Upload & Sell: Off
Okay, so yesterday I put my first 6 weddings from 2013 on my website...and it gave me a chance to look through my recent photos. As I did this, I found myself viewing them more as a spectator or outside person rather than as the photographer, and so how I thought about the photos changed.
The first thing I noticed...#1...some, perhaps many or most, were uninteresting or had an unwanted element. To detail:
In many cases, I captured simple, straightforward photos of X hugging or Y laughing, but while that was happening something else may have been in the frame that was not so pleasing...especially someone else doing something with their face that was un-good, or even making eye contact towards an invisible subject. I don't like this...for one, because the images are typically not filled with context or storytelling (and are, often, not very interesting as a result), and for another because I am getting stuff that I don't want in my photos fairly often without even realizing or noticing.
In other cases, my simple, straightforward photos of X or Y were just generally uninteresting by themselves.
Once in a while I would notice a photo that I liked, and it seemed that most photos I liked had a lot of strong energy (dynamic smiling/interacting with good emotion) in them.
Then there were photos of...things...which, when I would come across said photos in my search yesterday, would prompt me to ask...what the heck did I take THAT picture for?...omg.
Whenever I look at my posed photos in a conglomerate, I find that most of my compositions are very plain. They aren't complex or deep, my angles are usually just a few, redundant and simple...blah.
Now, there have been a few very good documentary photographers I have seen...most of them were, in fact, not wedding photographers but rather some kind of journalist for news or other media...and when I would like their photos, it would be often because there was so much of a story going on in any single photo. It makes me envious of that ability to see so well, and I know that such a photographer could see just as well in a wedding as in any other scenario and put together very good photos virtually anywhere.
I wish I could do that. Candids and documenting the wedding are a big part of my work.
I also wish I could - like many photographers do - have more dynamic creativity in how and what I photograph when shooting posed photos. I know now that it's not just about the faces, nor about the poses, but often the meaning behind certain contact, certain looks etc...and how to express the meaning in a picture. It's difficult for me, but I understand the general idea. I'm not able to actually compose it in the frame, but I think I know what to go for...I just don't know how to go about it.
I will use some of my latest blog photos to illustrate:
I kind of like this photo, though I don't like the TV behind, or the overtight crop of the bride's head:
I like this photo, but I had nothing to do with her posing. It was all about her own personality...and I wish I could actually think of ways to get people to do this without it being innately something they are prone to:
I don't like this photo because I feel it is compositionally weak, but I'm not sure how I would have captured it in a more interesting way:
Generally straightforward idea, contextually OK, but I don't know if the photo isn't still just trash:
I try to "fill up" missing things at other times by making up for it later. Sometimes I also find shooting inside the limo lacks anything interesting going on after I've caught someone smiling, the whole thing, some drinks passed around, etc...so I look for stuff like details during that time. So I see the bride's bouquet...but I don't know if the photo is actually any good or if it's just a waste of time:
I like this because it feels more spontaneous and the overall capture doesn't have much interfering with it:
I don't know how to take good "getting into/out of the limo" photos of the bride. I need help with this:
I've taken a recent liking to shooting photos like this:
Simple, straightforward, and boring...how do I make it more interesting?
I like the focus on her shoes, but on second thought I should've asked him to move away his watch hand:
Kind of boring, get's the job done but...still kind of boring to me:
Eh. Trying to capture the interaction with the young girl, but not that interesting...how would I do it different? Not sure...
Lacks interest, I see the subject but it's just not that interesting and other elements that don't make sense IMO...
