photo of the day: this is why you practice
Because that's how you get good. Two years ago I had some weddings booked and a few under my belt, but not too many, and I wanted to practice on this whole "posing the bride" thing, as well as add to the old portfolio. So I asked for a model via craigslist, and that's how I met V. I had a wedding dress (picked up for $10), so she had to be a certain size. It really wasn't big enough, though. So I added a skirt made of tulle, picked lilacs out of the backyard, and we had ourselves a bridal shoot.
The first thing I notice on reviewing this stack of photos is the time of day in which I shot. It. Was. Bright. Correctly exposing both her skin and the pale dress was nearly impossible. And since I wasn't yet shooting RAW, there's not much to be done. Sign number one of an inexperienced shooter.
The second thing I noticed was just how awkward I was at posing. It's interesting looking at the images. I'm attempting the detail shots that I'd seen on blogs, practicing with shallow focus, and really failing quite a lot. It's funny, because now those details shots are my favorite, and have become second nature. I'd forgotten that there was a time when I just couldn't do them. Posing my model is awkward, too. It's obvious in the shots that I didn't know what to ask for, didn't know how to show her how to move. If you've ever done a photoshoot with me, I'm very physical. I have to wear pants when I shoot because much of my posing is done through example. In these images I hadn't a clue what to ask for.
The last thing I noticed is how I ask for much different images now. In the first round of culling, two years ago, the images I picked were more formal and posed. This time, I like the candid ones, the ones that are drenched with light. Consequently, out of the 419 images I took that day, there are about 6 that I actually like now and would even consider keeping in my portfolio. If you don't believe me, check out the rest of the set. First seven are from the original cut, second seven are from today.