Sponsored as official writers of WPPI by this awesome hub for photographers, SLR Lounge, we are excited to share with you the 8th of a 9-part series with one of the world’s best wedding photographers:
Who is Jose Villa?
The introduction by Skip Cohen was perfect: Jose Villa has been featured in every wedding magazine you know and he’s done it all on Fujifilm.
Graduating from Brooks College Institute of Photography at 21, in just 5 years later, Jose Villa is now a world famous and world traveling fine art wedding photographer based in Solvang, CA.
You can view more of Jose Villa’s work here.
His Platform Class
Jose started the class with a compelling question: How do you find your path in wedding photography?
1 | Do you know who you are?
What do you love? What makes you happy? In photography, what looks good to you? What are you going to want to shoot for 20-30 years? Find it and master that.
Shoot what inspires you. Shoot in areas you feel most comfortable in. Then, surround yourself with like-minded people.
2 | Do you get it right the first time?
You don’t want to be behind the computer adjusting photos. Get the exposure and the photo right in the first place.
In fact, Jose Villa never crops his images after he’s photographed them. They need to be right the first time.
Make sure the print and the screen matches completely. Print EVERYTHING because people respond to what is tangible.
3 | What makes a strong image?
“I HATE THE WORD STYLE. IT’S NOT ABOUT STYLE. IT’S ABOUT HOW YOU SEE THE WORLD.”
– JOSE VILLA
Don’t focus too much on equipment. The less equipment, the more attention you’ll pay to the shoot. There are four more important elements to making a strong image.
This is the first thing Jose looks for: the right lighting, soft lighting (i.e. window, outdoor shade, backlight, skylight). Jose exposes to the shadow and makes sure there is a nice wraparound of light around the subject.
The lighting must be consistent, showing beautiful skintone that is natural and timeless, even and especially on the details. Jose personally always shoots to the sun and at 2.0.
Strong composition isn’t just about where you place your subject or how much background to show. It’s also about the angle, color, focus, distance, exposure, light, mood and content. There are 3 rules of thumb:
- Create a clean canvas (i.e. sky, walls, shrugs, hills, open land)
- Crop in the camera
- Use the rule of thirds to break the image down into thirds, both vertically and horizontally
This is the hardest thing to do. It requires anticipating the moments of the day, establishing genuine communication, reacting quickly and playing with your clients.
Jose demonstrated creating an emotional impact on the shoot by having a couple volunteer on the stage and directing them accordingly: “Hold hands, you two. Now, close your eyes. Keep ‘em closed. Now kiss!”
If the groom laughs, you’re done because the bride is already on your side as a photographer.
Quality of Image:
Presentation counts! The quality is shown in the final product. Several things you should keep in mind:
- Always print your photos
- Find a love you LOVE to do the work for you
- Ensure longevity of your image
- Presentation counts
- Never give your DVD away (offer it a la carte if you must)
Jose emphasized and encouraged learning to shoot for yourself when you’re finding your path in wedding photography. He closed with this compelling thought:
“PHOTOGRAPH FOR YOURSELF AND THE REST WILL FOLLOW.”
– JOSE VILLA
where can you read the rest?
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