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When I finished Emily and Neil’s engagement portraits, she wrote back with: “I can’t get used to seeing us in photos like these… more intimate photos.”
It’s a common reaction from our clients. Most people are used to very bland, straight on, looking at the camera portraits. When they see themselves in a portrait where: 1) the composition and lighting are flattering, 2) they look comfortable, 3) they have real emotion in the shot… well, it can freak you out a little (in a good way).
Those things are the essence of fine editorial photography/portraiture. I aim to capture who my clients are, in the most flattering and visually engrossing way possible.
My favorite moment from the session was from the beginning when we met at Union Station, I was going to do the signature “dip” in the middle of 17th St. (see Kristin and David’s engagement pics for a sample), when suddenly I noticed another photographer with another couple. She was standing right where I stand and was doing the exact same shot I wanted to do!
Two things happened: 1) I didn’t feel very creative, 2) I was filled with an overwhelming urge to challenge her to a duel. You see, for those of you who don’t know, the Revised Unified Code for Photographers section 16.28 sub-paragraph 6 mandates that any 2 photographers who meet out on location with the intent to capture the same shot must fight each other to the death (just like Highlander) using our longest lenses as bludgeons. Whoever is victorious absorbs the creative essence of the other photographer. I know, I know: it’s a very barbaric practice, but it’s been in use for thousands of years, before there were even cameras or photographers. Our ancestors strictly adhered to the photographer’s code.
Needless to say, I won. Emily and Neil were a bit shaken, but as you can see from their photos, the initial shock wore off and they recovered quickly.
(For legal purposes I must now explain that I did not, in fact, bludgeon another photographer to death with my tele-zoom lens in a barbaric Highlander-esque battle for creative rights to capturing a particular shot. It was simply my attempt a gallows/nerd humor and was clearly hyperbole. In fact, if you thought I was serious, you are clearly humorless and are no longer allowed to read our blog.)
So, anyway… it was an awesome shoot and we were all over downtown Denver. From Union Station to 14th and Curtis (riding the 16th Street Mall buses is really easy). Emily and Neil were awesome and very adventurous. It was cold, dark and nearly raining, but we made the best of it.
In fact, the photo of them walking in front of the big yellow wall, holding hands, and she’s skipping forward and looking back at him is my favorite engagement portrait I’ve ever taken. Seriously. I love it. Thank you for being so great, you two!