Ok. So I’m that photographer — the one that takes a lot of photos. Some might suggest that I should be a bit more concise, but what can I say? I ramble when I talk. I ramble when I write and I guess some would argue I ramble when I shoot. But, I always have a point. I’m working the situation for the perfect way to portray the story of the moment. Sometimes that involves exposure or lens choice and other times it’s about my shooting position or my shooting angle. For this Through the Lens installment we’ll explore my thought process with regards to angles.
I’m not afraid to put myself into an odd position for the best shot which is why I always wear pants when I’m working. In a dress or skirt I’d be guaranteed to flash someone as I crawl, climb and squeeze myself into the best place to get the best angle for the image.
How do I know the best angle? Sometime I see it immediately – that gut feeling that comes with experience. At other times I’ve done some pre-planning like checking out ceremony locations before the start of the wedding so I know the best angles, obstacles, etc. Seeing a space ahead of time isn’t a necessity, but it gives me some extra peace of mind knowing I’m fully prepared to respond quickly to whatever comes my way during the wedding.
Let’s look at some examples.
So this is my first photo angle as Jessica prays with her bridesmaids before they begin dressing for the wedding. It’s ok but I don’t see the others involved and Jessica gets a little lost because of the position of the bridesmaid behind her. The light on the hands is nice.
Second angle and a much better shot. Jessica is separated from the background and is definitely the focus of the image. The only change I made to achieve this shot is to squat down. But, it’s still not perfect. The out of focus arm coming into the shot from the right is distracting to me. I think if I could see the hands I might not have as much of an issue with it. I also wish that I could see some of the bridesmaids in the photo as well to give it context and depth. Good overall, but still not quite right.
Third time’s the charm. I think this is the best all around angle. You see Jessica and some of the bridesmaids. You also see the hands and the connection they are making with each other. I like that the hands are out of focus; you can still tell what they are but they aren’t competing with the subject for your attention. I achieved this by squeezing myself between the girls and lying on my back looking up.
There you go. One moment. Three angles. All captured in a matter of seconds. Worth the extra effort. Definitely!