On January 4th, Michelle Turner + I got up in front of the crowd attending Mystic 5 in Mystic CT to give a talk about two different photographers approaching the same subject matter, in this case, weddings. We went over our two different styles + showcased numerous examples, including a wedding we shot together in Puerto Vallarta Mexico in December.
Below is a brief re-cap from my portion of the talk. You can see Michelle’s posing tips + techniques here.
Documenting an event isn’t just aiming your camera at a few choice moments and snapping away. There are certain approaches you should take to create a clean and inviting image, even in the midst of a fast moving scene.
As you learn to hone these tips, they will eventually become second nature, so that when a moment strikes, you will be prepared, not only to capture the action but also create a clutter free image that doesn’t compete for the viewers attention.
Below I have touched on a few of the ways in which you can approach a scene and certain rules you can incorporate while shooting.
Pay close attention to what is going on behind and around your subject.
Are there other people or objects that will add or detract from the scene?
Choosing to include or exclude particular elements can make or break an image.
What’s going on in the four corners of your image? Is it clean or is it pulling your eye away from your subject?
The eye tends to stray to the brightest part of an image, so watch that you haven’t got a large glowing light or bright hot spot in one of the corners of your image. If so, the viewer will be distracted and leave the scene.
While shooting, constantly be aware of what is around your subject’s body. Watch for objects sticking out of some ones head or body. If you can use your subject to block out something distracting, do it!
As you are shooting, keep moving. As you are moving, keep shooting. Continuing to adjust while shooting will help bring you closer to a cleaner, more eye pleasing image.
Constantly vary the height of your camera while you’re shooting. There are a few reasons for this. Staying out of the line of sight of
your subject means they will be less likely to focus on you, helping to make you ‘invisible’. This can help you to create images without the subject being camera aware.
When all else fails, get the shot!
See how much better your image could be if you crop out some of the distracting elements that may be exhausting your eye.
Sometimes using objects or people within a scene can draw the eye into the action while simultaneously cropping out distracting elements. It’s
a great way to create interest within the frame. You can shoot through a crook of an arm, or a chair back.