Wide Open Spaces // Cranberries and Tea Photography

March 19, 2017

I want to talk about a key component to every photograph I take: shooting wide open. 


For those of you who glaze over technical camera details, I'll make this short and sweet. In a lens, there's a tiny hole called the aperture that lets in the light from the scene in front of you. When you shoot with your aperture "wide open", you're going as big as you can, and you are creating just a tiny little sliver of focus in scene, like this.



I shoot nearly everything in my life wide open. That sunset? Probably wide open. That senior, that bride? Definitely wide open. It's just a style thing. Some people do and some people don't. But I want to explain to you why this is going to change your images.



Shooting wide open gives me the opportunity to put the focus on you, and you alone. Your surroundings become more of a supporting actor to your lead role, only lending themselves the opportunity to provide you with gorgeous light and to make an even more gorgeous you. Suddenly these things that you see and know about yourself every single day are exposed - your gorgeous eyelashes and perfectly done makeup. Your super soft hair that you take such good care of. The extra cozy blanket that you and your love are wrapped up in while your fireplace crackles in your living room - every last detail is so exceedingly sharp and vivid that you can't take your eyes away.


Your life is made of wide open spaces, and so is mine. 


But I'm going to be honest - sometimes it's really hard to nail the focus wide open. You have such a small range to get it "right" that sometimes you miss. And to be even more honest, some photographers in the industry believe that missing diminishes their talent. Or makes an image unusable. Or that it's somehow a way that they "screwed up". I used to be one of those photographers, but I'm not anymore. Because of this image.




I'm being real honest here - I missed the focus. It's slightly off. But this images carries so much emotion, and happiness and pure joy from their first dance, why in the world would I delete it? So I vowed to myself that, of course, nailing focus is my goal. But if something comes up soft, it will not go away. I will not view the image as "less than". 


So this is my vow to you - I will take gorgeous, truthful images of you. They will be filled with emotion, they will tell your story, they will be "in focus" about 99% of the time. 


And they will be wide open. 



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