Why Tell the Story Behind my Photos?

I post a lot of photos on my website and online. It occurred to me that very few people will ever know the story behind some of my photos and how I captured them. It’s hard of course for me to know if anyone is actually interested! So, whether this is just a cathartic exercise for me, or if there are actually people out there interested in the background to some of my photos, here goes.

How Did I choose this Photo?

I chose this photo because it was one of those rare occasions when several fortuitous elements came together meaning I was able to capture what I consider to be an image with energy.
In many areas of photography the photographer will start with something inherently interesting, colourful or beautiful, such as in fashion, advertising or music photography. As a London event photographer, I shoot in a variety of situations and locations, many of them in business. These situations tend be designed around functionality rather than aesthetics. As a result, I believe I often have to work that little bit harder to get a shot that will be interesting or possibly, dare I say it, exciting to the viewer. This is great for me, as a photographer, as the satisfaction from creating a great image from a difficult situation is, to my mind more satisfying than capturing something that is there ready to be photographed.

Chasing the Light

To get shots with energy, I’m looking for a variety of things. However, the first thing I look for above anything else is the light. Everything else is secondary. The background, the framing, all the technical elements in most situations will be secondary. Top of my mind is what light I have and where it is coming from. This in my opinion is what separates great photographers from average ones.

Soft, Natural Light

In this particular situation, high up on the sixth floor of Oath‘s offices in Mid City Place in Holborn, I had beautiful, soft, natural light. This meant that I was able to shoot without using any flash or artificial lights. Bingo! It doesn’t get much better than this!
I was able to walk around shooting from any angle I wanted in the knowledge that I would have lovely light hitting my subjects.

Reactions

Next what I was looking for on this particular shoot were reactions. This needn’t necessarily have been laughter or anything dramatic. In some corporate environments I may be looking for concentration, or a calm confident look depending on the final use of the images. However, when I walked in, the Effie Judging panel were breaking the ice and were talking about some of their personal experiences, before tucking into the work of the day judging for the Effie‘s.
As a result I was able to get straight to work capturing the talking and laughing. this was a result for me as within about twenty minutes of arriving I had already got all the shots I needed!

Judging the Awards

The next step for the judges was then to get down to looking at the entrants and put some order to them. The contrast was excellent for me. the shot above was obviously during the first part while they were chatting, but I also got lots of shots of the judges concentrating, which, while not having as much energy, were still interesting, particularly when viewed as a set of images rather than individually, as they then tell the complete story.

The Technical Bits

I photograph with Fuji XT3‘s, a fantastic mirrorless camera. It’s light and fast and produces beautiful files, very flattering to skin tones. I use a variety of lenses, but my favourites in this sort of situation are the Fujinon XF56mm F1.2 R and the Fujinon XF23mm F1.4 R. They’re both beautifully crisp lenses, great for capturing people in lovely light.

I hope you enjoyed this, I’ll be adding more posts about particular photographs I love and the reason I do in the near future. In the meantime, there are loads of other posts you can look at in my blog.

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