howishoot

how I shoot your portraits

Taking portraits can be one of the most demanding parts of the wedding day. Often, I spend quite a bit of time scouting out locations, only to find later on that they become occupied, or the light has unexpectedly changed, or some such hiccup prevents me from doing what I intended. So no matter how well you've planned your timeline, the unexpected can change your portrait plans. But never fear--it’s the unexpected that can sometimes generate a wonderful expression, as when some passers-by offered their humorous congratulations:

(c) jocelyn mathewes
(c) jocelyn mathewes

But when the unexpected isn’t happening, it allows me to stage things beautifully, maybe with a little extra lighting…

(c) jocelyn mathewes
(c) jocelyn mathewes

Then sometimes I do prompt people to do cheesy things, just to loosen them up–-

(c) jocelyn mathewes
(c) jocelyn mathewes

–-and sometimes the prompting, for a kiss, perhaps, yields something sweet and classic and natural in the interaction.

(c) jocelyn mathewes
(c) jocelyn mathewes

And lastly, when it all comes together–a slightly orchestrated interaction, with a natural expression.

(c) jocelyn mathewes
(c) jocelyn mathewes

I think I said something like, “Look over your shoulder at me!” and she just happened to gaze in this beautiful way. To me, it looks like a metaphor for the journey she and Patrick have ahead of them.

Making time to create beautiful portraits involves a little bit of planning in advance, but it's so worth it. And it's one of the things you should ask your photographer in the midst of crafting your timeline. But no matter what, please promise me to make your wedding your own.


Find out more about how I shoot weddings,
learn what you need to know about image rights,
and how to plan for fabulous family portraits on your wedding day!

 

Or if you like what you're hearing, work with me

 

how i shoot your ceremony

Ceremonies fall into two major categories: indoor & outdoor. Each of these come with their own sets of limitations that will affect the look of how my couples' images will turn out, and present their own wonderful creative challenges.

indoor ceremonies

Indoor ceremonies are often limited by low light levels and mobility--there are only so many pathways through the space, and the light tends to be less bright and airy than what you find outside. But in most cases an indoor ceremony offers consistent light, which makes tricky camera settings more predictable.

So for the indoor ceremony, my priority is moving around as quietly and as quickly as possible to get the shots I need. Usually I'm competing for the same aisle space the participants are, or crouching next to a pew, chair, or bench. While my goal is to be unobtrusive and fast, I also focus on effectiveness -- even with a silent shutter, the subtle noise caused by my motions can be a distraction. I shoot what I need to get the shot, but make sure I'm not making a racket.

outdoor ceremonies

While offering a greater volume of light (the SUN) and mobility (flexible pathways), outdoor ceremonies are limited by weather conditions. Depending on the time of day, the light could be beating down heavily on a ceremony space, or perhaps it decided to rain and make the ground super squishy.

So my goal is to ultimately get the shots you want without being obnoxious (stepping in front of the parents), but being daring enough to get close (unless there are ceremonial or religious restrictions to be observed).

So I've been allowed (and expected to be) up super close in the middle of all the prayers and rituals, using a wide-angle lens to capture the environment & action.

JCM-weddings-33
JCM-weddings-33

And then asked to stand further away so as to preserve the sanctity of the religious ceremony, using a long lens to zoom in & make sure I can catch what's going on.

JCM-weddings-34
JCM-weddings-34

I've been inside and asked to stand at the back with that long lens again...

hilary-benjamin-close-up-wedding
hilary-benjamin-close-up-wedding

and up close in the middle of the liturgical ceremony...

emily-dino-close-up-wedding
emily-dino-close-up-wedding

The key for me is to be flexible and creative with the parameters I'm given. I often try to read subtle social cues from the family to gauge how comfortable they are with what I do. And I'm always ready to take direction from couples, because my philosophy is that your wedding is your own, and that together we can make the images your own too.


Find out more about how I shoot weddings,
learn what you need to know about image rights,
and how to plan for fabulous family portraits on your wedding day!

 

Or if you like what you're hearing, work with me