Michael Rammell

My top 3 Inspirational & Favourite Wedding Photographers

Top #, PhotographyMichael RammellComment

It's hard to believe we're in March already! It seems like only yesterday I was out on the streets with the camera wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Its far too cold for that right now (here in the UK at least!), but thankfully this somewhat mildly cold winter feels like it has passed by quickly and we're very nearly back in Summer again! Phew!

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I thought that with March being the 3rd Month I'd go with the theme of 'Three' for the month and so i'm putting together a series of 'Top 3' posts and over the next few weeks i'll be publishing these to the blog and to the podcast to see us through to April, which is when the Wedding Season here in the UK starts in earnest. With that in mind I thought that today, a good place to start would be to look at my top 3 favourite / inspirational wedding photographers - those pro's that inspire and amaze me with their images, approach and style. Now, even if you're not a wedding photographer hold up: there is value in this for you too! The guys I'm going to talk about today are some of the top talents in the world and I've no doubt you'll learn a tonne from their work, which is - arguably in my book at least - considered art!!).

I know that many people still look down their nose at wedding photography, but hopefully the guys I'm sharing with you today can go some way to changing your perspective on what it's all about and, what it takes to be a wedding photographer too!

So, if you're a street photographer, like I am too, remember that it really isn't too different from wedding photography. That may sound odd, but the main difference being is that at a wedding - you're being paid to make the photographs of the guests and they expect it. The same rules and principles about what makes an amazing image still apply.

Later on in March though in addition to re-releasing a couple of episodes from the Ready Steady Pro Photography Podcast, I'll also be sharing with you some more of top 3's, including:

  • Top 3 Inspirational Photographers in History
  • My Top 3 Post Processing Tips in Adobe Lightroom
  • Top 3 Favourite Photography Podcasts

So, without further delay, in no particular order, here we go:

My Top 3 Favourite Wedding Photographers

1. Jerry Ghionis

If you are a wedding photographer or have dabbled or considered wedding photography before, then there is a chance you will know of Jerry Ghionis and his work.

Jerry is an Australian photographer who divides his time between Down Under and LA. He's a Nikon ambassador and regularly features in Wedding Photographer Top 10's throughout the world. Jerry also runs a training website that he calls, the ICE Society, which is for wedding photographers and it features behind the scenes footage from real weddings, to show you how he creates every image. The settings are included and as a bonus, there is also some audio commentary so Jerry can explain his thought process behind his actions as you watch. It's massively educational. (links below). 

Now, what I love about Jerry is more than just his work, which, is absolutely stunning as his many, many award will attest; it's also his approach, character and intuition on a wedding day. He's funny at the right times to get the right reaction, then at other times he fits into a more sombre and quiet moment with grace and respect for the ceremony. It's not an uncommon occurrence at all for brides to shed a tear of joy when working with Jerry

When it comes to style, Jerry has posing absolutely mastered and it's what he is known for. Each of the photographs you see in his portfolio are crafted moments that he has made to look absolutely natural.

Now, Jerry's work won't be to everyone's liking, that's for sure. Some people prefer a purely candid approach, and that's fine. But what is certain is that Jerry is very talented and is able to put together a body of work from each wedding that blows people's socks off.

I'd love to get Jerry on the podcast for an interview at some stage.

Go check out Jerry Ghionis at JerryGhionis.com. You can check out the ICE Society at icesociety.com too.

2. Cliff Mautner

Cliff Mautner was one of the first, big photography names I knew about when I first started out myself back in 2010. Coming from a newspaper and reportage background, it's fair to say that Cliff is primarily a reportage style photographer, which he does with absolute finesse.

Whilst all of the photographers in my top 3 here today produce work of a standard I'm not sure I'll ever reach, I find that Cliff's work simply has that special something. That extra level of quality that I just can't quite describe.

Mostly though, Cliff Mautner's photographs are simply beautiful pieces of art, produced by someone who clearly knows what it takes to make an amazing image. I find myself looking at Cliff's website on a regular basis to remind myself exactly how it is wedding photography should be done and what is possible. On one hand it's inspiring, on the other hand it can be depressing because he is so good that it puts me to shame.

There are dozens of amazing photographers out there, but in my mind, Cliff's work stands head and shoulders above almost everyone.

If you look for Cliff Mautner on YouTube you may come across a video where he shows you around his absolutely amazing studio in Philadelphia in the US, where he's based, and in that video he also talks a little about his approach with clients. In other videos, for example on KelbyOne (Scott Kelby's Training Platform), he used to have a video, much like a Jerry Ghionis ICE Society Style behind the scenes video, where he shows you how he would typically enter a getting ready scene and adjust the lighting in the room to produce the magical work he produces. Such simple and elegant changes to curtains and moving a few things around can produce some amazing results. This, for me, is a breath of fresh air because what we see a lot of these days are photographers showing us how to use 15 lights, reflectors and modifiers. Whilst there is a time and a place for that, what Cliff shares with us and shows us is what 30 years of experience gets you by way of efficient and effective thinking to produce world class images.

