More 5D play. No audio or color correction, it's straight out of the camera. Last sequence is with the in-camera mike (wasn't really ready when they took off like that), the rest with the Sennheiser MKE-400.
I have a few stock phrases when I talk about my wedding photography. Like, I do few enough of them that I really like it when one comes along. That I know I'm not burned out so long as I still get teary during the ceremony. That I feel like a privileged witness able to burrow deeply into an intimate and emotional event. All this is true enough.
Here is a non-obvious answer. Getting paid for the gig raises the bar, creatively, professionally and interpersonally. I am in the middle of these really personal, intimate moments, with people I hardly know, because that's the contract we made. There's no other way in which I would be in that spot. And no other access to the possibility for stunning images.
Wedding photography, really, is better done by women. Yet I appear to have an ability to be a non-threatening male witness with a group of women as they “prep” the bride by, say, taping breasts and dress together so that nothing pops out. Those hours of rising tension before the ceremony are my favorite part of the wedding day. I can feel the buzz of emotions around me, and I love that I am embedded in that swirl.
It is eight hours in (and four to go), at the start of the reception, where I don't know anyone and I feel so completely like the geek with the camera, walking up to strangers to take their photos, that I remind myself, this is a job. This is why I'm getting paid. Buck up and keep at it.
On Flickr is the first look at the Valentine's Day wedding of Susannah and Bill.
Just saw on the local contra dance listserv that the Camp Wannadance lineup (March 20-22) is set, though the Wannadance website has not been updated. I was at another dance camp this weekend (which the organizers asked me not to document) so I thought I'd rerun the documentary I made of last year's Wannadance, which I've re-edited. It's a bit shorter, and everyone's name is correctly spelled now.
If you're a beginning dancer, a dance camp is a great way to ramp up your skill level really fast. I basically learned to contra dance at Wannadance in 1988. The only way to become a better dancer is to dance with dancers who are better than you are.
Over at Chase Jarvis is a great exegesis of the state of the stock photography marketplace from a shooter's perspective. It's written by Chase's studio manager, Scott, who manages the post-production there.
Scott refers to the mediocrity and sameness of imagery in the stock libraries, driven by sales metrics and not by creative content. It reminds me of 1989, and suggests that we're about to see a creative upheaval not unlike what the business saw in the early nineties.
Stock in the late eighties was predictable and boring, a catch basin for assignment outtakes, with not much creative range. In 1991 a Japanese stock agency, Photonica, opened up a New York office and distributed a catalog unlike anything ever seen on this side of the Pacific. Dreamy photographs of flowers and water, pages and pages of them. In a stock catalog. Nobody could make sense of it.
At about this time was a much derided ad series, produced by Hill, Holliday Conners of Boston, introducing Infiniti cars,. They were dreamy photographs about nothing, just haystacks in fields and ripples of water. They were ads for a car that didn't show the car. Just the feelings. Nobody could figure it out. David Letterman made fun of the ads on his show. But the ads were off the charts for generating brand awareness.
This was the climate of the times when Photonica entered the scene. They became wildly successful and then became widely copied. I was one of their early American photographers, and I enjoyed quite a ride with them. I shot like I always did, and for the first time I found that there was a desire in the marketplace for how I saw. My creative work was in sync with my time.
Soon enough, editors started to manage the look and to art direct shoots. Other agencies created their own Photonica aesthetic (the agency had become an adjective), and by the turn of the century the ride was over. Getty bought the files and subsumed them into the Collective.
We seem to be on a similar track with Getty Images as the next fall guy. Scott's blog entry suggests a great hunger for a new aesthetic in tune with the times.