Don't know how to shoot pool/games very well...but wanted to capture it somehow anyway:
Don't like, I didn't get the right angle, I couldn't figure it out, but I wanted to capture the entire length of the table:
Like the more dynamic idea, wish the sun didn't completely white out his shirt but I didn't notice at the time:
I like this one better than the other table shot, but it's taken at a different time:
Just Ok, not sure...just not that interesting, not sure how to capture it better:
Ok, she's laughing with the mic...what else? Seems inadequate:
Similar, just OK, I wish I could capture the interaction with the group without minimizing the speaker but I don't know how:
What the ring really said inside (but I added the glow):
Elvis comes along...and lighting him plus everyone else becomes difficult at nighttime...plus I have a whole set of photos where the visual interaction between the guests and him is virtually nonexistent (just like this one):
Incomplete capture, see only a piece of it on the left side:
Okay. Straightforward, simple. Nothing really great. Not sure how to improve these:
What I often capture in the limo:
When the faces of some people really don't go well in the image, but it's too late or I can't fix it...:
As said before, I don't know how to capture good getting-in/out-of-limo shots:
One of my favorites of the year, that same flare-prone style that seems to soften things so much:
How could I have made this stronger?
Just OK, couldn't figure out a good angle for this:
I find this shot amusing, though the composition isn't probably very good:
I find circular toast photos difficult, not sure what to focus on or how to frame it...
I think the context is OK in this one:
Would this be better if I moved my framing so the entire area was filled with them instead of having a blank area in the lower left?
Boring detail shot:
Boring dressing shot:
Why do I like this detail shot?
I need to cut out these diagonals:
So many things avoided, trying to isolate focus on this groomsman...ends up being kind of bleh, lacks context again:
Okay, but...just okay. Don't think the framing is good, kind of just simple, straightforward...
Excellent example of complete lack of context...since the dance happens basically in a vacuum and by itself, how would I even get the context without minimizing them since the table settings are all 30 feet away?...would I need a really long lens or something and shoot through people?
In contrast, I kind of like this context:
Again, this subject...30 feet from the tables...how, without making him very small in the frame?
I like this shot, dynamic:
While this one, also dynamic, is boring:
One of my favorites from this year, somehow the interaction with me actually makes part of the interest for me:
Dumb luck 100%, but I was really grateful for it:
Okay, not much else going on...wish I could add context without minimizing her:
The girl was excited about a gift from the bride...it's OK, maybe more of the left side of the frame?
Absolutely 0 context...sigh.
One of the times when I like some isolated direct sunlight for a detail, but it's lacking by itself and needs additional objects:
One of my better creative moments, the challenge was how much to cut her face without it making her look bad:
Needed foreground or something, lacks context:
Better than the others:
I kind of like this one too, but not sure how I would have made it better:
Carefully framed, it came out ok IMO:
Better context than some, still not great in overall IMO:
And this, I kind of like but not completely...
Kind of like:
Context isn't bad:
One of my better food photos:
Kind of like it:
Though the end result framing is this, which I don't like because the groom isn't in the image:
Just OK, I tried finding good leading lines but didn't succeed:
She has a wide frame, but I am somewhat attracted to brides that are broad across the front so I don't avoid it that often...
I actually kind of like this poorly lit, motion blurred image of the bride getting into the transport:
Limo had these things in the wall paneling, so I tried to use them for a light source:
Ok, lacks context and bad framing:
Similar poor context IMO:
Creative effort, not sure about it:
I don't know how to frame these big room, everyone staring/helping with the dress shots:
Similar to above:
This is OK:
And yet another framing of getting-out-of-limo:
Groom's personality showing, I don't like my framing:
Backlight used after bride read her note to the groom:
Bad framing, but I like the dynamics:
Tried to capture the "guestbook" area in context with people present:
Not sure about this framing:
Dad dance, not sure about framing, context, etc..
I like the motion of this:
Hawaiian dance from one angle that doesn't show the viewers...
I want to capture the whole dance area being full of people cheering, but I don't know how...this is usually my kind of result and I don't like it:
I like this better, but still not right:
Ok way of showing b&g listening to performers, but I want better...not sure how to do that:
The groom is enigmatic enough to carry this IMO:
I absolutely could not figure out a good framing for the performers for this song:
That's all from the last 6 weddings, based only on what is showing in the blog. There are lots of other photos, and the ones I selected for blog were all chosen from large thumbnails...that is to say, I picked the themes but not the exact best photos of any particular "scene."
So, for those who have often said...post examples...here is one big example set.
Edited on May 24, 2013 at 07:16 PM · View previous versions