Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Photo Mojo

A couple posts ago I mentioned being exhausted from a trip into New York for some serious shooting. These examples I took from that trip illustrate how just a little thought in "posing" and composition can give you absolute monster looking photos... things you'd typically see in magazines that, on the one hand you might say are too "over the top" (but secretly be thinking: wowwwww!)

I know there are alot of different styles of photography out there and just as many people who have their own ideas of what makes a photo good. I know what -I- like, and thats all I can go with. I can shoot traditional formal photos (and have done so) but feel that some of the more personal images say more about the spirit of the moment than traditionals do.

I like a photo to look unposed, but many times some guidance (if not actual "posing") has to happen to get people to interact personally. (In fact I'm always dumbfounded at weddings where during the reception the groom is way way over there, and the bride is way way over on the other side!) It's hard if there are alot of people standing around watching, so especially for bride and groom interaction shots, it's best to get them off by themselves without the wedding party around.

I have to say though, that the portrait photographer side of me really likes some of these (very) posed shots of the bride alone. You can get this awesome emotional feel if the pose is done right coupled a little "letting go" by the bride. I think these are very personal photos, very dramatic, not things you normally see (which to me makes them even cooler).

It's funny, but absolute strangers aren't nearly as threatening or interfering as are our own friends... we're more aware of friends and self-conscious about what they may be thinking than we are (or care) about stangers. Kind of a human psychology factor we have to take into account. (This photo - like the others ones here taken in NYC - had hundreds of people walking by watching.)

The other interesting observation I'll make as I think about the photos here from this wedding is that it's not "location" that makes a photo, although there are elements of a location we can use to enhance the feel or emotion of the image; but the emotion of the bride and groom themselves set the stage for how the photos will come out.

As a photographer, I like interacting with people and getting them to feel totally at ease with each other and themselves rather than having them be conscious of "hey: we're getting out picture taken!" which totally messes up the flow! But this interaction has to be non-invasive from the standpoint of the bride and groom... after all, this is all about them!

Getting some dramatic poses from the bride is just cool... I mean, really: she's got on this awesome dress, has spent, like, all morning working on hair and makeup... why not take advantage of it and treat her like a fashion model? She will love it! (But she's got to relax enough to be into it which open up all kinds of photo ideas).

So - a little tweaking in the posing by the photographer (I think) is useful to get those "rock-star" photos that will be so cool to look at 20 years from now, but it can't be forced: and that's the beauty of it: we all get to let our little light shine through.

Just, sometimes, we need a little help doing it.
And that's what a wedding is all about after all, isn't it?

(for a couple anecdotes and additional photos, read "i love new york" earlier (farther down) in my blog).