When i first started writing this blog post I chose my top 3 and then quickly threw together some keywords for each photographer. The keywords that immediately came to mind - that I would associate with Cliff Mautner, may be a little cliche, however, they are absolutely appropriate in my mind. I wrote the words: classic, timeless, beautiful images.

Cliff Mautner. Another Nikon Ambassador. A photographer who was ahead of his time all those years ago and who has remained at the forefront of amazing wedding photography. Check him out at cmphotography.com.

3. Rino Cordella

Lastly in my list today is a photographer you may not have heard of, even if you are a wedding photographer yourself: Rino Cordella.

Now, I know far less about Rino than I do Cliff and Jerry, given that those two guys are widely accessible on the internet with a variety of interviews and behind the scenes footage available. Rino, by comparison however, feels a little like a silent assassin! He's won an abundance of awards but seems to focus on making images for clients, rather than having branched out to share his methods with you and I, which I totally respect. All the while however I'd love to be a fly-on-the-wall has he works!

If you know me, you know I love black and white photography. To an extent I'd actually say I'm just not a fan of colour photography. This is likely why I was so immediately attracted to Rino's work! Take a look at his website and you'll be greeted by a body of images that are mostly mono. I think Rino is a photographer that really has mastered black and white images - they really are beautfiul. You you have to check them out.

As I mentioned I know less about Rino than Cliff & Jerry, but I would simply urge you to go and take a look at his website, his awards and his words. Amazing. In summary: lots of black and white work, he gets close to his subjects, his images are nearly all filled with emotion and character, there are lots of fun scenes, lots of images with unique angles and style that I haven't seen with other photographers. Amazing! A new find for me, despite being featured in many of the top 100 lists available online today.

Rino Cordella. Based in Italy, born in Brussels (Belgium). His website therefore is in Italian, but if you view it through Chrome it should translate to some form of loose English enough for you to get the gist of what Rino and his work is all about (not that any words are needed, as his images do all the talking!)

Check him out at RinoCordella.com

What do you think? Who do you think is the best?

No way at all does my work get close to the portfolio's from Cliff, Jerry and Rino, but just in case you were curious, you can check out my wedding photography at RammellPhotography.com too. I'm keeping busy and absolutely love shooting wedding photography. You may be interested to know I shoot all my work exclusively with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 and Olympus M.Zuiko lenses too. Check it out, let me know your thoughts below.

So, do you have any wonderful wedding photographers that you would like to share? Perhaps you know of a local photographer to you; an unsung hero, a hidden gem. Share your favourite photographers in the comments below.

Don't forget you can listen to this show over in iTunes and Stitcher Radio as a FREE podcast. If you prefer to read along then be sure to subscribe to the blog today to get posts just like this direct to your inbox

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Introducing the Michael Rammell Photography Podcast

Michael RammellComment

It's official, I'm back in iTunes with a brand new show. The new show will basically feature the content that I write here on this blog (recorded as audio). So, if you prefer to listen as you go about your daily activities, instead of reading, it's now even easier to do that! Just head over and subscribe to the new show through iTunes.

Those of you that have a keen eye may have picked up on the fact that I said that I am 'back' in iTunes...well, that's because I used to host a very successful show by the name of Ready Steady Pro. It was a great show with over 20 episodes. I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing some wonderful photographers and massive names, including David DuChemin, Frank Doorhoff, Valerie Jardin, Andrew Hellmich, Damien Lovegrove and Neil Buchan-Grant, to name but a few. As part of the launch of this new show, I will also be re-releasing the old Ready Steady Pro content too; digitally re-mastered (with a less cheesy soundtrack!) for 2017 and beyond.

So, if you love podcasts and like this blog why not head on over to iTunes and subscribe The Michael Rammell Photography Podcast!

What was Ready Steady Pro?

The reason so many of you may not be aware of the old Ready Steady Pro Photography podcast is because it existed some time before I really started to commit to this blog and the content I put out here. Then, back in 2015 I moved house and simply stopped recording episodes. Since then however, over 450 of you have subscribed to the mailing list to receive the content from this site direct to your inbox, and so there is a very strong chance you'll be reading this very post in your email. Thanks for subscribing if that's you! 

So, rather than allowing those old Ready Steady Pro episodes (which are full of great gems of advice and content) to gather digital dust and remain hidden on my hard drive, I'll be re-releasing them. Just like an old EP they'll be remastered for 2017 with new intros too. You'll be able to hear all manner of discussions about the business of photography, the art of photography, some chats about gear and some otherwise massively interesting and inspiring interviews from the likes of Valerie Jardin, David DuChemin, Andrew Hellmich, Frank Doorhoff, Olympus Ambassador Neil Buchan Grant and Fuji X Pro Photographer and all round good guy Damien Lovegrove.

Why the rebrand? Why not continue with RSP?

As much as the 'Michael Rammell' show in iTunes will play host to the original content i recorded for the Ready Steady Pro Photography Podcast, the new content and audio I'll be recording will be about various other things too, not just the process and work required to start a photography business. The content that you have come to know from MichaelRammell.com will also feature too. For example at the time of releasing this post the other available episodes include my reviews of the Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 and also my MeFoto BackPacker Tripod too. So, as such I just felt that it wasn't appropriate to call it Ready Steady Pro any more.

