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.