Andrew May Photography »

Biltmore Estate Proposal Magic

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I have somewhat become the Biltmore Estate Proposal Photographer guy as of late.  This is totally fine by me.  The location is amazing and it is super romantic for a proposal.  Today I want to talk about post processing magic, so it’s time for me to get all Dumbledore up in this piece.  I am a photographer.  I am also a magician.  My fat sucking lypo spells are somewhat weak, although I have been known to fix a double chin or two (dubulous reducto).  However, my ability to make people disappear entirely is quite strong.  You could say that I am quite adept at making folks dissaparate entirely from photos.  No misspelling there, if you have read any of the Harry Potter franchise, you will know exactly what I am talking about.  If you have not, please stop reading this post, go read the entire series and report back.  One of my key goals in capturing a proposal is creating that perfect moment for the person proposing.  We meticulously plan out what will happen and how everything will go down.  But, what about the stuff that you can’t plan for?  Like there being a million people in the background on a given day, some of whom decide, “Look there is someone I have never met proposing.  I should definitely take a picture of that unknown couple from 30 yards away with my iPhone and my hot pink case.  Yep, that’s a keeper.  Too bad there is some annoying guy with a camera photo bombing my shot, some people.”  So If things do not go fully according to plan, it is my job as an artist to create a piece of artwork.  I cannot account for the fact that Biltmore does lawn maintenance and that they needed to rework their piping this year.  But, I basically go into Photoshop and make it appear as though none of that was there.

I am not a big proponent of changing the way people look in a photo.  I do not really want to alter the appearance of people as that is not how they really look.  But, I am totally down with shopping out background bystanders, bench sitters, and cell phone taking photo bombers.  The shot above was a particular instance where there was nothing I could do the day of to minimize the number of people in the background.  I do have some post processing techniques to mitigate the damage or irradiate it entirely.  I will not bore you with how I did it, (a simple repairo charm did the trick), but I will show you that this can be done.  I am in your corner and regardless of what happens during your proposal session, I have got your back and I will take the utmost care of you.  You may argue, “Well, that is not the moment as it happened,” and to that I would say, yes it was.  All the pieces were there, all the shots taken within a 30 second period, but I just place them together in the same way that a painter would who is creating a piece of artwork.  That is the beauty of digital art.  Most photos don’t require this level of work, but when we are trying to get one person to a location, who has no idea that their photos are about to be taken, it can create a situation in which some work needs to be done on the back end.  And you know I love work on the back end, if you follow me.  All this ridiculous banter is to let you know that when the pressure is on, I will get the money shot one way or another.  Enjoy…

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