Clean & Classic: The Importance of Timeless Wedding Photos
Hey guys! Heather here...
It's a balmy -2 degrees F here in Denver, so I'm calling it a snow day and have gone ahead and rescheduled all of my clients (trust me, it's no fun being outside in this weather).
Snow days used to be highly anticipated events, huddled up in bed watching the flakes falling from the window, listening to the radio station with your fingers crossed, toes crossed, pajamas inside out, and any other superstition that you thought might help the chances of your school being announced on the list of cancellations.
But now, twenty years later, I don't get that same luxury. Being a business owner means that you have to be the one to make those calls, and it's not always as easy as just wanting to stay in your sweats all day drinking hot chocolate and watching movies.
I wanted to chat a little about something that has been on my mind lately...
Shooting and Editing Styles:
It seems that the wedding photography world has been dichotomized into two categories and photographers are pressured to define themselves as either "dark & moody" or "light & airy".
Now, don't get me wrong... I personally love both of these styles. I frequently find myself scrolling through the work of some of these masters envious of their well-crafted brand. As for myself, I know how-to and can shoot "dark & moody" as well as "bright & airy" while still properly exposing for my subjects. Sometimes it is fun to play around and push my own artistic boundaries, it keeps my eye fresh and it a fun challenge.
But I think there is a risk involved in subscribing to trendy editing techniques and why I shy away from them: they will one day be out-of-style. I would hate for someone to look back at photos I shot of someone's wedding and go, "eek, that's so 2018".
Let's all take a moment to remember when super-desaturated photos were in, or the all black-and-white except one color splash was considered artsy; circa early 2000's. Or a real life example: My parents got married in the '80s and let's just say their wedding photos are "so 1980's". Sepia-washed prints and shoulder pads. Oh my god, so many shoulder pads.
This is why if I had to categorize myself, I will confidently say "clean & classic". I want you to look back at your wedding photos and love them ten years, twenty years, and fifty years from now. I don't want your kids laughing at them. I mean, they can laugh a little, because that's what kids do, but it should stop there. I want to give you timeless photos that withstand the test of trends, fads, and increasingly savvy technology.
Here are some examples:
I love when I am building out my albums and I feel like I can re-live the entire day. Depending on the season, weather, venue, dress, florals, and other design and natural factors, there will be some variation in my photographs... and I think that's a good thing! I don't want my couple's to ever feel like they are just being plopped into posing placeholders, trying to replicate some picture they found on Instagram. I want uniqueness and storytelling, without compromising correct exposure and composition.
I think the mark of a true artist is to have your work become distinctive enough that the viewer no longer needs a signature or a watermark to know who created it. For me, I prefer not to categorize my work into somebody else's style. I would say "clean & classic" if I had to label my work, but in some ways that feels boring. Even the word "timeless" can begin to stale. My photos aren't stale or boring, and I am constantly searching for new ways to craft my art into true storytelling and bold narration. That is my pledge as an artist to all of my clients and viewers alike.