Here’s a question for you I think most wedding photographers wouldn’t dare ask:
How do you know for sure that the photographer, essentially, a stranger, will see and define your wedding day moments the same way you do? So that they know, without question or hesitation, exactly which instances out of your entire day are the ones you would most cherish – even if it seemed insignificant to everyone else?
Can you depend on a pre-written shot list to give the photographer a heads up for what are essentially unplanned, spontaneous moments like those? Not likely. Instructing the photographer to get “fun moments” may get the photographer to aim their camera in the right direction when that happens, but that’s more of a robotic approach. The resulting photos may show an activity, but depending on the exact moments the photos depict it may be more form than substance.
It’s perfunctory. I can imagine the photographer taking a snap shot and saying, “a picture having fun. OK. Check. Next.”
For that same reason I don’t believe it comes from any photographer’s intention to photograph “all the fun, all the romance” of the wedding, no matter how well intended that goal is simply because that’s too vague and general a goal. You may already know a vague goal isn’t an attainable goal at all, and so again the danger is it can ends up being any ol’ photo. You can easily end up with a photo of the moment before or the moment two seconds after the moment you really want. That’s if the photographer thinks to take a picture at all… they may not even see those particular moments as the photo worthy ones.
I believe what you really want are photos so specific they capture the apex of the moment plus have spirit plus tells the viewer something about the people in the photo. It’s got a dimension beyond the activity you see on the surface.
That sounds like a lot to ask, doesn’t it? And yet I believe it’s entirely possible when how the photographer gets there is turned on its head.
In other words, writing out a wishlist of wedding shots won’t get those fuller, more meaningful photos for you. It’s not about a wedding photo checklist
It’s about the wedding photographer. It’s about the person behind the camera knowing instinctively which moments are really you.
**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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