Of all the wedding photographers I know, one of their biggest gripes is when a client hands them a detailed shot by shot list of every single thing they want photographed – the dress hanging in front of the window, the shoes, bride getting into her dress, dad looking proud… you get the idea. Trust your photographer. They’ve been doing this a lot longer than you and they will be well aware which shots to get .
Creative people need “Creative Freedom”That is why I call my business creativefreedomphoto.When artist are told what to do, they can loose their passion,it interferes with the creative process.When I was a photojournalist for newspapers they give you 100% “Creative Freedom”they trust your eye and talent to tell the story” That is why they hired you!
obviously if you have something particularly sentimental or unique that you’d like photographed (maybe a piece of jewelry passed down through your family or a DIY project that you spent days on) then be sure to let them know, but don’t hand them a blow by blow list of every single shot you want. Allow your photographer to do their job and to be creative. They’ll enjoy the day more which will result in better photographs.
THINK ABOUT THE LIGHT
This is another thing that couples tend to not consider (or not even know they have to consider) but be aware that the light changes throughout the day and different light will result in very different photographs.
Usually two hrs befog the sunset will give enough light and time for group shots and the”intimate session. Even better, do a ‘first look’ (where you see each other before the ceremony and get your photos taken then). If you’re not superstitious about seeing each other beforehand, this is a great option too.
When looking at venues think about the light in each room. Is the bedroom you’re getting ready in to small, if there will be allot of people in the room ,obviously you need a big room.does it have an abundance of natural light ,DO NOT get ready in a locker room with florescent light. Are the ceremony room walls covered in dark wood with small windows? Remember, photography is essentially painting with light and if there isn’t any, there’s only so much your photographer can do without using a flash.
Getting ready: “Having about two hrs with the bride before the ceremony would give me enough time to photograph all the details of the dress, shoes, jewelry etc as well as take some informal photos of everyone getting. I always ask to have the grooms nearby,keep in mind if I have to go to two location you are missing out on photos I could be taking while I am traveling
Another thing to consider is to politely ask your guests to not take photos during the ceremony (you can do so in the order of service). Guests holding up mobile phones as you walk down the aisle or flashes going off throughout the vows are only going to be distracting for you and other guests (and/or ruin the professional shots).
LEAVE ENOUGH TIME
As I said, time is of the essence and the more time your photographer has the better. They are the experts so ask them how long they think each element should take. Group shots for example are notorious for taking longer than you expect. Having to round up a half-cut usher or a camera-shy aunt for the photos can take a while Give a trusted friend or relative a list of the group shots you want, do not put down every combination of everyone,keep it simple, try to photograph the elderly first and if possible delegate the task of helping round people up to a trustworthy usher or bridesmaid.Best to let them know beforehand.
Your photographer is not just there to snap away aimlessly. Wedding photographers are a super creative bunch so be open to their ideas and again, trust them! For your portraits, listen to their ideas and don’t be afraid to walk off that beaten path a little bit. These often result in THE MOST AMAZING PHOTOS! Set aside as much time as possible for this part of the day. The more time the photographer has, the better the results will be.
The “intimate session”I like to call it is probably the only time the two of you will be alone.leave the best light for these photos.I like to have at least a half hr,the last hr before sunset. pick a beautiful location nearby,do not allow anyone to follow you and your photographer.This is a good time to have a cocktail hr.
Do not go out and get a tan,does not look flattering in photographs. Guys watch out for those racoon eyes. Try your best to get plenty of sleep and drink as much water as you can before the big day! Hold your bouquet down low it will elongate your waist . Never stand straight in front of the camera, turn your body and put weight on your back leg. If you are self conscious about back fat (yes I said it) or your arms are not perfect, why not get sleeves 3/4 sowed in, I know it seems like all wedding gowns are sleeveless I dont know why ,if that wont work for you,do go with a veil or even a bolero jacket or a shawl depending on your style of dress. Do established a friendship with your wedding photographer,the more comfortable you feel the better,the less nervous you are in front of the camera the better,! I always make a strong point of getting to know my clients,I have heard so many times that they felt so at ease as if family were taking their wedding photographs,believe me it really makes a difference!
Most of all forget about the camera and enjoy the day!!
And do keep in mind I travel worldwide!
As a Photojournalist for several newspapers, environmental portraits are a must.They tell a story. The photo below was the morning after hurricane George hit Key West.
Above a sign turned up side down,one of the weirdest things I have ever seen!
What exactly is an environmental portrait, how does it differ from a typical portrait?
An environmental portrait, also called a location portrait, uses a person’s surroundings to tell more about that person. Sometimes this environment is directly connected to who they are—it’s that person’s home, place of work or community. Other times the environment has little or no connection but helps create a mood that contributes to an understanding of that person.
Below an old Cuban man making hats out of psalm fronds in Key West Fl
“Thats What Fronds Are For”
Why do I prefer environmental portraits?
- they give context to the subject you’re photographing
- they give points of interest to shots (something you need to watch as you don’t want to distract from your subject too much)
- they help your subject relax
- they often give the viewer of your shots real insight into the personality and lifestyle of your subject
There should be some background detail, to add character to a picture, but not so much that it overpowers the presence of the person in the shot. The idea behind this method of photography is that the background subtly adds to the feel of the portrait yet does not become the main feature. If you find the background to be too distracting, try using a wider aperture to blur the background so you can still make out what’s there but the eye is immediately drawn to the person instead. You could also try cropping the shot when you’re back at your computer or simply move your subject to a place where the background isn’t so distracting. Remember, you want your location to relate to your subject and add interest to the shot without actually pulling attention away from your main point of focus.
One of my favorite photographs of my son in his teenage yrs
“The best asset that any photojournalist has is the ability to schmooze—the ability to relate to somebody else, the ability to talk to somebody else and to make them feel comfortable. If they’re comfortable with you, your pictures will clearly show it,” “You can’t be shy if you’re going to play photojournalist. You have to talk to people.”
An artist in his gallery in New Orleans
I have a lot to say on the subject of street photography so I am going to have several blogs on this subject,I post approximately once a week, sometimes more when I have the time.
WHAT IS STREET PHOTOGRAPHY?
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