This is Reportage Wedding Photography…Sexy Hotdog Girl
This is Reportage Wedding Photography. Or is it?!
'Sexy Hotdog' - one of my portfolio definers and a photo that went on to cause some controversy on This is Reportage Wedding Photography site earlier this year
This is Reportage Wedding Photography // I was asked back in January to write an article for This is Reportage Wedding Photography site explaining my approach towards this iconic image of mine. I thought it worth reposting here because, well. it caused a wee bit of controversy!
Personal favourite image of mine
This image is a personal favourite of mine because it ticks a lot of my boxes and represents a lot of what my work is about. : it’s colourful; it’s characterful; it’s humorous and it’s very British.
This image was taken at about 8 in the evening just as the evening guests were arriving and the evening bbq was being given out. Naturally, being a wedding photographer I was hanging around the food…jokes aside my job was coming to a close and it was truly one of those days that I was not at all in a hurry to leave at all. It had been a fantastic day - the weather Gods had been amazing and the guests were all so friendly. It was one of those days where the stars just align - we all have them from time to time - and I had found myself totally in my element through every aspect of the day.
Squad of bridesmaids that were such a good laugh
The bride was one of 8 sisters all of whom would be bridesmaids - I’ll be honest the prospect of which was enough to terrify me before I had met them all - but once I had they were such a good laugh, easy to work with not to mention gorgeous.
This photo is of the youngest sister who quickly approached the evening BBQ with 2 of her sister’s boyfriends. One of them made a joke involving her and how much she loves sausage…I’ll leave it to your imagination…and she did her tremendous sexy sausage face - which I just happened to be there to capture - before bursting into raucous laughter. Nice one lads - I’ll get back to them in a mo.
My approach to a wedding day is very much one of a documentary photographer. I, of course, shoot some family groups and a handful of portraits of the couple but I believe the majority of people connect with my work for my personality packed candids. My ideal clients are creative, fun loving, stylish and laid back. They say knickers to tradition for traditions sake and they definitely do not take themselves too seriously and they often say that, “although the photography is very important to us - we just want to have the most fun day ever.” Suits me!
This image has definitely become one of my portfolio definers - yes I can do emotional too…but it is humour and energy that really gets me going and it is the fun of day that I seek out. I totally get that this image might not get the thumbs up from everyone and it is certainly not a stereotypical wedding image but I am 100% cool with that.
Tinkering with the image
So back to the lads - well, originally they were in the background of the frame but they had to go. Ordinarily I try to get my frames as right as I can within the camera but I’m afraid I found the lads a distraction and I wanted the relationship between the bridesmaid and the hotdog to be the only focus. So they were removed in Photoshop. They did, however, make it in the frame that came next - where they were all creasing with laughter.
The colours, Minnie Mouse ears, the repetition of red and the cult bottle are bonuses that make this image very pleasing to me.
The frame that came next:
Some good some less good feedback
So, obviously I got lots of fabulous feedback from lots of very lovely photographers but I also received a bit of negative feedback - maybe it was just discussion - But, yeah, I thought I would justify my creative decisions to you. (...Not that I need to I just want to! So there! :-P)
All publicity is good publicity!
The controversy came because I removed the lads. Firstly - I delivered both images - and actually I delivered the non photoshopped version in the couples' gallery and then later on when I saw the potential in the shot as a defining portfolio shot. I removed the guys and later forwarded the edited image to the couple. Who by the way, "Bloody love this image!"
The image was questioned because I had removed something as substantial as a person and could it the still be classed as reportage? It made a few
haters purists dorks er people :-D feel 'uneasy.'
My job is to document the day but also to provide you with kick ass images
Technically, I agree. When you edit out a frame substantially then it is not reportage or documentary...but I am a wedding photographer not a news journalist nor am I Don McCullin. Therefore I have the freedom to choose what to edit. The bottom line is this the image is 100% better without the lad behind.
I am, over most part of the day, a creative documentary wedding photographer
I do consider myself to largely be a documentary photographer. I am a massive advocate of not directing you on your wedding day and just letting you relax and have a fabulous day. Often I shoot wide and close moving around all day focusing very much on the people.
For me, my job is about presenting my couples with fab images of moments at their weddings. I will continue to shoot how I want, edit how I see fit and carry on striving to provide my couples with the best work I can possibly produce. If that involves listening to my inner voice saying, "If you remove that dude from the background...this frame will be so much stronger" then so be it.
I hope you have enjoyed this insight into my approach and thought process and I hope it hasn't come across as ranty because, genuinely if my couples are happy I am happy and I will merrily gallop (or drive) to my next wedding full of energy with a big goofy smile on my face. Which comes as standard I am afraid. :-)