Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by eilonwy89, Jun 23, 2017.
Anyone in the Nashville area up for shooting an August wedding with a blind groom?
What a strange question. How would that fact impact any photographer?
I have photographed a deaf couple before, and it's actually quite cool. If the groom does not read lips, you would be well served to learn a few signs relevant to a wedding. Some really easy ones to learn are the signs for family, bride, groom, thank you, dress, rings, bouquet (and bouquet toss), vows, father, mother, and bacon.
Additionally, learning what, where, who, and when are pretty easy and are generally helpful.
Oh, and the top of the head is masculine, the bottom is feminine. If he starts signing while eating, tell him not to talk with his mouth full (a joke my deaf bride told me). Also, learn how to sign applause.
Michael, how could a blind groom read lips? I would have to agree with Sandy...
My father, who spent most of his adult years in a wheelchair, found that many people would talk louder to him. He used to say, "Hey, I can't walk but I can hear!"
Once, when he was being wheeled into a restaurant and people's eyes were turning as they often did, his good friend Mel, who often wheeled him, chided the crowd with "Too much sex!"
LOL - I'm so sorry everyone, I for some reason thought that said "deaf" and not blind. Ugh. Nevermind. Maybe I should stop going to the forums late at night after an exhausting wedding.
Disclaimer: I have never done any wedding shoot, so in absence of hands on experience, please take this with a grain of salt.
If the objective is to produce commercial looking wedding photos, then whether the groom is blind wouldn't make a difference, I agree. On a second thought, I wonder if someone wants to do a more personalized series of photos that capture this particular couple's wedding, not any wedding, could those be tailored towards the feelings, sensibilities of the subjects concerned? For example, since the groom cannot see, his other senses like touch, smell and hearing are more prominent than others. Could those elements be factored into the photos. How about focusing on close ups of the bride's hand touching her partner, or the brief brush of the bride's veil against his skin. How about a view from the back with both of them, with sunlight touching the groom's neck (he can feel the warmth, but not see the light). Another idea could be the bride putting on perfume, and the groom smelling the air at close range, or the bride whispering into his ears. I think, this is how they will feel each other in their real life, so that feeling could be partially recreated in photos (of course it will depend on what they want).
It actually does complicate things a bit. For one, his eyes look odd (and reflect the light like a dogs' do) so coming up with poses that put him at advantage is necessary (not to hide it, but just so they look good and not creepy). He can't smile on command (doesn't know when he's smiling - has been blind since birth). And he follows directions (tilt your head to the right, stand straighter) in a really extreme way that tends to look unnatural, but at the same time, more directions *are* necessary...
May be the bride knows him better and knows how to communicate with him effectively. See if you can ask the bride to help you in the communication.
Seconding getting the bride's help with this. You want to tell their love story, and how they communicate physically is the embodiment of that story. So, enlist the bride to help by just interacting with him in a loving way. Then, find angles yourself which will accentuate the good and hide the bad. This will be more natural for them and will more accurately tell their story.
Supriyo, I think everyone is probably on a continuum of how they'd like to be seen and treated, whether differently abled or not. There would likely be some people with blindness who'd very much like your ideas and some who'd find them too self-conscious (even though I think you're being very sensitive in how you approach the question) and who would simply want "normal" wedding pictures like everyone else's.
I'd be cautious of enlisting the bride and try my best to communicate directly with the groom. The other thing my father used to laugh about (he had a good sense of humor about most things) was when my mom was wheeling him and people would ask her how he was doing or just talk to her, at which point he'd speak up and say, "I'm right here!" The groom will be interacting as much with the bride as she will be with him.
So, if he's making extreme gestures when asked to tilt his head to the right, etc., one might gently help HIM to ease up a bit. One might simply say, "Great, now let's come back just a bit to the left."
My guess would be most people would want direct communication and not for their partner to become a sort of go-between.
