my Photographic Journey in
by, George Kuchler
I photograph everywhere around downtown New Orleans and one of my favorite places to work is at The Chicory! The ambiance all around the building is romantic. When the sun is going down and you are on Fulton Street, the above image is ready for your capture. I do not believe in Photoshop making your images beautiful, you the photographer has the job of finding the good light and making the shot happen. I have friends up north that are always asking me whether I get tired of photographing in my city or not and my answer is always the same. I love to travel and experience other places to photograph but I have a special tie to New Orleans. My city isn't just where I was born and raised, my city is a perfect companion to my soul. I love all things romantic, eclectic, vibrant and genuine. This is how I describe New Orleans. This is why I love my city and all the romantic aspects it has to offer.
My journey through photography is always evolving and New Orleans lets you evolve as an artist. If you cannot come to New Orleans and romantically be inspired, you should check your pulse just to see if you are still alive.
This is Courtney and Jimmy. Courtney is a past high school senior of mine that is now getting ready to be a beautiful bride. Courtney's dad works at Storyland in city park New Orleans. Growing up in New Orleans it was a Big deal as a child to come to Storyland and enjoy all of the rides on the beautiful park itself. In the image above, the ladybug side, it's foundation has been updated But the original roller coaster cart is that the side for this adorable photo. Every city has its history in New Orleans is no different. When you Courtney told me She wanted to do her engagement session in Storyland I couldn't help but be excited. My own history coming here as a child Sparks so many memories including the new ones I'm creating with my own children.
One of the things I enjoy the most about my job is how I get to experience every ounce of the world around me. You can see in the image above how playful Courtney and Jimmy are together and that makes me so excited for their wedding day.
When you visit New Orleans remember to visit as many things us locals enjoy on a daily basis. Visit City Park, Storyland.
This is Leila. Leila traveled from Michigan to celebrate her 18th birthday and create her senior casuals. I'm always excited when someone from another state comes to my hometown and chooses me as their photographer. We had a blast walking around downtown while finding colorful backgrounds that matched the outfits she selected. I love my hometown New Orleans, because of the diversity in colors and textures we have in the French Quarter. The experience I give my seniors while downtown is unique and more angled from my point of view. Just because you are visiting my city doesn't mean you need all the cheesy tourist type imagery...unless you would like them of course. :)
I love showing them cool places that only I know of or have access to. I have amazing friends all over the city and it's a treat when I can text them and show their venue off to my senior and her mom. You never know if the senior will become the bride and the venue we visited could become tops on her list! I have had way too many serendipity moments in my life where these types of stories come true. If you know someone who would like my "French Quarter Experience Session", share this post with them and follow the link below for more information.
These sessions are limited availability since I only photograph 1 session at the golden hour before the sunlight is gone!
I am a father of 2 girls and every time I see this image happen I think of my girls. How will I act when it's their turn to wear the wedding gown? What will I feel when I see them as a glowing bride? Trust me...I'll be super emotional I'm sure. When I took this image of Grayson and her mom, I had that tingly feeling of awestruck knowing this moment had been building up for years. As a parent I understand the emotional side of that image. The entire wedding day is about getting it all right. When you choose your vendors you are hoping they all do their jobs and your wedding day is relaxing and enjoyable.
I loved working with the Spencer family. The average person sees a picture of a bride and her mom. I see the moment mom realizes her baby girl is now a beautiful bride.
I've been paying for storage for the last 10 years at almost $200 a month to keep boxes of negatives and old bank invoices and statements. Now that two out of three of our children will be in high school next year, it is time to discontinue paying for storage. Photographers used to keep the negatives for as long as they can is just something we all used to do back in the film days. I was our only copy of the job therefor discarding them was unheard of.
Then came digital and the first shoot and burn job Desecrated the history I was taught as a pro photographer. Did anyone care that I was holding on to these distant memories? Adapting to change isn't always easy but it's usually a must. I have had no problem with digital and the evolution of where we are today but something always had me in my head About all those jobs and I still have the only copy of. I literally can look at my past and see every job that catapulted me into 2018. Nerdy I know...but truth.
Well needless to say I could've built a building for the price of paid in storage. I guess it's time to adapt and move on one more time :) The best part for me in this entire process of notifying past clients is hearing from them again. When somebody would tell me their wedding day and it was 15, 18 or even 20 years ago, I still get all sappy thinking of those events wayback in the day. It's the one thing I have always endeared the most with photography.
After you purchase your negatives make sure you put them in a safe place like I have for the past two decades. Negatives need to be in a air-conditioned environment so heat and humidity does not alter the integrity of the negative itself. I'm sure this is understood but sunlight kills and fades just about anything so keep them out of the sunlight. Keep them in a double Ziploc bag inside of a Tupperware container that can get wet on the outside but not leak on the inside just in case one of those big bad hurricanes come around again. My storage facility was on the second floor in case there was flooding but like many of my past clients who lived in Challmette with hurricane Katrina came we all know sometimes the matter how high he try to stay away from water, the water just finds a way. Putting a negatives in a bank security box is also a great place to store it since the building is under more security for robbery, fire, flooding then your house.
