Choosing a photographer is often one of the most overwhelming decisions for an engaged couple– there are SO many. It really comes down to two things– style and personality. Jerome Pollos Photography has both in spades, and we’re betting you’ll recognize his spectacular work. Today, we sat down with him to discuss his creative process and what makes a good photo.
Explain the connection you have with the couples you shoot and how that translates to your photographs.
I never liked the idea of taking a deposit, request the balance two weeks before the wedding, and then showing up as a stranger with a camera. I become friends with my couples. I’ve gone to birthday parties, hung out in their kitchen while cooking with them, visit my out-of-towners whenever I’m in their area, and share random text messages and emails just because.
My philosophy is if we can go out and meet up for a bite to eat and a drink, and the conversation is just rolling and there’s no awkward moments, those are the people I want to work with because we get along.
But it goes beyond becoming friends. All that info we share, those little tidbits of how their families interact, what their parents and their marriages are like, hobbies, favorite movies, pet peeves, etc. end up providing me with the ammunition I need to capture real, authentic moments.
Case in point, at my last wedding I knew the groom’s mother had recently passed away and there had been a pretty tight bond he created with his future mother-in-law. So when I heard she had a special gift to give him in order to remember his mom on the wedding day, I knew where to be and what type of moment that would provide.
It’s not enough to know these stories. I see it as a responsibility and privilege to be able to capture the moments resulting from these stories.
How do take a picture that truly captures the personality/essence of a couple?
A lot of it has to do with getting to know the couple. I like to learn the history of the couple, where they come from, what they like, how they connected and knowing their likes, dislikes and expectations. All that information helps me get them into situations where I can help them relax and focus on each other so I can fade into the background. When people are comfortable and I’ve built that trust with them that I know what they want and they feel like they’re a part of planning and creative process, it helps them relax and live in the moment rather than worry about a pose, or wondering what I’m trying to do.
What moments are you looking for when you say to yourself “that’s the shot”!
To create a great image, you need a three-ingredient recipe.
A solid artistic composition that helps direct the eye and give some idea of place
The geeky technical photo stuff (i.e. light, exposure, depth-of-field, etc.)
But the main component is a moment. Whether it’s laughter, a look, the feeling of two people being completely comfortable and lost in a moment, that’s the one that matters the most. And it’s what ties in with the other two ingredients to create that great image.