James Simmons does weddings. He does them very well. Canon and the AIPP thought so in 2014 when they awarded him their Wedding Photographer and Photographer of the Year prizes.*
He showed the crowd a little of what he does on Wednesday night at the Oxford Hotel in Leederville. Not only some of the visual results projected up on the screen, but some of the ways in which he goes about the business - and I don't mean f stops and shutter speeds and where to put the light stand. Note: tough crowd - lots of mean old geezers like this correspondent ready to drink the Oxford ale and eat the finger food. Hooray for the Oxford.
James does something that is worth considering - he makes his photography of a wedding good for the bride and groom. Good. Not just affordable, or well produced, or long lasting...actually good. Good on the day and good for later.
Of course, in real terms, all you need for a wedding are 5 sober people. Bride, groom, registered celebrant, and two adult witnesses. You could do the thing in the bleakest of circumstances and have it be legal. The thing that James can do is make it beautiful - no mean feat.
He showed us what happens when he settles the couple and gets them to react to themselves rather than to the camera. He has a gift of addressing them on a human rather than photographic level and then letting the machinery and the lighting illustrate this. Of course, the Pentax 645Z is a good instrument for this as it can cope with broad ranges of light. The large sensor size means that there is an immense amount of information available to the photographer for later manipulation. Of course we all want to say that we do it all in-camera and never spend any time in the darkroom pushing sliders and swearing...but we know that there is a certain amount of bad language involved in any art.
That care for the comfort and the calm of the couple means that they can cope better with the day. And they'll look better in the images ( Less slider pushing...).
No wonder that he got the Canon/AIPP award. Actually, if you go to his website, there is a list of his awards that goes down for 17 cm of screen space. All you have to do, though, is look at the pictures...they are really lovely.
Labels: Canon, digital, medium format, Pentax, wedding