The bride and groom say, "Let's get some pictures by the water!" The sun is so low that the available light is questionable. But why not? With some setting adjustments and thoughtful posing, the potential for a great shot arises. Remember that word : Potential. So we hike across the parking lot and make our way to the wooden dock. Light is fading by the second, and flash isn't really an option since we want to keep the background visible as well, not just have a glowing bride and darkness behind her. We have ideas, but this is a public area, and tired beach goers are tromping up the steps and trudging to their cars. They smile at the couple but don't stop or stay out of the way of the obvious photography session. That's okay, we're used to constantly changing our setup. Wedding photography is a fluid thing. If we're not willing to be flexible, we can't expect our clients to be either.
And the light continues to die. Finally! The dock is clear, but there are more people headed our way. The bride knows she wants a pretty picture, but isn't specific. We often find that clients have big general ideas of what they want as an end result, but aren't always able to convey that. "I don't know where to look." "I don't know where to put my hands." "I don't like to smile."
This is where training, experience and confidence come in. We consider our surroundings, consider our subject, and then make the best decision for posing and gear. And all the decisions are made on the fly. When the couple, moved by love or whimsy, decide to run down the stairs and kiss on the beach, we run with them. We are framing in camera, seizing the opportunity, envisioning what we'll have to work with when we sit down to edit.
Professional photography is so much more than just showing up with some nice cameras, taking a thousand pictures, and praying that a hundred or so nice ones shake out. We don't get up on Saturday morning, laze around sipping coffee while the house elves replace batteries, test equipment, discuss the shoot and load gear. When we show up for a wedding shoot, we've researched the venue, carefully prepared our equipment, chosen the components to bring with us, and discussed at length the various set ups and poses we feel will work. A wedding party of sixteen is not the same as a small group of four. All of these things need to be considered. When a bride says, "Make me look beautiful," she's not just asking for a snapshot that will be run through some cellphone editing app. She's expecting a great return on her investment. A quality image that she'll be proud to hang on her wall and share with family, friends, and visitors. That quality image starts in the viewfinder and ends after careful, thoughtful editing that we do ourselves. We were there. We know what pictures matter to you.
They matter to us as well. We produce images that we are proud to deliver, proud to put in our portfolio, proud to put our name on.