Photographer: Events, Weddings, Portraits – Austin, Texas

Art Photography

Final Armadillo Christmas Bazaar Snapshots! (I promise)

These are the final Armadillo photos that we’ll post for the year 2010. These beautiful images were captured by my good friend Jason Wang. Enjoy!

Bridal Painting

This week I started writing a blog about a fun location for engagement portraits in Austin but I got distracted while reading some Aldous Huxley. During my read Huxley made lots of references to paintings and art, areas that I’m not very educated in, and which precipitated some research on my part. During my search it occurred to me that it would be fun to bring some attention to paintings this week in my blog. I did some searching online and found what I think are some fun and interesting works of art, painted on canvas, related to brides.

I often wonder how people did things differently in the past. Even 50 years ago customs and habits and styles were very different than today. Yet we derive much of what we do today from our ancestral past. Chances are something we think of as new (even a thought) was probably considered and conceived before we were born. Our styles and customs are constantly evolving, and some might say devolving (consider the recent obsession with 1980s culture).

Without further ado, here are canvas paintings of brides from the past…

girl with gold earring by Vermeer

A bride about 1895. Thayer

Bride by Hazel Morgan

Indian Bride by Vibha Sahu

bride of death

Bride with Water Pot . Batik

Duchamp.Marcel.Passage from Virgin to Bride

japanese bride by giora eshkol

kahlo bride

Off The Bride

The Jewish Bride 1665

Victoria Ying Bride Painting

What Makes A Photograph Great?

I recently read the following on the online discussion forum:

Question: “What makes a photo a fine art work (that is, special or good)?”

Answer: “When you say it is. The better answer is when others say it is.”1

While speaking in simple terms this is correct, surely we can explore the topic a little more deeply to find more significant answers to what makes a photograph great. According to iconic landscape photographer Ansel Adams, “A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.2

Bride Under Purple Sky

Let’s refine our search a little and ask ourselves some questions. The first question we should be asking is what is the subject of the photograph or image? The most common problem encountered when attempting to create a great image is not establishing an obvious subject. Try to imagine what subject another person might see (if any) while viewing your photograph.

Is the photograph composed in an appealing way? Composition is probably the most elusive concept in photography because it is subjective (what one person likes another person may not) and because the rules of composition are concrete. Here are some important composition concepts to keep in mind:

Simplicity. Don’t try to over-complicate your image with distractions or too much subject matter. The subject of what you are photographing should be clear.

Framing. Try to fill the image frame and make sure there are no voids within your image. There are exceptions to the rule, but there shouldn’t be open space that distracts from the subject.

Law of thirds. If you imagine your camera viewfinder as a tic-tac-toe-like grid where space is divided into thirds, it is considered more pleasing to the eye to place your subject where third lines intersect (instead of splitting your

image in half).

Visual Representation of How "Law Of Thirds" Is Viewed

Photo Courtesy of Microsoft Corporation

Leading lines. Are the viewer’s eyes guided through the photograph to the focal point? Examples might be railroad tracks, highways, bridges, buildings and more.

Perspective. How your subject appears to the viewer determines perspective. Many times your subject can determine perspective as well. Here are some beautiful Examples of Different Perspectives3 which might better illustrate the concept.

Focus and exposure. Make sure your subject is in focus and exposed correctly. If everything else mentioned here is correct, but focus or exposure is not correct, your photograph’s message will likely be lost.4

There are more compositional ideas that were not discussed, but hopefully these give you some foundation to build upon. Now comes the overarching questions. Does the photo tell a story? Does it elicit emotion? Is there an inherent creativity about the image? Is it appealing to people from all walks of life?

If you’ve followed the compositional rules for photography laid out above, and you can answer the aforementioned questions with a resounding “yes”, then you’ve probably created a great photo. If taking good photographs were easy then you wouldn’t be reading an article about it. Every good photographer takes bad photos; what separates the good from the bad is continuous practice and always maintaining the personal resolve to capture a better photograph. Perhaps that is what defines a passion for photography.

Beasts Of Burden - Costa Rica

To provide you with some photographic perspective and a starting point I’ll leave you with a quote. As legendary French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson once stated, Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”5

So how many photographs have you taken today?

Martin Whitton is a professional wedding photojournalist who lives and works in Austin, Texas. See regular updates on Martin’s work additional wedding photographs, bio and more at


1. Forums.

2. Ansel Adams.

3. What makes a photo good? A Basic Checklist for Evaluating Photo Quality by Charlotte K. Lowrie.


5. Digital Photography School. 10 Photography Quotes that You Should Know

Artistic Wedding Photos

Recently I had a bride ask to see some “artistic” wedding photos. This is definitely something that we do, albeit not as much as I’d like to.  There are two parts to an artistic photo: framing and editing. When you frame the image you make it appealing to the eye. In the editing process afterward you can add cool effects. Here are some examples. There’s almost no limit to the possibilities when getting creative with photos…

Bride Photographed At The Valencia Hotel In San Antonio

Couple Posing Near Downtown Austin

Bride Poses In Wind

Couple Kissing

Outside Building On Guadalupe Street - Austin

Family & Friends Wait For Bride & Groom To Emerge

Bride At Laguna Gloria

Bride & Groom At Sunset - Canyon Of The Eagles

Engagement Photo Near Downtown Austin

Central Christian Church Wedding