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it sounds to me that you are always focused on what you "can't do" rather than explore what you can do. why are you so caught up on your self-deficiencies? if I know i'm doing something that i don't like, i change it. it's really that simple. feel like you're repeating yourself? well, next time go in, take the shots that you know will come out and will be safe, then DO SOMETHING ELSE. why is that so hard? maybe it comes out maybe it doesn't. it won't matter because they have the safe shot.
Let me describe a sensation, a feeling for you. It's a feeling that I feel most times when dealing with most things, but not always. The words I will use to describe the feeling are not direct, but rather representative:
* Background too busy. Must get cleaner background.
* Pole sticking out of her head. Must change angle.
* Autofocus seems to be going to the backlit portion rather than the front of the face where I want it. Don't have time to figure out why or fix it right now, and it would misfocus for non-backlit subjects if I fix it for backlit subjects.
* What angle does her face look best at? No, that light isn't quite right but I'm not sure how to improve it. But I don't want to take the shot at a bad angle, but I also don't want to have no shot at all. Taking the shot anyway, waiting for a better angle. Maybe I can ask the MUA to adjust angle of the chair to 45 degrees to the window instead of straight on. But then what about side profiles?
* How the heck do I pose guys? Time to fake it again and tell them to be natural, most weight on back leg, tilt head very slightly towards far shoulder, one/both hands in pockets. Someday I have to learn how to use walls, other props, other postures for guys...
* Not enough room to get the subject distance I would like for these group formals, some rooftops in the background...is there a better place? Oh well, have to get this done now, I can angle downward from above if I'm on a chair.
* The wind is blowing the bride's hair all around. Have to adjust her angle so the wind is more in her face and hair blows behind her.
* Are the fake eyelashes even on both sides? Seems like the MUA made one lower than the other and now I have to work around that for the rest of the shoot.
* Bride poses? Put more weight on back leg, one hand on hip, pop hip, cross or bend the front leg across or in front of the back leg, turn face opposite direction from torso, look at me, at dress, grab dress, look down across shoulder, let me get behind...she doesn't look right at this angle, let me adjust and see if I can find the right angle...can't get it better, first one was the best. Moving on...
* Hair stylist didn't do a very good job, hair is very messy even without being windblown. Lots of strays, going to have to edit that out or try to fix it mid-shoot. Can't fix now, not enough time, just shoot and edit or hide...
* Don't shoot from below often, women don't like the way they look from below a lot...
* Don't forget context. What about using foreground/background elements for more environmental context? Is this a good angle? Not really, let me try another one...sigh, she won't give the right face, always talking or neutral face...must ask her to change expression, smile, etc for a few seconds.
* Reflection in the mirror shots are nice. Must make sure to keep myself out of the shot. The angle that I think looks best also has ME in the mirror, sigh must try different angle...
* Why isn't that the way it needs to be? I can interfere a little but not too much or it spoils the realism of the documentary images as the event actually took place.
* The rings are almost always hard to get when being placed on the finger, someone's hand is either at the wrong angle or in the way, and most venues won't let me get behind the officiant when the groom puts the bride's ring on her finger. Will have to do-over that shot again.
* Why isn't my camera focusing where I want it to? It's behaving weird again.
* Don't take so many photos where the subject is in the center. Focus and recompose. Not enough time to focus and recompose action/motion, must use the center point for some accuracy. Better to have the shot in focus at all than to have all OOF shots.
* Don't forget to try different angles. Use vertical framing more often.
I see something and it looks interesting to my eyes, but I can't seem to get it right when framing it in-camera and I don't understand why...
* Videographers, have to be nice and try to make friendly suggestions when they leave their unused tripods standing tall in the room at an angle I really want to be shooting towards...have to ask him to move it this time. Have to ask the second videographer if they can back off for a minute. Why does the videographer have to spiral around the b&g for the ENTIRE first dance?...please move, please move...ok I have to be right next to you the whole time now.
* She looks great, but how can I really emphasize that?
* Must watch out for the back fat, thick arms, double chin.
* The guy is completely emotionless and expressionless. Must ask him to imagine models and their expressions, look cool, look interested, look very suave.
* For poses, ask the bride/groom what expression she/he gets on her/his face when they think of their groom/bride? What emotions do they feel?
* Must get the key shots of ceremony. Getting photos of dad hugging bride and shaking groom's hand are often hard, can't get those angles and also get other angles, never really know for sure which way dad will face for hug, can't get in front of officiant, don't want to be too obvious/in evidence...
* Have to be careful in this resort, so tired of getting kicked out and told to stop taking photographs. Frustrating to not be able to shoot anywhere I want. Tell the b&g the plan, explain how I will find them in specified area, what to do there, and then I walk away from them to not seem like I am with them...then find them again, take photos discreetly, move on...don't see any security around, let's keep going...
* Watch out for that backlight, don't want too many photos showing an obvious backlight in the bg...
* Have to try to get the good expressions during the dance, see both faces in same/different images, not blinking or mid-talking or looking bad otherwise. I wish they wouldn't squeeze the hug so hard/smash the face so much, makes them look fat/less pretty for the photo...Mom's going to be self-conscious when she sees this image...
* I keep missing exposures or focus on shots. Good thing I'm overshooting so the redundancy should result in at least one usable one at this angle/pose/scene.
* Hands shake too much for 1/100 sec at 85mm now, have to hold super steady, lean on something, etc...
* Takes forever to get these large groups to stop talking to each other and just gather together for a big group photo. People hide from the camera, have to ask them to step to the side/etc...
And this big, pervading sensation...I just have to adapt to all of the things that occur in life as best as I can. I don't feel like I can control much of it myself, and when I do try to control things they often go much more wrong than if I had let them be.
But...every so often, I feel the opposite way. I feel like I can handle anything that comes, and I can effectively deal with challenges and be proactive and make my own path and be in control of situations, and I feel for that time that I may have the advantage. Whenever I get that perspective, I want to understand how to keep it, but I never can figure that out. And it disappears by itself.
When I'm on that good angle, things just seem to go better, more right, less problems, more creative ideas, and fewer mistakes (that I notice anyway)...and I want to be at that good angle on life all the time. However, It's not something I know how to just make happen. In fact, I don't know how to make it happen at all, it just happens all by itself sometimes and then goes away as easily and quickly as it came.
The above gives a taste of how I think and what I think about during weddings, and in so doing also describes the feeling, the perspective and the sensation that pervades my mind. The verbalizations that are identifying faults and problems are often representative of not feeling in control.
I don't want to be that way. The obvious response from anyone else who is not/has never been that way for long is, "So don't be that way!" It's much easier to say Don't Be That Way when you aren't that way, than it is to actually not be that way when you are that way...
It is also probably an obsessive-compulsive way of thinking about things.
So, the above is a big chunk of "me" as a photographer. I've gained experience, and time has drawn my personality toward caution.
Edited on Jan 06, 2013 at 09:13 PM · View previous versions