I received this book last Christmas and finished it this summer while my toes were buried in the sand. I’m not much of a reader, however I learned that I do like to read while at the beach. Within the first couple of pages Jose suggested that fine art is “about creating a cohesive piece of art, not merely a record of the wedding day.” These words have remain in the back of my mind as I continued to shoot weddings this summer and fall. With each image I shoot I want it to compliment one another telling the story of the wedding day. It has helped me to think through shooting the details.
I enjoyed reading about what is in his camera bag, how he sees soft light, reasons why he shoots film, setting the scene with his clients, practical tips and the boxes filled with lessons he learned. He was open and honest in this book about his journey and experiences along the way. The chapters were clearly outlined and it was easy to read. The gorgeous photographs created an anticipation with each turning of the page. If I was shooting film I would have read this book with a different lens paying closer attention to his settings and suggestions. His images inspire me to the challenge of learning film.
Anticipation. This one word stood out to me from his book. It is an area I want to continue to grow. He spoke about creating images with emotions. There are many emotions through the wedding day; however some could go unnoticed without anticipating them. Knowing the schedule and events of the wedding day has helped me know when to anticipate moments where emotions naturally flow. I want to be ready with my camera to photograph these sweet moments.
One of the practical tips he shared about shooting the ceremony is asking the couple to pause and kiss at the end of the aisle as they are exiting. I remember pausing for a kiss at our wedding but eight years ago I did not know Jose Villa. It was my mother who suggested pausing for a kiss for this photo opportunity. When I remember, I usually suggest to each couple to pause for a kiss because I agree with my mother and Jose Villa that it is a “winning shot”. You can purchase this book here or add to your Christmas list this year.