This article originally appeared in the Huffington Post.
By G.E. Masana
1. They’re not for today.
They’re not for the week or the month after the wedding either.
You know how some detractors minimize wedding photos by saying they’re only going to be squirreled away in a closet somewhere? Well, they’re half right. It’s when an occasion arises you pull your wedding photos out of storage to look at them again because it’s an anniversary and you want to look back at your wedding day. Or there’s times in your life you want to show them to your children and new friends. Or sadly a loved one has passed and you want to remember them and see them again as they were back in the day.
That’s when wedding photos are for.
2. It’s not enough that the photos are beautiful. They need to be imbued with spirit.
Beauty alone is pleasing. But beauty with spirit is transcendent.
“It is a picture which must have quality, drama, and it must, in addition, be as good technically as you can possible make it” – Alfred Eisenstaedt
3. Those photos from that wedding style blog mean nothing.
You’re looking at other people’s organic moments which arose from their life as it happened and held personal meaning for them. So much meaning you also were moved and pinned their photo into your inspired wedding shot list.
Permit your own amazing moments to happen by not using your precious time to copy someone else’s life.
And invariably, down the road, another bride will covet the photos of your moments as her inspiration for her wedding shot list.
4. Know that trends end.
Every year the major wedding magazines herald the current year’s new trends bidding goodbye to the previous year’s. Unfortunately, many couples miss news of the death notice. It’s like Jason coming back to life after he’s been killed.
Seriously though, when a trend ends, any wedding photo whose sole reason for existence was due to that trend, loses its main purpose to exist and becomes a corny reminder we laugh at on awkwardweddingphotosdotcom because there was nothing in it that remains of substance enough to connect to another person’s soul.
5. Cameras don’t photograph people. People do.
Do give mind to the kind of person who’s behind the camera. For better or worse that’s what affects your photos the most. What they photograph is a reflection of what they see, how they see it, how they feel, what they think, what they believe. “The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera” — Yousuf Karsh
6. Recipe for an amazing photo:
The photo isn’t about the thing you see. It’s about what others missed seeing in that moment that they ought to not miss.
7. A video scene can be great but you know a still photo is great when it does the job of the whole video scene.
It would have all the elements in it with which to tell the complete story.
8. A miss is as good as a mile even when the moment’s missed by a split second.
Getting the right moment requires a honed, seasoned and intuitive ability to start to press the shutter right before the apex of the moment so the shutter’s completely open when the moment’s reached.
If you wait until the moment to see it and then get the photo, you’ve missed it.
9. Another recipe for a great photo:
When it’s not just a photo of the way things looked, but of how things felt.
“There is one thing the photograph must contain, the humanity of the moment” – Robert Frank
10. Don’t create your wedding or its moments for the photos’ sake. The photos should be created for the wedding’s sake.
**G.E. Masana (portrait artist and Huffington Post contributer) As Seen In HUFFINGTON POST | MARTHA STEWART WEDDINGS | THE KNOT | NEW YORK MAGAZINE | BRIDAL GUIDE | BRIDES | STYLE ME PRETTY | ELEGANT BRIDE | GRACE ORMONDE | WELLWED | TOWN&COUNTRY **
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