We delve into the deep, arcane secrets of location photography:
– seeing and finding light
– scouting locations
– developing an eye for interest and beauty
– operating the camera effortlessly
This can all be learned. Even developing an eye for interest and beauty can be learned (and having ‘taste’), though that is a longer, harder lesson that might take months or years for some.
If you told your photographer,
Wow, your pictures are beautiful, you must have a nice camera.
… it would be like saying to the cook,
Mmmm, that pad thai was delicious, you must have great pots and pans.
… or to the musician,
That performance was wonderful, you must have a nice piano.
The musician probably does have a nice piano. The nice piano did play an important part in the wonderful performance.
But what was more important?
– their ‘ear’ for great music
– their dedicated study of music
– the guidance and teaching from instructors
– the inspiration from other musicians
…. and most of all, continual practice and improvement of their craft.
Professional lenses, camera bodies and lights are only a small part of capturing interesting, attractive images. Practice is very important for photographing people.
With enough practice,
– camera controls become 2nd nature
– correct exposure and sharp focus become 2nd nature
– avoiding composition mistakes becomes habit
– seeing and recognizing beautiful lighting and locations becomes a fast habit.
That frees a large part of your attention for the most important things you can do when capturing people; observing and interacting with them.
Rene practices like a one-legged man at a kick-butt contest! He puts in more practice in a week than most photographers manage in a month. He is always ready with his camera. When he was shooting professional motorsports, he developed a quickness and a sense of timing that are more useful to wedding photography than you might guess. Capturing candid moments and real interactions at a wedding requires keen observation and fast reflexes.
You can see samples of Rene’s work at his new website; rskrodzkiphotography.ca
…… and his blog; rskrodzkiphotography.ca/blog
Last minute brides who haven’t booked a photographer for their wedding this summer might want to keep an eye on Rene’s blog for a special announcement coming soon.
For people looking to improve their people photography, here’s my 1st tip:
Put the camera down and speak with them. The comfort level of your subject and how at ease they feel around you will contribute more to good images than all the technical camera mastery you could gain from months of study.
OK, I know, that’s a really short tip. …..but it’s very important –> read it 2 or 3 times; that will make it seem longer.
Would my loyal readers (either of you) like me to continue with posting tips on improving your photography? Leave me a comment or shoot me an email if you like that idea.