When I am asked what makes me different from other photographers, I don’t answer that question with the intention of making myself sound “better.” Why? Because there is no “better” photographer than you, me, or anyone else. What the client has to decide is whether or not they want the experience of me (or you). If you have reached the point where you are charging for your work, you better have the chops to get the shots you want at any time, place, or lighting situation. That is a given. What differentiates photographers is not the expected photos of the wedding day, but what I like to view as the moments in between the moments. In my opinion, these are the real images. These are the photos that capture the essence of the day. Give anyone enough alcohol and you will be able to photograph a conga line or a bunch of people doing the electric slide. But, those are just images of a wedding…not “your” wedding.
This image was captured 5 minutes before he walked down the aisle. A moment alone. What was he thinking? What was he doing? That is for him to know.
I read a lot of forums and see the same thing every day from people that shoot weddings. How do I pose this or that? What aperture do I use? ISO? Honestly, who cares! It just does not matter. Well, it matters to the extent that you need to know how to use your camera. You need to understand exposure. But, I have no idea what the settings were on the photo below. Does it really matter?
I assume it was probably f/4 in aperture priority mode. Why? Because that is what I am in 90% of the time and with more than one person in the frame I want to make sure everyone is in focus. Other than that, I dunno. That is a good thing. If I am fiddling with the camera and wondering how to get an exposure, this image never exists.
In this shot, we see 3 generations of family. The Grandfather, Grandson, and the Father (groom) of the little boy. All caught in the same frame. To me, this is why I am so passionate about photography. This is not the main focus of the day, but to the family, it might just be…
These “moments” in between the moments are not going to be on the cover of the wedding book. But, more than likely, will be a reminder of the amazing day that came and went so fast. I think these are the images that are so important not to miss as wedding photographers. Family formals are easy. Everyone smiles and looks at the camera. Press button. Repeat. Capturing a “moment” is what drives me to pursue this art form every time I pick up my camera.