If you really want to have fun with your negatives feel free to purchase a negative scanner and make them all digital images for you to once more enjoy.
My business is constantly evolving and I guess this is just one more step into the evolution of my world GK photography. So please tell anyone you know it may have not seen this post or the several posts made on Facebook about the negatives getting shredded in a few weeks. Facebook unfortunately forces you to pay for exposure and even then it's not guaranteed to get in front of all of your followers. This is a huge flaw on Mark Zuckerberg's account with Facebook business pages like mine. We are all just trying to stay in business, pay bills and spend it on things we want or need. It would be fantastic if I knew for sure all 5000+ followers on my business page actually saw this important post but I know I cannot rely on that and neither can you. Share the post with as many as possible that you think should see it and hopefully we can all have a better tomorrow.
I love working together with my wife photographing little babies. Our children are growing up so fast so, it's great to be able to relive the little baby stage through our clients. When a child lights up with a smile because they like you or what you are doing to make them laugh, it brightens your entire day! I find myself staring at my wife Elizabeth while she works with the babies. Watching her smile so big without a stress in the world is priceless for me. Seeing our clients go through a stage we have already been through three times is something to see. We remember that new stage when you don't know exactly what to do with this crying little soul.
When the baby cries and you don't know why, it can be heartfelt because you as the parent wants to soothe your child but they cannot speak. Ahh......moments we don't really miss but we are happy to help our young parents with some past experiences of our own that may help.
I'm a photographer. I love how the camera has been my tool of choice for over 23 years. I love capturing beautiful imagery with children as well as all the other subject matters I have during the week. I'm not a children photographer or a wedding photographer. I'm a creative soul who loves working with people. If you create a product I can photograph it well. If you have a beautiful family I can capture the true essence of the family dynamic without always doing standard poses. If you are a bride and groom I will capsulize your day in a way that will tell a story about you and all of your guests at the event. If you want to learn photography I can teach you through a visual experience you won't forget.
I am not a type of photographer. I'm your photographer for anything you need photographed on a professional level accompanied by service you won't experience anywhere else in New Orleans.
Elizabeth and I love our clients for who we call our "GK Fam"
I watch a ton of Youtube videos for creative inspiration and "How To" tutorials. On my Youtube channel "Focused with GK" , I decided today to create a video for true behind the scenes. I like watching people show me their workflow but I never see an entire session done from start to finish, so I decided to do so. I'm so used to my process that when I was recording the video I totally forgot WHY I do all the steps that I do. I like explaining the steps because it reminds me of the total process from the camera to the computer.
I'll show you everything from selecting the best images to show the client to what the final image will look like for delivery. I think many new photographers expect a glamorous life in photography but the many hours that goes into every session is equally as important as the photographic experience itself. I do love my job but I have many MANY days when I am a slave to the computer and all that comes with it. Nothing feels worse than looking at the beautiful day outside your window and you cannot leave the studio because the pile on your desk has got to get developed, processed and delivered!
If you know me then you know I like things done in a timely manor. Nothing is suffice other than near perfect and I will not settle for excuses on quality. Not skipping on quality often means I'm re creating my orders when my eyes were tired and sent the order to the lab anyway...ARGH!!! Nothing is worse then the incredible pain of feeling money being pulled out of your wallet involuntarily. Loosing any profit on goods sold means that I'll need that money for something during the week and now it's gone. :(
My video tomorrow will show you my workflow on a session but as you can tell, I have so much to share with you about this business. I love the amount of passion that comes with the dream of owning your own business and the drive it takes to keep smashing it for over 2 decades!
I would love to read your business inspiration below in the conversation area. Any business will benefit from advice so please..."Do Share!"
I get this question often and my answer always stays the same. When I first fell in love with photography it wasn't the art of it, it was the chance to make a living with a camera. I had to learn the camera and lighting to understand the art part. I think the passion came later when the art bug bit me. I was in college when I decided to be a pro photographer and it scared the crap out of me because at the time, no colleges in the state taught what I wanted to learn...studio lighting. I figured if I could learn studio lighting I could create just about anything.
That memory wasn't very far off! My answer today is still the same. I LOVE MY JOB.
The impact I make on people is far greater than the pay check earned. We need the money for our material lives but the gifts I have been given within photography I never saw coming in the beginning of my career. After 2 decades I have quite the library of stories I can tell you. What I can tell you however is enjoy the JOURNEY...it's fun, exciting, emotional and extremely hard work staying in business!
So I ask you.
Why Do You Love Photography?
You are photographing a wedding in one of the most beautiful churches in the city. You're down by the altar waiting for your bride to make her entrance. When the bride starts to walk down the aisle, you notice many people along the edges of the aisle suddenly grab their I-Pads and I-phones to video her coming down the aisle. You know in your heart these people will mess up such a beautiful moment if they are in the picture with the bride! So what would you do?
When you Get... GIVE
"Photography is my life!"
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