TREND REPORT - Beyond the Wedding

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Beyond the Wedding



Lightweight, fast + accurate—

William Innes believes micro four-thirds cameras are perfect for shooting long and tiring wedding days. B Y H AR R I S O N JACO BS



plus eight lenses and flashes—into a single bag. Shooting a wedding with two cameras on his body, plus a small bag with extra lenses, was a cinch compared to the fullframe DSLR systems he’d been using. “The whole footprint of my equipment has become so much smaller and simpler since I switched to Lumix,” Innes says. “I’m

"I try to tell everyone, you have to choose the right tools for the job... The technology just keeps getting better and better.” able to shoot more and think about my equipment less.” The size, portability and ergonomics of micro four-thirds cameras were what sold Innes on the system, but the GH5’s other helpful tools are added bonuses. The most difficult shot for Innes to capture has always been the moment that the bride and groom walk into the reception; walking shots can easily end up looking awkward, he says. The Lumix GH5’s 6K photo mode, which captures 6K video at 30 frames-per-second, has changed his process. Because he can extract high-end

stills from the clip, Innes records during tricky wedding scenes, capturing dynamic images during the first dance or the walk down the aisle. The GH5’s ultrafast “Depth From Defocus” autofocus system and low-light performance ensure that every image Innes takes at a wedding is sharp and bright, even during dim ceremonies or reception halls where there is low lighting. “I try to tell everyone, you have to choose the right tools for the job. Micro four-thirds has become my go-to,” Innes says. “The technology just keeps getting better and better.” GH5 features like the electronic viewfinder, which shows exactly what the camera is seeing, have become essentials for Innes because he can see the moments happening in front of him. He has even begun shooting video for his travel photography, recently capturing a snake charmer at work in Marrakech’s Jemaa el-Fnaa. According to Innes, it felt as easy as shooting a still. On wedding days, he now transfers a few choice images to his smartphone, quickly retouches them and sends them to the bride and groom so they have something immediate to gush over. The best part: “At the end of a wedding day shooting with two micro four-thirds cameras, I feel great,” Innes says. “No more wedding hangovers!”


Los Angeles-based photographer William Innes, a WeddingWire ninetime Best Wedding Photography award winner, shoots over 30 weddings a year. (plus a few destination weddings that are the cherry on top of his busy schedule). Because his calendar is loaded with backto-back wedding weekends, he sometimes suffers from what he calls a “wedding hangover”—a state of total exhaustion after spending multiple days on his feet with two full-frame DSLR cameras swinging off his body. “Shooting weddings with DSLRs takes its toll,” Innes says. “It’s brutal physically.” Running around with two cameras was sometimes so physically challenging that Innes would stop shooting with both of his cameras to protect his body, requiring him to make costly lens changes during a ceremony or compromise on getting the images he wanted. When Innes discovered the Panasonic Lumix micro four-thirds system five years ago, it was a relief for the weary photographer. The lightweight Lumix GH3 and the Lumix GH5 were a revelation to Innes, who used to lug three Left: Natural window light camera bags to portrait of bride and groom on their wedding day. every wedding. Below (R to L): Bridal portrait With the GH5, he with a flowing veil in Pacific Palisades California. Bride could fit everything arriving for her wedding he needed—three ceremony in a vintage car. camera bodies,



~Trend Thinking outside the box: a creative couple’s “antiengagement” Shoot. BYMICHAEL BUSSE AS WEDDING PHOTOgraphers,

we’re always collaborating with our clients. They have their own style, level of comfort with the camera and artistic background. It’s up to us as photographers to follow a client’s vision when what they want expands past normal garden varietals. Having taken a non-traditional approach with our photography before, we attracted Mar and Doug, a couple who were searching for more than simple coverage.


It started with a simple inquiry. Mar and Doug wanted a shoot referencing the 1960s cinema they loved, films



like Dario Argento’s Suspiria and Jean-Luc Godard’s Pierrot le Fou. The couple’s wedding Pinterest board was a kaleidoscope of their love of sexual tension and vintage intimacy. I dipped into some of the films on the board, looking at how characters dressed, the camera angles, the lighting, the film quality, their body language, the plots and subtle intensities. I built bridges connecting these movies and Mar and Doug’s love story, which involved a long-distance relationship and a lot of time spent on trains. With a separate day before the actual wedding, we constructed a shoot with Dario Argento-esque lighting, throwback hair and makeup, a vintage wardrobe, and a mix of film and digital. We shot at a gorgeous house in Ditmas Park and downtown Brooklyn’s Transit Museum, to serve as a

~ nod to their relationship. For the shoot, they became characters in their own play. It started with them expressing distance, longing and need. Eventually I wanted them to come together, without quite trusting the fact that they were in each other’s arms. They got so into character that we blurred the lines of what an engagement shoot is. It was hard to recognize it as such, which was what we were going for.

