The Photographic Journey
by, George Kuchler
Whenever I teach photographers this trade I always get the question "what makes an image storytelling?"
As much as every photographer wants to break all the rules and be carefree as possible with their imagery, knowing the rules is the key. This image was from a recent wedding where I had my film camera hanging around my back alongside my digital camera. Whenever an image seems awesome enough I'll grab the film camera and squeeze a shot. As I am ducking down behind the sofa looking between the bridesmaids shoulders to see mom and daughter in the background, I noticed this split-second moment that I just had to capture it in film. It was so fast taking this image I did not have time to appreciate it until several weeks later when the film returned from my lab. Talk about you forget what you know after so many years of doing it like the back of your hand, applying everything in your brain that you have learned into a single image is truly what being a pro photographer is all about.
As I analyze this image I noticed several factors are at play here. Notice how the power of three and the one third rule is being used correctly. It is so cool to see this Center focused image of the bride and her mom with the bridesmaids holding their flowers right in between both shoulder blades which quickly moved after the image was taken. What impresses me the most about this image is how fast it happened yet how everything worked for a reason. When you do this for 20 years you see these kinds of shots happening very quickly in your head and your hand is programmed to do as your brain sees and tells your body to act. This image was taken with my Canon EOS body with 400 Kodak Portra film. Behind me was a large wall of windows allowing the balanced light to enter the room given me a soft light source which also helps the mood of the image. Harsh light does not have the same effect on this image like the soft light does. All the parts of the rules must apply to create a proper storytelling image. Anybody can learn to get the shot but how to get the shot correctly is truly what makes your work elevated.
The types of light sources truly helps or hurts and image depending on the mood you're going for. Even turning this image black-and-white would have a different effect on the mood.
"Photography is my life!"
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