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My Top 10+ Reasons Why the Sony a9 is the perfect camera for wedding and portrait photographers!

After a whirlwind trip and upon returning from Sony's announcement on Wednesday April 19, 2017 in New York City, these are my 10+ reasons why this camera will turn heads in the industry and entice many DSLR shooters from Canon and Nikon to switch to Sony.

While presented as the state of the art camera for professional and serious amateur sports and news photographers, this camera certainly has a place in the bags of wedding shooters.

My top 10+ reasons:

#1 Speed  20 FPS to capture peak action!

#2 Focus Precision  693 Phase Detect AF cells cover nearly 93% of the full frame sensor!

#3  Silent Shooting!  Perfect to quietly and discreetly record wedding ceremonies with no shutter blackout and up to the full 20 FPS!

#4 New Battery!  Pro wedding photographers have been clamoring for a stronger battery and Sony delivered.  This battery should put it on par with typical offerings from Nikon and Canon.

#5 Pro Grade Lenses to go with this pro camera.  Sony has been amassing a murderer's row of the finest professional glass and now they have their most professional body to date to go with that glass.

#6 Improved controls.  A new joystick and touch focus help make this camera be even more of what pro photographers require to do their work!

#7 Small Camera Size is Maintained.  Somehow Sony engineers made this camera more robust, and perform like a Porsche, while still keeping it small -- especially when compared to the flagship DSLR sports cameras like the Canon 1dx Mark II and the Nikon D5.

#8 Improved the EVF -- this is Sony's best and sharpest EVF ever and makes working with an EVF even more realistic and immersive.  With an EVF when shooting with available light or continuous light such as LED -- What You See Is What You Get with this camera.  

#9 Insanely fast, brand new sensor!.  This probably should have been #1 because everything that is possible is because of this new Sony Innovative full-frame stacked CMOS sensor with integral memory.  Because of this sensor which is 20X faster than anything Sony has ever released before, the camera can perform as it does.

#10 More TTL flash options (with Sony's launch of their first radio transceiver flash -- the HVL45M in November of 2016, Sony has more offerings that will work wonderfully with this a9 camera.  Flash is important and imperative to most wedding photographers and now there are more options from Sony and third party manufacturers because Sony is gaining such critical mass in the marketplace.

#11 Improved High ISO capabilities.  With each subsequent generational leap (Sony a7 to a7RII) I have gained an effective full stop of high ISO performance and I surmise and expect that to be the case with this camera.  For example, with the original Sony a7, I felt comfortable at a top ISO of 6400 for color; with the a7RII I felt comfortable with a top ISO of 12,800.  I expect to be able to work at 25,600 with this new camera.

#12  Improved 5-axis IBIS (In Body Image Stabilization).  This is a must have for still and video shooters and will change how you work.  

#13 Sony's commitment.  If anyone stills doubts that Sony is 110% committed to this market, the a9 should dispel that notion.  I've believed that for a long time and was the reason for switching from DSLR to mirrorless.  Sony gets it and sees the future and mirrorless is the future of photography.

#14 Dual SD Card slots.  Wedding shooters who have held out switching because of the previous lack of dual slots can not make the move knowing that their requests have been answered.  And, by using SD cards (and releasing their fastest SD card to date to go with this camera), Sony kept the size and weight of the camera down.

 

So those are my top 10+ reasons why I think that the Sony a9 is the perfect camera for wedding and portrait photographers!

 

What do you think?

 

Please comment below and I am happy to answer any questions that I can if at all possible.

 

Thanks for watching (and please subscribe to my You Tube channel and give me a thumbs up if you like the video).

Regan's Recent In-Studio Portrait Session

Photographing Regan, a Mom of two gorgeous pre-teen kids, was a treat.

 

Not only because Regan is a lovely woman but also because of her upbeat and positive personality.  She is one of those kinds of people that you just love to be around because she’s got an easy smile and a warm laugh.  

