Sunday, May 22, 2016

Engagement Photography

Planning For The Big Day

I love weddings. I love being there and playing a small part in someone's life when vows are exchanged and families join together. It's a joy to watch the day unfold from the morning preparations, the arrival of guests and participants, the ceremony, the interlude, the reception, the speeches, dances, and embraces. 

a photo of an engagement couple by daniel south

It's an honor when someone entrusts me to capture their special day in photographs. I take the role very seriously. I prepare for the day by reviewing the flow of events, visualizing the different stages of activity, and making sure that I am ready to photograph anything that happens. 

a photo of an engagement couple by daniel south

I'm thrilled when I get the opportunity to photograph the couple after their engagement. It gives me a chance to get to know them and learn their preferences in advance of the big day.  

a photo of an engaged couple by daniel south

Outdoor locations offer a variety of lighting and background options. The couple may suggest a location that's meaningful to them. This is ideal. The subjects will feel relaxed and comfortable in a familiar setting, and the photos take on an added level of importance.

a photo of an engagement couple by daniel south

Wedding and engagement photos capture some of the most important moments in someone's life. These images will be shared and cherished for generations to come. Being hired to shoot them is a responsibility that I take very seriously.

a photo of an engaged couple by daniel south

Everything that I have learned about photography over the past twenty years goes into every image that I make. I want my clients to be delighted with their photographs. I want to give them my very best work.

Camera: Nikon D810
Lenses:  Various

Light happens. Be ready. Shoot hard.

Copyright © 2016 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved

The Weird World of Woolworth

Get Shorty

Woolworth stores were once an American institution, but I haven't seen one in the USA for years. Apparently, Woolworth still does business in Mexico. 

When I spotted this store during my walk through Puerto Vallarta, I pulled my camera out of the bag and took a few photos. I thought that friends of a certain age might be tickled to see a Woolworth store still in operation. 

The road in front of the store was busy. I decided to wait for a couple of minute to see whether the car and pedestrian traffic might clear. That's when things started to become interesting.

a photo of a woolworth store in puerto vallarta
Woolworth Store - Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

A short, mustached man wearing a hat and sunglasses called out as he raced toward me from across the street.

"Sir! Sir!"

Photographers learn quickly that when someone addresses you as "Sir" or "Ma'am" as you're shooting, their intention is not to be polite. It's confrontational.

"What are you waiting for, Sir?"

I decided not to ignore the man.

"Sir! Why are you taking pictures?"

Smile if you must, but keep ignoring the confrontational pest. It drives them crazy.

"English?" the man demanded when I didn't respond. "¿Español?"

"Sí, Español," I confirmed without making eye contact. 

He rambled on for a bit in Spanish. I continued to ignore him.

"Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!" yelled Shorty as he raced across the street. 

There was a pay phone on the corner near the entrance to the store. Shorty called someone and spoke to them in a very agitated manner. He waved his arms, pointed back at me, and made hand gestures like someone shooting a camera.

One can only guess why Shorty was so upset. If he had been associated with the store, he would have sent an employee or a security guard to speak with me. If he were an official, he would have sent the police.

My guess is that Shorty may have been engaged in some illicit activity. Perhaps the street in front of the store is a drop off point for contraband. Anything is possible in Mexico.

Undaunted, I walked into Woolworth and did some shopping. There was no sign of Shorty when I came back out. I walked around town for the rest of the day without incident. 

It's important to be careful in Mexico and in all of Latin America. Crime rates south of the border are staggering. Luckily, this time I was able to avoid trouble simply by remaining cool and refusing to engage with this character. It was broad daylight on a busy street, so I didn't expect an armed confrontation. Things get more serious after dark.

Be careful out there. There's going to be a "Shorty" character just about anywhere you travel, and he'll be watching you.

Camera: Nikon D810
Lens:     Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G ED

Light happens. Be ready. Shoot hard.

Copyright © 2016 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved