I recently shot a wonderful 5-day Hindu wedding and when I got to the end of it I felt an immense sadness. This most definitely had to do with the fact that I push myself beyond what is normal when I shoot any wedding and had a bad case of adrenal burn out which is something I suffer from, but it also had to do with the realisation that it was the last wedding where my assistant Elizabeth would be working with me on a typical wedding shoot. This is my ode to her!
So many wedding and portraits photographers are scared of their flash and panic when faced with tricky lighting situations. Often these same photographers can get stuck in ruts making safe images, which has them dreading work and serving clients who don’t resonate with them. Creative anxiety can also often be a huge problem and can debilitate new ideas and motivation.
If you are one of these photographers well then the next few lines are for you!
I know what it is like to feel totally burnt out and uninspired but with my Fine Art background, introspection and lots of reading I manage to push past the dark patches! 3 years ago I went on a trip to Bali to figure out what do with my life and my work. When I left South Africa I was battling with adrenal burnout and a broken heart. I had the most wonderful 2 life changing months in this magical land and by giving myself the space and time to think and dream I came home inspired and filled with a new lease on life. I realized whilst I was there that I wanted to help other people reach their potential and I dreamed up a workshop where I would teach other photographers to move from a place of “stuckness” and in to a place of creativity and self expression. My first “Unstuck Yourself Workshop” happened on a beautiful farm on the outskirts of Johannesburg last week. Not everyone can go to Bali for a shake up but you can take a day out of life to inspire yourself!
My aim for this workshop is to help you move past any fear you have surrounding your work and give you confidence to turn tricky situations into creative possibilities! I want to help you speak with your own visual language and create images that you are proud of! I have one spot open for the next workshop in Cape Town on the 1st of November.
I had breakfast with a fellow photographer the other day and we were chatting about the nuances of being a wedding photo-journalist. There are some photographers who don’t shoot a single portrait on a wedding day and never move a thing or direct a single moment to stay true to the ethos of documentary photography.
I personally believe that there is a place and a market for all styles and approaches, however I love photographing portraits. Depending on the client and what they want from their wedding day I often aim to create images which portray my clients as the beautiful souls that they are to me.
This one is for my photographer friends …….
A good wedding photographer isn’t just a good picture taker. You need to have the people skills of a ninja, have an enormous sense of diplomacy, patience, assertiveness and humor. You will need to learn how to deal with different personalities whilst undergoing a huge amount of stress. No one wants to hire a bossy be –yatch and so much of your future business will happen as a result of word of mouth. The way you conduct yourself on a wedding day will sell you as much as your pictures.
How you deal with the wedding guests is as important as how you deal with your bride and groom. Whether you have a wedding of 6 people or 600 people you need to treat everyone with respect. They are an extension of the couple
Today I am going to take a tongue and cheek look at some of the guests you will encounter along the way.
I recently gave a lecture to a group of 30 odd photographers on behalf of Nikon on “How to unboring your wedding Photography” and one of the questions I asked the audience was “What is it about wedding photography that makes you love it?”
I believe that in order to make authentic images we need to turn inward to discover what we really love and what we are drawn to instead of blindly copying trends or trying to do what everyone else is doing. If we know what we like and why, then we can apply these to our own work and use it as a map or a guide. If we keep coming back to this map we can create our own path instead of looking at everyone else and following the status quo which aside from being boring, can be an endless cycle.