Why destination photographers are shooting before and after the wedding to get their best shots.


couple means we can capture inbetween moments that make our coverage multi-dimensional. I craft my stories with layers for an in-depth story of a celebration unfolding over multiple days. My BY REBECCA YALE approach begins by establishing As wedding photographers, wide landscape shots then midwe are usually hired for range shots—like portraits and the wedding day, with the documentary moments—and, occasional client adding on finally, moving in tight for details coverage for other events. and still-life images. A destination wedding, For a wedding I shot in however, presents a unique Ravello, a village on the Amalfi opportunity to capture not Coast in southern Italy, I stayed just the day itself but to tell a at the same hotel as the guests long-form documentary story and created a flexible coverage where we capture the essence package. The extra days on site of the wedding weekend. meant I was available to capture By documenting the bride the couple during the often and groom over multiple days, overlooked in-between, comingI am given the opportunity and-going moments. I was able to get to know them better to capture establishing shots of and approach the weekend Amalfi’s staggering cliffs, shoot as a documentary, travel an intimate mini-engagement and portrait photographer session in nearby Positano, forage all rolled into one. Staying for Ravello’s famous lemons, lush either with or nearby the greenery and Limoncello for

detail shots, and shoot postceremony portraits among the gorgeous Italian architecture.

The formal family portrait is back in style in wedding photography, with a twist. BY ANNA AMBROSI

“We don’t want to spend too much time standing around taking group pictures.” Hands up if you have ever heard that type of comment from a client. At the very beginning of my career, I could see their point: My clients wanted to enjoy the party, not tick boxes on a shot list. After a couple of years, I adopted a different point of view. Some clients who wanted “just candid moments” came

back after their wedding and asked for specific pictures with specific people, whether it was because a family member was pressuring them or because they regretted not having them taken. After my own wedding, the pictures dearest to my husband and I were the group portraits. I began to research a better way to take family formals at weddings. I soaked in inspiration from old family pictures and recent fashion group shots by Annie Leibovitz and James Van Der Zee. I understood that I needed to have the couple and family fully on board to pose and take the time to get to the result I was aiming for, so I decided to offer family formals as an add-on service. That guaranteed that families who elected to participate knew what was coming, particularly because I aim to take the stylized portrait between the ceremony and the reception. With these portraits, this is the story I want to tell: a unique moment in history in which two families, with all of their millions of stories and heritages, become one. Everything is set aside to make room to celebrate the one thing that connects us all: love.

Are studio portraits making a comeback in the photo industry? BY SANDRA COAN

Studio photography used to be the standard. If you wanted a family photo, you went into a studio. That was how it was done—for years. But by the 1990s, the popular style was photojournalism and that gave way to lifestyle.

Capturing families at home or in a park feels authentic and saves money otherwise spent on rent.Many photographers I have spoken to shared that despite the popularity of lifestyle family photography, they are being drawn to the classic look of studio portraiture and more clients are asking for it. For the past 13 years, I’ve worked exclusively in a studio. I work with two backdrops, use studio lighting and shoot film. The “modern twist” in my portraiture comes from less-structured posing. My goal is to create images that have connection, emotion and spontaneity, but with a classic studio aesthetic. Shooting in a studio has allowed me to scale my business and stand out in a saturated market. Most importantly, clients like the convenience of coming into a studio and rave about my “clean, timeless” look. There is a strong demand for studio work.Los Angeles photographer Caroline Tran is known for her soft, modern studio portraits, while Taura Horn, a family photographer, has found shooting in a studio to be convenient for both her and the families she shoots. Patrick Le shoots primarily lifestyle family photography, but has added studio work by demand. “I think people want something classic, something that has longevity and will stand the test of time,” Le says. PHOTO © SANDRA COAN

A couple shoots local "destination" drone wedding photography. After a few years of taking photos on Bora Bora, Helene Havard moved to Tahiti, where she carved out a successful wedding photography brand. “We don’t really have photographers coming from the U.S. in Tahiti, as it is a very expensive destination and very few people can afford to bring their own photographers,” she says. “Plus, there’s already plenty of photographers in French Polynesia and couples can find anything they need here.” In 2015, to stand out in a crowded marketplace, Havard started taking photos by drone with her husband, Samuel, from Flying World Pictures. “In spring of 2016, we gained international recognition for our drone wedding photography,” she says. “Since then, we’ve incorporated it as an upsell to our customers, along with video. “Our ability to find new spots to shoot in also makes us more competitive—we know the place we live in extremely well, which benefits our clients greatly.” Some of her favorite locations to shoot include the island of Moorea and Huahine—“they are the most connected with nature,” she says. The secret to thriving in an exotic location and staying competitive as a destination photographer in your own backyard boils down to three mantras, Havard sums up: “Always innovate, stay creative and use the knowledge you have as a local shooter about your home base to your advantage. Someone coming in from afar will never know everything you know.”



~ Tr e n d R e p o r t ~


Awesome apps and plugins for beauty portrait photography.


