What is Good Photography?
Hi all, welcome to my blog. My name is Ash and I am the founder and photographer of Lightscape Photography, based in Cambridge, England.
For this first post, I would like to talk a little bit about what makes a good photographer and then tell you a little bit about me and why I am writing this blog…
What makes a good photographer?
Obviously the answer to this can be very subjective, depending on preference for certain styles and the industry, event or situation for which the shots are taken. Traditionalists have pedalled the notion that the kind of shots that we see in Time Magazine or winning the Pulitzer Prize are not going to be either popular or suitable for formal events like weddings.
This is true in many senses, yet my contention is that great photography perfectly captures a moment in time and is not choreographed. I prefer this approach – the documentary style – even in the context of a wedding. Capturing all of the joy and happiness of that special day, so that couples and their families can relive those wonderful moments for years to come, provides me with a great deal of satisfaction, in the same way that the photographs I took during my 18-month trip to South America did.
It’s all about capturing a moment or a series of moments in time and this is why I find something truly magical about photographs and especially good photography.
Documentary wedding photography is good photography
A documentary wedding photographer will capture everything from the build-up to the ceremony, through to the speeches, first dance and the party at the end, discreetly taking photographs in the background to capture of all of the genuine emotion, laughter and happiness of the day.
There will generally be very little in the way of the choreographed posing that characterises the traditional approach.
Documentary photography is all about capturing the ‘wow’ factor, so that each picture tells a story for years to come, capturing the essence of each wonderful moment of your day.
Traditional photography does still have its place
Many people will prefer the traditional style of wedding photography, but I feel – and I know I’m not alone here – that this style is a little old-fashioned and stiff and does not really adhere to the idea of great photography being a true reflection of a moment in time, due to the awkward choreographed smiles and poses – SAY CHEESE!
An advantage of traditional photography is that the client knows exactly what you are getting, because the nature of the shots will be discussed with them beforehand. I’m not averse to using elements of traditional photography. What I have often done in my capacity as wedding photographer is to take a series of pre-arranged traditional shots, before and after which I like to act like to act a little like a (very well dressed) fly-on-the-wall, taking professional shots, but with an overriding sense of realism to capture every smile, laugh and even a tear quietly shed by the groom as he watches his wife walking down the aisle.
My reason for blogging
My reason for starting this blog is to share my thoughts on the art of photography, as well as different trends and developments within the industry. I want to share thoughts with other photographers, as well as musing on what clients really want from a photographer. Likewise, I would love to hear from anyone who is looking for a photographer or has used a photographer in the past and wants to share what it was that they liked or disliked about their experience(s).
What do you think?
So what do you think makes a good photographer? If you are getting married, has this post made you think more about the style you want? Please leave comments below as I am very interested to hear what everyone has to say on this subject.