 

This session was extra special because while we were shooting, we were being interviewed and videotaped by none other than Sue Bryce http://suebryce.com and her crew for an upcoming broadcast on her educational site.  Sue is the patron saint of the modern glamour photography movement throughout the world and we have been following her for years.  To say that it was an extra special treat for us to be profiled is a huge understatement.  

 

So for this extra special event, we needed the perfect person for this particular shoot and Regan was the first person that came to our minds.

 

She is married to Matt, the head coach of the Tesoro Titans Varsity FB team so she was used to being in the limelight. 

 

And she knocked it out of the park.  

 

Look at these portraits from her session!

But the best thing is what Regan said after viewing her photographs and it drives home the reason we do this and the reason we believe in this and why you should have this session done:

 

"Thank you so much for such an amazing portrait experience.  To be honest, I would have never considered spoiling myself this way... as a wife and working mother of two kids, I barely have time to take a bath.  Haha!  And, I really am not one who enjoys spending time being pampered... 45 minutes getting my nails done is excruciating, which is why I never do it!

 

That being said, when I was approached by you to give this a shot, I thought, "Why not?  This is something I would normally never do."  I considered it as pushing myself a little bit out of my comfort zone.  I started getting more excited than I thought when thinking about the outfits I would wear and putting them together.  I got together with my sister so she could help "style" me in preparation.  On the morning of the shoot I was a little nervous, but was quickly put at ease when I showed up to your studio.  Your makeup artist was perfect.  She was personable and professional.  My nerves of looking like someone other than myself, were quieted as she just made me look like a better version of myself.  She could tell I was getting a little anxious as the shoot was getting ready to start, so she offered me a much needed glass of champagne - I loved that!!  The shoot started, and it was like nothing I would have ever imagined.  It was like I was transported to another place... on a magazine shoot, and surprisingly I started to love it!  I felt so comfortable and it was so much fun!  You and your wife are such an amazing team, and your experience came through in every detail of the shoot.  When the shoot was over, I was nervous again... What was I going to look like?  Would I be happy with what I saw?  Would I look like myself?  

 

The time came for my portrait reveal... the nerves, they came back!  Ugh!  My husband and I walked in to see them all and I was immediately overcome with emotion.  I started to cry!  I was in shock.  How could I look like this and still look so much like myself?  It was like nothing I had ever felt.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think I could feel so beautiful.  You have such a gift!  This was definitely an experience I will never forgot, and something I wish ever woman could experience.  It wasn't on my bucket list before, but I added it after, so that I could check it off... it was that good!  Every woman should treat herself to such a gift. xoxo"

 

Thank you Regan for being such an amazing person and subject!!

 

 

 

Mom of two, Dance Instructor, Former Ballerina -- Lana's experience in front of the camera!

I now try to bring that woman from the shoot out more often because these photos showed me she deserves to be seen.
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Lana, a Ladera Ranch mother of two little ones and a dance instructor, came to the studio for her portraits session and the experience was quite transformational for her.

Here's what she wrote about her experience:

 

Glamour. Sophistication. Artistry. Finesse. Grace.

 

"I got to experience this when I had my portrait session with Paul Gero. Normally my life consists of being a busy mom of 2, working part time, and forging life's adventure with my husband. But for those few hours of my photo shoot I got to step out of my role as mom, teacher, and wife and find and photograph a part of me that I rarely get to see, or be, anymore.

It may sound superficial but I loved the pampering of getting my hair and makeup done. The artist was exceptional, I felt she really personalized my "look" to me. And it felt so good to be fussed over.

My photo session was empowering. I have so many photos that show me as a wife and mom. Here I became a fierce, sophisticated, challenging, and beautiful woman. I didn't know I could pose and photograph this way. I walked away confident and strong and feeling invincible.

At my photo viewing, I couldn't believe that was me in the pictures. I love how Paul captured a side of me that I rarely expose. And so did my husband.

I now try to bring that woman from the shoot out more often because these photos showed me she deserves to be seen.

Thank you Paul for the amazing photos and the unforgettable experience."

Thank YOU Lana for allowing me to photograph you and share some of these portraits below!

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She originally wanted a business headshot...

