What’s on TV? {For Photographers}

I happen to think that watching TV isn’t such a bad thing, as long as it’s done in moderation. So, why not try watching a little TV while you are shooting a wedding too!? I have used televisions in a few of my wedding photographs, and usually wind up liking the result. Now, more often than not, I am avoiding something as potentially distracting as a TV at all costs, but sometimes you just have to roll with what’s in front of you, and not ignore the 800 pound high definition gorilla in the room! The exciting part of doing this, I find, is that you really don’t know what you are going to get. The idea, for me at least, is to somehow connect what’s happening on the TV with whatever else that is “real” in the room. Achieving this sometimes just comes down to dumb luck, or if you prefer, serendipity. Let’s see some of that “serendipity” in action!

This one REALLY was dumb luck, but you have to be prepared for dumb luck to happen to you though! The bridesmaids were watching TV, and I had set the dress up next to it. Pretty straight forward. Then I just stood back, took a test shot or two to make sure that what was on the TV would show up in the final shot, and then just waited for something “interesting” to come on. Seriously, after about a minute or two, this ad for a Soap Opera came on. “CLICK”….done! So, here is an obvious and almost literal “connection” from what’s on the TV to our reality. Let’s look at a not so literal connection in the second image…

On this shot, I set the bride up so that she was in the path of the window light and so that she contrasted from the white blown out area of the window itself. I then framed up my shot, including the TV. I turned the TV on, but had to surf the channels a little to find a something I thought might work. What I liked about this particular frame was how the bride and chef are both wearing all white, and how they are both facing the same direction, and also placed in the frame in about the same position, the bride off center to the right of the frame (the overall frame of the entire photograph), and the chef off center to the right of his frame (the black frame of the TV itself). So, here the connection between TV and reality isn’t so literal, but more a play on mimicking one another.

Pretty much the same deal on this shot, set it up, test shots for exposure, then wait for something to come up. What I liked about this frame is how the close up of the cartoon girl on the TV appears to be looking wide eyed over at the dress hanging in the window. I also like that she seems to be around the age of a teenager, and perhaps fantasizing of her own wedding day/dress. Once again, here is our connection. Without which I don’t think any of these images would have worked.

So, hopefully that was somewhat helpful to you photographers out there. Go ahead and try it, you might be pleasantly surprised at the results.

Don’t be shy now, chime in with comments or questions. Also, if you think this might be useful for someone else you know, please send them a link to it: http://lafflerphotography.com/blog/?p=4505

Ok, just one TV “fun fact” for you: “American children and adolescents spend 22 to 28 hours per week viewing television, more than any other activity except sleeping. By the age of 70 they will have spent 7 to 10 years of their lives watching TV.”
— The Kaiser Family Foundation

Thanks guys.

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