Weddings: Making do with what you have.

Recently I shot a wedding for a couple in my home town. They had a very specific pose they had seen in a Google search of wedding photos that they wanted to recreate. The problem was that their wedding location looked nothing like the one in the photo. It was an uptown church with lots of concrete and other manmade structures.

This was a last minute addition to the shoot.  I had no idea that this was so important to them. So I had to improvise. I looked for the largest wooded area I could find and a place where the lighting wasn't too bad. I knew I was going to have to do some serious work in Photoshop to make this photo something that I would be proud to give them.

But when I got home and started processing the photo, I quickly realized I might be in over my head. So instead of developing this shot, I just forgot all about it. I figured I would just explain that the photo was so bad that I couldn't do anything with it.

That was exactly my take, and I believed it. I figured it was a lost cause. I let the lady who paid for my services know I was finished with all the wedding photos. A little while later she contacted me and asked about that one special photo. I told her it was a lost cause.  She said that is a shame. It was very important to this couple.

Well I have to say I felt very bad. I told her I would give it one more try and see if I could do anything with it. I worked on this image for a very long time. I would say I am probably 75% happy with it. But each time I look at it that percentage drops. I keep finding things in it I could have done better. But to my amazement, my client was tickled. She said she was going to have it printed on canvas and give it to the bride and groom as an additional wedding present.

So let me show you, so you can be the judge, what transpired.

This first image is the one they had seen online. This is what I was up against.

The second image is my raw image before I touched it. It is so bad. I am almost ashamed to show it to anyone. 

This last image is the final product. I only feel so so about it. But the important thing is he client loves it. Really that is all that matters.

Sometimes you have to take what you've got and run with it. I have to say back when I was doing all my work in a darkroom with enlargers and burning and dodging and using other tricks of the trade, I probably couldn't have saved any of this. As much as purists hate Photoshop, you have to give the tech props. Many of us wouldn't be shooting or getting paid to shoot without it. 


Popular Posts