Ever since I blogged about JJ and Leo's engagement shoot in Oxford, I've been receiving tons of questions from both photographers and brides to be. I'll answer the photographers' questions in a separate post, but for those of you who are planning on getting an engagement shoot done, I hope the following will be of some help!
I am a firm believer that no matter how long you've been in the profession, there's always something new to learn with every experience. One such aspect where I feel that photographers should continuously be learning is posing. Every morning, as I munch on my breakfast scone, I visit wedding websites such as Style Me Pretty and Once Wed. I take note of the techniques that other photographers are using and, more importantly, if a certain pose jumps out at me, I save it into my Poses folder and try to recreate it in a different way.
This way, I can be confident that during my engagement shoots or couple portraits at a wedding, there will never be a moment where the bride and groom are staring at me and waiting for direction. "Directing" the couple during a photo shoot might sound a bit formal, but I assure you it's worlds away from telling the bride and groom to look into the camera and going, "Okay guys, one, two, smiiile!" The current trend is to look for photographers that shoot in a photojournalistic style, which is what I do 90% of the time. But when it comes to portraits, I find that most couples prefer to have a few suggestions on how to pose. Most of us aren't trained models, so it's completely understandable to feel a little bit lost in front of the camera. Here's where all that reading and practicing come in handy.
There are a few tried and true poses that I like to start with, simply because they are easy, comfortable poses to do and they'll help the couple relax and slip into the moment. One such pose is what I call the "Forehead kiss". (Read more...)
As promised, here is a techniques post on my last photo shoot. It was one of the simplest and yet trickiest of shoots. Hmmm, okay, that didn't make much sense, but I promise you'll get what I mean in a bit. (I used my 50mm lens for the whole shoot.)
This is what every photographer should wake up to on a cloudy Saturday morning: a husband with two packages from Amazon. The first package contained something for my husband, and the second, well, the second contained a work of art. I'd been dying to get my paws on this book ever since I heard about it, and augh, it's seriously one of the prettiest things we own!
There isn't much that I can say about Kubota that plenty of other photographers haven't already said before. Yes, it's basically awesomeness in a box, ready to leap out and squeeze the best out of your photographs. Of course, there isn't much that even Kubota can do if your pictures are horribly under or overexposed, but for everyday editing, I doubt there's much out there that can beat Kubota's presets. I myself own the Kubota Essentials Pak, but the Kubota Viva La Vintage + Pow Wow Combo Pak is not far down on my list of things to spend my hard-earned money on...*ahem, dear husband, hint!* I don't want to bog down this post with words, so I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves.
One of the first things I came across regarding photography was to shoot in the direction of the sun, so you're not going against the light. I followed that piece of advice for years, wondering why my outdoors pictures were always so washed out...until I noticed that hey, plenty of beautiful pictures from photographers I admire are shot with the sun behind the subject! And that was when I found out...there are a couple of tricks when it comes to shooting under harsh sunlight, the most useful of which is to use your palm to shade your lens from direct sunlight. The first picture (both were taken by Mike, by the way!) was taken without shielding the lens. As you can see, it's really washed out and my features came out flat. Definitely not a flattering shot. The second picture was taken with Mike holding up his palm directly above the lens, and just look at the world of difference it made! The only drawback with this trick is sometimes I end up getting a sliver of my hand in the picture as well...but hey, practice will soon help to get rid of that mistake. Happy Sunday!