The last half of 2012 has been a resurgence of wedding and commercial photography. After completing the graduate coursework for a program in visual communication for photojournalism at Ohio University in June, I moved back to Charleston, SC. Since then, I have been focused on freelance photography and video.
Every photographer has his or her strengths. For me, I believe my primary strength is capturing candid moments. Some photographers struggle with this because it basically comes down to being completely in tuned with the emotional states of others and anticipating when those emotions will manifest in a physical action.
My second strength is seeing natural light, how and where it falls, and how to use natural light to create strong images. I prefer natural light, and only resort to artificial light if I feel it’s absolutely necessary. This is because artificial light is not organic to what is already around and can reduce the ambiance of the environment. Basically I feel understanding and using natural light and shadow creates, in some ways, more authentic images.
The third strength is actually an area I’ve resisted and battled with for awhile: portraiture. Posing a shot goes against my photojournalism instincts and habits. I prefer to be as nonintrusive as possible. However, portraits are the photos people frame and put out for show. The majority of people aren’t models. So, they are unsure of how to position their body, what to do with their hands, etc. As the photographer, it’s my job to compose and create strong portraits. Part of that is finding the right light, right background, technical skill, but it is also guiding the couple, bridal party, and relatives in how to pose in order to look their best. And then it involves patience. Because what makes a great photo is when the couple are engaged with one another and have become desensitized to me shutterbugging away. That’s when a moment happens and capturing that is what will elevate a good portrait to great one.
Below are some of my favorite images I’ve captured in 2012 from engagement portraits, bridal portraits, and weddings. There are a lot I like from this year, but I tried to narrow it down. I look forward to the couples I get to know and the visual stories I will tell in 2013.