2 Nik Dynamic Skin Softener

Anthropics Portraitpro 17

Nik’s Photoshop plugins have been retooled by DxO to run on modern operating systems. If your subjects need digital retouching, Nik’s Color Efex Pro plugin features a Dynamic Skin Softener tool that lets you use an eyedropper to select a skin tone and smooth away imperfections. price: $50 |

With its newest retouching app, Anthropics can edit subject and background without leaving the program. There are tools for every conceivable touch-up, including makeup, skin smoothing, bronzing, and vignetting. price: $80 |

3 Reallusion Facefilter3 Thanks to its deep integration with Mac OS, you can now nondestructively retouch camera RAW files in FaceFilter3. The program contains a library of makeup, from nude to tanned, metallic to matte. It also lets you remold facial expressions and add focus effects. price: $39 |


4 Akvis Makeup AKVIS MakeUp has an Express mode that automatically smoothes away wrinkles, pimples and sundry other imperfections. Touch-up tools include a spot remover, teeth whitener, and red-eye remover. price: $80 |


5 Imagenomic Portraiture 3 The latest version of this highpowered plugin delivers a 2x speed boost over its predecessor and tweaks for skin smoothing and masking. It’s also been retooled to cope with larger image files pumped out by today’s pixel-packing image sensors. price: $200 |

8 Cyberlink Makeupdirector

Digital Anarchy Beauty Box Known for its video retouching app, Digital Anarchy also produces a stills retouching plugin, featuring an auto-masking technology that analyzes your subject, determines skins tones, and applies “smart smoothing” only at targeted areas. price: $99 |



Photo Toolbox Skinfiner 2 Available as an app or plugin, SkinFiner has tools to retouch problematic portraits. It can automatically smooth skin, purge imperfections and retain skin texture. price: $60 |

The MakeupDirector tool kit is extensive, featuring options for applying foundation, eyeliner, eyeshadow, eyelashes, blush, lipstick, changing eye color, enlarging eyes and altering hair. It employs facial recognition and face-mapping technology to ensure you’re applying makeup precisely. price: $50 |

~ Tr e n d R e p o r t ~


3 trends impacting the tastes and styles of today’s engagement session clients.




A CATALOG FEEL “Lately, I find myself putting in more work on the back end to pull off more of a catalog feel for couples. I documented a wedding on the Brooklyn Bridge a few years back that was the Rangefinder November 30 Rising Stars cover in 2013, as well as on J.Crew’s front page. Since then I’ve noticed a lot more couples PHOTO © KRISTEN MARIE PARKER wanting to channel that sort of lookbook, editorial style … Couples are asking for things a bit less ‘engagement shoot-like,’ and more style-forward. Our engagement shoots now are slowed down in pace, and much more produced.” —Pat Furey OUTSIDE INFLUENCE “I’ve noticed stronger and stronger influences coming outside of wedding photography—things drawn from street photography, fine art and fashion—and a willingness to embrace greater levels of spontaneity … In general, there’s a tendency of modern wedding photographers who are willing to go beyond some of the more common lifestyle conventions and expressions of joy to explore something that’s less on the nose and more in the mood and the feel.“ —Spencer Lum SENTIMENTAL OVER EPIC LOCATIONS “I’ve had a few clients over the years opt to have their photos done at home, and once I realized it created a different atmosphere, I’ve encouraged couples to keep sentiment in mind when they start to dream up photo locations. Not only are couples familiar with the space, but they’re also more comfortable. When they’re home, they’re relaxed and at peace—it’s where they spend a majority of their relationship. While I do love the chance to get out and adventure, there’s something so timeless about being able to document a couple’s first home together.” — Kristen Marie Parker

This method allows you to show motion through a drag technique without it becoming a total mess. The key to pop and blur is realizing you’re creating a multiple exposure from different light sources but in one shot—using one instant source (strobe or speedlight) and one constant source (controlled tungsten, LED or even ambient light).

GELS A pack of colors and calibrated gels thrown on some lights can quickly open up your viewer’s imagination or just give an overall feel far from the vanilla white light you started with. Backgrounds can become whatever color you have on the stack, mixing colors can change the mood, and messing with your white balance can cause things to pop.

 PLAYING WITH WHITE BALANCE Using an array of CTO (color temperature orange) and CTB (color temperature blue) gels while using a mix of light temperatures can help create some fun ways to snap that subject. Using a temperature-calibrated gel on your lights while having other sources still as daylight will cause both white balances to be in your exposure.

 SCULPTING When it comes to creating light, keep in mind you’re creating a pattern. For every light, there will be a shadow, and once you realize that pretty much everything acts like a sundial, you can create shadow directionally where you want and how you want. Mastering fill light can elevate your game from just getting a shot to really refining that shot.

 FLARES Flares are a fun, fast and usually “neverthe-same-twice” type of phenomenon. Often used for that sci-fi feel or to give a sense of power, this is usually created by

reflections of the light off the elements of the glass inside the lens and the iris itself, causing those circles and polygons.




Imagined by Creators. Built by LUMIX.

For the past 10 years, creators like you have helped Panasonic to design and build LUMIX G mirrorless cameras. And now, we are Changing Photography together. The LUMIX G9‘s massive 80mp RAW capture is ushering LUMIX toward a new era of image quality and creative control.

Where will LUMIX take you? | #wherelumixgoes Photo Credit | Charles Maring


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