Snapping Dreams

Book: Wedding Photography Unveiled – Part V

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V. Portraits And “Formals” – Posed, Unposed, and in Nature

First, I find the spots that interest me, and next I tell the couple where to stand or encourage them to chat with each other and enjoy each other’s company. Whatever happens after that just happens, naturally. ~ Chenin Boutwell

It’s important for me to chat with a couple beforehand… to discover what – as well as where – is important to a couple. ~ Philippe Cheng

Locations aren’t just locations. They play a very big part in photos. Not only in terms of composition but also in terms of helping the couple be at their most natural and helping them pour out all the emotions in front of our big black camera which most of the time doesn’t help much at putting people at ease.

As pointed out by Philippe Cheng in the book, it is important to find out what and where is important to the couple. For example, taking pics of them at a place where they had their first date would bring back many memories which would bring out lots of emotions. And of course, asking them to share with you some memories from the first date would help put them at ease even more.

One thing she never does is scout a location ahead of time. “I find that the light is going to look different at different times of day.” (On Chenin Boutwell)

If she hasn’t photographed at a site before, then she will go ahead of time and check it out – she’ll even try to go at the same time of the day that she is going to photograph the ceremony, couple portraits, and family shots.  (On Suzy Clement)

As you can see, there are different opinions on whether to scout a location ahead of time. I’m with Suzy Clement on this. It’s good to know the location beforehand. Of course a lot of things might be different on the day, e.g. the light, the people, the mood. But being prepared will keep us calm and help open our eyes to opportunities. Scouting a location ahead of time doesn’t mean you must have that particular photo you’ve planned in advance. It simply means you’ll know your way around. It’s never bad to be prepared.

(Quotes are from Wedding Photography Unveiled)

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