What I talk about when I talk about posing.

I’ve never done a tutorial before, because everything you need to learn, you can search from ze internet.
Even tutorials from other photographers.
Then I thought about my resolution to write more and share more.
Figured all I can share is my own experiences, which is different from tutorials, because there is no checklist or formula to follow.
So here goes.

Quat-quatta-ripponlea-wedding-group-portrait

This group portrait was taken yesterday, so the process is still fresh in my mind.

The time was 7.14pm, six minutes before the bridal party’s entrance to reception.
I remember because the groom nervously asked me to check the time.

It was not my first time shooting at Quat Quatta, but I knew it was the last portrait of the day.
Usually, I’d get everyone to stand in between the six pillars.
The ‘center’ box, if you would.
Then I remember the last time I shot here I told myself:
IF there’s a next time, I should utilise the whole area.
(I do this a lot, the ‘what would I do IF there’s a next time’ mental exercise.)

So I simply asked the bridal party to each pick a corner they liked.
Moe, the best man on the left initially stood far back because he knew, he was the tallest in the group.
The light couldn’t catch on to his face, so I advised him to sit down in between the two bridesmaids.
I didn’t even bother asking him to return the bouquet to the bride because real men carry flowers.
In hindsight perhaps having the other groomsman, Izzy, to hold the bouquet on his right hand will bring better balance to the picture.
(Perhaps not, who knows? Because then I might have to deal with Moe’s hands and his crossed legs. That’s what I like about posing: it’s all about problem solving.)

The rest of the bridal party were pretty much set on the get go.
One other thing you need to understand, is that I’d been shooting with them for the whole day, so at that point they were quite comfortable with the camera.
Mega brownie points to having a pre-wedding session as well.
Ideally the bride should stand slightly to the right (her left) to balance out the space, but moving brides is always risky, especially with six minutes to go, and there’s nothing wrong with the bride and groom standing slightly closer to each other.

As for the expressions, I simply told them to give me the ‘bitchiest face of the day’.
I think one bridesmaid heard ‘peachy’ so she was showing this wide confused smile before everyone corrected her.
Miscommunication is good in this case, because that gives a variety of expressions, which leads to contrast.
And that’s why I chose this frame as the hero shot because there’s something sweet about the bride breaking character while the rest of the party is so into it.

It was a cloudy day bordering on thunderstorm so ISO was set to 1600.
I thought I shot at f5.6 but exif says f2.8.

All of the above was achieved in less than 3 minutes, with time to spare for a few more goofy group shots.

Taking the photo took only 1/800 of a second.
What matters is everything else that led up to that moment.
And I’m glad I managed to achieve something different.

Thursday Link Love - Dasher Life - […] Posing your subjects for a photo – I’ve learnt that you really need to know how you want the photo to look before you take it! […]

Wedding Album Covers.

Today I sent a draft of wedding album design to a couple.
Going through my folders, I realised I’ve done quite a few over these years.
I also realised not many wedding photographers share their album designs.
Maybe because it’s a matter of trade security.
Or maybe it’s simply not that interesting.
But laying them out like this, I felt a small sense of accomplishment.
All the places I’ve been, people I’ve met, constrained to a 250-millimetre square.
We are all different, yet not that different, under the name of love.
Ok, end cheese.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Melbourne-Wedding-Album-Cover-Belgrave
Opera-House-Engagement-Album-Cover
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Melbourne-Engagement-Album-Cover-Shoya
Quat-Quatta-Wedding-Album-Cover
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NGV-wedding-album-cover
melbourne-wedding-lunch-album-cover
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kuala-lumpur-ciao-wedding-album-cover
Melbourne-Trunk-Engagement-Album-Cover

NGV modern Jewish wedding – Ilana & Michael.

I know you know I’m no stranger to the overnight test.
That is, you brainstorm ideas and prototypes, leave them in the drawer, and revisit them the day after.
In my case, I shoot weddings, leave all the files in the hard drive (this is where I screw up) and forget about them.

Ok I lied, I’ve never forgotten about this wedding.
How can I?
I had one of those ‘holy smoke dust Melbourne is such an awesome city to be a wedding photographer’ epiphany shooting it.

