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Keep the camera up!

June 8th, 2011  |  Published in Featured, Shoot

by Andree Kehn


I brand myself as a wedding photojournalist. To my clients that means that I deliver images of genuine interactions and moments. Composition, framing, layering all add to the art, but my primary goal is capturing natural unscripted moments.

My first job is getting people to feel comfortable and “forget I’m there”. I doubt anyone truly forgets I am there, when I am two feet away from them with a wide angle lens click click clicking, but I can help them surrender to the process. I want them as close to feeling like I am a piece of furniture as possible. I don’t spend much time chatting with them, especially at the beginning, I just wander around and get in close and shoot.

I keep the camera up to my eye. A perfect facial expression, gesture or moment is fleeting; keeping the camera up increases the likelihood of grabbing that perfect frame. It also creates a physical barrier between me and my subjects, making them less likely to engage with me.

My camera’s lcd screen is set to automatically display the image after I shoot it. If my exposure is way way off, I can see that without taking the camera away from my face. Too bright or too dark? Spin the wheels. I know which direction opens the aperture and which direction speeds up the shutter, so I don’t need to take my camera away from my face to adjust my exposure.

A weirdo thing I do with the lcd is to use it as a tiny rear view mirror. When I have the camera up to my eye, I can take a quick peek at the lcd and see activity behind me reflected in it. I may want to move out of the way or I may want to turn around and shoot.

I use my ears to identify moments. I don’t listen so much to the actual words as much as the energy level. When I hear a squeal of delight, I spin and point my camera. I pay attention to approaching footsteps, dogs barking and children laughing.

Moments after the moment is often when the best stuff happens, keep that camera up and get the moment after. :)

About Andree

Andree Kehn has written 38 post in this blog.

Andree is a fun Bethel Maine Wedding Photographer, who specializes in contemporary photojournalism. She eats shoots and leaves.


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