Today I have been working on editing a wedding I shot last month. And one of the images inspired me to do a blog post. This one is for you photographers…although I think it might be educational to anyone who is in the process of hiring a wedding photographer or thinking about it.

So anyway most of us wedding photographers like to photograph the wedding gown before the bride actually gets into it. It’s just something we do. Many of us have to seek out a decent-looking wooden or silk hanger just to get the dress off of the god-awful plastic thing that the dress shops provide. It just doesn’t make for a pretty picture. So once we’ve found a decent-looking hanger, we look for a good location to photograph the dress. Sometimes this is easy, sometimes it’s hard. This particular wedding was at a cool, private home with some interesting iron gates which I thought would make a great background to shoot the dress. So I hung the dress and I shot it.

Then since I like a little variety, I decided to move it to this other gate within a doorway which was a little more interesting architecturally. I shot a few frames of that. I could have stopped there. But then I noticed that the bride’s little dog was hanging around in the shadows way in the distance. So I thought, I’m going to make this dress shot a little more interesting and a little more personal. So I laid myself on the ground to get the angle I wanted, composed my shot and then started whistling and calling to the dog. Eventually she decided to come towards me and I fired off a few frames once she stepped into the light.

Now I’m not trying to claim that this is the best picture ever. But knowing my clients and how much they love their dogs, I know that this image will bring a smile to their faces and that they are likely to connect with it in a way that they won’t with the first one. It’s just a dress hanging. So what is my point? Sometimes you have to work a little bit for an image, sometimes you have to work a lot for it. Every image you see from a wedding doesn’t always just happen. Sometimes you have to make it happen…and if you see an opportunity, take it. Go that extra little step. It’s worth it.

3 Responses to “Sometimes You Have To Work For It”

  1. BHurdle says:

    Very simple but it’s the best tip/advice I’ve had in months. Great shot! Thanks and keep inspiring!

  2. Armin says:

    Couldn’t agree more, definitely adds a personal touch. Great shot.

  3. diana adams says:

    nice blogpost, justine. i like that you laid out your thought process for other photographers to follow. i think the dog ‘animates’ (ha ha) the dress, as it’s the type of dress that just hangs until it is animated by the bride’s body and personality. some dresses almost seem alive on the hanger for one reason or another…usually having to do with stiffness, structure and/or ornamentation.

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