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“Arnold Newman said that photography is one percent talent and ninety-nine percent moving furniture.”

— Annie Leibovitz

Yes. That’s just about right. Last week we were doing a bridal shoot for a good friend. We arrived 2 hours earlier than the start time for one express purpose: to move the furniture. 🙂  When I read this quote to Justin, he burst out laughing. Oh, the things that happen behind the scenes. . . I love it. I love all the details, all the preparation that goes into a seamless moment for a photo shoot or a wedding.

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In fact, I’ve never worked with a serious photographer who hasn’t gone through great lengths to rearrange the room. Move distractions. Change the mise en scene so it perfectly creates the composition needed to pull off the vision.

But. I’m going to add to Arnold Newman’s perspective. I say that while 99% of photography is moving the furniture, it’s equally 99% of being there to catch the small moments. Finding the small people. Looking for that genuine smile of sheer delight.

So, if you do the math, that’s about 199%. Justin always pokes a little fun at my “photographer’s math”, and I’m just fine with that. Because that extra side of things, — the human element — just can’t be quantified. But I love that it can be captured on film.



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Camille Stallings


Dallas Wedding Photographers | Dallas Wedding Photography