the one with location problems
A photographer I follow has her clients choose the location for photographing their engagement sessions. This always amazes me because in my 15 years of shooting, I've never had a client suggest that. They may have an idea or two, but they have enough to think about without also having to come up with locations. And let's face it, most of the locations I choose involve the light more then anything. It trumps it all.
I choose the Garden and Arts Center a lot. It's a good meeting place. Easy to get to, nice parking lot, pretty green pretty stuff, and with girls in heels? A great walking path. I choose this as our meeting place when I photographed some Wildcats before prom. It did not disappoint!
I'm not the only photographer that uses it. It's become like the Windmill place I used forever ago. Everyone starts using the same pretty places and soon you have a line of people waiting with their photographer for the pretty flower garden area. I don't like waiting when there's light to be chased, so typically I keep moving and we find our own little corner of the garden.
The last few times I've used the garden, a prop photographer has been camped out by the flower garden with her multitude of props and her clients waiting patiently, the adults anyway, for their time with her. The first few times I saw her, I was ok with it. I get that's it's public and everyone has a right to be there. But lately? I've gotten a bit cranky when I see her there because I just don't get it. Why all the props? If you are going to shoot props then what does it matter where? Go to your garage, set up a backdrop and fire away? Your not photographing moments, you are creating staged photography with props that you are using on everyone. So, any space will practically do and besides, you are hogging the space so much and for so long, that it's almost impossible to stroll through the garden for our 5 minutes that we need for our shots.
But I don't say anything. It would be rude. Rude for me and especially rude in front of her clients. So, cranky aside, tonight when I went there with my fabulous clients, I beat her to the punch. She wasn't there! We had a leisurely stroll and then walked up the path to make our way back to our cars. It was then that I saw her arriving, props in hand. I immediately felt the anger leave when I realized I was free to explore and chase more fabulous light, while she was stuck in a corner of the garden, props and kids, regurgitating the same thing out of her camera.
Now please don't misunderstand me. I get this. I get that some people love props and cute kids with bunnies and fake flowers and such. I get that! That's fine. It's just not what I love. I love light and moments and happy people.
So, to each his own. To each his own path and own way of light. Just be mindful of others when you are camped out every weekend in the same place. HELLO! We might want to stroll. You know?
Kudos to all photographers, props or not, that are working hard preserving families and moments. And thank you, pretty garden for providing a place we can all use and love.