Stephanie, a busy Ladera Ranch professional, originally came into our studio looking for a fantastic business portrait for her Linked In profile.

She got that portrait and so much more!

She was intrigued by our new direction and was willing to go beyond the standard portrait since we had hair and make up for her with this portrait shoot.

Paul, I want to thank you for a remarkable photo shoot.
I was simply looking to get some professional head shots done but was in for a pleasant surprise.
The atmosphere was relaxing, fun, and exciting.

The music set the perfect tone and I really felt like a QUEEN!

— Stephanie, Ladera Ranch

If you would love to have a gorgeous portrait session just like Stephanie for use for personal branding and for a collection of legacy images you are certain to treasure, please contact us through the form below!

 

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Nicki's Portraits...and the birth of our new portrait genre

NickiPortraits_PaulGero01

As a portrait photographer it's sometimes hardest photographing those the closest to us.  And yet it can be the most rewarding.

In this blog post I'm pleased to share, in her own words, my wife Nicki's story about her portrait session -- how it came about and the effect it had on her.  ENJOY!
 

"I am Nicki. Mother of two. Wife of photographer. 

 

People always tell me how lucky I am to be married to a photographer, and of course I agree. Thing is, I myself am rarely in the photos - I do not really like my photo being taken unless I am prepared for it - hair looking good, make-up good, clothing good, and of course never the right weight for it. Most days, I do not look "good enough" to be in photos. Yes, there are the annual Christmas card photos that my kids will likely cherish when they themselves are grown up. Mostly, however, they will find a gazillion photos of themselves photographed by dad (his most precious and ongoing project is documenting our kids). Not many of their parents. 

 

I have a photograph of my mum in her youth, looking glam and gorgeous, posing in a lifebuoy (I guess that was the fashion then) - those photos you want to always remember them by, because they are so beautiful. 

 

I have recently been introduced to the lovely portrait photographer, Sue Bryce, and was immediately infatuated with her photos of everyday women, transformed into glamorous movie-star types - photos that could appear on the pages of Vanity Fair or Vogue.

 

I asked Paul to do a photo shoot like that of me. He readily agreed - then while we were chatting about it, we both looked at each other and like a bolt of lightning, were struck with the idea of transforming his business to this kind of portraiture. No, I did not want to lounge on a bed in my lingerie (I am not THAT comfortable with my body for that), but in a glorious evening gown, or LBD - something I would be proud of to share with my kids, my friends, the world. Something that would transform me from regular mother of two, making school lunches every morning in my pjs, glasses and hair in a bun, playing taxi to and from school and sports most often in yoga pants and that same bun in my hair, doing 20 loads of laundry a week…..you get the picture, to a beautiful woman ready to walk the red carpet for her debut! 

It was a pampering I will not easily forget - something I wish I could do every time I have to leave the house.

 

We researched hair and make up artists and found someone who was eager to come to the studio to get me dolled up. What an experience that was. It has been many years since I had someone doing my hair and makeup. Most women tell me they haven’t had it done since their wedding! It was a pampering I will not easily forget - something I wish i could do every time I have to leave the house. I had no idea what I would look like - until she was done and I was given the mirror. WOW! I didn’t even look like me! 

 

Then we started on the portraits - Paul was so masterful at posing me and telling me what to do, where to place my arms, my hands, my legs, for the best angle of me. We had various backdrops, standing, sitting, lounging on a chaise - it was so much fun. I was a total model for a day. Music pumping (a little champagne too) to relax me. 

 

Paul showed me one photo on the back of the camera while I was modeling for him. WOW - I looked like a model! What a feeling! When I saw the edits, it was very emotional. I was beautiful. Something I definitely do not feel most days of my life. Since then, I look at the photos almost daily - just to remind myself what I can be and it makes me feel beautiful all over again. 

 

Thank you, Paul, for giving me this gift. This gift of ME. This gift that will outlive me and be my legacy to our children and theirs. something that they too, can display with pride and love, just like the photo I have of my mum in her lifebuoy."

Behind the scenes....