San Francisco-based wedding photographer Bambi Cantrell worked her big, warm Southern personality to the max during her WPPI U presentation of “Lighting & Posing for Weddings” yesterday during PPE 2012. Bambi personally introduced herself to at least one person in each row of the jam-packed room (including scores of people standing up against the walls in the back) and made sure to ask what each one wanted covered during the next one -and-a-half hours. That alone was worth the price of admission.
Topped only by the celebrity factor of Denis Reggie manning the slideshow presentation from Bambi’s laptop, the seminar was fast-moving and filled with fun, on-stage demos as Bambi covered a gamut of topics—facing your fears, favorite tools for capture (“the Canon EOS 1D Mark IV and Marcus Bell’s infrared filter”), posing the right way (“leaning forward with your chest arches your back”), camera angles, environmental challenges and receptions that rock. Little nuggets of information such as “never photograph from the same side as your light source” and “highlights and shadows give your subject dimensionality” seemed to go along way with the audience of predominantly students and newcomers to photography.
As image after image flashed on the screen, the audience witnessed how simply changing a camera angle, moving an inanimate object around or shifting your subject’s weight from one foot to the other could make a world of difference to a final shot. And then there is the light. As Bambi put it, “Light is light. Anything can be your light source.” The talk was refreshing and fun, as is Bambi herself. “I graduated at the top of the bottom of my high school class,” she told us. “But if you show me how to do something I can do it; I am a very visual person. And remember, you can be successful. You really can be.”