Friday, November 4, 2011

a thousand words - Lisa O'Dwyer

Friday, November 4, 2011

Great photographs tell a story by capturing a moment in time. In this series, I am asking some of my favourite wedding photographers to describe one of their cherished photographs. My inspiration is the book Photography Speaks: 150 Photographers On Their Art. This book features a number of iconic photographers who share some personal reflections about one of their photographs. Although I don't yet own a copy of the book, the idea captured my imagination and is the inspiration for a new series of guest blog posts with photographers.

This month, we're chatting with Lisa from Lisa O'Dwyer Photography. Lisa is originally from Pennsylvania, has travelled and lived all around the world and now lives in Ireland with her husband and children. Here is one of her favourite bridal images that she took at a recent wedding.

"The reason I like this photo is because I think it captures the couple's personalities and the relationship they have together perfectly. They are a fun people and I like how the groom is teasing the bride by tickling her and then going to play at chomping down on her cheek. I like how they interact with each other and play together. I can't recreate this pose and lighting for another couple. I feel that this photo is unique to the couple that has been captured.

The sun was low in the sky and so we got the lovely backlit "California" style lighting. I LOVE to get this kind of lighting in portraits. It's simply magical and worth waiting for.

The way I approach creating the couple's portraits is to find some great light and background, then to let them interact naturally with each other while I snap away. If they start to get stiff or awkward at getting their photo taken, I joke around and generally embarrass myself to get a laugh. I find that being a Yank is to my advantage because people like to laugh at my accent and the weird stuff I come up with. I direct them a bit because I find people generally need this for me to get artistic portraits. I've found that when I have had my own picture taken, I've needed the direction too. I want the photographer to have an artistic vision of what they want and to help me get into that vision by giving me some direction.

For the photographs I create, I want them to look artistically composed, but natural, with a couple who feels beautiful and looks like they're having fun and enjoying this moment in their lives. Time passes by so quickly and it's so important to document our lives with artistic photography that is natural and emotive. I think it's the exact opposite of studio-based photography which is contrived, artificially lighted, and stylised."

This is a beautiful image Lisa. Thanks for telling us more about how you interact with your subjects too - Now I want to see a video of you in action!

Make sure to check out Lisa's website and blog to see her varied portfolio and read about the other featured photographers in the series.


Lisa O'Dwyer said...

Thanks Aisling! I just saw this now :)

Aine (Allegria Photography) said...

What a great idea for a blog post - I love it! It gives a great insight into the photographer and what makes them tick...

Aisling said...

Thanks for the lovely comment Aine - I appreciate it!