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Forums > Photography Talk > Compositional Correctness vs. Lack of Soul Search   Reply
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Photographer
Jacob delaRosa
Posts: 208
Birmingham, Alabama, US


I shot an engagement session yesterday and one of the images I delivered was this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jnd_photog … /lightbox/

I chose the composition because it had strong leading lines and a frame within a frame. However, my client commented that they were "too small in the picture" which I could understand. What could I have done to give this image more impact without sacrificing the composition?
Dec 31 12 10:40 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Caveman Creations
Posts: 580
Fort Worth, Texas, US


Jacob delaRosa wrote:
I shot an engagement session yesterday and one of the images I delivered was this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jnd_photog … /lightbox/

I chose the composition because it had strong leading lines and a frame within a frame. However, my client commented that they were "too small in the picture" which I could understand. What could I have done to give this image more impact without sacrificing the composition?

Maybe post in Critique? I would tell you what I think of it, but we're supposedly not to do that here! big_smile

Dec 31 12 10:42 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
optimistic negatives
Posts: 83
Wichita, Kansas, US


Jacob delaRosa wrote:
I shot an engagement session yesterday and one of the images I delivered was this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jnd_photog … /lightbox/

I chose the composition because it had strong leading lines and a frame within a frame. However, my client commented that they were "too small in the picture" which I could understand. What could I have done to give this image more impact without sacrificing the composition?

It looks like you used a long lens, but in this case the only way to achieve the effect they wanted would have been to use a LONGER lens. With a 400mm lens you probably would have been able to use the vegetation as a frame and have your subject appear a little more than twice the size they are now with the leading lines.

However... who carries a 400mm lens with them for a standard portrait shoot? Prooobably very few people.

Dec 31 12 10:43 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jacob delaRosa
Posts: 208
Birmingham, Alabama, US


Caveman Creations wrote:

Maybe post in Critique? I would tell you what I think of it, but we're supposedly not to do that here! big_smile

Oops. My bad. Heading there now.

Dec 31 12 10:45 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DavidCoward Photography
Posts: 629
Sandy Springs, Georgia, US


I'm not a wedding/engagement photographer, so take this for what it's worth.

For weddings and such, the emphasis should be clearly on the subject. There's nothing wrong with making it artistic as long as you don't lose the people in the scenery.

I have to agree with the couple. You made them too small in the frame.
Dec 31 12 10:45 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
BTHPhoto
Posts: 6,756
Fairbanks, Alaska, US


Show them a 16x20 print.
Dec 31 12 10:49 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kaouthia
Posts: 3,152
Lancaster, England, United Kingdom


Jacob delaRosa wrote:
What could I have done to give this image more impact without sacrificing the composition?

Shot it from further back with a longer lens to keep the archway the same size, but increase the size of them in the background.

What you can do from here is just make a huge print.

optimistic negatives wrote:
However... who carries a 400mm lens with them for a standard portrait shoot? Prooobably very few people.

A handy time for those D700 owners to carry a D300 with 'em as well (or go to a D800, step back and crop).  Throw that 70-200mm f/2.8VR on a D300 or D300s and it's 105-300mm equivalent - and the same resolution as the D700.

Dec 31 12 11:03 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,174
Salem, Oregon, US


shooting people small in the frame is an old trick used to sell huge wall installations! you're actually old school with this one.

if you have enough megapixels, just crop in on them and send it back.

i'd be careful about only shooting shots like this. make sure to do a mix including some tighter ones. but i like the way you found something in the foreground to serve as a frame. i try to do that as well.

you didn't do anything wrong unless you did the whole shoot that way without discussing in advance whether they wanted environmentals.
Dec 31 12 11:11 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
moving pictures
Posts: 661
Los Angeles, California, US


Jacob delaRosa wrote:
I shot an engagement session yesterday and one of the images I delivered was this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jnd_photog … /lightbox/

I chose the composition because it had strong leading lines and a frame within a frame. However, my client commented that they were "too small in the picture" which I could understand. What could I have done to give this image more impact without sacrificing the composition?