Today's episode. 

So if you hit play at the top of this blog on that audio player, you'll be greeted by a new intro recorded in February 2017, followed by the very 1st ever episode of RSP, which was recorded back in September 2013. It's rough around the edges, I think you'll agree, but I was joined by some good friends and like anything in life, if you wait for something to be perfect before you start it - you'll never get started at all!

The point of Ready Steady Pro was always that it was being put together and released by people in the exact same position as those listening; that being that those tuning in are photographers spinning the two plates of a day job and a photography side-income with the long-term objective being to transition between the two.

I listen back now myself and realise just how far I've come, but that's not going to stop me from putting this early episode back out there. But please do be gentle! I'll be the first to admit that a number of my own opinions may have changed over the course of the last few years, but I see this as a natural progression and growth of myself as a person and a photographer.

This episode was never intended to be polished or perfect. As I always say it's better to start something and get it out there, rather than perfecting for so long that it never eventually gets out there anyway!

So, get comfy and enjoy the listen. If you're new to this brave world of photography and are trying to make a go of it in a professional capacity I hope that this early recording gives you hope and belief that with enough time, practise and filled pages in notepads, that you will get there too!

Be sure to subscribe in iTunes and here on the blog too. 

I'll be re-releasing the old RSP content mixed in with new content from the blog every few weeks. I hope you enjoy it and find it valuable. 

As always, thanks for being here, thanks for subscribing and thanks for even reading this far! Until next week... 

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Competition Winner Announcement!

Giveaways & Competitions, PhotographyMichael RammellComment

Today we find out who has won my own personal copy of David Gibson's 'The Street Photographer's Manual'.

If you can watch the video below, great! If not, here's the audio: (failing that, you can read on below)!

First off though I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who entered. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and thank you for subscribing to the blog. Subscribing was a pre-requisite of entering and so I sincerely hope that you remain a subscriber even now that this competition has ended, not least because I do hope that you'll find my future posts of interest and value, but also because I will be running more competitions just like this one on a quarterly basis.

If you didn't win this time round please don't be disheartened, so many people entered and there could only be one winner after all. At the end of the day I ran this competition to give away a book that I purchased with my own money; the prize was not donated by some large company or sponsor and I shan't be exchanging or passing any of your details onto companies or third parties.

That said however, I am hoping to get some companies on board in future to contribute prizes that you can win. I will keep you posted on those efforts in future posts and hopefully I'll be able to put some big prizes up for grabs!

Now for the big announcement: The winner of the 'The Street Photographer's Manual' is...


Congratulations James, well done!

I'll be in touch with James within a couple of days to get his details and get that book sent out.

Please do note that the winner was chosen completely at random. If you must know I had all of the entries collated into a spreadsheet and them simply chose a number at random. That number was the row in which James' name was!

That's all for this week. Be sure to keep an eye on your inbox, I'll be announcing the next giveaway later in February and also some big new projects that I'm working on too, where you'll be able to see exactly how it is I post process my images and produce the work you see here on the website.

As ever, in the mean time if you have any questions for me or want to chat, drop me a line via email or connect with me on social media!

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Making Mono Macro Tulips (Video)

wallpapers, Video, Tutorials & Tips, project, TipsMichael RammellComment

This week I started working on a new video series that I will be launching later in the year. In my upcoming series, I'll be sharing my entire post-processing method, from the moment I insert the memory card and import the images, through to the settings I like to apply, the way I crop, make use of brushes and my tips for exporting images too.

It will be a massively comprehensive series of videos with hours of footage broken down into bite-size chapters. If you're new to Adobe LightRoom this will serve as your one-stop shop to learn the program! Be sure to subscribe if you haven't already and you'll be notified when that is live and available.

If truth be told, though, it's been much harder than I had thought it would be! Creating high-quality videos takes far longer than you may think! 

So, today I decided to take a break from producing that series and very quickly threw together this video: totally unscripted, quick & simple and hopefully it goes to show the sort of results you're able to achieve with a very simple setup and very little effort. I filmed behind the scenes and my post processing to show you how you can go from this to this:

All I used for this shoot was my Olympus OM-D E-M1, the Olympus M.Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 Macro, a large window, a purple tulip and Adobe Lightroom. Check it out:

It is a bit of a long video, so perhaps enjoy this on your commute or during your lunch break with a cuppa! :)

Download Wallpapers

Just in case you were wandering what I did with the other images that were left un-processed in the video, they're right here for you to take a look at. You can also download them (18Mb) to use as desktop wallpapers, but, please do note that they are copyright (details at the bottom of the post):

Copyright Notice

Please enjoy these photographs. But be kind: Do not edit these photographs and claim them as your own. Don't sell them without my permission. Do not use commercially without contacting me @ michael@rammellphotography.com.

All works are Creative Commons Licensed:

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I don't ever send SPAM and you'll only get an email once every 2 weeks or so. Here's a sample of what you'll receive every now and then If you don't like it I make it very easy to unsubscribe! Come on, join over 600 other subscribers today!

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