The most enjoyable aspect of wedding photography is that any given thing may happen. I have no idea what may happen but always ready to react, or nearly always ready, it’s not a perfect science. The one thing I constantly stress is that absolutely nothing will be set up. This is absolutely vital to the run of the day. Everything will flow from this philosophy. It would be so easy to just knock of the corny stuff that so many others apply. But there’s a small core of us who happen to be more expressive than that with the pulse on storytelling and not cliches.
Given a free reign to express myself then that’s what I will do whether the moment is subtle or dynamic. I suppose in general many have an idea of what they may expect from a wedding photographer. But won’t that wedding just turn out to be rather generic? Seems to be a hell of a lot of wedding photographers today claiming to be documentary / reportage, but all I see is work that is passive, or just clearly set up. Just standing back and taking pictures is not good enough. Also, telling anybody what to do is just lacking any imagination and rather stifling. Being “unobtrusive” (a word so worn down that it means nothing these days) is no excuse for standing back and just pressing the shutter repeating a million standard pictures in my humble opinion.
A recent chat with a client, they told me they had spent many months on end seeking out a photographer for their wedding. Random folks online would pass recommendations yet ignoring what she was after, which seems common. There was a point where they had considered not booking a photographer, something I hear on a very regular basis. But sure, won’t any photographer just be able to do any style? Hardly. That to me is a senseless path, yet one I assume many will take.
I was once sent pictures and asked if they could be copied, if I deemed them “natural”. In my mindset and with a way of working for a lengthy period at this stage, how on earth do you recreate somebody else’s pictures in a natural fashion? Or simply, why? Thankfully I like to retain my credibility. And sanity. As well as sticking loyal to a client base that means the world to me.
What does work is when you, the client, will have no set idea of what you expect from the photographs. Even a brief browse over my own work will give a very clear indication of how I operate. You will certainly get an outline and a frame of how I work, and in that frame I will be able to piece and compose moments from the day together in a manner I have done so over a lot of wedding days and one which will reflect the personalities and engagements on your own wedding day. The consistently is hard to ignore, and the potential is huge where reportage wedding photography is concerned.
As mentioned previously, no two weddings are ever alike, certainly not in my mind.