Screw the composition.  Make the client happy.  That's your job... imho

Dec 31 12 11:13 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Leighthenubian
Posts: 2,737
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Jacob delaRosa wrote:
I shot an engagement session yesterday and one of the images I delivered was this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jnd_photog … /lightbox/

I chose the composition because it had strong leading lines and a frame within a frame. However, my client commented that they were "too small in the picture" which I could understand. What could I have done to give this image more impact without sacrificing the composition?

For an image like this where the couple is clearly looking towards the camera position it is "not" an effective composition.

If they were kissing, hugging or otherwise engaged anywhere but with the camera it would have been much better.

Like this outtake from one of my weddings

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8500/8330103303_e93c474a4d_c_d.jpg

The couple are looking at each other and I'm just capturing the moment as everyone else is seeing it. Wouldn't work if they were focused on my position.

Dec 31 12 11:18 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
afplcc
Posts: 5,971
Fairfax, Virginia, US


I'm not going to comment on the picture--that's for "critique".  But I can talk generally about the dilemma.

1.  I think the heading (and perhaps your perspective) is misleading and incorrect.  The choice is not:  good composition or a good photo.  Take the issue of framing the subject.  You can "frame" the subject (put them in an arch, window or doorway) but that doesn't make it an interesting photo OR even good composition.  Framing is simply one tool/approach which...when used correctly....can draw eyes to a photo.  For instance, there are times when the quality of the composition will be better if you do NOT frame the subject (simply b/c there is a better compositional element to exploit...such as the use of space or color or a diagonal line or perspective).

2.  You aren't seeing the photos with the same eyes (and perspective) that the client is seeing the photos.  I remember taking a family photo once that was a candid moment (between poses).  The family dog started to lick the face of one of the kids (who was holding the dog), the Mom was rolling her eyes, the Dad was laughing, one of the other kids was recoiling with horror..."ugh, he's licking your face!" and the youngest child was picking his nose.  It was a superb photo.  The Mom hated it b/c of the youngest picking his nose and she said that particular shot gave her a double chin (which it did).  I saw a family looking natural, unposed, candid and having fun (or expressing their personalities).  Her take was:  it makes her (the Mom) and the youngest look bad.

When it's a paying gig, your responsibility is to provide what it is the client wants (within reason).  And that means instead of focusing on that incredibly interesting shadow cast by the maid of honor's hair, you be sure to get the picture of the bride and groom kissing instead.  You pass up a clever abstract shot for the "money shot" at a wedding...b/c that's what the bride and groom are paying you for.

Now, in an ideal world you provide the poses/shots they've come to expect.  But you also provide enough unique stuff that years later (when they've seen a gazillion wedding portfolios so they can go "yep, there's the one of the first dance, the one of the cake smash, the one at the alter, the one at...." they can go "wow, what a clever shot" or "gee, what a fascinating photo."  But for gigs like this, your first priority is to the client.

Ed
Dec 31 12 11:27 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Silver Mirage
Posts: 1,546
Plainview, Texas, US


If you do retail photography for money - wedding, portrait, seniors or whatever - the first thing to realize is that very few clients care about formal composition. However, every client cares about how they look in the picture.

Keep the emphasis on the client and concentrate on getting good facial expression and body language. Keep the background clean. Do that and the rest will fall into place.
Dec 31 12 11:29 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
L A U B E N H E I M E R
Posts: 8,361
Seattle, Washington, US


moving pictures wrote:

Screw the composition.  Make the client happy.  That's your job... imho

but why then attract other clients who prefer bad composition? why not find a different composition that is still good that the clients like?

hmm

Dec 31 12 11:31 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
optimistic negatives
Posts: 83
Wichita, Kansas, US


The client hired you because they liked your artistic vision, so give them your artistic vision. Do it however you want, just be mindful that your job is to make beautiful art, capture special moments, AND(probably most importantly) make them look good. The others are right, upon first glance the only thing a person sees in a photo is themself. If they don't like the way they look, they already don't like the photo.

Sure, take some artsy shots, sure, get some candid shots of her fiancee checking out her butt, just make sure that you get shots of them the way they want to look and you can just deliver all those images and have a happy client.
Dec 31 12 11:36 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Leighthenubian
Posts: 2,737
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


moving pictures wrote:

Screw the composition.  Make the client happy.  That's your job... imho

Not sure about this approach. You can do both. Doing it your way makes a commodity out of what a professional does.

