Advanced Studio Practice 2A: Divergent photographing

27th October 2014

I want to test out my divergent thinking and imaginative skills. So as I shot a wedding at the weekend, I tried out some ‘regular head shot portraits’, but also photographing imaginatively and thinking outside the box, expanding the limits of portraiture!

Here are the outcomes:

Getting ready…


I wanted to set the scene but not by going down the obvious route – I wanted to explore getting in close and focussing on different, small, aspects that actually are the big things that tell a person about what’s going on. The first image I feel shows something about the person and the activity. The stance of the woman sat in the chair says that she is relaxed yet a little excited, and the glass of bucks fizz on the table symbolises celebration and the mirror indicates getting ready for the occasion. I wanted to obscure the second image and make the viewer stop and think about it for a moment or two. The main focus hopefully being the bride in the reflection, having her make up done. In the third image I wanted to include both the bride and her sister doing her make up, but not just do a ‘typical’, ‘standard’ shot. I wanted to show the action and intensity of the concentration and expertise coming from both parties. The fourth image is quite obscure because it’s not a regular shot, of her face, from the front, putting her earrings in. It is deep and obscure but the action and delicacy within her movement is still visible. It also gets a chance to show off her hair. The fifth image I believe is a portrait of the bride, not a regular head shot, but it shows elegance and poise, but also the anticipation and thoughtful expression in her profile.


Photographing the bride from different angles shows off the fullness of her beauty and the intricacy of all that she has invested in to present herself for the big day. Different poses and capturing natural moments also show part of the brides personality.


Close ups of different parts of the body e.g the hands can give a feel of the identity of the person being photographed and how they may be feeling. For example in the first image there is a slight tension in her hand, but there is also a delicacy within the way her pinky finger is slightly positioned away from the rest. The second image is more of a staged image as I asked her if she would place her hands in the position. However if you look closely, even the choice of nail art the bride has chosen and the engagement ring can tell us about her personality – that she is elegant and delicate yet fun and unique.


Here we have two ‘regular portraits’ – they are posed head shots. Each lady is smiling and looking straight at the camera. The light is hitting them both pretty much head on. We can still unpack each photo with regards to identity, however because they are posed shots they don’t always fully represent who the person is.


Here we have the first dance. A ‘regular’, ‘square’ shot. A point blank, obvious image, there is no need to guess what is going on. There are indicators e.g the dj, the fact that they are alone on the dance floor and looking into each others eyes.


Here we have, again, the first dance. However this time I wanted to think of more creative ways to photograph the couple, and the relationship they share. I also wanted to capture the atmosphere and lighting. I positioned myself so that I could get quite close in, and rather than photographing from the position I was before (where everyone else was watching on too) I went to the opposite side. Through doing this I feel I captured the emotion and intimacy of the couple, the joy they shared together just in that moment.

This is the power of divergent thinking!

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