December 11, 2008

  • ‘That’s Just Not Me’

    Recently, a Bride declined to book us based on one photo. Yep, it’s true, after looking at only one shot, she said to her planner, “That girl in the picture with her hand on her hip, that’s just not me”. What?! “So you’re the girl who wants her arms to look fat?”, I’d have asked, if I’d been at the meeting. But I wasn’t, and the planner couldn’t even respond to her statement because she didn’t know the reasoning behind the pose. But since this girl tripped over the topic, and I don’t want you to trip and fall into the land of ham hock arms behind her, I’ll pass on this simple lesson. It comes from – hang on – classic pin-up girls. That’s right, these girls weren’t always 110 lb Uma Thurman-esque amazons either, and most never even walked into a gym, but, whatever their size, they knew exactly how to keep their arms (and other parts) looking fit for the camera. Now before you scoff, try this yourself: Stand sideways to a mirror with your (sleeveless) arms at your sides, then slowly slide your hand up toward your hip and watch your arms get leaner. Now, with your hand still on your hip, push your shoulder slightly forward. Nice, right? What you’re doing is a simple first position pose that non-models can use to make their arms look trim for the lens. Regardless of your size, the wrong pose can make your arms and everything else just look bad.

    Of course you don’t need to know all of these “tricks of the trade”, that’s our job, and we know a lot of them, and not just for arms. They’re easy for you, and they’ll make you look great. So trust us, put your hand on your hip; it doesn’t say who you are, it says – to the unforgiving lens – “I’d like nice-looking arms please”. The camera will oblige and your arms will appear in all their angular splendor, illusion or not.

November 3, 2008

  • ‘Have You Ever Shot There Before?’

    A question we hear a lot from Brides is: “Have you ever shot there before?” It was born, I believe, in some Bridal rag article, and soon after became a part of practically every recycled list on the web. Honestly, I think that couples take this question too literally. Don’t get me wrong, it has relevance, and we do like to work on familiar ground; but, should it be your deciding factor in choosing a photographer? I don’t think so. Truth is, we frequently shoot in unfamiliar, “photo-hostile” territory that we didn’t choose. Does it make a difference? Sure it does. But as professionals, our ritual is: to arrive early, scout the location (new or not), judging weather, lighting and set availability for that day. Scouting works best in the “here and now” because if the weather has been good, then the time may have changed; there is more than one Wedding taking place that day; or, “the kiss of death“, the location is under reconstruction. Oh yes, it does happen. Been there, done that, seen the Bride cry.

    I have to also mention, that we don’t think like Brides, we know what they‘re thinking, but we don’t have the luxury of thinking that way; because, Brides envision their Wedding day through emotional eyes, with expectations they may have dreamt of for years. That‘s fine if you‘re a Bride, but we‘re not; we’re photographers, and it’s our job to translate their vision into something the camera understands. So, regardless of whether the location is familiar to us or not, we probably won’t use it in the same way a Bride is thinking anyway.

    That being said, a photo is worth a thousand words, or as I always say to other photographers, “Shut up and show me the picture”. So, here are some “location” shots, from some very familiar, some once-in-a-while and some never-shot-there-before places. See if you can tell the difference. You may decide that it’s people that give the photos value, not the location. For that matter, after viewing my sample images, the question of: “Have you ever shot there before?” may just get scratched from your list entirely.

    ::Click here to view related gallery – Have you ever shot there before::

    Oh! By the way, if you can guess which images are from a location that I’ve never shot at before, I’ll give you a $300 discount when you book your Wedding with us.*

    *Excluding Perfect Shot Collections

July 11, 2008