Behind the Lens

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged.  There is only so much time in a day and like all people, I have to choose my priorities in life. A lot has happened this last year.  I am now officially a wedding photographer!  I am no longer only taking leisurely shoots, I have to do responsible things like registering to become an official business, buying insurance, making a website, advertising on the Knot.  I am not going to lie, I am doing a new thing and it’s scary, but as my husband says, “be scared and do it anyway.”

Anyway, I was asked to do a behind the lens blog post so here I am.  I believe it’s different for different photographers and their style of photography can vary vastly. I would label myself as a lifestyle photographer. I can only share my experience of what goes on in my head as I look for opportunities to capture, “the perfect moment.”

Capturing emotions: You have to look and be ready for it, anticipate big moments and be there to capture it when it comes. The third picture below captures the look of happiness on two grandparents’ faces at a wedding.  The second picture captures the bride when she sees her son all dressed in a little tux. Weddings are not just about the bride and groom, it’s also about people who are there. Bride and grooms want to remember what the day was like and the special moments that occurs.


Capturing movement: some my favorite photos are images that have a lot of movement.  When the subject is moving, that’s when they are the most natural because something is happening. Movement tells you a story of what’s going on at that moment in time. These are my favorite pictures of our beach vacation in Michigan.  I sat down on the sand with my dslr and zoom lens and quietly watched as the kids played. They weren’t given any instructions or told what to do.  When I look at these photos, they remind me of how happy the kids were playing.

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Capturing Light: When our eyes see light, it is not nearly as dramatic as when the camera captures light.  Learning to see where light comes from and putting your subject in it is a creative way to enhance your photography. See the halo on the couple in the first picture and the beautiful light that surrounds the bride as she’s getting ready?  That was done on purpose.  In each and every photo, it is all natural lighting, no extra lighting equipment needed.  Light is all around us all the time, train your eyes to see it.


Frame your subject: People always move out of the way when I am around with my camera.  What they don’t know is that I want them to frame my subject for me.  When I purposely put the subject in between other things, I want to draw your eyes to what I want them to see.  So thanks for trying to being considerate… but I need you to stay where you are!


Tell a story: Including details in your photos allows you to tell the story of what happened throughout the day. A picture of the sign tells me that it’s a Novak wedding; the first picture was of the bride driving in to see her groom for the first look.  Step out of the scene and show who was there by taking a picture of the whole party.


Often times special moments do not happen without lots of preparation and work; it requires moving the bride and groom to a location that is better suited for photos, moving a hair out of place, running back and forth waiting for the carriage to come and then running back to an empty barn to shoot details while everyone is away.  There, I’ve said it, behind the lens, there is a lot of hard work, preparation, and anticipation of what’s to come.


I have set a goal for myself; it’s always good to challenge yourself to be better.  In the future, I want to be a little more edgy and less in the box with my photography. Not quite sure what that means exactly, maybe step out in faith a little more and be willing to accept the imperfections which can make photos more authentic?







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