Sometimes it’s okay to break the don’t look at the camera rule. I loved this photo from the moment I grabbed it this past weekend at Sean and Julie’s wedding. What a wonderful little moment as the flower girl was being fussed over. And doesn’t she look happy about it too!
Normally when someone looks at the camera it doesn’t make the cut. I might not even take the picture. But this is one of those little moments that transcends that rule, where it’s okay to break that fourth wall.
The difference is that it’s so very genuine. Completely un-posed and unplanned. Unlike the typical smile-for-the-camera snapshot in which everyone in the photo is clearly playing to the camera, in this case I feel the flower girl is actually sharing a little of herself and her feelings with us, the viewer. It’s a very real moment.
From a technical perspective, color would have added nothing to this photo at all. In fact, the “wall” behind her is actually an ugly green bathroom stall that clashes with about every other color known to man. Tight framing not only helps cut the distractions, but really lets us get to the heart of the photo, her expression. I really like the grain in this image as well, adding just a touch of gritty realism that seems to fit the overall mood. I don’t add grain in post production, rather it’s a result of the camera’s high 3200 ISO needed to shoot in the available light without the intrusive distraction of flash. (Flash would have ruined this photo!)
I’m actually not afraid of a bit of grain in a finished image. I tend to feel an image that’s too clean can actually look a bit plastic and tends to be a lack a little “soul,” for lack of a better description.