January 2, 2018 Best of 2017 | Photography by Brea | Baltimore Wedding Photography
Without question, this is my favorite post to make every year. Last year’s post was a pivotal one for me – the first time I could look back at my entire year without a single pang of regret. As artists, we are our own biggest critics. There’s always something you wish you could have gone back and done differently. And sure, nearly every wedding has *something* I wish I could have captured differently. But on the whole, last year was the first time that I felt like my work was really starting to fit who I was and where I wanted to go.
I am still so proud of last year’s post, in fact, that I have no hesitation at all linking to it above. I would still confidently show off those images as portfolio images in 2017… which is a first. Each year I’ve had marked improvement over the last in terms of quality, editing, etc. I would constantly be updating my portfolio with my latest work, as the older images were looking outdated quickly. Up until 2016, you could see my style evolving clearly from year to year as I found my voice as a photographer.
Although this year’s images and last year’s images can (and do) sit side by side in a gallery of my best work, there is a more subtle, yet still fairly big leap from 2016 to 2017 in terms of the body of work in the recap post. Looking through last year’s post (and all previous years), it’s primarily portraits. They are great portraits in terms of expression, lighting, composition, etc. But they are still just that – portraits.
As wedding photographers, we are with couples on their wedding day for 8-10+ hours. Of those 8-10+ hours, 2 or less (often much less) are spent on portraits. If our best images from a wedding day are portraits, we’re doing it wrong. If the only time you can produce great images is the time that you have full control: you are doing it wrong. There is so much life that happens in the little moments, the ones in between the big moments when you’re told to pull out your camera. It’s the moments that everyone else puts their camera down that you capture the good stuff.
This past year, in addition to making those beautiful portraits – capturing the “good stuff” became my biggest focus. The silly quirks, the unique expressions, the photos that will make you belly laugh, tear up, spark the telling of a story. The ones that you will happily share with your grandkids one day, so they will have a glimpse into who you were before they knew you. I’ve been calling myself a storyteller for years. This year I truly became one.
The problem with being a storyteller? It’s a lot harder to build a portfolio than when you’re primarily a portrait photographer. My images work best when consumed as a story. Sure, individual images definitely still tell stories, but they’re stronger together. They’re strongest when the entire picture is painted from start to finish. That’s why I love doing a blog post of each wedding – and why I love when my couples get albums. Portraits are great, and they’re important – they are our best way to look back and remember what someone looked like at a certain point in their life… but the candids capture who they were.
This year’s post still has its fair share of beautiful portraits. But you’ll see even more life. And that’s what it’s all about.
Best of 2017 | Baltimore Wedding Photography
This is how we feel about 2017 being over:
Five of the above images are taken by my amazing assistant, Tommy Wagner, who has only been shooting since March. I’m going to go ahead and leave which five a mystery, because I think it’s pretty cool how well they fit in with the rest.