A bridesmaid getting ready. Why this picture? The light, the beauty, the expression, hair, make up, skin. The colours. The silence. The slant? No, not the slant - I'd change that if I could - have more of her hands, perhaps indicating a bit more about what it is she is doing. But the slant isn't a problem really - the compelling beauty and peace of the picture overcome that, in my view anyway; feel free to disagree, I'm not changing my mind :)
OK, well, two shots here - apologies. However, they were taken moments apart so let's call them a unified whole. Anyway. The Dress. A big deal on the day and forever after, I've not understood that whole Trash The Dress thing - was it dreamt up by photographers to score another shoot? Perhaps it has more to do with a subconscious desire to be free of all the planning and preparation and work that goes into a wedding - a "well, we did it, we had a beautiful party and a tonne of wonderful memories, let's move on now and what better way to mark the occasion than by destroying the dress?" Well, I don't know - maybe it has some cathartic value but the symbolism of a wedding dress brought down from the loft twenty five years or seventy five years after the event - there's something in that isn't there? Something beautiful? I'd have thought so but still, I'm not likely to ever wear a wedding dress (although never say never of course :)) so what do I…
Posed group shots? Well, after a fashion. If you are ever involved in the cat herding process that is Photographing a Group, a tip: give people a few minutes to sort themselves out. Chances are, something will happen. It means letting go of the thought that you must organise things as quickly as possible because you have a schedule to keep and you don't want people getting bored and fed up - yep, by all means be ready and don't take an age once there is a group shot ready to take, but giving a moment for the group (who after all normally know one another well enough that, left to their own devices, they'll relax) to sort themselves out can pay dividends. It depends on your own personal style of course, but in my view the above shot will be of interest to the participants longer than the final version. Sure, you run the risk that the group won't be able to sort themselves out and you'll have to step in, but give them a chance - they all know what is required after …
A slight cheat this one as I wasn't the paid photographer at this wedding. Simplicity is the key and it might work well in black and white but here's a colour version anyway. What do I like about it apart from the simple form? Well, the light, and the limited colour palette, and the fact that she isn't looking at me / the camera - it might work even if she was but the fact that she isn't gives it some strength I think. The teddy (Hello Kitty?) also helps.
1950-something? Germany? On the reverse it says "From the Wark [?] looking SE". I've done a terrible job reproducing it here - apologies. I think it was taken with a Rolleicord which I have in my possession - it's in worse nick than the photograph unfortunately. Ah well. I'd love to have seen what my father made of digital photography; in another life maybe.
I had a look at Light Blue Software, a software business package specially developed for photographers. Maybe my business isn't big enough yet, but it seemed a tad overcomplicated for my needs - like having a consultation, a general anaesthetic and a surgical procedure when all you are doing is trimming your nails. To be kept under review, however, as all the feedback I have seen it get elsewhere has been exemplary.
[While we're on the subject of software, you'd think Portrait Professional would have arrived at a position whereby it didn't crash Photoshop constantly but, sadly, it hasn't. Ah well, still a time-saving piece of software, just not one you can rely on 100%].
It's that time in the cycle again - the "sorry I've not been posting much of late" post. Yes, yes, I've been doing other stuff but no excuse really - I shall try and get some more beautifully arranged pixels beamed at your eyeballs by the end of the week at the latest; in the meantime, can I suggest that you have a read of Oliver Burkeman's book The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking? The chapter on meditation is especially strong and, whilst I've not finished it yet, already there is plenty of philosophical food for thought. In the spirit of which, here's a space to contemplate - when you get fidgety and your mind wanders and the blankness won't come, go back to your breathing and try, again, to empty your mind:
OK, well, I'm about the press "Publish" - hopefully the space above will stay blank and restful; if not, breeeaatthhhhe.