Anyone with a camera nowadays can take a wedding picture. It’s simple. Point a camera at a wedding… and take a picture. Your guests will do that with their snapshots.
Ah, but… it’s another thing to capture what your wedding feels like.
And those are the moments which give your wedding deeper meaning and significance.
Those are the unscripted moments of your life. And those moments have the most profound meaning for you.
But how would a wedding photographer know when it’s that kind of moment? You could snap a shutter every five seconds – and still miss the most profound moment in-between.
And end up with nothing more than mere snapshots… if you don’t know just when it’s the right moment.
The answer is the photographer needs empathy for the people around him or her.
You need to know what it feels like to be the bride. To be the groom. To be the dad, mom, grandparents.
You need to instinctively feel these are your life’s most meaningful moments you’re capturing, not just some disconnected third party who happened to hire you.
Let me tell you, without that, the photographer’s merely a “picture taker.” Same as the guests.
Here’s an example of what I mean.
This father of the bride was toasting his daughter and her groom. He pulled out a little piece of paper from his pocket. Carefully unfolded it. Put on his reading glasses and started to recite his prepared words.
A few thoughtfully selected but poignant, words. The last line of it being, “I hope you’re as happy as I’ve been with your mother for the last 35 years.” A very sweet sentiment.
But he couldn’t finish the sentence.
He started to choke up when he said the first five words.
And there he was, softly crying.
He struggled through his tears to work his way through the rest of the words.
Have you ever loved someone so much yet needed to say “You’ve been a huge part of my life for so many years… but now it’s the moment I have to say goodbye”?
Something inside began to hurt.
He was feeling the brunt of those few words – because she meant so much to him. And because now it became real.
What happened next was a change in the composure of the room.
Everyone realized how the dad was feeling.
The bride’s mom immediately came to his side, touching his arm in silent support to let him know she was standing by his side.
The best man stepped up from behind placing a hand upon his shoulder to steady and comfort him.
The bride was smiling at her father. And crying at the same time.
And there I was photographing every moment of it.
Because I felt it too.
When I photograph a wedding, it’s like it’s my family I’m taking photos of.
**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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