • I almost went to that seminar but chose to stay and shoot a game. I wish I had gone now it could have helped me in some other ways. Got it on radar for the future. Thanks for the info.

  • D. Wormington

    Kim – thanks for taking so much time to help us out. I check your blog everyday hoping for more GOLD!!


  • Great info! Thanks for all the work and sharing which gives us so many great ideas and tools!

  • Lu

    The tips from David are wonderful. Love checking out new websites and learning new things. The Xenon flashlight looks like a handy tool to put into my kit.

  • Mark Bretschneider

    Having been a wedding shooter for over 30 years, I was impressed with David’s knowledge and methods.

    The amount and quality of the information given is terrific, the price reasonable, and definitly on target for today’s photographer.

    This is good for all photographers, new and experienced, you can teach an old dog new tricks

  • Just wanted to say that you are a true blessing. Not only have you blessed me with your great knowledge and product but by you posting this blog and leading me to the Brinkman Dual Xenon Z-ray gun. I just attended a class and the Light that photographer used was $350.00. I wanted it but couldn’t afford it. Thank a bunch Kim!!!

  • Liana Torres

    Thank you so much for everything you do for everyone! And thanks for the great articles!

  • Gabrielle

    Thanks so much! I love this site. It is the first one I look at every day. It always has information that I have been looking for at other places.