I suppose on the face of it, all photography is observational, clearly. But for those of my own ilk who document weddings in a photojournalistic sense, reportage wedding photography types, to be observational means to be broader in terms of bringing the overall story to life. It may not be enough to just photograph what is in front of you. But to take in the surroundings and see what’s going on elsewhere in that frame. While at the same time making the essence of the story quite clear. It can bring the day alive, it will make the final set of pictures breath.
The above image is a decent enough example of this.
It’s clearly a wedding scene, from the bridal preparations part of the day. And while taking pictures of the bride getting ready is the focal point of that part of the wedding day, what happens around those moments is equally vital to the overall bigger picture. It always has been with my own style of wedding photography.
So in the foreground we have the bride to be, her make up artist is applying the final touches before she heads out the door for her wedding ceremony. What struck me was the excitement in the room. The excitement was palpable. The bridesmaids at the back of the frame clearly show their excitement on their faces. Perhaps this is all new to the flower girl as she gazes at the goings on.
Along with the brides mother who does have her eyes on me but with sheer delight on her face. And her gaze is on me perhaps because she probably assumes that my focus is only on the bride, which it is, or course. But when there is so much more going on in the room then that too must be photographed. This gives an overall sense of story. Hence the bride is fading from the right hand of the frame and the lens takes in everything else that is happening in the room. In my view this is vital to bringing the story of the day alive. For me there is no other way.
It’s all happening in the frame.