Photographer Articles

WEDDING IMAGES WITH DEPTH

Anyone who’s been to a wedding knows there’s nothing simple about the photographer’s job. This is doubly true for a wedding photojournalist, whose goal is not to just photograph the bride, the groom, and the family and friends present, but to capture the energy and the variety of emotion that surround the event. After all, it’s called a milestone for a reason.

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FLEETING WEDDING DETAILS

With the snap of a shutter, a camera lens captures a single moment in time; one that can never occur again in the exact same way.

At any given wedding, there are an infinite number of these moments that pass us by. Some hold in place longer than others; some come and go in the blink of an eye.

It is through such fleeting details that some wedding photojournalists earn their keep. With a professional eye honed through years of visual training and practice, they constantly scan the wedding scene, searching for that close-focus moment that is sure to pop up next.

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GETTING CREATIVE WITH WEDDING PORTRAITS

Portraits are part of every wedding, of course, but some photos have the ability to sear themselves into the memory, providing an unforgettable image that rises above the common convention.

Wedding photojournalists shooting portraits work within an expanded set of parameters, just like their counterparts in the news world: Some direction and setup is acceptable in order to fully capture subjects in the context of who they are and what they are feeling.

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RECEIVING THANK YOU TESTIMONIALS: KNOWING YOU’VE TOUCHED THE HEART OF YOUR WEDDING CLIENTS

Imagine going to the mailbox in the morning. Out from between the utility bills and the nail salon coupons falls a smallish envelope containing a folded handwritten note. On it, it reads: Our day was truly magical because of you and your talents. Whenever we look upon our wedding photos, we are instantly transported back to the moment; laughing and crying all over again. Thank you for such a priceless gift.

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DRAGGING THE CAMERA SHUTTER AT THE WEDDING

Dragging the shutter is a basic photographic technique that is often put to highly creative use by the best wedding photojournalists. Whether depicting the bride mid-whir during a dance, or documenting a child bounding down the aisle at the church, dragging the shutter helps produce images that contain a sense of motion and bring an added dose of festivity to what, for some, already feels like a whirlwind day.

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THE REAL THING: TRUMPING WEDDING IMAGE MANIPULATION

We’ve all seen them: vignettes and faux hand-tints; cross-processed images that overwhelm the senses with an unreal look; a heavy-handed use of flairs, starbursts and diffusion effects; cheesy frames. They cry for attention, hijacking the image in the photographic equivalent of a velvet Elvis painting.

Where is the value, the poignancy, and the essence in these photos?

Today’s digital post-processing tools can be a force for good in the right hands, but can create visual mayhem when used without the proper judgment or in lieu of an essentially good image to start with.

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KEEPING YOUR HAND IN NEWS PHOTOJOURNALISM

Many WPJA members can trace their roots to the news profession in some way, having shot everything from small-town stories to significant historical events that have led to Pulitzer Prizes. Likewise, many have felt the adrenaline rush that news photojournalists get from bagging the winning touchdown catch, documenting heart-wrenching tragedies and being on the front lines of history. There’s also the gratification of getting published with a byline in a major publication, and the mass-market recognition that often comes with it.

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CAPTURING QUIET MOMENTS AT WEDDINGS

Weddings can be chaotic, noisy affairs where emotions are displayed publicly, so one of your biggest challenges that day can be capturing that quiet, intimate side. Trust, anticipation, skilled observation, savvy lens selection and a host of other judgments make it possible to bag those poignant moments in images that recall the day for those in attendance, and reveal a story for those who were not. It is all part of the unique value proposition that our members bring to wedding photojournalism.

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