Then and Now....
It’s Sunday morning and I am just beginning to recover from WPPI in Las Vegas. I have attended this convention since 1995 and wouldn’t miss it. In the last 12 years I have spoken many times as a platform speaker but this year there was a really special energy.
The feeling of excitement was electric and people were incredibly interested in learning how to become better photographers and better business people.
For most of my speaking career I start my programs with some of my very early work. Going back to my younger days I remember sitting in programs and listening to amazing photographers talk about their work and there was always a little piece of me that wondered “how will I ever be that good?”.
It was daunting as a “newbie” to feel I had such a long way to go. With that in mind, I decided when I started speaking that I would show my early and very bad early work as a way to show photographers that education is the most important thing you can do for your career and that if I could improve my work so could the students sitting in my class.
SInce then, dozens of photographers have thanked me for being brave enough to show my first wedding images. They let me know that it really helped them to see that anything is possible - If I could do it so could they...
This exchange sparked an idea for a blog series I call “Then and Now”
Each blog will be dedicated to showing an image from my early work and an image from my current work. I’m going to have to dig deep to find old images and pair them with new ones but I think it will be fun for everyone. Fun for me as it will remind me of how much I have grown in my craft and hopefully fun for you to read and learn from.
Since I started my career in wedding photography I thought I would start this blog there.
Here are two wedding images taken years apart.
The first one makes me laugh because I can remember what I was thinking. “Sweet, a nice gazebo, flowers in front, I’ll throw a flash behind the bride and groom and light them from behind like I learned in my last class. I’m going to nail this shot”
I came close.... Okay except for the glasses I left of the railing of the gazebo, the backlight is too hot and pointed in the wrong direction and the posing sucks.... But at the time - I nailed it.
The second image is from several (okay maybe 12 years ago) but it is still a classic. I used the environment, used the directional light, turned the faces of my subject toward the light and they are posed beautifully. They are both open to the camera, there is detail in her dress as well as his tux. To me this is a timeless image that could have been taken 12 years ago or yesterday.
I’m pretty sure image 2 is a far cry from image 1.
I still can’t believe I didn’t move the glasses from the railing. Classic rookie mistake.