Dec 31 12 02:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Bob Helm Photography
Posts: 18,090
Cherry Hill, New Jersey, US


Did they look at samples of your work before booking you?
Is the photo consistent with the work you showed them?
Nothing says client and photograper have to have the same vision on every shot.
The customer is not always right but they are always the customer so give them what they want and if you want to use the image as a sample do so.
Dec 31 12 02:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Raoul Isidro Images
Posts: 5,929
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Clients see themselves first on the picture.

Composition is far away from their minds.

.
Dec 31 12 03:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
optimistic negatives
Posts: 83
Wichita, Kansas, US


Client thinking goes like this:

1. Do I look good in the picture? (If yes, go to #2, if no, then I do not like the picture)
2. I look good in this picture, how good do I look in this picture? (If "fairly good", then this picture is "ok", if "really good", go to #3).
3. I look really good in this picture, is there anything going on in this picture that detracts from me looking good? (This is when photobombers are usually noticed, or that tag sticking out, or the fiancee is making a face, if yes, the picture is "ok", if no, go to #4)
4. Is the rest of the photo aesthetically pleasing? (This is where your artsy style comes in, how does the composition look? how is the color? are any effects done tastefully? does this look professional? Once you get to this point, the picture is a "good" picture, but the more of these things that are pleasing to the client, the better their opinion of your photo, from good to great to amazing to absolutely incredible)

The bottom line is... if someone doesn't like the way they look in the photo, then to them the photo is not good... regardless of how masterful the rest of the photo looks.
Dec 31 12 04:10 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Andrew Thomas Evans
Posts: 23,842
Minneapolis, Minnesota, US


Jacob delaRosa wrote:
I shot an engagement session yesterday and one of the images I delivered was this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jnd_photog … /lightbox/

I chose the composition because it had strong leading lines and a frame within a frame. However, my client commented that they were "too small in the picture" which I could understand. What could I have done to give this image more impact without sacrificing the composition?

I can see that working well with what you did, and it looks pretty good. I can also see that cropped in a bit with less of a emphasis on the background, and it would still be a strong image. Both styles would have good composition, and the same focus really, just different elements.

Personally, when doing artistic stuff like that I double check with the clients on the spot, as well as get a tighter or safer shot.



Andrew Thomas Evans
www.andrewthomasevans.com

Dec 31 12 04:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
moving pictures
Posts: 661
Los Angeles, California, US


Mark Laubenheimer wrote:

but why then attract other clients who prefer bad composition? why not find a different composition that is still good that the clients like?

hmm

Because most likely, the next couple would feel the same way.  They'll look at the photo and wonder not how good the composition is, but how good does the photo make the couple look.

So if anything, if a client has a problem with an image, it's a bad idea to show it to  potential future clients.

Dec 31 12 06:31 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
moving pictures
Posts: 661
Los Angeles, California, US


Illuminate wrote:

Not sure about this approach. You can do both. Doing it your way makes a commodity out of what a professional does.

If you're getting paid, it's a commodity.  Cause if you don't like it the way they want it, somebody else will provide your professional services.

Dec 31 12 06:34 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
moving pictures
Posts: 661
Los Angeles, California, US


optimistic negatives wrote:
Client thinking goes like this:

1. Do I look good in the picture? (If yes, go to #2, if no, then I do not like the picture)
2. I look good in this picture, how good do I look in this picture? (If "fairly good", then this picture is "ok", if "really good", go to #3).
3. I look really good in this picture, is there anything going on in this picture that detracts from me looking good? (This is when photobombers are usually noticed, or that tag sticking out, or the fiancee is making a face, if yes, the picture is "ok", if no, go to #4)
4. Is the rest of the photo aesthetically pleasing? (This is where your artsy style comes in, how does the composition look? how is the color? are any effects done tastefully? does this look professional? Once you get to this point, the picture is a "good" picture, but the more of these things that are pleasing to the client, the better their opinion of your photo, from good to great to amazing to absolutely incredible)

The bottom line is... if someone doesn't like the way they look in the photo, then to them the photo is not good... regardless of how masterful the rest of the photo looks.

bingo!

Dec 31 12 06:34 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Leighthenubian
Posts: 2,737
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


moving pictures wrote:

If you're getting paid, it's a commodity.  Cause if you don't like it the way they want it, somebody else will provide your professional services.

