One of the hidden benefits of using so many advanced panorama and compositing techniques to quickly do the otherwise impractical or impossible is that it takes you back to the film days where you can be pleasantly surprised by a photo much later. The result of this tilt-shift pano of Central Park’s urban/pastoral view is exactly what I had in my mind, but it was great to see it take shape.
I’m in Europe, where I’ve just got done teaching two London workshops and am currently taking two days in Paris. It was an absolute blast with fantastic attendees, and a fair share of beer and foosball (or “table football,” as it is called here.) But some of the things I stressed were pushing yourself into places you don’t usually go, and working with clients for creative results, so I thought “well, let’s actually practice what I’m preaching.”
As part of the trip, I was reunited with Claudia, a great model who moved off to Germany after getting married, but in the process she never had any wedding photos of her own! So we arranged a bridal session. The problem before me was this: I knew we could get gorgeous photos. She’s gorgeous. I could put her in decent window light and take a snap with my iPhone and it would be gorgeous. And if I’d been doing a couples’s shoot I knew I could find the uniqueness in their relationship. But her husband couldn’t make it from Germany, so how do you shoot a bridal model’s bridal photos without it looking like just another bridal modeling session she’s done? We’re celebrating the real thing here.
I reached back to an idea I’ve had for many years, and I realized this would be the perfect time to put it in practice. And, more importantly, it was fun. Belt Craft Studios was a perfect place for this, with all sorts of props that we re-appropriated, but also a bunch of stuff that we simply stole from our apartment. This was one of the tableaus we created. Thanks to Tatiana Breslow for assisting, and to Claudia for being an amazing bride, and really working her core strength for these.
Cathy and Glenn had a gorgeous wedding at the Central Park Boathouse on Saturday. But there was just one little problem — the only way to easily get to the Boathouse is on foot, normally a lovely little jaunt through the park. But right as they reached the edge of the park, right when guests would be trickling in, the skies opened and it began to pour.
The timing couldn’t have been worse for them, as the logistical problems piled up, but they handled things calmly and efficiently.
“Hey guys,” I said. “I know you’ve been handed a tough situation. If you come about five feet to the left, we can use this terrible weather to take some great photos. This will pass soon and you’ll just have a great story to tell.”
And so we did.
The next night, Cathy sent me a gracious message: “Thank you for making lemonade out of lemons.”
I love this job.
1. Maintain a strict sense of decorum. These are the photos that will end up on the mantle for generations to see, and the parents and older relatives will want to order copies.
2. To make that easier, try and get these photos done before the alcohol is served.
3. Never upstage the bride and groom. They are the stars of the show.
4. Make sure that you get a clear, flattering shot of everyone in the party, that way everyone will order copies.
5. To heck with it. Gauge the desires and attitude of your bride and groom, and the party. Wedding photography shouldn't be one-size-fits-all.