Thursday, October 13, 2011

Guest Post: Why SO Serious? The Photography Trend Of Not Smiling

A lot of my post ideas come from other blogs I read.  When I came across this OffBeat Bride article, "Whatever You Do, DON'T SMILE", it was so intriguing that I had to send it to some photographers who I really admire to see their opinion.  And here is what I discovered, both photogs made really good points for each side.  If you are a couple who is unsure what direction you want to go for your wedding day photos, these two professionals break down the trend so you can decide what is best for you. Enjoy!

Lindsay Hite, ReadyLuck: I've been noticing that myself on the blogs too recently.  I say if it reflects the couple's personality (maybe a deadpan, or dry sense of humor), why not?  I think a big part of creating beautiful images that the couple will enjoy long after their wedding day is all about playing off of their vibe, and what's important to them.  Recently, I've made a few portraits with serious expressions, and they've been successful because they work as individual images, and in the context.  If the couple is bursting at the seams smiling, why try to stifle that- go with it!  Sometimes, if people have their "photo face" on and I can see in their eyes that their mind is elsewhere, I remind them that it's ok to relax and try to bring them back into the moment.  Bottom line, trends are trends but the images that are true to the couple will last.

Annabelle Dando, Annabelle Dando Photography: I think, unfortunately, in the process of creating "fine art photography" (which in and of itself has become a trend nowadays) some photographers have forgotten that their clients aren't just models in nice dresses/outfits and cool settings. Instead of remembering that they have been hired to document all the joy and bliss and love (and sometimes tears) that go along with a wedding, they see it as a production, almost, in which they are directing a "shoot" trying to up the ante and create something epic. While I'm all for epic photography, and I think it can have its place in a wedding, I think some photographers have got to remember that the clients don't want to look like models- they want to look like themselves, captured brilliantly. Yeah, models often do look miserable and "super-serious" in their fashion shoots, but if you look at mock wedding shoots set up by magazines or designers, the pictures never have the amazing energy that exists with people who are happy or in love. Sure, grab one or two serious shots, just to mix it up if you'd like, but I don't think it should be done in overkill.  Getting real smiles (or any type of real emotion) is the best part of being a photographer with a documentary instinct. To tell people to do the opposite of what they're feeling is to shoot yourself in the foot, in my opinion.  I have taken pictures that I love compositionally, but I doubt my subject will love how they look- so it doesn't end up in the "keep" pile.

1 comment:

  1. Annabelle definitely has the touch to capture the playfulness of her subjects, which is wonderful for engagement and wedding shots.