Denis Reggie doesn’t know how to use Photoshop; in fact, he doesn’t even own it.
“I’m not a Photoshop expert,” says the veteran wedding photographer during the session “Get Real: A Case for Authenticity in Wedding Imagery” at PhotoPlus Expo 2012‘s WPPI U day. Instead, Reggie (who’s well-known for his coverage of Kennedy family weddings) shoots all of his images in RAW, and tries to get it right the first time. “We run our business on Lightroom, not Photoshop. The purchase of Photoshop Actions is a fireable offense,” he jokes.
This approach has worked for the photographer during his 30 years in the business, in which he caters to a high-end clientele who—in his words—are well-traveled, highly educated, a little older than the majority of wedding clients.
Reggie’s essential “case” for shooting the authenticity of the day, is that high-end clients pay him 10 times more than the average wedding shooter for images that are organic. Thus, 98 percent of his shots are created without the subject being aware of the camera. “Just like when I was in high school on the football field,” says the photographer, who got his start as a sports shooter.
Reggie, who calls himself a “highly-paid observer” of weddings, says there’s no hidden agenda to be published; he’s instead shooting life as it is, not as he wishes it was. He usually gets the shots without even speaking to the couple.
The essence of Reggie’s message is that high-paying clients want photography that is PHOTOgraphic not photoGRAPHIC: a focus on the real, unposed moments of the day, rather than aggressively-styled images featured on pages of blogs and social media. The crux of Reggie’s philosophy? “People simply look better when they’re not posing.”
Do you agree?