Like Fred, I carry some baggage on this one. When my Mother became terminally ill in her 89th year, I would take her to Doctors appointments whenever I could. Though she was sharp as a tack till her last week when the pain meds were just too much, Doctors, Nurses and PAs would ask me questions as if she wasn't there. Made me more than a little angry, and I would suggest that they ask the patient, who was probably the smartest person in the room.
The few blind people I have known could do everything anyone else could do except things requiring vision. One was a fine wrestler, and lethal Judo player. Though they can't see themselves in the mirror, they can feel their expressions, and if made aware of awkward expressions, can avoid them. Any conversation about issues should be jointly with the Bride and Groom - see previous example Mom & Doctors. . He is there and fully functional except for vision. He will never see the photos, but he will have ideas about the impression he would like to present and what he would like to do to help make the photos as close to what the bride wants as he can. As to eyes looking "odd" every PP software I have encountered has the means to correct that, some fully automated. I might even propose that the bride choose a pair of fashionable tinted glasses she thinks look good on her future husband.. Their wedding, their choices.Tthough the photos will not be of personal use to the groom, he will undoubtedly be pleased to hear about them and receive favorable feedback..
Actually, if you've ever shot a wedding, you would understand that the groom being without sight will present small, but not insurmountable problems. Its actually a good idea to work with the bride, at least when doing any formals etc. but the family, friends and bride will already know how the groom will get around, so you will have to coordinate with the bride, groom and if there's a coordinator there, to sort of plan out where you will be going to take shots. And of course the b & g may have input about what they want and where they might want certain shots to take place, but that's always the case. So meeting with them before hand is necessary and handy and thought about mobility is something better to get a bit of a handle before hand. Of course, wedding are often greatly full of fun surprises and moments so you can't plan for everything right. But It shouldn't be too difficult. I think as best you can, its good to know what's planned at the wedding ahead of time. And +1 for Ellenwy89, some really good points.
Like Fred and Sandy, I also find it annoying when people make assumptions about others (and use family members as intermediaries in communication), without attempting to communicate with the person himself. The reason I thought about involving the bride is, in a shooting scenario, sometimes the instructions of the photographer are given over a distance, as opposed to close quarters. In a noisy outdoor, the verbal instructions can be supplemented by hand gestures, which the groom won't be able to follow. However, as Fred showed in his example, the photographer can easily convey his/her instructions with clearly made out sentences. It all depends on the practical skills of the photographer and his/her chemistry with the subjects. I felt, the OP was a little uneasy with the shooting scenario. I think, after a few shooting sessions, the groom will become more accustomed to the photographer's instructions and things will roll smoothly. I am sure, the groom is fully aware of the importance of this photoshoot and is as determined to make this work, as does the photographer. The eyes can be easily fixed in post processing.
Please clarify: are you are asking, on behalf of the B&G, for a Professional Photographer to shoot this Wedding?
If yes, then interested Parties should contact the Original Poster by Personal Message and arrange the business discussion to take place off-forum.
Or, are you a Photographer seeking assistance and advice as to how to go about shooting this Wedding?
Again, these kinds of issues I've found, are best worked out ahead of time. Many wedding photographers will require someone from the wedding party, or the wedding coordinator to get gather up the people for family/friend portraits and group shots. Its really difficult to excuse the pun, go in blind and then try to get everyone together. Given that there's not a lot of time for the set shots, its almost imperative that a designated person is going to gather up the family, get the groupings the bride and groom want and help with getting the bride & groom to where they need to be for the photos. This is critical, if not done, it can be really difficult and frustrating trying to get the shots you've been hired to take. In other words, the time to establish communications isn't at the wedding, but before hand when you meet with the bride and groom. I said work with the bride above, but I meant bride and groom. Point is, a person needs to be assigned to herd everyone around being involved in group shots.(yes herd) Whether its the bride, the coordinator, auntie jane or whomever. And the photog will need to rely on that person. As far as framing the shots or working at the time of the photographs you would communicate with whoever you are shooting, obviously. Its not like hey bride, tell your groom to turn his face to the right This isn't complicated stuff, its just normal event shooting.
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