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The One With The Engagement Picture…

young engaged couple holding hands and looking at each other. taken outdoors at Middleton Lodge.

Photographer: “I’m sorry is the seat uncomfortable?”

Chandler: “No I am.”young engaged couple holding hands and looking at each other. taken outdoors at Middleton Lodge. I don’t work with models, I work with real people and some of them are not too keen on being in front of my camera.  In fact most people I photograph open the conversation with, I don’t like having my photograph taken (I’ve learnt not to take this to heart).

When I photograph people regardless of age and gender, one of the most important things I can give them is time.  Knowing when to make a start taking pictures is one of my skills.  With some subjects it works to start straight away and not faff too much and with others it might be a 30 minute chat followed by a 10 minute shoot.  My people barometer hardly ever fails my decision when to get started.

I love people, I love hearing about their lives, sharing TV boxset banter and quickly putting them at ease.  I never take people out of their comfort zone, with poses which don’t suit or reflect their personalities and I never ever ask people to smile (unless I’m looking for a forced grimace look).  The background and lighting can all be perfect, but if the subject looks uncomfortable then for me the picture is ruined.

My camera becomes almost secondary on a shoot (I still take it with me though) as I find it more important to communicate and be 100% authentic with people.  I always tell my subject what composition I’m trying to achieve and how much of them is in the frame.  As the photographer I have a good idea of how the final image will look and I think it’s important to let people know what I’m trying to achieve, but flexibility is important too. If I’m too focused on what images I want from the session, that won’t allow me to think outside the box.

I love my job and it’s important that my subjects pick up on that.  If I’m giving 100% then the law of reciprocity dictates that they will give 100% back…

For more information on my wedding & portrait photography, please email studio@garywalsh.co.uk

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