Choosing pictures for the Bend Wedding Photography website

March 15, 2023 Editing Choices

Which Brides Toasting for the Wedding Photography Website?

Here we have two pictures basically showing the same thing. Both these weddings were super fun to photograph and both ended up in my original wedding photography website portfolio section. That website is now my Portrait Photography Website. Why two? You ask. It's a long story of lots of work and I won't write about it on the blog.

Anyway, back to what today's editing story is all about.

I love how in both pictures you can see emotion (super important for me) and the faces of the bridesmaids. The problem for my new and improved Wedding Photography website is I can only use one picture. Both pictures can be found on the Clients page in the wedding portfolio section just in case you're reading this and fabulously curious. They both would be in the running for the 25 prints I would do for the couples and both would definitely be in the album. These aren't really posed pictures, they're natural moments happening once and then gone forever. I like these better than any posed pictures because they capture the personalities of the people better and show more of how their day felt than just showing the day. In the far distant future grandkids looking at an album will love a picture of grandma and her ancient friends taking a shot over them standing in a static pose next to each other. I can't see any future, but in this I'm sure of what people would love to see and wonder about.

So which one?

The one on the right, taken at Rock Springs Ranch at Samantha and Rob's wedding, ends up being dark. The subjects are also looking at the camera, lending to the idea this is a pose rather than a natural moment. It was a natural moment and they just stopped to look at me for a second, but nobody knows this. Plus it's taken with natural light inside one of the rooms and is a little dark. My goal was to show bright and positive energy on my new and improved Bend Wedding Photographer website (sorry for the shameless keywords and links) and this has positive energy but isn't as bright as the other one. Finally, and this might be the most important reason, the bride disappears in the mix. You have to hunt her down i the picture. I've believed for a long time we are inundated with images, ideas, sounds, and information at too great a rate for anyone to absorb. So pictures have to be a "fast read" for people to look at, hopefully have a positive emotional response, and then move on.

Samantha's having fun, but where is she?

Winner winner chicken dinner

This second toasting shot comes from one of my all-time favorite weddings of Bailey and Joe. We did both an engagement photography session with horses at Smith Rock State Park AND their wedding way, way out in the countryside between Prineville and Madras. Way out there. Sometimes people and their weddings just pop off the page and this was one. I've always called this the "Country Western Wedding" because of where it was, Bailey and Joe and their friends. I discovered the joy of pork cooked on a Traeger grill at this wedding.

I basically invaded their space while Bailey was getting ready. By the time this picture happened they were immune to my bopping around with a camera. As this picture began presenting itself I noticed the potential for her to be framed nicely in the window. So I moved quickly to make that happen. Then I noticed the things that kind of bug me about it: namely the people in the background and the windows being so bright. But you know what, at the end of the day this picture was one of my favorites and is now on the Getting Ready page of my website.

A bright, positive energy, happy moment at Bailey's wedding. Leading lines with arms, her face framed in the window, smiles all around. Yes, please, I'll take that shot.

An example of the OODA Loop

Observing, orienting, deciding, and acting all happened within about a second of seeing this picture unfold. I didn't know what OODA was before a few months ago, and haven't given it much thought until looking through my pictures for the new website and blog. Today while driving I was bopping my head to some 90's dance music and was thinking how the beat of dance music has always played in my head while doing pictures of fast moving events. Then a little lightbulb went off and I realized the beat goes to the the rhythm of OODA. One after the next very quickly. I have a suspicion this can be taught to people who don't think they are creative.

Will have to blog about this more in the future. Maybe even come up with a section for it and put the section into my rotation.

And I might have to start blogging about dance music and my work, because for me dance music and photography walk hand in hand. Anyone who knows me and has ever driven with me knows how much I love dance music. It drives some people crazy, but how can you live without a beat playing?