The Kissing Sailor by Alfred Eisenstaedt

V-J Day in Times Square is a photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt that portrays an American sailor kissing a woman in a white dress on Victory over Japan Day(V-J Day) in Times Square, New York City, on August 14, 1945. The photograph was published a week later in Life magazine among many photographs of celebrations around the country.

The Kissing Sailor

The Kissing Sailor

The photograph is known under various titles, such as V-J Day in Times SquareV-Day, and The Kiss.

In two different books he wrote, Alfred Eisenstaedt gave two slightly different accounts of taking the photograph and of its nature.

From The Eye of Eisenstaedt:

I was walking through the crowds on V-J Day, looking for pictures. I noticed a sailor coming my way. He was grabbing every female he could find and kissing them all — young girls and old ladies alike. Then I noticed the nurse, standing in that enormous crowd. I focused on her, and just as I’d hoped, the sailor came along, grabbed the nurse, and bent down to kiss her. Now if this girl hadn’t been a nurse, if she’d been dressed dark clothes, I wouldn’t have had a picture. The contrast between her white dress and the sailor’s dark uniform gives the photograph its extra impact.

It became a cultural icon overnight and by establishing his copyright, Eisenstaedt carefully controlled the rights to it, only allowing a limited number of reproductions which determined how it could be used. Since his death in 1995, the rights to the photograph have passed to the Getty Museum as part of its Life archives.

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Why is wedding photography so expensive?

This is the age-old question that usually gets asked right after the lead-in question of “How much does it cost?” Most couples are shocked at what even decent wedding photography costs. Most think “you’re only taking a few pictures – why so expensive?” Sometimes you’ll hear “that’s like €100 to €300 an hour – I don’t even make that kind of money!”

The reality is that most people aren’t aware of what actually goes into making great pictures that you’ll cherish for the rest of your days. They’re not familiar with the processes that most photographers go through – it’s much more than just showing up to take the pictures and then handing you a CD or printed proofs. There is actually quite a bit that takes place before, during and after your wedding that contributes to the final result.

Before the Wedding
Most good wedding photographers didn’t just wake up one day able to make the kind of beautiful images that you see in their wedding portfolios. Most of them started their careers with education – both formal and informal – on how to make great pictures.

Having gotten this far in their photography careers, once the photographer decides to take the plunge into wedding photography, a significant additional learning effort must be undertaken to learn and perfect the science and the art of photographing weddings. Making great photos at a wedding is completely different from making great pictures in a studio or for a newspaper or magazine.

Once the photographer has a handful or more weddings under their belt as a second shooter, they will often perform a couple of weddings for free or near-free as a primary shooter. It’s critical for the photographer to continue to gain experience in the dynamic wedding environment. This experience is invaluable, as you never truly understand the demands of dynamic event photography until you’re “on the hook” to deliver the final product from start-to-finish.

During the Wedding
During the wedding, your photographer will arrive many hours before the ceremony to capture the details – often this includes the bridal party getting ready (hair & makeup, putting on the dress, etc) as well as the groomsmen and groom getting ready. Also, as the ceremony and reception areas are set up the photographer will capture the details of the decorations, etc. Of course, the photographer will then make photos of the ceremony and reception, as well as any send-off.

After the Wedding
This is the component of the process that is probably the most misunderstood by the average person, as it is the one that they have little-to-no exposure to, generally speaking. On average, your photographer will spend not less than five hours on the back end – selecting, processing, enhancing and tweaking your images – for every hour that they are in front of you. That means that an average 8 hour wedding will requiremany hours of work on the part of the photographer. A “one day” wedding has suddenly turned into several weeks of work.
Editing the photos and doing all the post-processing is usually completed not before 2 months after the wedding.

Other Considerations – Equipment
Most photographers will need at a minimum of two professional quality camera bodies (usually two or even three including backups), which can cost anywhere from €1500 to €6000 or more. Add to that an array of lenses costing anywhere from a couple of hundred to a couple of thousand euros each, lighting equipment, required software, etc. and the costs can be more than €15.000 just in basic equipment to be able to make, edit and process photos. And like most technology, much of the above equipment will be obsolete in 3-5 years due to advances in capabilities and industry trends.

The intent of this article is simply to attempt to illustrate that which most couples shopping for a decent wedding photographer never realize – that there is much more than “show up and shoot” on the day of your wedding that went into your photographer’s ability to be there and make images that will be cherished for the rest of their lives.

Are you looking for more about weddings?
Check the wedding category on this blog or the wedding section on the UnusualFocus website.

Canon EOS 6D Hands-on Preview

Canon 6DDpreview hands-on preview of Canon’s enthusiast-grade full frame DSLR, the EOS 6D. The 6D features a newly-developed 20.2MP CMOS sensor and a magnesium alloy body. To distinguish it from the more expensive 5D Mark III, the 6D features a simpler, 11-point AF system with a single cross-type focus sensor. It also features a smaller, 97% coverage viewfinder.
It looks a much better option for whom would like to enter the full frame world, the price is great compared to the 5D Mark III.
I’m very happy about the 5D Mark III, but I don’t think it’d worth the price: it should be $500-$800 cheaper. So considering the 6D specifications, I’d go for it. I’m just assuming that from the first overview on the Internet, so let’s wait some serious reviews and real tests before having the final call. :)

You can find more at the Canon EOS 6D Hands-on Preview from dpreview (maybe the greatest site for photo gear reviews, particularly cameras).

Google Weddings

google weddings
Simplify wedding planning.
Explore how Google’s free tools can help you save time, stay organized and have fun while planning your big day.

Did you know Google has this as well? :)


A simple list of online tools to make your wedding planning life easier.

Create a website for your guests
Google Sites makes it easy to customize and edit your wedding website to fit your event and share the information you want. Tell people your engagement story and wedding details using one of the custom designs. Once you find the style that works best for you, jump in, start creating and share with your fiance(e) so you can work on it together.

Share and access your planning tools anywhere
Keep track of all the details and collaborate with your bridal party and family on invites, schedules, addresses, and more. Edit your wedding documents and spreadsheets from any computer or smartphone. Choose the all-in-one wedding planner or pick and choose exactly which features you need. Look for tips from the pros sprinkled throughout the templates on everything from selecting a cake to choosing a DJ.

Organize and share those precious memories
Gather, organize and share your photos with Picasa Web Albums. Create an album of your favorite dresses to share with your bridesmaids or tag the people in your reception photos before you share them with your guests. Uploading your precious photos to Picasa Web Albums means they’re safe and secure online, and available wherever and whenever you need them.

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How photographers actually spend their time

In case you think photographer are always out taking pictures, spending their time traveling in very cool places and joining super cool events!
Unfortunately that’s not the case. :)

Well, the reality it’s a bit different, check the graphs below on How photographers actually spend their time. There are tons of other things, not super exciting sometimes, not strongly related in the process of composing a shot and pressing the “click!” button.

how photographers actually spend their time


Something that normally the majority of people don’t know, it’s the amount of time (serious) photographers take to edit their shots.
I’m not talking about using heavily Photoshop to create fake artifact or artistic images. That’s what other artists do, it’s their approach and their way to see the world and express it.
What I mean is the process of correcting the photos taken, taking out imperfections, creating nice black&white images. It’s something extremely important (make sure your photographer does it) that can dramatically change the result of a picture. Shooting in RAW format made it necessary, it’s like having a (old) film to develop in the (now digital) darkroom.