When I say the words “American Gothic”, what do you think of? To me, it’s an iconic painting. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, see it here:
I love the fact that no one is smiling. Yeah, I’m weird, but… hear me out. When a person smiles, normally it’s kinda… dare I say… cheesy? Most people are really awkward when a camera is pointed at them and we all have this “trained smile” thing we do at those times. Sure, it works for snapshots, and there are perfectly good times to smile for the camera, but… to me… the “real” photographs aren’t all smiley. That not-so-smiling photo becomes more timeless, at least in my eyes.
So, for fun, and to do something different, I do a mock up of “American Gothic” with some of our couples. Funny, it’s harder for most of them to keep a straight face during this shot than to give me a genuine smile when I need them to! Right after getting the shot, I say, “Turn toward each other, keep the stoic look…. *click click*, now… spontaneous laugh!”. Some of the best shots are that laugh. It’s real, and unexpected.
Anyway… here’s my version of “American Gothic” featuring Danielle and Ari:
And for those of you who want to see the aftershot:
Why am I writing all this? Well… partly to give a little insight into our methods, and partly to show off some photos. And… sometimes it’s not the shot that we spend all day on that works, it’s the shot after, that “Spontaneous Laugh” moment, the one you didn’t see coming and didn’t expect.