Many photographers feel the need to over photo shop their images to show off their new favorite filters or perhaps they are novices and are simply playing with filters. In my opinion as a full time professional artist with 18 years experience I can honestly say this is a photography faux pas. Professional touch ups should be to a minimal. The classic approach is always leave your clients wondering if the image was taken that way. Just as a magician is smooth in delivering slight of hand and mesmerizing illusions, they never reveal how they did it or it wouldn’t be magic! Keep it realistic and seamless, never reveal all of your artistic secrets. Filters are a tool that convey a mood to the viewer. (every photo does not need to have a filter) Perhaps the client wanted a sunset of sherbet colors but unfortunately there was not a sunset the night of the wedding. Lucky you, photo shop to the rescue! A perfect example of when to use a B/W filter is for messy pre bridal rooms photos. Lets face it, most rooms look like a garbage bag exploded! The only way to disguise a room of mismatched colors is by distracting the viewers eye. Take the focus off the mess and on to the Bride!
My style has always been journalistic, in the moment without interrupting my clients. I create beautiful images from a distance without external lights, and without the client even knowing I’m taking their picture. I track my subject like a parent keeps a protective eye on their child in a large crowd or parade. When my Bride is about to give a heartfelt hug or kiss to her new hubby, I’m there to grab the shot. I work best alone without any interference from others. I prefer to send my second shooter off to handle tradicional family photos while I absorb the emotion of the day. This is when I shine!
I documented a recent evening garden wedding. After dinner the Bride & Groom mentioned to friends and Family they wanted a private moment. I strolled by the balcony over looking the courtyard they had entered keeping my distance, honoring their wishes for persoanal space. I blended into the foliage and pillars blocking their view of me and my giant white telephoto lens. With a soft step I positioned myself to take the best pictures without being obtrusive. They were only there for about 30 seconds until their guests spotted them and disrupted the moment. I could tell by their expressions they simply wanted a moment alone. Jen & Jim Larson were ecstatic to receive the image I captured of them by the fountain that night. If I would have used a flash, asked my assistant to hold an umbrella with external lights, or any other distracting presence or noise I would have missed this once in a life time moment! I knew I could lighten this image in post production so I wasn’t worried about low lighting ~ I was only concerned about missing the shot! I’m all about enhacing images when necessary to create art, I’m not about harsh filters and mottled photo shop work that take away from the craft.