Monday, 1 February 2016

How Do You Describe Your Style Of Wedding Photography?

Wedding photographers use many words to describe their style....reportage, traditional, documentary, classical, in the moment, avant garde, contemporary.....

So what's my style? Well, part of me says "None of the above", yet, on another day, that same part of me will say "All of them". (It's not easy being me.)

Thing is, it's not really about having a style - it's more about the job I'm there to do. And my job is to take photographs of a wedding, creating a record of what went on so that the couple can relive it over and over (I was trying really hard not to say "creating forever moments", but it looks like I failed. My bad).

If I have to wear a label, please can it say "Story Teller"? Because that's what I do - and if someone wants to say "But that's reportage or documentary photography", I don't mind - but please don't tie me to any one style. What I do during a wedding day is whatever's appropriate to the story at that point - and what the couple's asked me to do.

There really isn't, in my opinion, a one style that fits all. In the course of a wedding day, I might be the fly on the wall photographing the bridal party getting ready. During the ceremony, I shoot wide and I shoot tight. Tight, to record the intimacy of those "mustn't miss" moments - the rings, the kiss. Wide, to include the guests at those times, and candid photos of what's going on behind the bride's and groom's backs. Traditional to documentary and back again, all in a few seconds.

Then there are the post-wedding photos - the couple leaving the ceremony and the mayhem of the confetti-throwing. I could set those shots up (traditional) or I could just step back, let it happen and take photos (reportage). Depends on what the couple want on their wedding day - do they want it to flow, or do they want me to intervene and stage the key moments? Group photos - classical wedding photography: who hasn't seen one or been in one? Do they want none, some or many? Whatever the bride and groom want, it's the right choice. It's their wedding day, and it's their story.

We could venture into some posed, formal bride and groom portraits, or we could do those portraits in a totally relaxed, informal way, where the couple are hardly aware of me. I don't have any preferences, and just as well, because they'd count for nothing anyway. I just need to be able to deliver what they want.

I listen carefully to the couple when they're telling me about their wedding plans, and I try to draw out of them what they're expecting their wedding photos to look like. I ask them about their preferences and their dislikes - and once I know what matters to them, it matters to me. What it usually boils down to is that they want the story of the day, told in pictures.

Which suits me just fine. It's what I do.

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