… is that one is worth a thousand words. No wonder we put so much effort in choosing the right photographer for a wedding, then.
And still the pictures we love the most at the end of the day, are not the ones where we were frozen in a pose in front of a stately home, but rather the “stolen” ones, when we were hugging our gran, or holding hands with the newly wedded husband under the table…
I know the feeling. Because over autumn and winter months I am constantly scouting the web for inspiration, and researching vendors, and pictures are largely the most useful resource available. Given my professional approach you would think that I would be drawn to details and colours, and flowers and… stuff, you know?! Well, quite the contrary. Without exception I find myself entranced by less professionally relevant pictures… the ones of faces and people.
As much as I love my job and the way I do it, as much as I (humbly) like to think of my contribution to parties as relevant to their success, at the end of the day I feel what I do is almost insignificant. At least when it is compared to the creative genius of those photographers who can catch a fleeting emotion on a face, or capture the intimate gestures exchanged in the little privacy of such a public event as a wedding.
This is maybe the reason why I think photo journalism is the best technique for wedding photography. My clients know they are more than free to choose more traditional vendors* for their wedding album, to have their shoots arranged along the usual milestones, with carefully arranged poses and official portraits. I am quite adamant this solution is often a cheaper alternative (as it requires the photographer to work less hours) and the results can certainly be more stylish and perfectly crafted than impromptu shoots (as far as lights, framing and focus especially are concerned).
Nevertheless, deep down I still feel like a statement I recently saw in an ad, that ‘the best photo of the day is often the one you didn’t realise had been taken‘. It might be that it will be slightly out of focus, or that your hair has escaped its styling, or that you were caught from your ‘bad angle’… but the look of sheer love you’re raising to your husband’s face will be the reason why you will print this picture out of hundreds others, you will frame it and display it on your fireplace mantle, and it will be the constant reminder of the sheer bliss you experienced that day.
Let’s discuss… what kind of wedding photography style did you (or will you) choose for your own wedding? Traditional or photo journalism? And in any case, what guided your choice? Comment away, go on!
* In Italy photo journalism is still very little used in wedding photography. We still tend to regard weddings as formal gatherings… hence the traditional approach to all things wedding!