The reason the files sat in my ‘drawer’, is because I have their fine art album on my desk.
I bring the album with me whenever I meet new couples.
Essentially, this wedding, is my brand.

I can’t even submit to wedding blogs now that it’s been almost two years.
(Last month I was photographing their new born!)
And I’m completely fine with that.

Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding bride preparation
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding bride preparation
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding bride dress
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding bride preparation
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding bride preparation
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding bride preparation
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding bride preparation
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding bride getting dressed
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding bride
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding groom ceremony
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding groom
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony dance
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding dance
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding bride tears
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony entrance
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony entrance
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony guests
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony shoes
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony guests
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding signing
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding signing
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding chapel
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding bridal party
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding bridesmaids
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish groomsmen
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding Couple
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding bride
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding couple
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding bridal party
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding tattoo
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding fountain portrait
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding photographer
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding waiting room
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding dance
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding guests arrival
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding architecture
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding entrance
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding reception dance
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding dance
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding dance
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding bride dance
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding dance
NGV Melbourne Wedding Jewish Wedding dance
NGV Melbourne Wedding Jewish Wedding
NGV Melbourne Wedding reception flower girl
NGV Melbourne Wedding Reception Jewish dance
NGV Melbourne Wedding Reception Jewish dance
NGV Melbourne Wedding Reception bar
NGV Melbourne Wedding Reception guests
NGV exterior Melbourne Wedding Reception speech
NGV Melbourne Wedding Reception speech
NGV Melbourne Wedding Reception speech
NGV Melbourne Wedding after party dance
NGV Melbourne Wedding after party
NGV Melbourne Wedding Jewish dancing
NGV Melbourne Wedding glow stick lady
NGV Melbourne Wedding after party
NGV Melbourne Wedding Reception bride dance
NGV Melbourne Wedding dance
NGV Melbourne Wedding reception dance
NGV Melbourne Wedding Band
NGV Melbourne Wedding night portrait
NGV Melbourne Wedding night portrait
NGV Melbourne Wedding Reception

3840 x 2160.

My new year resolution is simple:
Write more, update more, share more.

I’ll start with my recent trip to Malaysia.
For almost a week I stayed at the house I grew up in.
Without my parents. Without my wife.
All alone in a familiar place without the familiar people.
A really weird dream.

I looked at my old books, photos, toys.
When I was young I vowed not to grow up, and I’d never abandon all the things I loved.
Me feeling distant in my own room was proof that, in the end, everyone grows up.
We always make promises to our past we cannot keep.

What we need to keep, is the spirit.
The curiosity, the fascination of being young.

I drove to many places by memory.
Those American movies which the protagonists return home to find everything the same?
That’s a load of BS.

I could not shake the feeling that as ‘backwards’ as my hometown can be, the one being left behind in the end, was me.

Perhaps the most bizarre incident of all, was my neighbourhood comic shop.
I stopped by, just in time to see them moving all the furnitures out.
The sisters who ran the shop saw me and said: long time no see.
And then they hopped on the truck, not knowing where they’ll end up next.

It was like that episode of Louie when the girl simply jumped on the helicopter and left.
Except it was real.
My past was literally leaving me behind.

I felt like I should be sad, and looking back I probably WAS sad.
But at the same time I recovered instantly.
Like I was immune to this sadness.
Because I knew life can’t stay still.

For six days I had the opportunity to live my life as if I never left.
I did not take many personal photos.
Even if I did it was with the phone.
Perhaps one day I’ll forget and regret about this.
But I really appreciate the closure.
Not many people get to have the second chance.

I will end this post while simultaneously start the year with a quote.
It’s from a movie I saw on the plane back:

I’m bad, and that’s good.
I will never be good, and that’s not bad.
There’s no one I’d rather be than me.

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Final wedding of 2014.

The time was 12.05am.
The date January 1st, the year 2015.
I celebrated the new year in the car driving away from Bentong, Pahang.
Fireworks in the distance.

The first lesson I learned in the new year:
When shooting in tropical highlands, beware of leeches.

Enderong House Wedding Photography