Featured Print Press
One of my favorite weddings of 2007, Kate & Kevin at Thunderbird Lodge, is going to be featured in the Feb/Mar 09 issue of Modern Bride. I will post feature upon publication and in the meantime you may enjoy their wedding slide show.
This Winter Season my imagery is featured in Grace Ormonde, Wedding Style. The feature can be seen in the New England issue or on line on the Grace Ormonde Website. I will post print copy shortly, it is beautiful and begins with a double page spread of one my images.
Feature reads: Catherine Hall is known for keeping couples “engaged with encouragement” and trying to keep things “fluid and fun.” One of the many ways she does it: “I will often direct, but won’t pose, in order to keep a lot of energy in my images.” Many times she will even share cocktails with a couple before the session giving them some time to “get to know each other in a relaxed, social environment.” She adds: “The more you know your clients, the better and more personal the images will be.”
THE REAL THING:TRUMPING IMAGE MANIPULATION
We’ve all seen them: vignettes and faux hand-tints; cross-processed images that overwhelm the senses with an unreal look; a heavy-handed use of flairs, starbursts and diffusion effects; cheesy frames. They cry for attention, hijacking the image in the photographic equivalent of a velvet Elvis wall hanging.
Where is the value, the poignancy, and the essence in these photos?
Today’s digital post-processing tools can be a force for good in the right hands, but can create visual mayhem when used without the proper judgment or in lieu of an essentially good image to start with.
Wedding photojournalism is all about the image and how it captures the moment and emotions. Any manipulation in post-production should be undertaken very carefully, beyond the temptation to incorporate trendy effects at the expense of the visual and documentary essence that make an image great in the first place.
“It is disconcerting to see mediocre wedding photography made to appear ‘fantastic’ as a result of drastic image manipulation,” says San Francisco-based WPJA member Catherine Hall. “Ten years down the road when the novelty of the current special effects fade, the images will lose their impact and become passé.”
A QUESTION OF RESPONSIBILITY
Wedding photojournalists have an obligation to help clients understand what is good and what is going to last. Certain effects are going to impress some people, especially a bride and groom who may not be trained in photography. As an accomplished professional, you have a responsibility to give them something that will resonate years from now with true quality.
Hall points out that couples are spending thousands of dollars on albums that are intended to last a lifetime, and sadly, some of the results are very gimmicky. “Many photographers abuse special effects such as image tilts, altered edges, and opacity fades. There is a time and a place for such effects, but one has to be careful not to overuse trendy techniques that will date the album. The most exquisite albums I have seen and produced are very simple and focus on the images.”
“Theoretically, I could probably give my clients an album that is over-designed and full of special effects,” she explains, “and they would probably like it because they have faith in me and at the time it looks fantastic. But the scary thing is what happens in five or ten years, when the novelty of overworked images is a thing of the past? We have a social responsibility to keep away from trendy effects so that the brides aren’t just satisfied when they’re writing the checks, but satisfied for the rest of their lives.”
TRENDS AND TIMELESSNESS
Trends in image manipulation are not unlike trends with fashion or anything else— they’re always going to shift and change. It’s therefore much better just to keep your photos simple, elegant and about the imagery itself.
“There are always looks that are in vogue, whether cross-processing or something else,” notes Pulitzer