Monday, January 17, 2011

It's not about you


Family photos are by definition personal.  For a viewer who doesn't know the author or subject of the photo, it can be hard to recreate the context that makes the moment special.

One way that a family photo can transcend that barrier is by offering the viewer something beyond the personal aspect of the photo.  That was my objective in the shot above.  The literal subject is the couple and I have no doubt that the particular moment here was a memory worth preserving for them.  However, for anyone who doesn't know them, the moment doesn't hold the same significance.

Although the couple is the literal subject of the photo, they are merely supporting actors for the intended main subjects of the photo - the landscape and the lighting - subjects that are accessible to almost any viewer.

I got the idea for this photo from some wedding photos made by Lito Sy ( ), who has won several WPPI awards.  The way I got the shot mirrored my intent.  First, I composed the landscape shot.  When I saw the couple, I tried to anticipate where they might be going.  When they found a spot, I readjusted my composition, this time including them as an element, then took the shot.

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