If you’re planning your wedding then you’re also probably looking through mounds of wedding blogs, bridal magazines and sites such as Pinterest getting inspiration and ideas you’d love to use at your wedding too. And when it comes to inspiration and ideas for your wedding photos, there’s nothing short of an abundance of images out there to gather from.
You may be tempted to collect a pile of cute photos to present to your wedding photographer along with the simple directive: “I’d love to have a wedding photo like this. Can we do something like this one at my wedding?”
But here’s what you need to know about those types of photo requests. They fall into one of either two categories. And knowing the difference between those categories makes a big difference in how much you’ll value that wedding photo after your wedding day. Let me explain:
Sometimes those wedding photos have been styled. And that’s the first category. What you’re seeing was designed and staged, with every item carefully set in place, and everything thoughtfully tweaked and adjusted until it was just right. It was produced through a team collaboration, a joint effort involving not only the wedding photographer, but probably also an event designer, florist, makeup artist, hair stylist, very possibly models posing as the wedding couple, and others, all on hand to do set up and touch ups throughout the shoot.
And speaking of the shoot itself, the photographer may have spent up to an hour or more, doing retake after retake to nail the best version of that one shot. But all that time and effort’s way more than you can dedicate to any one photo on your wedding day, unless you don’t wish to attend your own wedding.
The second category is when you see a wedding photo and you’d like something like that. Not something like a styled shot, but a true moment from a wedding… where you envision a moment such as that can happen at your wedding too, and you love the way in which it was depicted. After all, if you see an exceptionally heartfelt image of a wedding couple sharing a sweet moment – the kind that makes you say “aw” – it would be only natural to want something as moving as that from your own wedding too.
But many times when you see wedding photos like those on blogs, in magazines and on Pinterest, you’re viewing moments which happened organically at that couple’s wedding. The photo was spontaneous, unplanned and unscripted. A particular set of circumstances came together for that couple, whether it was in the details, or the light, a certain emotion which washed over them at that instant, a certain expression on their faces… it was that specific set of circumstances which happily all came together – that and the photographer adept at seeing and capturing such a fleeting moment – which resulted in the wedding photo you saw.
And which touched you in such a way that you’d love to have a photo from your wedding just like it.
But here’s what you really need to consider that you may not have thought of before. That wedding photo from that wedding… in the years ahead, to whom will it have the most meaning: that couple for whom the moment derived from their wedding was their own unique moment – or to you, who strived to manufacture a copy of their moment?
No doubt about it. Being an imitation, it won’t have much meaning for you. In fact, the very reason their wedding photo touched you so, was exactly because the moment was genuine.
And here’s the kicker:
Because you took time out of your own wedding to contrive a copy of someone else’s moment, you essentially took time away from your own real life moments happening, moments which would have naturally, organically come out of your own wedding, and would happen in a way unique to you – and which then would have had the most meaning for you.
So the thing to do is to experience your own natural moments in an authentic way true to yourself – let them happen unimpeded – and have the kind of person as your wedding photographer who’s able to sense, anticipate and get those special, never to be repeated moments for you.
And if you do that, somewhere down the road I guarantee you some other bride or groom may see your wedding photo on a wedding blog, bridal magazine or Pinterest, and think, “I’d love to have a photo just like that one from my wedding.”
**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 **
©G.E. MASANA PHOTOGRAPHER | (646) 543-1321 NYC WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER | EMAIL