by Louise Sumner Published 01/12/2012
In the eyes of Louise Sumner there is no doubt what her job as a photographer should entail. "It's nothing to do with cameras, lenses or a bag full of accessories," she says. "Instead it should be about telling a story, creating pictures that have a substance and a narrative to them, which will go on to be passed down through the generations. I'm regularly photographing weddings and taking portraits of people who are in love, and to reflect that I'm working hard to create a feeling of romance in my work, and this is the extra something that will make sure these pictures have a special resonance with my clients."
So passionately does she feel about this whole subject that Louise will be making it the theme of her upcoming workshop at the 2013 Convention. Entitled 'Theatre of the Heart,' it will be addressing the issue of how to achieve drama and romance in your images, and everything will be covered, from the creation of a concept for a pre-wedding, wedding or portrait shoot through to the setting of the ambience for a photographic session and the post-production and presentation that will ensure the whole package speaks of the love that exists between the couple in front of the camera.
"My work has always been quite theatrical in any case," says Louise, "and that's what many couples come to me for. I hear sometimes from people that they are just looking for a very natural set of pictures, but what's natural about a wedding? Everyone is dressed up, the event is likely to have been very carefully stage-managed and it will almost certainly be being held in a great location. Why not make the pictures as dramatic as possible, and really come away with something that will be a true reflection of what happened on the day?
"The big issue that every wedding photographer has it that they are inevitably dealing with real-life people not professional models, and it's unrealistic to think that you are going to be able to direct them into poses that will look believable. What you can do, however, is to go into the occasion with a few ideas in your head and a good grasp of what the couple wants to get from you, and this kind of preparation can dig you out of a hole if things start to unravel a little on the day."
"I've just been named UK Wedding Photographer of the Year in a major national competition," says Louise, "and the picture that won it for me was taken at a wedding where the bride's make-up artist had seriously run late and had delayed everyone by half-an-hour. The knock-on effect was that I had less than 45 minutes to complete the couple shoot, and was racing against time. This is the point where it's crucial that you know your camera gear inside out: these are the tools of your trade and you just need to be able to use them instinctively. You can't be dithering,
trying to set things up, you need to be on the case immediately and to have a good set of posing ideas in your head that you can implement quickly and efficiently.
The Societies of Photographers Convention and Trade Show at The Novotel London West, Hammersmith ...
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