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Hindsight is 20/20: Keep Moving

Hooray! Another installment of Hindsight is 20/20. I’m not going to lie… I’m pretty excited about this series and all the things I want to share. In the meantime, enjoy tip #2 and this HILARIOUS picture of me shooting from a wedding last Fall. Apparently sitting on an invisible chair (don’t ask me why I’m standing this way). Hey…. whatever it takes! Image shot by my amazing second shooter, Laura B.

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Tip #2: Keep moving.

And by that, of course, I don’t mean getting all fidgety. Picture it in your mind for just a moment. You have a bride and groom looking positively stunning. The sun is shining bright in the sky and you are shooting in the most gorgeous landscaped gardens. You pick out a beautiful tree for them to stand beneath but then, as you stand back to shoot it, you realize something isn’t quite right. It’s the light. Or no, maybe it’s the way they are posed. Hmmm, no, perhaps it’s the angle. You keep looking at the back of your camera…. keep trying to make it work BUT YOU CANNOT FOR-THE-LIFE-OF-YOU FIGURE OUT WHAT ISN’T WORKING.

Any photographer – particularly in their early days – has experienced this phenomenon. It’s this weird moment where you feel like what you are seeing in person isn’t translating just so. You obsess. You keep trying to fix it…. to get that dream shot. The one you see in your mind… you’re so close. STOP. Just stop it.

While there is absolutely nothing wrong with a little tweaking – and it’s absolutely necessary when you step back and see weird shadowing, or awkward hand placement – which sometimes you just can’t see until you see the whole thing. But, there is a fine line between that and forcing something that isn’t working.

I once worked with someone who would set up a group of groomsmen, take the shot, look at the back of her camera, and say “hmmmm no, that doesn’t look right… let’s try this [insert new positioning] instead.” Take 8 nice groomsmen standing in full tuxes, outside, in the middle of August, and do this to them? You end up with 8 very (sweaty) angry groomsmen. So upset, in fact, that they came up to me later and complained about the situation. If she had just kept moving, they wouldn’t have felt like they were wasting their time and she would have easily gotten plenty of other great shots before the sweat was dripping from their faces.

Truly though, put yourself in the shoes of your client. How do you think handling this situation makes them feel? Suddenly, your comfortable, happy couple is sitting here thinking – are we doing something wrong? Should we move? Should we not move? WHAT IS GOING ON?

So, my best advice for these moments? Just keep moving. If it isn’t working, just snap a couple and move on to something else. Don’t waste your time making your subject feel inadequate and frustrating yourself. And – for the love of all things – do not EVER look at the back of your camera and say “hmmmm, no” after you take the shot. Don’t even THINK it. Just trust me on this. You can thank me later. And, rest assured, that these “!?&%#@*” moments will become much less frequent (even eventually stopping altogether) the more you shoot and more comfortable you get working in different lighting/environment situations. Happy shooting, my friends!

For full explanation of the Hindsight is 20/20 series, please check the archives and see this post.

KC - Such a good point! I completely relate to this. Love this series you are doing. Hope all is well!March 22, 2013 – 11:38 AM

Danielle Almond - Excellent advice!! Especially for Newbies. So kind of you to share your insights in an industry where people can be so pesky :)March 22, 2013 – 12:25 PM

Philadelphia Newborn Photography: Baby Jonah

Introducing to the world… Baby Jonah. The first ever in-studio newborn session. 11 days old and perfectly perfect.

If I could take pictures of newborns every day, I think I would.

 

Kelly - Oh my gosh, these are just too precious for words.March 19, 2013 – 4:07 PM

Becki - Agreed, Kelly. Oh. My. God. Perfection. Captured. I want to eat him! Or put him in my pocket! Or sit him on my desk to stare at all day! Incredible. Love.March 19, 2013 – 6:55 PM

Amarel - OMG! These are amazing pictures, such great close ups. Look at his tiny nails!! eee!!March 20, 2013 – 10:14 AM

Villanova Wedding: Kaitlin & Paul

I have had the pleasure of shooting at Villanova campus a handful of times over the last few years (it’s so pretty there!) and I think Kaitlin & Paul’s wedding day is one of the only days it wasn’t raining at some point during the shoot (one of many cases in point). After the ceremony, we wandered campus a little to grab some images reflecting the beauty of the area. And, after that, we headed on over to their reception at the Plymouth Country Club.

