Good Morning Everybody,
Sorry for the lengthy delay in getting this last section up. I‘ve been working overtime on next year’s PhotoPro Expo and we just had to get a few things nailed down last week. I’ll give you a few more details this week. That said, time to get moving with my last installment of “A Visit By A friend.” Here we go…
Questions Seeking Answers : A Visit With A Friend - Part 5
“When making our photographs for our clients we are not just using the hardware tools of cameras, lenses, rolls of film, and filters. We must also use our compositional tools of light, color, detail, form, shape, depth, balance and perspective as well. We constantly need to be squeezing that thing we call our brain to get those creative juices flowing.
“By knowing that every time we are behind the camera we will be giving 110% helps keep our minds fresh, sharp, alive, and keeps our creativity fresh and exhilarating.
“Just as we exercise our bodies to keep them in shape, we need to exercise our mind to keep it operating at peak performance as well.”
“Another facet, of the wedding jewel, often overlooked, and yet still one of the most important are the candids. Candids are some of the most important photographs we make on a wedding day. It is through the candids that the bride and groom can ‘visit’ with their families and friends and relive their wedding over and over again.
“Candids need to capture the fun and the excitement of the day for the clients. They need to be spontaneous and emotional, capturing the peak excitement when it happens. Maybe the groom gives grandma a big hug and kiss at the reception. This is a moment that grandma is going to remember weeks after the wedding. We need to capture that moment.
“Candids aren’t always happy. There can be tearful candids too. The bride and groom saying goodbye to mom and dad at the end of the evening, tears coming down their faces, tears of happiness, tears of joy - all of these things need to be included as part of our candid coverage. These candids are the memories!
“To me, all of these things together - the love, the romance, the anticipation, the excitement and the spontaneity are the essence of what we need to capture in our photography. It’s these tangibles and intangibles taken together that takes the uncut gem and transforms it into a beautiful jewel - the images that become the bride and groom’s wedding album.
“This same philosophy holds true with all types of photography. In portrait photography as well, I want to show feelings of the people involved.
“A photographer must always be searching for and using any design elements in his composition in order to create drama, excitement, and emotion in his photograph. The image has to grab the person looking at it, and not let them go. A photograph needs to capture feeling and emotion and give it back to the viewer.”
He paused again and we didn’t even look at each other. He put his elbows on his knees and his chin in his hands thinking. Then he began again. “We can never tell ourselves that we know it all, that there is nothing else to learn. There are a million hallways that we can walk down, and a million doorways that we can open. We must constantly strive to improve our photography, to make it better, to take it just a step further, and try to push the limit - all of us need to be pushing the boundaries out together.
“We constantly need to be sharing with our fellow professionals, giving them the insights that we have gained in our own professional experience and letting them continue to pass these new ideas with their own improvements on to others. There can be no secrets. There is no greater joy in the world than to give something to someone else, then have them give it back to you in their new and improved version. Then we can pass it on to another to have it change and improve again. This cycle can do nothing but improve our photography and our profession. That needs to be the goal of everyone.
“Our profession offers a very valuable place to grow both personally and professionally. Our profession gives us a wonderful opportunity to enjoy our lives and also be able to touch other peoples lives. It is a way for us to share ourselves with other people. That is exactly what we do when we give our personal photographic interpretation to a particular wedding, Bar Mitzvah, portrait or a commercial illustration, or whatever it happens to be. We are giving a part of ourselves to someone else for them to enjoy.
“As we give, we grow, and as we grow we can receive. What we receive allows us to grow even more and to give again. What a wonderful living cycle. It what makes this profession such a wonderful profession in which to live our lives.”
And I wondered as I left him enjoying his morning if he sees more than leaves when he looks at a tree, more than clouds in the sky, more than feathers on the birds in his backyard. I hope his life through his viewfinder constantly teaches him to look beyond the outlines to the essence within. I hope this photographer is doubly blessed. Once with a career that is exciting and vital and again with the special vision to see more in life than most people ever will. I know he will help them try.
Perhaps we will talk again.
“Questions, always questions - questions seeking answers. When these questions come from within, so must the answers. With honest answers, not excuses, comes commitment - commitment to oneself. I hope I always keep asking questions and never stop seeking answers.”
David A. Ziser - 1988
Submitted for fulfillment of requirements for:
American Society of Photographers Fellowship Degree
Hey gang, that’s it for me today. Tomorrow I’ll post a directory of all the posts I’ve made over the last two weeks. Thanks for letting me share with you my retrospective of Ziser Photography. It’s been and continues to be a great ride!
See ya’ tomorrow, David