Monday, June 29, 2009

Thoughts on Assistant Photographers and Portraits

We were driving to the reception after taking some garden portraits with the bridal party, and my wife was laying into me. "How come we don't have a second portrait lens? You're taking all these photos, and I am left just standing there!". She was also upset that while she is arranging the photo, she is not looking through the lens to see what I am shooting. It would seem she is making a valid argument?

What is the answer? Am I just being a cheapskate for not shelling out another $1,100 for a good portrait lens for my wife?

Here's my justification for protecting my pocket book:

Doing great portraits really takes two people. One to setup the shot, communicate with the guests, get them to laugh, smile, relax, and feel comfortable. The second person is the geek (me). The geek needs to make sure the lighting is right, that the flash is not leaving shadows, that there is enough depth of field to keep everyone in focus, and that the shutter speed is fast enough that there are no blurry images. When one person tries to do both, things can fall apart. It is VERY hard to be focused on the technical requirements of the camera AND be communicating with the guests. When you do one THEN the other, portraits take much longer and people get impatient.

The morning after our disagreement, we took a look at some of the photos. To our amazement, the portraits that she had setup without trying to shoot where some of our favorite portraits to date. Here's a pre-edit sample:

Sunday, June 28, 2009

God @ Iowa Weddings

I'm moved to say that this year we have had some very special, very sincere weddings. Enough inspiration to keep us positive about yet another year of hard work. At some weddings it's the couple's genuine love and care for one another. At other weddings it is the support of the families and the "coming together" that is the essence of the story. One of the most inspiring things we have seen at a wedding, is when a couple has a sincere devotion to God.

In my mind, it is not about which faith they have chosen, be it Buddhism or Baptism, it is simply that the couples hearts are open to the love of God. It's not something that can be contrived on the spot, as it is not about flaunting devotion for the sake of maintaining a religious appearance, or devotion out of fear. It is quite simply a devotion to God and the faith they have chosen.

Last week we had a special wedding where prayer played an enormous role in the wedding day. Both my wife and I agree it was by far the most sincerely faithful wedding we have been to, and we both felt lucky to be invited as the photographers.

Below are some of our favorite 'moments' of the day: