A few months ago my friend Tim Challies asked if I could take a few photos of him for his upcoming appearance in Bible Study Magazine. I don’t really take on many non wedding related shoots. But since it’s always fun hanging with Tim I agreed. The template for the magazine was simple. They just wanted a tight shot of him smiling so they could cut out the background for the cover. They also wanted a candid or two to put on the inside of the magazine with the article. It all seemed pretty cut and dry. It also seemed pretty boring. Tim would only be in Los Angeles for a few days and only had an hour or so on one afternoon to do the photos. I asked him if we did the boring ones first if I could try some more interesting out of the box ones. He agreed.
Bible Study Magazine is produced by a company called Logos Bible Software. The software allows you to have all your Bible Study tools and books on one searchable program so there is no need to maintain a physical library. My initial idea was to do some with Tim and his computer on a desk out in a field to illustrate how with the software, even out in the middle of a field you have everything you need to study.
All said, I took the boring tight shots of Tim and sent them over. However, I also sent with them the ones we did in the field with a quick mockup of what their magazine cover might look like with one of the field shots. In all the time they have produced the magazine they have never strayed from their standard template. Until now. I just got a glimpse of the upcoming cover, and lo and behold it’s something different! Sometimes it just takes making the effort, being different, and presenting your results to make people break out of their mental molds. Had I presented the idea before doing it, most people would not have been able to visualise the result and been reticent to even trying it. But once someone sees something they like better than what they are doing they are more often than not willing to embrace it.
So how does this apply to weddings and portrait photography. In my experience it can be a pretty risk free endeavor. Make sure you get the safe shots, and then if you have time left ask the couple if you can try something different with the extra time. I also tell them that if they end up looking cheesy I will just delete them. Nine out of ten times the couple will be all for it, and many of those times your experimental results will be fabulous. If they’re not, you can just delete them no harm done. You still have the safe shots. =).
Just for reference here’s the past 16 covers!