Monday, March 12, 2012

a thousand words - James Moes

Monday, March 12, 2012

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.

Today we're off to Seattle to meet James Moes, whose work I so admire. James trained in fine art and graphic design before settling on Photography. In his words, "While comfortably sitting on the fringes of the wedding industry, James is proud to be a photographer of love & marriage; beauty & dreams; curiosity & stillness."

This portrait of Todd & Claire and their dogs deserves a long gaze. Below James tells us why he loves this image.

Nothing clever. Nothing cute. But everything in its right place. The bride and groom and their beloved dogs, at the entrance to a cave nearby the family cabin (where the celebrations took place), with light softly coming in from the west. A perfectly restful first family portrait.

The longer I shoot weddings, the more I appreciate a classic portrait. One that even hearkens back to early large format photographic portraits where the subjects would have to stand still for a slow shutter speed.

Yes, I still I treasure the in-between moments, the surprises, the subtle exchanges, some good lens flare, and a thrilling dance party. And yes, I still will take some more experimental portraits (as I did with Todd & Claire on their wedding day: in a canoe on the lake, with fireworks & the resulting smoke) … but the image I keep coming back to is this. A classic wedding portrait. No shame in that.

James, this image reminds me of an old oil painting, which reveals its layers of emotion and detail the longer you look at it. It is both tranquil and animated at the same time. I love it. Thanks for being a part of this series.

For more information, visit James' website. I'm deliberately not linking to the full wedding as I like how this image stands alone. You'll find the full album on the website though!

This is part of a series which is archived on the blog. Please leave your comments below - I'd love to hear them.


Brian Masterson said...

A beautifully simple, classical portrait which - in common with James' description - shows that there's as much skill in creating a stripped back, subtle image. Lovely.

Unknown said...

I agree Brian. The portrait is so powerful in its simplicity and I love the impressive scale of the backdrop.