The man who photographed the weddings of such celebrities as Jennifer Lopez and Jessica Simpson brings his expertise to "Wedding Photography From the Heart."
Subtitled "Creative Techniques to Capture the Moments That Matter," the book consists of more than 150 photos of photographer Joe Buissink, who advocates "learning to see," which means learning to anticipate the shots that will resonate most with the happy couple and their families.
While there are some formal shots, many of the best are of wedding preparations, casual gatherings after the ceremony and unplanned moments during the ceremony itself. For example, there's a marvelous photo of Christina Aguilera and her new husband, Jordan Bratman, as they walk down the aisle after vows. Buissink encourages amateur and professional photographers to be prepared because couples often stop to kiss during the recessional.
Children, grandparents and dogs turn up in these photos and lend poignancy to each couple's big day. Little boys getting their bowties adjusted, girls having their hair done, hanging out with other kids or ancient relatives--they are everywhere and add charm and life to the photos of the day. One of the cutest and touching shows a young boy who balked at wearing a tuxedo at his aunt's wedding and so was allowed to participate in his shorts and sneakers; he also plucked roses he wasn't supposed to touch and presented the bride with a glass full of petals. It's a lovely record of an unplanned but perfect moment in that bride's wedding. In others, the bridegroom and his entourage pose quietly but proudly; bridesmaids gather round the bride for a last-minute adjustment of her gown; a choir waits for the ceremony to begin, and a bishop stands in a moment of introspection before the wedding starts.
Each photo is accompanied by an explanation: how it was shot, sometimes the lens or lighting technique that was used; why it works as an important record of the wedding, and what we're seeing, in case we can't tell. Buissink encourages people to open their minds to different possibilities so that each photo works as a piece of art yet also serves a part of the record of the wedding. You don't have to be a professional to get great photos is the message of the book; his advice results in lovely and lively photos that will be treasured by all.
The final two chapters consist of advice on building a photography business and how to avoid mistakes. Buissink lists some of the latter that he made: he originally started with a shot list, shooting only what the client asked for, resulting in lots of stale, posed pictures. When he started turning out more creative pictures, the nature of his requests changed as people saw the artistic work he could produce. Another was getting started in the business when the idea took hold: action will launch the career, not just thinking or dreaming.
People looking for celebrity wedding photos will find a few here but the real value is the sheer joy we see on the faces of ordinary people. It’s inspiring.
This is a part of the Lean-n-Mean writeoff--come on and join the fun.
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