I was in my attic and I came across an old cardboard box and couldn’t remember what was in it that I was keeping it around.
I opened it. Looked inside and found a stack of photos. And when I looked to see what they were of, I instantly was taken on a trip back in time, down memory lane.
And I was astounded.
They were photos I took during a vacation some fifteen years ago. And here’s what astounded me about them:
I recognized them as being from that trip. I even suddenly got a picture of me being on that trip in my mind, BUT….
…When I looked at the photos, they didn’t look like my memories. I realized my memories were way, way off!
The things I personally saw on my vacation weren’t the way I recalled them at all! What I saw in the photos, real evidence of what I had seen with my own eyes fifteen years before, was totally different than how I remembered it.
Psychologists explain this phenomena saying we have two experiences. One is the moment by moment experience we have while living the actual moments, the other is the experience we have of the memory of it.
The moment by moment experience is gone once you’ve lived it. Those are the precious moments of our life. They’re pure. They’re true. And you can’t get them back again.
The experience of the memory of it… the remembering of the experience… is our way of getting them back again. But neuroscientists tell us our memory is a reassembled construction converted from different parts of our brain, which research says gets altered
every time you do this reconstruction process of remembering.
And as crazy as it sounds, because your memory is susceptible to change, researchers say the photos you see of a past event will influence how you’ll remember that event.
So imagine it’s someone’s wedding day and their photographer (for some strange reason) mostly took photos of the older guests sitting quietly at their tables not doing much except for small talk throughout the reception.
That wedding couple’s memories of their wedding could continually get influenced when they see those photos to the point where they may remember their wedding as being quieter, more subdued, than it probably was, simply because the pictures show that’s how it was.
And of course whatever memories the photos trigger and what you subsequently reminiscence about will be related to those photos, not things that aren’t depicted in the photo coverage. If they’re not there to trigger memories, you’re not prompted to remember them, obviously.
They’ll show the photos to their children, who weren’t there (or were too young to remember) and what will they think? They’ll think, “Everyone at the wedding was elderly and sat at their tables.”
So here’s the big takeaway: What your photographer chooses to photograph at your wedding, in other words, how they interpret your wedding in photos, is going to have an influence on how your wedding’s remembered and its perception.
Now because every photographer is going to photograph that which strikes them as being the thing to photograph at that moment simply depending on that photographer’s emotional chemistry, there’s always going to be choices of what could be photographed at any given time… and how they’re photographed will impact their mood and atmosphere.
So how does your photographer interpret a wedding and tell its story?
Because when you look at their photos, that’s how you’ll remember your wedding.
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