Wedding

Emotion and wedding photography

Wednesday February 15th, 2012 11:46 AM

Boda en Ezcaray, La Rioja, Espana

“How do you achieve such emotionally moving photos?” That was what María wanted to know as she interviewed me for Wevents. María and her colleague Carlota have recently started the wedding planning business. The idea is that you tell them about your dream wedding and sit back while they get on and organise it. Wedding planners are well established in the UK and now, increasingly, in Spain too.

Anyway, back to the question and the answer is a combination of things. As noted in previous posts, light and composition but importantly too patience, observation and anticipation. And I get close to the action. It’s the best way to improve your photographs. The trick is to do so without bothering those around you or interrupting the proceedings.

Boda en Marques de Riscal, Elciego, Pais Vasco, Espana

Boda en Ezcaray, La Rioja, Espana

Boda en Ezcaray, La Rioja, Espana

Boda en Ezcaray, La Rioja, Espana

Boda en Castelldefels, Catalunya, Espana

Wedding photographers descend on Astorga, Castilla y Leon

Tuesday January 17th, 2012 04:02 PM

Taller La Mirada, Astorga, Castilla y Leon

How do you unlock your creative juices and improve your abilities to take emotionally moving and intimate photographs? This was at the heart of a course for wedding photographers that I attended last week in Astorga, Castilla y Leon.

Taller La Mirada was hosted by the Brazilian wedding photographer, Vinícius Matos, whose work has attracted worldwide admiration in recent years. Aside from being an excellent photographer, Vini argues that you improve through an honest self-assessment of your strengths and weaknesses. Only by understanding what holds you back can you learn how to move forward, he reckons.

On the first day the 12 photographers were sent out blindfolded – so they’d use their other senses for a change. The next two days were devoted to documenting 12 local people as they went about their daily lives, including a policewoman, politician, artist and elderly lady in a retirement home.

My job, as photographer of the course, was to follow all 12 photographers as they went about their tasks. Apart from the photos here, you can see my three-minute show of the course on You Tube.

The photographers on the course were:

Paolo Bocchese,  Virginia Gimeno,   Rares Pulbere,

Susana Barberá, Sergi Escrivá,  Alfonso Azaustre,

Horacio Arriaza, Santiago Vega,  Albert Pamies,

Daniel Garcia Lopez, Nelson Philipe, Antonio Luna Castaño.

Taller La Mirada, Astorga, Castilla y Leon

Taller La Mirada, Astorga, Castilla y Leon

Taller La Mirada, Astorga, Castilla y Leon

Taller La Mirada, Astorga, Castilla y Leon

Taller La Mirada, Astorga, Castilla y Leon

Taller La Mirada, Astorga, Castilla y Leon

Night photos and Ana & Chema’s wedding in Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain

Tuesday December 20th, 2011 10:45 AM

Boda de noche, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain

It’s the shortest day of the year this week which reminds me that I’ve been meaning to write a post on night wedding photography. These pictures are from Ana & Chema’s wedding in Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain, and although they got married on a beautiful September evening, much of the celebrations at the village’s Echaurren hotel were after dark.

I love night photography as the light in a room – from table lamps, ceiling spots, candles etc -  can create beautiful results. Just look at how the light reflected from the tablecloth falls across the girl’s face in the image below. The trick is to work out where the light is coming from and adjust your position and your camera settings accordingly. I’m normally aiming to capture detail in the face and something special, let’s call it elegance, in how the light and the shadows fall across the rest of the image.

No matter how dark the room I only use flash very rarely. I don’t want to draw attention to myself. I prefer to wait until something interesting happens in a pool of light. Areas of darkness add drama and style to the overall image. In most of these photos the people didn’t know I was there. I hope my quiet, patient approach results in images you not so much see as feel.

Boda de noche, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain

Boda de noche, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain

Boda de noche, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain

Boda de noche, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain

Boda de noche, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain

Boda de noche, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain

Boda de noche, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain

Wedding: Hotel Marqués de Riscal, Elciego, Basque Country

Wednesday November 23rd, 2011 05:01 PM

Boda Marques de Riscal

I’m often asked to recommend cameras and whether one model is better than another because it has a bigger zoom lens. And I reply that, generally speaking, the best way to zoom into a scene is by using your legs. It’s also the cheapest option.

Take the image above and first two below at the recent wedding of Hanna and Bosco at Hotel Marqués de Riscal, Elciego, Basque Country. They’re all taken with the lens set around 30mm. The first shows the overall setting and the amazing architecture of Frank Gehry’s building. The second is of those present and the third as Bosco comes over to thank his brother after a moving speech.

I could have stayed where I was and used a telephoto lens for the second and third shots but I doubt I’d have obtained an image that conveys the emotion of the moment while keeping the context and even a bit of the dusk sky. And that is so key to my style of photography.

I do carry a telephoto lens with me at weddings which is used mostly for the portraits of the couple. When I get back home, I typically find I’ve taken around 50 images with the telephoto and 950 with the wider angle lens set at 30-50mm. In this gallery of 33 images, only one is taken with the telephoto. Can you see which it is? And why?

—–

Hanna’s feedback:

Hi James,

The albums are here and they’re great. A thousand thanks for everything; your professionalism and understanding. We’d recommend you to anyone getting married in Alava.

A big hug,

Hanna.

Boda Marques de Riscal

Boda Marques de Riscal

Boda Marques de Riscal

Boda Marques de Riscal

Boda Marques de Riscal

Boda Marques de Riscal

Boda Marques de Riscal

The world’s best wedding photographers in Madrid

Monday November 7th, 2011 10:39 AM

Fotografia de Madrid

Just back from Madrid where I’ve been at a series of stimulating talks by wedding photographers who regularly take images to die for. All of those in the above image, Katarina and Jim Garner, Bob and Dawn Davis, Yervant and David Beckstead (from left to right) have been named among the top 10 wedding photographers in the world in recent years.

At the Foro de Fotógrafos talks, they revealed how they nurture their creative side and the methods they’ve used to capture amazing and natural wedding pictures. I’ve come back home inspired and looking forward to incorporation their best suggestions into my wedding photography.

Fotografia de Madrid

Fotografia de Madrid

Fotografia de Madrid

Fotografia de Madrid

Fotografia de Madrid