For this blog post we asked YOU, our readers, what questions you would like answered by Molly. The response was overwhelming! We were so excited to have several questions from our fans to answer here. Molly wanted to go in depth with her answers so you are truly able to get to know her better. So, we have divided up the questions and will be answering all of them in a series of future posts. Today, we are answering 3 questions, and Molly gives you an inside peek at some of her favorite photographs! Enjoy!
What is your favorite picture to capture at a wedding? (Ie. First dance, father walking his daughter down the aisle...) ~Spoon Fulla Sugar
This is a great question! I would have to say....the last one of the night. Kidding, kidding! Seriously though, I know it would seem that a wedding photographer would have a favorite moment or image that they try to capture at each and every wedding, but for me I can say that is not the case. I have 2 kinds of favorite images from a wedding. One of my favorite types is the image at a wedding that makes me say "Wow! I can't believe I just created that," or "I can't believe I was in the right place at the right time." My other favorite kind of image consists of the back story, or events, that lead up to a particular photograph.
The "Wow! I can't Believe it" Image:
Cincinnati wedding photography of a bride and groom dancing at receptionBride and groom dancing among their guests. Dramatic candid of bride and groom dancing at the reception.
The above image continues to inspire me. I have tried many times to re-create this photograph at different weddings and it is truly impossible. I was at the right place at the right time. I didn't event know I had this image until I was sorting and editing the photographs from this wedding! No special story, it happened during a regular slow dance at the reception.
The Image with a Story:
Cincinnati wedding photography dramatic picture of a bride and groom in Sharon WoodsCincinnati wedding photography dramatic picture of a bride and groom. Bride laughing in dramatic lighting. Candid wedding photo of a bride laughing.
There were so many challenges present in the behind-the-scenes of the the image above; but that's what makes it my favorite from this wedding. Here is a brief run-down of the challenges: this wedding was on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend and we went to Sharon Woods for formals of the bridal party in the early afternoon. You can image the park: absolutely filled to capacity with families having holiday picnics on a beautiful, not-a-cloud-in-the-sky, sunny day. The couple wanted to do a picture with the groom dipping the bride, a photograph that really is a challenge to take and pose in and of itself. I found this perfect ray of light coming through the trees and positioned the couple in that exact spot. I know it's not the typical image of a dip; but I love the way the light highlights the bride's face, and her beautiful smile as her groom kisses her neck. The obstacles that were present help me to better appreciate the final result of this picture.
I have many favorites from each wedding, and collectively, they are all from different points during the wedding day. Even after years of photographing weddings, I still amaze myself with what I am able to create. I truly believe that every wedding is different, and I treat them as such. If I went into every wedding with a list of photographs and poses that I had to capture, (other than the list of family members for formal pictures, of course) I would never be able to get them. The reason being that each couple is unique, they plan and do personal things on their wedding day. This is my main consideration, and true source of inspiration when I photograph a wedding.
What is your favorite photograph? Would love to see some of your favorites. ~Shelley Miller
This question is a lot like the first one, but to answer specifically: I have so many favorites. When I was in college I had to write a thesis about my work, workflow and creative process. Even then, I wrote, "I have no favorite images, because each one is like a child and no one has a favorite child". This is still true for me now, eleven years later. My favorite photographs are the ones that mean something to me or to the client; the ones that have an impact, or have beautiful light; or the ones that presented a challenge I feel I conquered. Here are a few examples of my favorites with an explanation of why I chose them.
The above photograph has so many elements I love. I even told this bride I have a very healthy obsession with this image. I love the mystery in her eyes. What was she thinking? It makes me want to know more about her. I love the way her eyes are framed by her golden curls and veil. Another thing I really like: From a technical standpoint the exposure is spot-on, meaning you can see the small details in her veil and hair.
This one is a new favorite. It's all about the light! First, I really like their expressions and the easy-going pose. I love the warm glow on their faces from the setting sun, and especially the highlight on the back of her hair. That highlight came from the sun reflecting off a window behind her. It's these little details and unique sources of light that make me happy. Usually only I notice these details when looking at photographs.
This image is special for so many reasons. You can feel the love this bride has for her new husband and her new mother-in-law. She is completely focused on their dance while she gazes at them. The emotion captured is what I really love about this picture.
This is a question that has plagued the professional photography community for years. Unfortunately, unlike a doctor or lawyer, you do not have to have any form of degree or certification to declare yourself a professional photographer. Since the dawn of the digital era, so many new "professional" photographers have emerged. Having been a wedding photographer since 2002, this shift in my profession is more than disturbing to me. I have a degree in photography, and have my foundation of knowledge built on film! (When I renovated my studio, I was so sure I would be continuing my business with film cameras, I built a dark room in the basement!) Now, it seems if you own an expensive camera, people consider themselves professional! So many true photographers, myself included, have devoted quite a bit of time (years) and money to perfecting our craft through college degrees and continuing education courses taught by world-renowned photographers. There are certifications that photographers can work toward, called "Certified Professional Photographer" and "Master of Photography". These designations take years to attain, and what I continually strive for.
Here's a "few" of the photography textbooks and reference books I own. I have read all of these books cover to cover! I regularly add to my library, in fact, a new book just got delivered to the studio today! To say I am passionate about my profession is clearly understatement. Any new knowledge I can gain or trick I can learn, only serve my artwork and my clients better.
Thank you for these questions! I hope you enjoyed reading my answers and learning more about me! If you have more questions, please leave them in the comment section below--I promise to answer them in a future post!
Update! We answered MORE Questions with Molly: Click Here for "Q&A with Molly: 2"!