January 10, 2011

Jocelyn + Eli...Trust is Golden

The power of trust is something we talk about but rarely really let go of. There are two things about photography and life that I feel strongly about; trust & golden light. I feel, to get amazing images from a photographer you need to trust them. In turn you're likely to evoke their creative freedom and your photog will shoot for themselves (as if they were getting married). The golden hour is the prettiest light, just before sunset. Most weddings take the pictures before the ceremony due to time and the importance of capturing the key shots of the bride & groom before the party starts. Jocelyn and Eli set a special scene for their wedding day. As they saw each other for the first time as the sun was about to set on the golf course of Ballen Isles in Palm Beach, I found myself shooting my sixth wedding since my workshop with Ben and Erin and had two new lenses in hand: the L 35mm F/1.4 and the L 50 mm f/1.2. As I watched Jocelyn & Eli dance on the golf course I fell in love with every angle I could find, the light and my new lenses. At one point I had my finger on the camera trigger, just going for that one shot I envisioned of them on the hill....My eyes were lusting over the moments of light and my head was saying, "shoot for yourself!" It was at that point that I shot a few silhouettes and Dorian shot the sun bursting through their kiss....I was in heaven. After all, I was on a golf course and at a wedding with this remarkable couple so in love and entrusting!
I feel most lucky when I am working with amazing couples who totally trust me because they let go...they let me guide them in a sensitive, sweet way which makes them forget or just not be bothered by things like, the bottom of their dress getting a little dusty or their feet hurting or tired, they just live in the moment.. they are alive! As Allison always tells me,"Mags, just let it happen!" Jocelyn trusted that I am going to lead them to a romantic spot that all they have to do is love each other. It's moments like these that make my job not seem like work, my heart feel fulfilled and my investments in equipment the best money I've ever spent.

What makes a great picture? As I stare at a picture in black and white - I ponder this question. Most photogs will tell you, lighting, emotion, color and composition.
So as I stare at this black and white image; there is no color, the light is fine and compositionally, if I had to retake it I would change my angle at bit. But to be honest, it doesn't matter, cause the moment is gone and I am left looking at this black & white. I come to terms with the fact that in my opinion, a great photo is one that tells a story, one that evokes feeling, emotion....in this instance, in this picture, I'm in love the feeling it gives me. At this weeding, there were a lot of great color images but for some reason, I come back to this one, a black & white and this is why......When I see this image, I see the bride holding the bussle of her dress with her hand while she brushes her curls back from neck as the wind blows her wail. I see the tone of her arms and the highlights of her striking features. She's beautiful. I remember, as she takes a deep breath she sweetly smiles, she's calm. While her groom is staring at the camera conscious of me but there is a shallow depth of field so he's not the main focus, it's about the bride. Selfishly, I love this photo because when I look at it again and again it takes me right back to the moment, the feeling, the lighting of the golden hour of that afternoon. Mostly, it takes me back to their love, so playful like a language of their own as they celebrated each other. It's passion. I remember the feeling and the thoughtfulness they showed each other, oh how rare.
So in the end, if it's up to me, a good picture is one you love looking at, one that brings you back to the moment, the taste, the sensations you had while you were lost in the moment not even knowing it happened....but now you stare at the photo realizing, that was it, that was the moment, fleeting.