Photography

Don’t rely on your guests’ can­did ta­ble shots of an aban­doned bow-tie and some half-eaten petit fours. Ge­off Lynn takes ad­vice from an ex­pert

The Jewish Chronicle - JC Magazine - - Contents -

WHAT IS THE SE­CRET TO GET­TING RE­ALLY RE­LAXED PHO­TOS?

Most peo­ple feel un­com­fort­able hav­ing their photo taken, my­self in­cluded. My ap­proach is to be friendly and chatty. I al­ways do a shoot be­fore a sim­chah, so the fam­ily know more about what to ex­pect on the day.

Of­ten they find that they have so much fun at the pre-sim­chah ses­sion that they can look for­ward to be­ing pho­tographed on their big day, rather than dread­ing it.

WHAT IS THE MOST FUN AS­PECT OF YOUR JOB?

I love help­ing clients to pre­pare for, then shar­ing and record­ing for them, what is one of the hap­pi­est days of their lives. And, of course, see­ing their faces when I show them their photographs!

HOW DO YOU MAKE YOUR PHO­TOS LOOK DIF­FER­ENT FROM EV­ERY­ONE ELSE’S?

What sets me and other pro­fes­sion­als aside is the abil­ity to pose sub­jects in a nat­u­ral way, so that they do not feel they are be­ing posed — and to judge and con­trol light, whether it is nat­u­ral am­bi­ent light or ar­ti­fi­cial.

I also look crit­i­cally at my work, and over time have evolved a style that is all my own.

CAN’T MY UN­CLE TAKE MY PIC­TURES IN­STEAD? HE’S GOT QUITE A GOOD CAM­ERA, I THINK...

Only if he can achieve con­sis­tently out­stand­ing pic­tures through­out the course of the whole 12 to 14 hours that a wed­ding typ­i­cally lasts (and isn’t both­ered about en­joy­ing the cele­ba­tions him­self).

Heal­soneed­sto­be­goo­dat­deal­ing­with­peo­ple—and hemust­be­able­towork­well­whe­nun­der­pres­sure.

Most peo­ple can take great hol­i­day and fam­ily pic­tures, but it is very dif­fer­ent un­der­tak­ing the re­spon­si­bil­ity of a whole sim­chah.

It also helps to have the ex­pe­ri­ence to an­tic­i­pate what is go­ing to hap­pen next on the day and to be able to see the pho­to­graph in your mind be­fore you take it.

HOW CAN I USE TECH­NOL­OGY TO SHARE MY PIC­TURES?

With Face­book, Twit­ter, Linked-In and YouTube, the world is a very dif­fer­ent place now. So­cial

me­dia is a fan­tas­tic way to share photographs of your func­tion.

I see my role as the cre­ator of the im­ages for you to share as you wish — that is why I in­clude a disc of high­res­o­lu­tion im­ages in all my pack­ages.

I still pro­duce fan­tas­tic cof­fee ta­ble books, if our clients want to have a more tan­gi­ble record of the day.

I’M NOT SURE WHICH I PRE­FER, BLACK AND WHITE OR COLOUR. WHAT’S YOUR OPIN­ION?

I like both, but they are suited to dif­fer­ent styles. Colour in a pho­to­graph can be over­pow­er­ing, whereas a black-and-white im­age can be more dra­matic, classy and time­less.

When I am shoot­ing, I have in mind if the pic­ture is go­ing to be colour or black and white, but tech­nol­ogy al­lows me to shoot ev­ery­thing in colour and then make the black and whites in post pro­duc­tion.

This means that my clients can still have colour photographs, even if I have pre­sented in black and white — and vice versa.

HOW LONG AF­TER THE EVENT BE­FORE I SEE THE PHO­TOS?

Usu­ally it takes about 10 days for the com­plete edited set, but I also of­fer a pre­view high­light au­dio vis­ual clip of ap­prox­i­mately 75 pic­tures that I can post on to Face­book the day af­ter the func­tion.

DO YOU HAVE DIF­FER­ENT CAM­ERAS FOR DIF­FER­ENT SHOTS?

Good ques­tion — al­though it is more about the lenses. Some let you get in close with­out hav­ing to be too near the sub­ject — great for can­dids; some let you shoot in low light — great for un­der the chu­pah or where flash would be too in­tru­sive; and some let you get a lot in when you do not have much room to move — great for small rooms and crowded dance floors.

I LOVE THOSE IN­FOR­MAL SHOTS OF THE GUESTS HAV­ING FUN. HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE THAT YOU GET GOOD ONES?

By be­ing fast. The trick is to get into the ac­tion, get the shot and get out be­fore they have even no­ticed you. You also cap­ture them by be­ing aware of what is hap­pen­ing around you — it helps to have eyes in the back of your head.

Paul Lang first picked up a cam­era when he was four and im­me­di­ately fell in love with the magic of photography. He has pho­tographed more than 1,000 wed­dings and bar/bat­mitz­vahs over the past 25 years, in all kinds of lo­ca­tions. With his son, Jamie, Paul also of­fers film-style sim­chah videos and short promotional films for web­sites

Sharp fo­cus: an ex­am­ple in how to pose a shot

The back­drop is also cru­cial. All pho­tos by Paul Lang

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