Monday, December 21, 2015

Behind The Frame: The Environmental Portrait


In photojournalism you learn there are three levels of shots you should always take to tell a well rounded story.  The wide establishing shot, the mid range story telling shot, and the small detail shot.  During a wedding day it is incredibly important to get all three.  75% of the days photos are usually that mid range shot, focusing on the couple, their friends and family, etc.  Then there are the detail shots that I love so much, like close up on the bouquet, the rings, pinning the boutonniere or some small movement detail like holding hands or a closeup of a stolen kiss.  The third shot, is the above shot, which is the establishing shot and provides context and a sense of place for the rest of the images.  This bride and groom got ready for their wedding day at the Bowery Hotel in New York City and then walked around the Village for portraits before their intimate ceremony at a restaurant down the block from the hotel.  This photo immediately places them at the Bowery Hotel, with the red-vested doormen and the "B" on the door and also gives context into NYC through the car and brownstone across the street reflected in the window.  Wedding photos help bring back memories of the day for the bride and groom, but they also will be looked at by future generations of children and grandchildren who will only ever see the day through my photos, reminding me what a huge responsibility the wedding photos are, and these establishing shots will help give context to the stories the bride and groom will pass on.


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