Have you shot many weddings?

Dec 31 12 09:33 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
dhp
Posts: 111
San Francisco, California, US


Raoul Isidro Images wrote:
Clients see themselves first on the picture.

Composition is far away from their minds.

.

Couldn't disagree more with this.... It all depends on the clients you are attracting. While some might fall into this category, there are many that appreciate the artistic approach. The goal is to attract the clientele that fall in line with the style that you provide. Pretty much all of my clients come to me because of the way that I shoot environmental portraits that almost features the place more than the couple.

But at the end of the day, you want to do a mix of your style and something more safe. Blog/post/feature the stuff that you WANT to shoot, but deliver a good variety.

Dec 31 12 11:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kent Art Photography
Posts: 2,647
Ashford, England, United Kingdom


optimistic negatives wrote:
Client thinking goes like this:

1. Do I look good in the picture? (If yes, go to #2, if no, then I do not like the picture)
2. I look good in this picture, how good do I look in this picture? (If "fairly good", then this picture is "ok", if "really good", go to #3).
3. I look really good in this picture, is there anything going on in this picture that detracts from me looking good? (This is when photobombers are usually noticed, or that tag sticking out, or the fiancee is making a face, if yes, the picture is "ok", if no, go to #4)
4. Is the rest of the photo aesthetically pleasing? (This is where your artsy style comes in, how does the composition look? how is the color? are any effects done tastefully? does this look professional? Once you get to this point, the picture is a "good" picture, but the more of these things that are pleasing to the client, the better their opinion of your photo, from good to great to amazing to absolutely incredible)

The bottom line is... if someone doesn't like the way they look in the photo, then to them the photo is not good... regardless of how masterful the rest of the photo looks.

What is quite http://assets.modelmayhem.com/images/smilies/scary.pnghere is that a lot of the people in this thread really don't get this.

Jan 01 13 03:50 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
moving pictures
Posts: 661
Los Angeles, California, US


Illuminate wrote:
Have you shot many weddings?

Nope.  Not even one.

But I've written, directed and/or produced feature films, documentaries, television series.  And recently got into photographing fashion campaigns, editorials, advertisements, etc...

Thus I've spent my career in "the arts" and my experience is that successful people in the arts get that it's a commodity and that the key to success is to first deliver what your client wants, prior to indulging in one's own "art".  Otherwise you don't get paid to do it.

Jan 01 13 02:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
kevinLi
Posts: 214
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Actually see it used a lot, and yeah they sell great as giant prints. Yours isn't even extrem.

http://whitewallphotography.com.au/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/storyboard027.jpg
Jan 01 13 05:10 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Leighthenubian
Posts: 2,737
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


moving pictures wrote:

Nope.  Not even one.

But I've written, directed and/or produced feature films, documentaries, television series.  And recently got into photographing fashion campaigns, editorials, advertisements, etc...

Thus I've spent my career in "the arts" and my experience is that successful people in the arts get that it's a commodity and that the key to success is to first deliver what your client wants, prior to indulging in one's own "art".  Otherwise you don't get paid to do it.

Well your first sentence is more relevant than the rest.

I shoot around 20-30 weddings each year and nothing else that I did prior, except for running a business was helpful. Clients make decisions to book you based on what they see in your portfolio/sample albums etc. A big part of that is your creative vision in composition while keeping the focus on them.

I haven't met two clients in a row that knew what they "wanted". The last wedding client of 2012 is a wedding planner who has seen it all in the market. It took three meetings before we nailed down her wedding for April 2013 and the final plan is nothing like she "wanted" at the first meeting.

You have to look at a variety of shots while considering different compositions otherwise that 60 page photo album is going to get repetitive in a hurry.

The OP's shot is good but only fails because the subjects were staring at the camera position...I bet if he pressed them that would be the area of concern. What they "wanted" was to be the focal point of the image...not a supporting prop.

Jan 01 13 06:05 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Photo
Posts: 4,144
New York, New York, US


Jacob delaRosa wrote:
I shot an engagement session yesterday and one of the images I delivered was this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jnd_photog … /lightbox/

I chose the composition because it had strong leading lines and a frame within a frame. However, my client commented that they were "too small in the picture" which I could understand. What could I have done to give this image more impact without sacrificing the composition?

