I'm always looking for creative inspiration, though I try to look for it in unexpected places. Sometimes I get creatively stuck working in a place like Costa Rica, because it's so naturally stunning and beautiful, the light nearly always spectacular, that I hardly have to try very hard to get a good shot. In other words, it's not a challange, and so it's sometimes easy to get lazy. Also, as much as I love to be surrounded by nature, I don't find that I am very inspired by it. I am not a nature, landscape, or wildlife photographer, and while I appreciate and am often moved by those things, they don't compel me creatively. People do.
Last night Joe and I rented the most recent Harry Potter movie, and I was struck by how photographically interesting it was. I have found the other installments entertaining, but this one was really inspiring. The shots were just so beautifully composed and visually interesting, especially during the quietest passing moments of the film. Here are just a few screen shots that I thought translated wonderfully to photographs:
While many of these images owe as much to brilliant set design and cinematography as to well-conceived composition, I just really appreciated how each shot—however simple in content—was never boring or ordinary. I thought about how I approach shooting weddings and how I would like to inject a bit more of that philosphy into my process. Throughout the day there are so many moments that simply have to be captured, no matter how simple or ordinary. They propel the story along and are just as relevant to the course of the day as the big moments—such as the ceremonial kiss or the first dance. And even though my primary job is to document the moments of the day as they unfold and tell the wedding day story truthfully and honestly, I can still capture every single shot artistically and creatively, framing every moment in the most visually interesting way possible.
This has actually always been my objective, but sometimes it is easy to lose sight of in when getting caught up in the pressure of never missing a thing and the pace of the event. I never thought a movie that is essentially for kids would be the catalyst to reinvigorate my creative philosophy, but being open to finding inspiration in the most unexpected places is what it's all about, I guess.
Images from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince © Warner Bros.