It’s true what they say—it’s not about the quality or price tag of a camera, it’s mostly about the artist behind the lens. I emphasize mostly because I’d be lying if I told you my Canon 5D Mk III didn’t do anything for my wedding photography. But the camera doesn’t make a great picture anymore than a typewriter makes a great novel. Anyone that shoots with a camera can be called a photographer—even if the extent of your camera is on your iPhone. But in my humble opinion, what differentiates a good photographer from the average one is someone who can capture and portray the human experience into a single frame.
At every wedding and portrait session, I step away from the traditional portrait photography and always challenge myself in capturing and delivering the intangible feelings. A lot of times, I like to get creative with some tools, environment, and the setup around me. Today, I want to share with you some of my tricks to capturing images in more creative, captivating ways and optimizing the capture of the human experience within a single frame.
1) Play with the veil: You can place the veil directly over the models face, or directly in front of your lens to create a soft haze. You can even try swinging the veil across in front of you to create leading lines. This will allow you to capture movement and texture in the most subtle and romantic of ways.
2) Use a prism: Using a prism to bend light, glares, and reflections can add modern yet abstract details to an image. I especially love using the prism in lowly lit situations with specks of light (i.e. during the first dance or the sparkler exit) so that I can include, reflect, and emphasize the bokeh lights surrounding such beautiful authentic moments.
3) Use your surroundings: I love using my natural surroundings to tell a couples story. For example, you can shoot in between tree branches, hold a flower to the lens, or peer through a glass window to artistically distort photos.
4) Look for holes or openings: Every location I shoot in, I’ll scout spots that will allow me to shoot through a small opening where I can place on my clients. Doing this will isolate the subjects and give you a visual of their love and nothing else.
5) Embrace the blur: Shift to manual focus. Blurry photos to me are visual versions of poems—it holds the complexity of the human experience and emotion.
6) Slow down the shutter speed: Capture movement by lowering your shutter speed. When I do this, I’m trying to portray the utter chaos of dance, freedom, and celebration.
In the end, I’d challenge you to let your lens carry you through new worlds—allow your photos to live on as a new world for others. Study every inch of a photograph and celebrate it’s colors, tones, and angles. And most importantly, enjoy every second of it. Thanks for reading!