Monday, August 05, 2013

Developing Your Own Distinct Style: A Visit With A Friend - Part 4

Good Morning Everybody,

I hope everyone else in the world is having the same wonderful weather we’re having here in the Midwest – it’s just been beautiful for the last week!  Unbelievable, for this time of year!.  Things are really hopping again – what’s new, right. 

Harry Benson PR PicHB4I just talked to Harry Benson, the super famous photographer who has photographed nearly every celebrity in the world from Michael Jackson to the iconic photos of the Beatles back in the Sixties.  The good news… Harry is going to be one of our headline speakers at PhotoPro Expo 2014.  A BIG THANK YOU to Canon USA for helping to make it happen.

I’m working hard to get the website ready to go in a few days so I’ll kick you some more details later this week.  You won’t believe the exciting line up of speakers for next year!  AMAZING!!!!

Anyway, let’s get on with today’s post.  It’s the second last installment of my series – A Visit By A Friend – my Fellowship paper for my ASP Fellowship Degree.  Hope you have enjoyed the posts so far.  Let’s get to part 4. 

Developing Your Own Distinct Style:  A Visit With A friend - Part 4

I took a moment to take another deep breath of spring and as I did I heard an entire chorus of blue jays, finches, and starlings join in the symphony. What a beautiful day it was!

I could see my friend again enjoying it as well. After a few minutes of thinking, he said, “Everyone of us can nurture our creative resources and can acquire technical expertise to make images that are exciting and completely different from what we are so used to seeing around us, and that doesn’t just mean weddings. Every area of photography benefits from an exciting difference in style and presentation.”

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“You know,” he said, “sometimes just looking at the situation a little differently, from a different perspective, can open up an entire multitude of creative possibilities.

“I’ve noticed my own style of photography changing and maturing over the last few years. I like to experiment with alternative, non smiling, expressions on my subject’s faces, expressions that don’t detract from the image but enhance the entire composition. I enjoy using what I call design lines in my composition. These are the design elements that lead to, enhance, and balance the subject in the overall composition. I enjoy the dramatic perspectives and ‘background to subject’ relationships I can get with various wide angle and telephoto lenses.

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“For instance, how do we normally see the wedding party groups photographed at a wedding? More than likely they are lined up on the steps in the sanctuary - pretty boring isn’t it. That’s what everybody does. But how about if we back up, maybe use a wide angle lens and take in the entire grandeur of the church. We could even use a slower shutter speed to increase the detail of the beautiful surroundings even more and make this new background part of our overall composition. We can balance the grouping to pivot on our main compositional element, say the groom. Think how much more interesting this would be compared with the tired alternative. This approach would also work with the groom or bride individually and with the couple as well.

“Scene setting photographs are another series of images generally completely overlooked by wedding photographers, but what better way to individualize the coverage for your client. I call these images architectural pictorials. They may be wide angle views of the stain glass windows or organ pipes, close ups of the different architectural nuances of the location, whatever. All of these images can come together to individualize this particular wedding for this particular couple.

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“Again, beautiful outdoor pictorials are some of the most stunning images we can capture for our clients. The opportunity to create beautiful pictorials unfortunately does not always happen on the wedding day because the weather is not right or the time of day is not right, or there is no time, whatever it might be. But if we take a different approach we can still guarantee these photographs for our clients as part of their wedding photography.

“We are not constrained to do these photographs on the wedding day, are we? Of course not. As I said earlier, the wedding takes place when one person proposes and the other accepts. The feelings they have for each other are there for the entire engagement, wedding, and hopefully for the rest of their lives together. Why not do these photographs when the time, weather, lighting, etc. are perfect for the desired effect. Why limit ourselves as creative artists to the time constraints of the wedding day for such photography.

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Lets photograph the love, romance, and excitement of the wedding on that day. Lets capture the wedding fantasy when we have the time to find the dramatic surroundings and use our creative ability and technical expertise to create an image for our clients that is powerful, exciting, and romantic.


Hey gang, that’s it for me today.  Be sure to check back in tomorrow for the last installment of “A Visit By A Friend.”   The title: “Questions Seeking Answers.”

Have a great one and I’ll see you then,  David

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