Simple | Timeless

January 21, 2010

Simple | Timeless

Filed under: Photo Technique, Weddings — simpletimeless @ 5:05 pm

I want my images to be timeless. I want my images to be just as strong in 20, 50 or 150 years as they are today. The fundamentals I follow today are the same that great painters followed hundreds of years before the first photographs. This is especially true for my wedding clients. Your wedding photos will be viewed for generations to come, you want beautiful images that tell your story and capture all of your beauty. A fashion, advertising or editorial shoot might be viewed for 1-3 years, a wedding album should last at least 100 years. What looks “cool” or unique today might look pretty silly and archaic 20 years down the road, and sometimes just a few years later. Many photographers today are after the fads and styles of the now and they forget what is most important, telling their clients story and capturing the beauty they see. Creativity is no excuse for forgetting your primary function, be creative, see differently but do not forget the priority. Creativity should be in service of the job it should serve a function. This does not mean I do not take some risks and try some radical things- I do, but I only take those shots after I have captured the moment beautifully. I want to tell the story first, then I can take some risks.

Let me give a couple of examples:
Right now many photographers are overdoing actions in Photoshop. Actions are preset edits that designers have created for quick image editing. Some actions are great and can subtly give an image a boost. As actions become more commonplace designers and photographers keep looking to push the envelope and generate more radical looks. These radical looks might pop out because they are different but overdoing them makes for a lot of dated images.

Another trend now is wide-angle. Traditionally wide angles are not used very much when photographing people. Wide angle lenses stretch out space and can even distort the face and its’ features, they can be very unflattering. Telephoto or longer lenses compress space and give a more flattering rendition of the face. They also throw the background out of focus giving a pleasing separation between subject and background. I also think that we want to see things close up the expressions and emotions are best seen up close. Wide angles might make for some cool effects and give a sense of space but they should be used sparingly.

Be creative, see things differently, take risks- but don’t forget your first job telling the story with beautiful, simple, and timeless images!

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