Wedding Photographer’s Panorama Join-Up

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Wedding Photographer James Boddington from Xiss Photography: Creativity When Conditions Are Cramped

PHOTOGRILL: Why did you create a merged image for this shot?

PHOTOGRAPGER: I did that image as a join-up because I didn’t have a lens wide enough to do it in one shot. I often do join-ups of the ceremony when I’m at the front. I use the photoshop’s ‘photomerge’ feature to stich it together but given how close I was to the couple, and I had to shoot the component images with a wide angle lens, I decided to join them manually using layer masks to dictate the composition. Given there was a lot of overlap I was able to choose to use the bridesmaid or particular groomsman from one image or another. I intentionally kept the odd shape because I think the collage feel works really well for this sort of image. It is the in many ways the key moment of a wedding and a wide photo of the ceremony more often than not ends up a double page spread in an album.

PHOTOGRILL: Do you generally rely on post-production in your photography?

PHOTOGRAPGER: When I shoot weddings I tend to work very instinctively and try not to preconceive too much, even my posed shots tend to be very spur of the moment in finding locations and how I pose the couple. With my post production it tends to be horses for courses. I love overlaying textures on images but I don’t do it on all weddings and the more weddings I’m shooting the more subtle my retouching is becoming.

PHOTOGRILL: How did you meet the young couple to be wed?

PHOTOGRAPGER: They were a referral. I had photographed the wedding for a work colleague of the bride, Jodi. Aaron and Jodi’s wedding was just a lovely day. They both come from strong, close families and are passionate about the ocean. Jodi is a marine biologist and Aaron a passionate surfer, they live on the Mornington Peninsula. At the end of the night Jodi, who had never played a musical instrument, played a song for Aaron she had been learning in secret before the wedding. She struggled to get through it with tears flowing from her eyes but it was incredibly moving and I felt like a fool crying like a baby as I
bid them farewell at the end of the night.

PHOTOGRILL: Tell us about your career & how you became a wedding photographer.

PHOTOGRAPGER: I’ve been a professional photographer for over 20 years. I started as a cadet on the suburban newspaper The Melbourne Times, which came about because my projected career of rock stardom wasn’t quite working out as I’d hoped. I’d seen an ad in the paper for a cadet photographer and literally bull-dusted my way into the job, I was asked at the interview “do you have an SLR camera?” I didn’t even know what a SLR camera was but I said yes.

18 months after I’d started Id won cadet photographer of the year in one of the national press photography awards and runner up in the other so I knew I’d found my calling.

I then went on to work for The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and other Fairfax titles on a freelance basis for many years as well as other clients. Through my passion for fine wine I fell into food and wine photography which took me around the country and saw me nominated in the World Food Media Awards in their top photographer in both drink and food category in 2003.

I started to look at wedding photography after I’d become a full time parent to two sons, and found running a studio incompatible with demands on me. I’d come across a young American couple who had a wedding photography business called ‘The Image is Found’, Their work blew me away, along with some other American photographers including Ben Chrisman and Anna Kuperberg

PHOTOGRILL: What other interesting weddings have you photographed?

PHOTOGRAPGER: I’ve been lucky enough to photograph weddings all around the world including a 5 day wedding celebration in Mauritius. The bride’s father was a very prominent mauritian and the wedding had had been well reported in the local media. During the first of the ceremonies the family house was burgled of around $250,000 worth of goods including many expensive gifts meant for the couple. The following night there was a party at the house and many of the guests were visibly devastated. The thieves were later caught but unfortunately little of the stolen goods recovered.

PHOTOGRILL: What attracts you to wedding photography?

PHOTOGRAPGER: I’m attracted to wedding photography because it suits my photojournalistic skill set.
It allows me great flexibility in how I shoot which means I’m not as intrusive with couple constantly asking them to do this or that for me. I also love that I give people a family heirloom, something meaningful that will gain interest with the passing generations of their family. I have made some good friends from shooting weddings too.

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See more of James’ photography at Xiss Wedding Photography or James’ Commercial Site or James on Facebook or @XissPhotography on Twitter

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One Response to “Wedding Photographer’s Panorama Join-Up”

  1. Heath says:

    Nice article Craig and James.

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