xmlns:fb='http://www.facebook.com/2008/fbml' Welcome to the blog of international award winning wedding photojournalist Ian MacMichael: February 2013

wedding photojournalist

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Latest commercial work and videos...

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Last week, we were shooting some more images for our client Quest Building Projects. We visit some examples of projects they have worked on across the North West. Here are some images and a video from the shoot.....





















Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Another feature on The Wedding Vine..

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We are delighted to share that another of our weddings has been featured this week on The Wedding Vine.
Please head over to the site or follow this link

It's great to have our work showcased like this and for the support of The Wedding Vine.....thanks Sam and Greg for agreeing to the feature!


Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Photo walk workshop edits...

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Here a few edited images from the photowalk workshop last weekend....







Friday, 15 February 2013

Latest commercial work....

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Last week, photographer Ian MacMichael spent a morning shooting some images for a new business at their office headquarters. We have worked with the client previously
and our sister company, Red7 Media, has won the contract to provide website design, hosting and also photography for his new company.

The office space is amazing and is in some ways a showcase of the quality that the company will offer. They are also currently refurbishing the shop space below the offices and the specification is simply stunning. We will be shooting this when it is complete and that promises to be spectacular. 

The business is called Quest Construction Projects Ltd, and will be offering complete bespoke property services. These range from complete refurbishments to extensions, including planning, project management, fit and finish through to final hand over to their clients.

Their new website, which Red7 has designed will be live in the next couple of weeks and will feature all photography by Ian MacMichael.

Here are a few images from the recent shoot....











Thursday, 7 February 2013

So, wedding photojournalism, what exactly are you on about, part 2....

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With the festive celebrations and New year now behind us, I thought I would get myself sorted and get Part 2 of this post down! There is so much I wanted to say so I intend to try to keep to the point this time, I know I'm going off the point by explaining I want to stay on the point...aaarrgghh!!

If you haven't already read part 1, please catch up with it here.....

All the images (and there are quite a few!) in this post are from the same wedding, this way it's easier to see the way we try to tell a story. It shows a consistency and it also means I haven't just picked our “best” images from a selection of weddings...there are more than we would normally blog for a wedding but I really wanted them to convey what it's actually quite difficult to express in writing, for me anyway!


In part 2, I'd really like to emphasise our approach and why we think it's essential to the work we create. I'll scatter the images through out the post in little groups....





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In meetings with prospective wedding clients, they will often say "oh we really love the ones where the person didn't know they were being photographed"...or, when showing them samples of our work, they will pick out documentary images and say how much they love them. So I have tried to break down in my own mind why it is people like these images.







 




I suggest it is because the subject is acting naturally, is not camera aware, not posing and therefore appears relaxed. This is in contrast to the more posed/ directed group shots which generally most people just skip past when they are looking at image collections.
This is not to say that these posed and group shots are not important because they are....at a wedding, there are family members and friends that are often never together in one place apart from these occasions, so it's important to get these groups of people together.
 We aim to make this process as efficient as possible and generally takes no more that 15 mins. Also, because we are 2 shooters, we can get 2 perspectives on the same group, something that our clients love!
We shoot group shots with the minimum of fuss or direction and certainly no specific posing!  The portraits with a little more input, but really have fun and make it a happy experience. You can see that clearly, I think, in some of the portraits later on in this post.....








Generally, the collection of images we show to clients will be around 80% purely documentary images, about 10% posed group shots and around 10% bride and groom portraits. 
Here is an example of the same group shot from 2 different viewpoints, data shows they were taken within seconds of each other...guess which one the clients preferred?

 

It is very rare for us to have a client that says they want no group shots at all..in fact, one couple did say this but on the day changed their minds and asked for some to be done. Of course, this is no problem, after all, it's their wedding and we are providing a service, so we were happy to accommodate this last minute change of mind. I often read of photographers who will dictate exactly what will and won't happen at a wedding, photographically, because of their vision or artistic integrity.
While I understand where this is coming from, I'm not sure how far this can be pushed. In my opinion, couples generally book a photographer based on one of, or both of, the following..
They like the style/ approach/ philosophy of the photographer and/ or they get on really well with them on a personal level.
A connection, or some chemistry between the couple and the photographer/s is, in my opinion, absolutely essential and is central for us. There is a huge investment by the couple in the photographer, not only financially, but also in terms of trust. This trust relationship is vital!
As wedding photographers, we are in the service industry, and we provide a service to our clients which they are paying, sometimes a lot,  for. We try to explain as fully as we can the style of our photography and how this impacts the images we produce.

There is a balance we try to strike between maintaining our artistic and creative freedom while, at the same time, making sure that the client is confident and relaxed about getting the style of images they want to remember their day with.
When viewing samples of our work in the form of complete weddings, they can see and appreciate our style. While this documentary approach is not for everyone, at least every client we meet knows exactly the style of wedding images we will produce.



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One of the things we love to do with our couples is a short portrait session. These go really well and the couples LOVE them and the images we create.
We use the times in the day where there is a natural break, say after the meal but before the evening reception starts.
 It gives the couple a nice little break from the intensity of the day, we have a great laugh and make some gorgeous photos together. Whilst there is some more structure and direction with these shots, we do have a laugh....as you can see!
For me, the best back ground around is the sky...constantly changing, often dramatic and, quite simply, there for the taking!
I have been know to go on about it, a little too much maybe :-)....some of our couples even begin to tease me by constantly referring to the sky and how dramatic it is! I don't mind the ribbing, if we can use it to create beautiful images, we will!









Sometimes, even the groom gets inspired for a few photographs...


 
When it comes to the evening dancing and partying, we really want to try to capture the atmosphere and also the really intimate moments that happen fleetingly as the couple have their first dance. The first thing to say here is that we never pose or set up any of the evening dancing images. At this point in the day, they really just want to relax and have a good time dancing, the last thing we want to do is interrupt that flow by posing and directing dance floor photographs!






I see lots of first dance/ dancing images which all feature statues. They are probably shot with on camera flash and the people appear frozen. We use a combination of no flash at all and 2 off camera strobes remotely triggered. . This gives a nice combination of intimate ambient light images as the low light abilities of the D3s are stunning, and some more dramatic almost moving images of the dancing by dragging the shutter. I also like to try to make the lights a feature of the photograph...some examples of the variety of shots are below..some are from another wedding where there was a more formal first dance...

So, hopefully, this article has given you all a small insight into our philosophy and approach to photographing and documenting a wedding.
I'm delighted to say that we become friends with the couples whose weddings we shoot. On the day, when they look at Hazel or I, they don't see "the photographer", they see Ian or Hazel. We work very hard at developing this relationship as we firmly believe it is fundamental to our approach and it allows us the freedom to capture the emotion and story of the day as it unfolds.
We don't direct moments, we will not say "put your hand here" or "just have a kiss" or anything else like that. We want couples to relax, forget about the photographers and enjoy the happiest of days. Even when we do our portraits, as you can see, we have fun!
Hopefully the old saying will be true, rather than use a thousand words, the images will say clearly what I'm struggling to write down.
Please feel free to share this post, ask any questions, disagree, agree whatever...I'm not saying that we do it right, just this is the way we do it, and we are passionate about "our way"!



Cheers.....