Friday, January 21, 2011

Taking Meaningful Photographs

The first time I met Vick “The Brick” Jacobs, he said to me, “I’m feelin’ you!”  This is his catch phrase, and he says it to everybody that he meets.  But somewhere in the overused phrase of his, is some actual meaning!  I thought about this while listening to music in my car today.  Music is more than just “songs that you hear on the radio.”  It is an artistic combination of notes, rhythm, words and most importantly – soul.  In order to really experience music, you need to feel it.  I'll be honest - I still dream of being a rockstar!  One of the reasons I picked up a guitar was because I was inspired by a song that made me feel something special.  I wanted to recreate that feeling through strumming out the chords (and rocking out in my room).  There's an undeniable energy to any concert that you go see, and that's why music is so inspiring.  Most of us know when that song hits the right chord with us – we’re tapping our fingers along with it, and you’re “feeling it."  It's the collaboration of drums, bass, guitar, vocals, harmonies all meshed into one to create the entire piece.  If you ever listen to an orchestral arrangement, you can appreciate how every instrument contributes to the musical piece as an entire experience.  Well the same goes for photographs.  In order to create a meaningful photograph, you set out to make the viewer feel it.  There needs to be substance to go with the style - the collaboration of lighting, composition, subject matter, depth of field.  A lot of beginning photographers will shoot just about everything at face value – meaning they will see something, and they’ll document it as it is.  This is perfectly fine, but the more you shoot, the more you begin to train yourself to take something ordinary, and make a statement about it.  Try different things with your photos to get a different “feel” about it.  You’d be surprised how different something “feels” when you change the angle of the shot, the lens on your camera, or even the overall brightness of your exposure.  You can shoot things in an infinite number of ways – go close up or try it wide.  Go vertical every now and then.  Compose off to the side and don’t center the subject in the viewfinder.  All these little things contribute to the overall feel of the picture.  Photography is a form of art, much like music, that needs to be felt.   With our wedding photography, we try to capture and portray all the emotions that the bride, groom, and family will feel throughout their big day – not just show up to “document” things as they happen.  Our goal is to have the bride and groom feel the same intense love that they share for one another every time they open up their wedding book and look through their pictures.  One of the reasons I enjoy photography so much is that I get inspired by other peoples' work as well.  There's nothing like seeing a great photo that makes you do a double take and think about what's going on in the picture.  It truly is inspring.  And with that, I’ll share a few pictures from the past that bring me back to some great feelings every time I look at them.  Go out there and try to create something inspirational for others to experience.  Feel it!


An intimate moment, frozen in time.

The look of joy!
Can you feel the LOVE?
The fun begins!

The tender embrace between mother and son.

Candid kisses between mother and daughter.

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