by David Beckstead Published 01/08/2010
My first model shoot was after my first destination wedding in Italy. The couple did not want to be involved with a 'day after' style shoot. The wedding day was all the imagery they wanted. I was a little disappointed. I had the perfect opportunity to expand my imagery base and use the wonderful Italian architecture to my advantage and give the couple some creative art. The ceremony was at an old Italian church yet all other architecture around the wedding festivities had a modern feel to it. So I asked my wife (who is my shooting partner) to model at Lake Como in the North of Italy. We bought a dress and I shot for hours. These images I used to enhance my destination wedding business. This was the start of a new passion: Bridal-model shoots!
By bridal-model photography I mean models in brides' dresses and occasionally a male model in a groom-style outfit. Why? My branding. I am a pro wedding photographer: every image I take is meant to enhance my brand to my prospective clients and to photographers. Every strong model image is useful to me in many ways.
Here are some ways:
1. An outlet to bring out compositional concepts not always easy to accomplish at weddings.
2. Improving compositions, style and your art.
3. Creating imagery for marketing and branding.
4. Creating value and increasing your worth.
5. Giving you a reason to see the world.
Many times I catch myself wishing the bride created more opportunity and time for me to really shine and pull compositional concepts out of my head and into images. Often the pressures of the wedding day keep eroding the time they said they would give me with the two of them alone. Timetables get pushed back and 'your' time with the bride and groom gets taken away. You go home a little frustrated that you could not create some of the art you intended to. Of course, you shoot an amazing wedding for your clients but there are always artistic ideas you wanted to give to the bride and groom and more importantly, give to yourself. Let's admit it, you are always looking for that perfect opportunity at wedding shoots to find and make a fantastic image you can use for your website, print competition and marketing.
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