In the wedding world, Jose Villa is the Brad Pitt of wedding photographers. Good looking, talented, and amazingly popular. There's a reason for all the hype. He takes ordinary and turns it into extraordinary, creating pieces of art and all around eye candy. When he announced he was coming out with a book, Fine Art Weddings, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy. It wasn't until this past Christmas, when I received one as a present that I finally got to know what everyone was talking about! Fine Art Weddings is an easy and quick read, nothing mind shattering here. Villa writes in such a way to make each photographic concept manageable and easy to understand, with most ideas things that professional photographers already know. But what is great, is that you see how Villa has evolved, how he has learned from his mistakes and how that influences him as a photographer today. For me, that's the good stuff right there!
With every beautiful image he shares, he also provides the meta data and the scenario in which the image was taken. A bride looking out the window, a groom laughing during a ceremony, a couple kissing under a tree. You read what Villa was thinking, why he photographed the image in that particular way and why he chose the settings he did. Because I'm the type of person that loves to look at images and try to figure HOW they were photographed or where the light was coming from, I found this part of the book to be so informative and interesting! It made me want to find a window, a bride, and to just start shooting!
Every part of the wedding experience from the engagement session to the wedding day to client service is covered by Villa. Step by step he writes through exactly how he approaches each area of the wedding experience, with of course, beautiful corresponding images. I appreciate hearing in his own voice, how he tries to capture a wedding day, and what his goals are for the images he captures. Reading about how his business has evolved into what it is today, gives me hope and a passion for great things in my own photography and business.
Ultimately this is not a book with ground breaking material. But what I think makes this book successful, is how Villa helps us to understand principals we as photographer already know but in new ways. And then how to apply those to our wedding photography. His images alone challenge me to be a better photographer and inspire me to push myself on the wedding day. Just having the opportunity to ready how Villa runs his business, photographs his subjects and handles his customer service is fuel to my fire. If you're a wedding photographer, this should be mandatory reading!
Next month I'll be reviewing Good To Great by Jim Collins so make sure to grab a copy and read along!
**Did you read along this month? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the book! If you haven't make sure to leave a comment below why you'd like to win your very own copy of Fine Art Weddings! I'll announce the winner this week!**