Nothing. Who cares about the composition? Professional photography is a service. If the client likes it, then the composition is right.

When photographing people you can shoot their exterior or interior. Focusing on lighting and composition is how you go about photographing their exteriors. The only people who care about this type of photo are photographers.

And engagement shoot is about their interiors. They are paying you to make a photo that shows them feeling love for each other - not demonstrating it, but feeling it. You're goal is to make a photo of something that is intangible and invisible. This emotion is what provokes an emotional reaction in the viewer.

It's not impossible to combine them, but that should never be intentional or thought about, it will simply happen on its own. The process is to focus solely on their feelings - watch for it listen for it, ask about it. When you find it and shot that as your subject, the rest will fall into place.


Their criticism is that they were too small. That's another way of saying that the photo is about you and not about them. You're saying that yourself. You have a composition that you're proud of and you want to keep that over everything else. The resulting story when you think that way is "look how clever I am" rather than "look how in love we/they are".

The most literal answer to your question is that abandon this composition, focus on shooting their feelings, and then once that happening in every shot - and you'll probably be in a different location with a wider lens, rediscover the same idea with a different object framing them.

Jan 01 13 07:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Photo
Posts: 4,144
New York, New York, US


moving pictures wrote:

Screw the composition.  Make the client happy.  That's your job... imho

+1

Jan 01 13 07:52 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Photo
Posts: 4,144
New York, New York, US


Illuminate wrote:

For an image like this where the couple is clearly looking towards the camera position it is "not" an effective composition.

If they were kissing, hugging or otherwise engaged anywhere but with the camera it would have been much better.

Like this outtake from one of my weddings

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8500/8330103303_e93c474a4d_c_d.jpg

The couple are looking at each other and I'm just capturing the moment as everyone else is seeing it. Wouldn't work if they were focused on my position.

But this photo is a wedding photo - the subject is the event. That's a totally different subject from an engagement photo.

Jan 01 13 07:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Photo
Posts: 4,144
New York, New York, US


optimistic negatives wrote:
The client hired you because they liked your artistic vision, so give them your artistic vision. Do it however you want, just be mindful that your job is to make beautiful art, capture special moments, AND(probably most importantly) make them look good. The others are right, upon first glance the only thing a person sees in a photo is themself. If they don't like the way they look, they already don't like the photo.

Sure, take some artsy shots, sure, get some candid shots of her fiancee checking out her butt, just make sure that you get shots of them the way they want to look and you can just deliver all those images and have a happy client.

I agree with what you're saying, but I think you're saying it in a way that clutters it up unnecessarily.

If you capture a truly special moment it will be beautiful art and make them look good. Separating that into three redundant ideas gives you three times as much to think about, when it's all the same thing. Just focus on the special moments. When you do that, you can shoot blindfolded and create beautiful art.

Jan 01 13 07:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Photo
Posts: 4,144
New York, New York, US


Illuminate wrote:

Not sure about this approach. You can do both. Doing it your way makes a commodity out of what a professional does.

That is what a professional does. It's a service business.

Some clients care about the composition, so that will be part of making the client happy.

Even when it's not, and even if you focus solely on making the client happy, you're simply not going to be able to avoid making good compositions. For one it's just natural to make good photos. For two, you can't find what will make the client happy without looking at the scene in the way that they want, and that will create the composition for you.

Jan 01 13 08:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Photo
Posts: 4,144
New York, New York, US


Mark Laubenheimer wrote:

but why then attract other clients who prefer bad composition? why not find a different composition that is still good that the clients like?

hmm

"Screw the composition" doesn't mean intentionally shoot bad photos. If you intentionally shoot bad composition, you're not screwing the composition, you're just choosing a different one.

"Screw the composition" means remove it from your list of priorities or the things you think about when shooting.

In a discussion of photography we can make lists of things that make up a good photo and they're all valid. But that doesn't mean it's the list that should be in our head (heart) when shooting. You can remove composition from your priority list while shooting without removing it from the final photo.

Jan 01 13 08:33 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Photo
Posts: 4,144
New York, New York, US


moving pictures wrote:

Nope.  Not even one.

But I've written, directed and/or produced feature films, documentaries, television series.  And recently got into photographing fashion campaigns, editorials, advertisements, etc...

