Monday, December 20, 2010
Meet Spencer and Michelle
Engagement sessions are always fun, but I love it when I get to tell a story with my pictures. It takes a bit more work in the planning stages (more than say, "show up at this location and we'll take pretty pictures"). We need to plan out the story line, what to bring to the photo session, what the sequence of events will be and so on.
The session with Spencer and Michelle was intended to be like "going on a date". We decided on the outdoor ice skating rink at The Gallivan Center (downtown Salt Lake City). And indeed, it was Spencer's first time ice skating (he does roller blading, so he wasn't a complete newby to the concept). So we set up where we would meet, discussed going into the rink, coming out for hot chocolate after wards, and so on.
And here are a few pictures from the story line:
I had told them that part of my vision for the ice skating rink was to make it seem as if they were in their own little world together. One way to accomplish that photographically is to separate the subject from the foreground and background by blurring those parts of the photo. Depth of field is the tool used most often, but I wanted something different. So I brought my tripod and planned to set up a long exposure which would blur the people moving around Spencer and Michelle while they remained still in the middle of the scene. Here is an example of what I came up with:
In hindsight, I wish I had taken a Neutral Density (ND) filter with me. I have several, but forgot about them until after I had arrived. The above image was shot at 1/4 of a second, but in order to get the shutter speed that slow I had to shoot at f/32 which mean the background was in focus even while the surrounding skaters were in focus. A ND filter would have allowed me to further isolate them from the background by shooting at a larger aperture for shallower depth of field.
Later on we left the rink and the couple brought out the hot chocolate they had brought with them to warm them up.
All in all, it was a fun experience. Sure, the pictures were less posed and less perfect. But the genuine emotions are there and the couple enjoyed the picture making process much more than if I just had them pose for pictures.
For another example in the story telling process, check out The Proposal where I actually took pictures and video of a couple as the guy proposes to her.