Tips on Seeing the Whole Picture

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Today’s feature is from Taylor McCutchan.

Taylor says:

“These photos are from an anniversary session of a couple whose wedding I shot last year. They love exploring and the mountains, so we decided to head to Castle Lake near Mt. Shasta.

I really wanted to focus on intimacy between the couple and compose them in a way that really showed the natural beauty of the area.”

Taylor’s Photography Tip:

The best words of advice I can offer are be aware of your surroundings and focus on not just what’s in front of you. I find a lot of the time when I shoot, I tend to get tunnel vision and just focus on the people standing right in front of me.

When that happens, I step back, take my time, and look at everything around me. From the foreground to the background, to the shadows and how all of these can be tied in together to create a unique photograph.

Don’t be afraid to get weird and try new things. Show movement, play with light, step back, get close, find reflections, make double exposures. Learn the craft and techniques and use those in as many different ways as you can think of. In the end, just have as much fun as possible.

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Taylor used a Mamiya 7 medium format (6×7) film camera (affiliate link) and Nikon FM2 35mm film camera with Portra 400(affiliate link) and tri-x 400 (affiliate link) film.

For his Mamiya camera he used an 80mm f/4 lens and for the Nikon he used a 28mm f/2.8 AIS lens. The images were developed and scanned by Indie Film Lab.

Taylor McCutchan is a Redding, California, and National Wedding and Portrait photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Location.


Taylor did a killer job shooting in film. But if you’re not quite comfortable shooting in film or like the control that digital gives you, there’s some amazing film presets (affiliate link) out there that can help you capture that film look.

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