We chat with Ian Weldon about his photographic experiences and he provides his five top tips for family photography
Ian Weldon is not a wedding photographer, accept he is. Famous for his documentary style of shooting, Ian makes everyone around him feel like themselves, meaning he manages to capture moments that are often missed. We feel like that style applies during the festive season to, so we chatted with Ian to get his take on photographing the family this Christmas.
Wex Photo Video: What’s the most expensive piece of equipment you’ve trashed?
IW: I dropped an X-Pro1 into a bath filled of water once. It stopped working after that, but the lens was somehow fine. None of my equipment is particularly expensive, though, and I usually use it until it stops working.
Wex Photo Video: What’s the worst shooting experience you’ve ever had?
IW: Probably the first wedding I ever photographed. The environment wasn’t bad, I was just so nervous.
Wex Photo Video: Tell us about your dream shoot?
IW: I’m not sure what a dream shoot would be. Just getting to hang out with people and making photographs is good enough for me. That’s what I’m interested in.
Wex Photo Video: What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever done to get the shot?
IW: I’ve no doubt precariously perched myself on ledges and hung from unsafe structures in the past, but my approach to photography now makes that kind of thing unnecessary.
Wex Photo Video: What is the most challenging shoot you’ve worked on?
IW: Photographing stills and BTS (behind the scenes) for film/tv is the most challenging for me. You’re up against time, assistant directors and producers - as well as lighting, makeup, sound and the DOP (director of photography). You have to be constantly on guard and take your chances while you can, without disrupting the machine. Although it’s challenging it’s very rewarding.
Wex Photo Video: How do you light a subject to get the most vibrance and texture achievable?
IW: My process is pretty straight forward - if there isn’t enough light, use an on camera flash.
- Don’t be awkward - try not to overpose, it's uncomfortable for everyone.
- Look for emotion - guage feelings in the composition that can be represented visually.
- Look for good light - if ambient light is poor, use a flash - it's not a crime!
- Simplify your equipment - the less you're fiddling with lenses and tripods, the more natural your photographs will feel.
- Don't take it too seriously - don't turn events and get togethers into photoshoots. Be as candid as possible, everyone wants to enjoy themselves.