Justinvl 3:29am, 9 July 2009
Thank you, David, for critiquing my photo. I have NEVER had such a thorough and meaningful review of any of my images. For that I am very, very grateful.

Since I was listening to you talking to "Justin" (that's me!) I am compelled to answer all questions asked of me - rhetorical or not - and in no particular order.

First; it wasn't a studio shoot - well not a planned one anyways - I volunteered to do a friends wedding, and we tried to set up a bit of a studio for guest shots. This was the first time I worked with a seamless backdrop (all others were... less seamless) and I had my step-dad's 50d on a tripod, vertically oriented and tethered by the too-short OC-E3 hot-shoe cable.

The tethering will explain why it's vertical AND why I missed the edge of the dress - because I tried - and because of the tension on the line, I pulled my stand, and flash down on top of me. Solution? Buy more flashes to have a remote master (gear is great!)

Setup photo by Eden

During the dinner reception, I didn't feel like getting up and taking pictures of people eating. WHAT I DID do, was hand my Panasonic LX3 to Eden who was restlessly hopping around. Her eyes lit up as I told her that she could "take as many pictures as she liked."

An hour or so later, as I was setting up our photo-booth and still getting my focus down, she wandered into the room, still playing with the camera and previewing her shots on the LCD screen. I took what I could as she moved around.

A lovely tidbit her father told me afterwards. Apparently, just a week before, when they asked their daughter what she wanted to be when she grew up she told them (no joke) "a photographer" so when I hand her the point and shoot, with absolute trust, it was more than just a toy to her - it was a dream come true - for that night she was a photographer. I made her night without even knowing it.

So there's story behind it, but in the end, what I get out of this, is experience. There are a lot of firsts in this; first wedding I shot, first remote studio, first critiqued photograph. All of these are reasons why I keep doing this great photography thing.

I love the challenge, I love seeing myself get better, my photographs improve and my friends and family enjoy them even more.

Given a few more months maybe I wouldn't have taken the picture that way. Given a few more years maybe I would have seen it coming, the moment, anticipating her involvement in the electronic device.

I hope so. That's what I'm working toward.

If you're interested, feel free to see all my wedding selects here.
Scott Cowlin 8 years ago
Hey Justin,

Thanks so much for the thoughtful and detailed response to David's critique. This is exactly the type of learning exchange what we were hoping to create when we asked David do to the podcast.

We all learn a lot, thanks for sharing.

David duChemin 8 years ago
Brilliant, Justin. thanks so much for the feedback!
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