January 27, 2016

Beyond the Pretty: Emotional Wedding Moments

As a wedding photographer I often laugh at myself on wedding days, feeling a bit like a photographic ninja, darting all over the place and always being on alert for interesting moments.  A lot of the photos I share publicly either through publications and blogs or here on my own blog or instagram tends to be the prettiest moments of the day.  Lots of beautiful details and portraits, but weddings are about so much more than the pretty moments.  Weddings are a roller coaster of emotions- joy, sadness, nervousness, fear, love, anticipation, exhaustion, etc- all bundled up into one big day, which is what drove my interest in photographing weddings in the first place.  There are so many wonderful “wedding moments” that I don’t always get to share, so I went back through my archive of nearly 60 weddings to pick out some of my favorite moments of raw emotion.  Warning you may want to have a tissue handy!

RYALE_EM_Moments-02
RYALE_EM_Moments-01
RYALE_EM_Moments-03
RYALE_EM_Moments-04
RYALE_EM_Moments-05
RYALE_EM_Moments-06
RYALE_EM_Moments-07
RYALE_EM_Moments-08
RYALE_EM_Moments-09
RYALE_EM_Moments-010
RYALE_EM_Moments-011
RYALE_EM_Moments-013
RYALE_EM_Moments-015
RYALE_EM_Moments-016
RYALE_EM_Moments-017
RYALE_EM_Moments-018
RYALE_EM_Moments-019
RYALE_EM_Moments-020
RYALE_EM_Moments-021
RYALE_EM_Moments-022
RYALE_EM_Moments-023
RYALE_EM_Moments-025
RYALE_EM_Moments-026
RYALE_EM_Moments-027
RYALE_EM_Moments-028
RYALE_EM_Moments-029
RYALE_EM_Moments-030
RYALE_EM_Moments-031
RYALE_EM_Moments-032
RYALE_EM_Moments-033
RYALE_EM_Moments-034
RYALE_EM_Moments-035
RYALE_EM_Moments-036
RYALE_EM_Moments-038
RYALE_EM_Moments-039
RYALE_EM_Moments-040
RYALE_EM_Moments-041
RYALE_EM_Moments-042
RYALE_EM_Moments-043
RYALE_EM_Moments-044
RYALE_EM_Moments-046
RYALE_EM_Moments-047
RYALE_EM_Moments-048
RYALE_EM_Moments-049

RYALE_EM_Moments-051
RYALE_EM_Moments-052
RYALE_EM_Moments-053
RYALE_EM_Moments-054
RYALE_EM_Moments-055
RYALE_EM_Moments-056
RYALE_EM_Moments-057
RYALE_EM_Moments-058
RYALE_EM_Moments-059
RYALE_EM_Moments-060
RYALE_EM_Moments-062
RYALE_EM_Moments-063
RYALE_EM_Moments-064
RYALE_EM_Moments-065
RYALE_EM_Moments-061
RYALE_EM_Moments-066
RYALE_EM_Moments-067
RYALE_EM_Moments-068
RYALE_EM_Moments-069
RYALE_EM_Moments-070
RYALE_EM_Moments-071
RYALE_EM_Moments-072
RYALE_EM_Moments-073
RYALE_EM_Moments-074
RYALE_EM_Moments-076
RYALE_EM_Moments-077
RYALE_EM_Moments-078
RYALE_EM_Moments-079
RYALE_EM_Moments-080
RYALE_EM_Moments-081
RYALE_EM_Moments-082
RYALE_EM_Moments-083
RYALE_EM_Moments-084
RYALE_EM_Moments-085
RYALE_EM_Moments-086
RYALE_EM_Moments-087
RYALE_EM_Moments-088
RYALE_EM_Moments-090

January 25, 2016

Behind The Frame: Always Being “On”

As a wedding photographer, we must always be “on.” And by that I mean we must always have our camera in hand and be looking for moments, sometimes before they even happen.  When I create the wedding day schedule there are landmarks to photograph like the reveal, ceremony, cake cutting, etc., but often the moments leading up to those are where the true emotion of the day lies.  This moment was captured right after the bride and finished putting on her dress and was walking out to meet her groom for their first look.  I am often leading the bride or the groom to that moment and I love looking back at them and capturing that moment and all of the anticipation on their faces.  I love this shot in particular because you can see the two bridesmaids behind her helping with the dress and the third on the left of the frame is looking at me, breaking the third wall, which normally I don’t like in a candid photograph, but in this one I love it because her gaze at me is one of excitement, knowing what’s about to come for her friend in the following moments.  It’s a wonderful juxtaposition to the gaze of the bride who is calm and serene leading out to this moment, but you can sense an undertone of nerves and joy in the almost smile breaking on her face.  They are framed perfectly by the glass doors they are exiting, which was not posed, but rather I had scoped out that spot earlier while scouting and knew it would be a wonderful shot as they exited so before I directed them to exit I stood in place a few feet ahead of them so I could lock my focus and then walked backwards in pace with them to get this shot as they exited.  If I had realized after that it was a good spot for a photo and said wait go back, it would have both interrupted the day and this wonderful moment and it would no longer have the raw authenticity of expression on the brides face. 

January 18, 2016

Behind The Frame: Photographing Rings

RYALE_BTF-031

I love shooting rings, but they can definitely get a little repetitive.   It is always a creative challenge to make a ring shot feel new and unique.  And a good ring shot should really be unique to each bride and groom.  This bride’s engagement session was on the beach and their wedding was going to be too, so using this shell, which was actually a gift from the groom, was the perfect way to make the photo personal.  I’ve used invitations, velvet boxes, macarons, and even a Mickey Mouse doll to get a personalized ring shot.  Rings are a little harder to shoot with the Contax because you have to use the Hoya Filters to turn the lens into a macro to get the closeup shot of the ring and it’s really easy to miss focus.  I usually shoot most of my photos at F2, but for a ring shot with a macro filter on I’ll stop down to F4 or 5.6 so there’s a wider plain of focus and more of the ring can be in focus.  The macro filter will help create lots of bokeh and a very shallow depth of field, so there’s no need to be at F2 most of the time.  My assistant always laughs at me as I rock back and forth in micro movements as I take these shots watching through my lens to make sure my focus is tack sharp where I want it to be.  Ring shots are all about composition because their such simple detail shots so the styling is very important.  I tend to not like a really crowded ring shot with a ton of different elements that distract from the beauty of the diamond.  I may add the ring in as a smaller element into other detail shots like the invitation or all of the bride’s accessories, but when it comes to the ring by itself I think a simple uncrowded composition lets it shine and creates a beautiful piece of art the bride can enjoy.