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Today's blog post is going to be a little different to normal, ie wedding photography has taken a back seat. Perhaps like many people, I have my favourite websites and individuals that I like to check in with online once in a while - whether the websites are of personal interest, or industry related. There is one such website/company that I find particularly intriguing and motivating. It is connected with the wedding industry but also I find it personally very thought-provoking as well. A few months ago it was encouraging photographers to think outside of the wedding industry by using the following quote - "Broadening your photographic appetite will strengthen your abilities." So what did this mean to me?
Like a lot of wedding photographers, many years before I made this my career I was a serious hobbyist who loved his camera. I would find any excuse I could to shoot as much as possible. My skills developed over time, along with attending numerous workshops. So going back to this quote, I decided that it was time for me to have a little bit more 'me time' with my cameras. With that in mind I had a think about what I wanted to shoot. Landscape photography had always interested me, being an outdoorsy type of chap. So when a recent weekend away with my wife in the Lake District was booked, to celebrate our wedding anniversary, I made a note to pack a tripod and see if I could squeeze in a shoot or two.
I have to say it was really fun going back to my photographic roots and thinking differently about camera techniques in contrast to shooting a wedding. I even tried experimenting a little bit with in-camera techniques in a forest. Not to everyone's taste however.
Another genre of photography I have enjoyed in the past, especially admiring other photographers work, is wildlife photography. Being motivated by the quote mentioned earlier, I decided to start a new project - capturing deer in gorgeous light. Which meant shooting very close to sunrise and sunset. This fitted in perfectly with a day in the office, ie shooting early morning before work, or early evening after a day's work. I promptly found a new location and started this new project. Here are just a few images.
Again it was awesome being able to have a camera in my hand. As a wedding photographer you do get to shoot often, however the vast majority of time is spent in front of the computer. Hence, finding an excuse to shoot more was a real treat. Especially because this project included being out and about in stunning light. Not knowing whether to or not, I decided to put a couple of these images on my wedding Facebook page, and was pleasently surprised at how many people responded positively to them, even though they were nothing to do with weddings.
I've got to be honest with you, I do find wildlife photography incredibly difficult. There are a few more techniques required compared to shooting at weddings. With that in mind, it was no use getting grumpy and crying about how hard wildlife photography can be. The best way of improving anything is with training, so I booked onto a workshop. The workshop was great fun including meeting other photographers, and being in the presence of some lovely wildlife. The light on the day of the workshop was dull and overcast. Here are just a few images from that day.
Further fine tuning techniques were practised including trying to photograph otters running towards you at breakneck speed. Which is a very different pace to a Bride walking down the aisle!
Another area where I love shooting is in the French Alps during the winter. I'm extremely fortunate to be able to spend a chunk of time each winter over in France, and at the same time I'll make the most of this environment when possible. Here is a small collection of images that I took last winter.
The Alps are a very special place to be, just mind-bogglingly beautiful.
Although this blog post has had absolutely nothing to do with wedding photography, I hope it shows how wonderful photography can be. And one thing I realised over the last twelve months or so is this..... new skills have been learnt/discovered, and then developed further with practise. In fact there were several times whilst shooting weddings this past year where I had adapted and used these new skills instinctively. Perhaps this was exactly what the original motivating quote was getting at.......'Broadening your photographic appetite will strengthen your abilities'.
Normal wedding reporting will resume next time, with a new wedding of Kelly and Richard. If you can't wait until then, click here for a link to a wedding from earlier this year. Feel free to share away on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ by using the social media icons. Or leave a comment below, it's dead simple to do. Until next time, have a great week. Martin.
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