Thus I've spent my career in "the arts" and my experience is that successful people in the arts get that it's a commodity and that the key to success is to first deliver what your client wants, prior to indulging in one's own "art".  Otherwise you don't get paid to do it.

And you're not saying that in order to treat it as a commodity you have to remove the art.

Jan 01 13 08:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Photo
Posts: 4,144
New York, New York, US


kevinLi wrote:
Actually see it used a lot, and yeah they sell great as giant prints. Yours isn't even extrem.

http://whitewallphotography.com.au/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/storyboard027.jpg

Still, what's the subject of this photo, the trees or the way they feel which you can see on his face and in her body language.

And it's a bold statement that even with them so small, their love is so large that it balances out the rest of the massive scene.

Someone posted a photo a while back where the couple was a similar size. The difference is, that it would have been a better photo without them in it. This photo wouldn't work without the couple.

Jan 01 13 08:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Photo
Posts: 4,144
New York, New York, US


Illuminate wrote:

Well your first sentence is more relevant than the rest.

I shoot around 20-30 weddings each year and nothing else that I did prior, except for running a business was helpful. Clients make decisions to book you based on what they see in your portfolio/sample albums etc. A big part of that is your creative vision in composition while keeping the focus on them.

I haven't met two clients in a row that knew what they "wanted". The last wedding client of 2012 is a wedding planner who has seen it all in the market. It took three meetings before we nailed down her wedding for April 2013 and the final plan is nothing like she "wanted" at the first meeting.

You have to look at a variety of shots while considering different compositions otherwise that 60 page photo album is going to get repetitive in a hurry.

The OP's shot is good but only fails because the subjects were staring at the camera position...I bet if he pressed them that would be the area of concern. What they "wanted" was to be the focal point of the image...not a supporting prop.

If you focus on composition, you may or may not maintain your focus on them. If you focus on them, the creative and artistic composition will still be there. You can't focus on them and have bad composition, even if you try.

Jan 01 13 08:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Leighthenubian
Posts: 2,737
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


MC Photo wrote:
If you focus on composition, you may or may not maintain your focus on them. If you focus on them, the creative and artistic composition will still be there. You can't focus on them and have bad composition, even if you try.

Who said anything about that?

If you call yourself a pro, find a way to incorporate a pleasing composition that focuses on your subject. As for your second thought, that's true. however, not every shot needs the couple as it's focus and it's always a good idea to mix things up a bit to get some variety.

For instance a shot where the ring is in focus and everything else is OOF.

Lot's of ways to skin the cat. OP's shot had "A" specific issue which took away from   the focus (the couple).

Many top wedding photographers mix things up quite nicely as I've stated and enjoy repeated business as a result.

Also don't overlook the most important feature...find the right clients for yourself. Not everyone will appreciate what he attempted to do, regardless of what we think of it.

Jan 01 13 08:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
dhp
Posts: 111
San Francisco, California, US


Illuminate wrote:
Who said anything about that?

If you call yourself a pro, find a way to incorporate a pleasing composition that focuses on your subject. As for your second thought, that's true. however, not every shot needs the couple as it's focus and it's always a good idea to mix things up a bit to get some variety.

For instance a shot where the ring is in focus and everything else is OOF.

Lot's of ways to skin the cat. OP's shot had "A" specific issue which took away from   the focus (the couple).

Many top wedding photographers mix things up quite nicely as I've stated and enjoy repeated business as a result.

Also don't overlook the most important feature...find the right clients for yourself. Not everyone will appreciate what he attempted to do, regardless of what we think of it.

+1

My clients approach me because they appreciate my compositional work as well as content.

(not saying I am wildly successful, but I am doing okay for myself)

Jan 01 13 09:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
fullmetalphotographer
Posts: 2,670
Fresno, California, US


"Learn the principle, abide by the principle, and dissolve the principle. In short, enter a mold without being caged in it. Obey the principle without being bound by it." - Bruce Lee

There a couple things to remember. The rules of composition are just guides not laws. Rule are meant to be broken or at least bent.

Also remember the purpose of the image. The shot would work as secondary support art but not as main piece. Your typical engagement photo is sent out in announcements and to newspapers your shot you posted would not be practical for that.
Jan 01 13 10:10 pm  Link  Quote 
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