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Fine Art Wedding Photography: How to Capture Images with Style for the Modern Bride Paperback – March 29, 2011
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About the Author
Jose Villa has been named one of the top 10 wedding photographers in the world by American PHOTO, one of the “hottest young photographers in today’s wedding industry” by Rangefinder, and among the “most inspirational wedding photographers in today’s industry” by Photo District News. His images have been published in Martha Stewart Weddings, InStyle Weddings, Grace Ormonde Wedding Style, Brides, Cosmopolitan Bride, Vogue Bride, Town and Country Weddings, American Photo, PDN, Rangefinder, and many more. He can be found at www.josevilla.com.
Jeff Kent is the former managing editor of Professional Photographer and PEI>Photo Electronic Imaging magazines, and the current editor at large for PPA Publications. He has published more than 500 articles on professional photography in such magazines as Professional Photographer, American PHOTO Wedding and Portrait Guide, and Destination I Do. Jeff can be found at www.jeff-kent.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
In the first and the second part, Villa emphasizes on creating a consistent photography style. His style can be created by using specific gears (he uses medium format film camera and 80mm f/2 lens most of the time). As a result, most of his images has shallow depth of field and pastel color. He also suggest that color, composition, exposure should be consistent.
Throughout the book, there are many Jose Villa's signature style photos. Most photos has shallow depth of field, semi-posed, over exposed and has pastel color. I also love that Villa shares his real-life mistakes and how he handle it.
In the last part of the book, Jose share his marketing approach. It is a straightforward tips and quite obvious. For example he discusses the plus and minuses on marketing media such as magazine advertisement, website, blog, etc. He also share tips about pricing and how to get business referral.
Overall, I enjoy reading and looking at the photos and layout design. However, I feel the content (text) is very basic and light. More experienced photographers who like to learn in-depth about wedding photography techniques should look for other book.
After reading the book, it is tempting to copy Jose Villa's style. But I think, it is better to use the book as an inspiration to design your own photography style.
This is no book of rhetoric or theory. It is a book of application whereby Villa provides stunning fine-art imagery of weddings/engagements he has documented in the past with examples explaining his method (s). Classic and timeless, these breathtakingly beautiful captured moments of tranquility effectively show the reader what can be achieved by following the books instructions effectively.
Villa has produced a must read for beginning or professional wedding photographers alike who aspire to produce high-quality fine art wedding images with film. It is simply written and full of useful advice that photographers of all genres can use as a source of inspiration and education to satisfy today's generation of brides.
It is for the aforementioned reasons the I am thrilled to recommend, "Fine Art Wedding Photography: How to Capture Images with Style for the Modern Bride", by Jose Villa for film photographers interested in learning his craft as based on his experiences.
The basic advice of chapter 2 is lens wide open and overexposed. In the words of the author the advice to overexpose is that it "creates a softer, lighter, more airy feel to the images." The problem is that film has reciprocal failure in both highlights and lowlighs--the S-curve response of film. Although it is called "failure," it is actually an advantage of film over digital. What reciprocal failure means is that as the film starts starts to get overexposed in a bright part of the image, the emulsion becomes increasingly LESS sensitive so that most of the remainder of the image will be captured at the high end of the middle-tone range before it gets completely blown out to white. The result is that highlight details are retained on film. In other words, the advice probably works for film.
Digital sensors on the other hand have a linear response to light intensity. An overexposed image taken with a digital camera loses a lot more detail because the loss of detail quickly extends down to the middle tones of the image. Cameras with 14-bit image depth shot in Raw mode allow one to moderate this effect in post processing, however the result is still very tricky and not the same as one gets through the lens with film.
It's not a totally useless book--I did gave it three stars because there are good discussions about how to approach the subject, both staged and candid shots, and of course being sensitive to light and lighting.
I thought a much better guide was Wedding Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots by Suzy Clement:
Wedding Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots
(However, she spends a lot of time on shooting the bride dressing, and I doubt that many brides would be comfortable with a male photographer in that situation.