Saturday, November 10, 2007

"Portrait Journalism"

I've often been asked what our "style" of photography is. Early on, we kicked around terms like "photo-journalistic", "portrait", "action", and "documentary", but we decided that none of these terms accurately reflected our style. We typically shoot with longer lenses to capture our clients' special day as it occurred. The question that many photographers struggle with is "how involved do I get" ?

We wound up having the opportunity to chat with Mike Colon on the Pictage forums the other night and asked him the same question. His response was:

"I've found that my best images are almost always when I gave no direction at all. I try to set myself up for success to capture a moment by finding a position which puts a great background behind my subject, getting my exposure/white balance right before hand, and anticipating the moment so I don't miss it. There are many times however, when I'll step in and adjust something or move my subject into better light if I feel the shot would be unusable without my intervention."

Mike makes a great point that Kaufman Kramer always strives to follow: Let the couple live the day, and only step in if the moment needs a little extra direction to happen. We have settled on using the term "portrait journalism" to best describe our style to our clients. We came across this term in a book written by Glen Johnson entitled "Digital Wedding Photography: Capturing Beautiful Memories".

Johnson defines portrait journalism as follows:

"...this style produces portrait images that range from traditional to ultramodern to fine art and anything in between."

It's a very informative book, and we highly reccomend giving it a read.

The idea is for our photographers to stay behind the scenes as much as possible and just let the day happen naturally. It can be hard as a photographer to resist the temptation of constantly giving direction, but trust us; the results of going with the flow yield far better photographs at the end of the day.


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