by Tamara Lackey Published 01/12/2009
A s a photographer who shoots both weddings and portraits, I have formed a new appreciation for the shared significance of both photographic events.
When photographing a wedding, I have felt a pressure to make sure I get pretty much everything – at the very least, of course, the major highlights of the day, although the 'major highlights' can be defined differently by each photographer.
Some photographers many follow a shot list, one they have either created or adapted their style to, or one that may have been handed to them by their clients. And some people just seem to know what to hone in on, following their instincts when discovering the key moments…and still others find that they will just respond to the unfolding of that day as naturally as they possibly can and will succeed best with that approach.
But sometimes the very same photographer, who will take great care to recognise the great significance of a wedding, might then go on to treat a portrait session very differently, sometimes relegating it to just another standard shooting experience.
If you look at what exactly is involved in photographing children and families, there is so very much there that is equally significant, just as dramatic, just as important not to miss.
One of the great joys of photographing children is in acknowledging that each child is unique. So, to truly capture them in a very honest way, it stands to reason that you need to know who you are photographing, what they respond to, what opens them up and – especially important – what can shut them down.
How this relates to shooting weddings is that most people will acknowledge that the wedding day can be quite an exciting affair. There are all kinds of emotions running high, so much to focus on – how this day is 'it', how things will either go right or they will go wrong – and throughout all that extreme attention, the entire event can be quite wrought with feeling. Good feelings, bad feelings, nervous feelings, but oh my goodness, so much feeling.
And it’s a very similar thing when you look at what is, and what could be, involved in a portrait session – oh my goodness, so much feeling.
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