Kaitlin was perhaps one of the calmest, most collected brides I’ve ever worked with and I think it really shows in the images with how happy but peaceful she looks. But of course, don’t let that deceive you – their party still entertained quite the PACKED dance floor (and you know I love nothing more than a good party – makes my job so easy). Kaitlin and Paul, you were so easy to work with and it was such a pleasure capturing such a wonderful day for you two. To a lifetime of wedded bliss!

Enjoy the images! xo.

 

Wedding Coordinator: Ambiance Event Planning, Kelly Moore
Videographer: Tom Moore
Caterer: Plymouth Country Club
Florist: Kelly Moore
Hair & Make-up: Roseann’s Hair Studio
Cake: Bredenbeck’s Bakery
DJ: Richie Abrams – Cutting Edge Entertainment

Sean - GORGEOUS images! The lighting at the reception is amazing!March 25, 2013 – 3:59 AM

MERRI-MAKERS AT THE WATER’S EDGE WEDDING: ALYSE & JUSTIN

When Alyse first called me, I remember feeling like she sounded so happy that I could physically feel the overflowing joy in her voice. She is, in fact, the sister-in-law of the sister of the first wedding I shot in Philadelphia (Are you confused yet? She’s baby Lucas‘s aunt!). Take that to mean that Alyse & Justin are the third wedding I have shot in this amazing group of individuals and so when she contacted me about shooting hers I couldn’t have been more excited. And for good reason – Alyse & Justin got married on a perfect afternoon on a quiet beach of the Jersey shore. Afterwards, they had their reception – which was a party to top all parties – at Merri-Makers at the Water’s Edge. Truly, it’s hard to top a reception that goes from speeches so emotional even your vendors are tearing up to Adele sing-offs between the groomsmen. NO JOKE. Such a fun day!

Enjoy the images! xo.

As a sidenote, sadly, it is my understanding that this venue has since been destroyed during Hurricane Sandy. Can I just say how weird it is prepping a post about a place that doesn’t exist anymore? But, Merri-Makers as a whole runs several venues around the area and I cannot recommend them highly enough.

Is this not the sweetest groom reaction ever (see bottom left)? It made EVERYONE get emotional.

Alyse & Justin are very close with their siblings, so they surprised them mid-reception with a SIBLING DANCE. And, I thought this was just the sweetest idea. And, as you can tell, their siblings loved it too. 😉

And then, at the end of the very last song, Justin ran up, grabbed Alyse, and spun her around up in the air. What a way to end a reception! Plus, how great is her reaction on the left (below) when he went to lift her. Cracks me up!

Wedding Coordinator: Christina Havens
Caterer/Venue: Merri-Makers
Florist: Something Nice Floral Designs
Hair/Makeup: Shear Innovations
Band/DJ: Elite DJ

Wedding Invitations - Absolutely loving this wedding. Was the first image their wedding invitation? Beautiful theme, the blue used is so striking and rich, and all the beach elements used with the wedding stationery is fabulous, especially the starfish place cards in a driftwood sandbox, how awesome is that?! Great pictures too, of course!July 1, 2013 – 1:45 AM

PROPHECY PARK MATERNITY SESSION: LIZ & BRETT

So, was last weekend the PERFECT first weekend of spring or what? On Friday, we had the most beautiful – dare I say magical – snowfall I’ve ever seen. The kind where the sun shines while the flakes fall, lighting them up almost like little stars dancing their way down. Then, on Saturday, the snow melted as the warm rays lit up the blue sky. With not a cloud in sight it was that amazing feeling of spring that every northerner knows so well…. the city bustles – everyone about with a little more pep in their step, the birds chirp, the first buds begin to emerge. It really is incredible.

Thus, I was pretty pumped that Brett & Liz had their maternity session scheduled for Sunday. And, Prophecy Park proved to be the perfect rustic backdrop for their images. Brett, Liz, and I wandered the area and I attempted to capture the overwhelming joy they have for their future child. And, as I drove home that evening, I thought yet again how I might just be the luckiest person in the world to get to capture these kind of incredible moments in people’s lives.

Enjoy the images! xo.

Robert Austin Fitch Photography - What a good looking couple and such a fantastic location! Beautiful photography! Cheers, RobJune 18, 2013 – 9:10 PM

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