The best parts of life aren’t staged. When you think back to the times in your life that you were the happiest, was someone telling you where to stand?
Of course not.
The best times are when we are our most authentic selves, and we’re with people who are their most authentic selves and everything comes together to make something truly unique—something that could only ever arise out of people responding to the moment with sheer joy.
And yet, when we look at the photos of our life’s most important moments, what do we see? Graduation photos of Mom and Dad with the Graduate in the middle. Wedding photos where everyone is placed just so. These photos are… nice. It’s nice to have a semi-official photo you can put on your wall or on your desk, but when you remember the times commemorated in these photos, it’s not photo shoot that comes to mind.
It’s the look in the eyes of the Father of the Bride when he dances with his newly-married daughter. It’s the way the Best Man teared up during his toast. It’s the way the Mother of the Groom held tissues in her hand the whole day because she was never more than three seconds away from tearing up. It’s the way Crazy Uncle Larry danced when he had just a wee bit too much of the bubbly.
It’s pure joy and joy can’t be staged.
That’s why I apply a style of wedding photography called photojournalism. I’m not as interested in the staged scenes, rather more interested in capturing the joy of the moment. I want to capture the things you’re really going to remember, and it doesn’t just apply to the ceremony and the reception. When I do portrait sessions for the Bride and Groom before or after the wedding, I’m not just going to pose them and take strained pictures of them being uncomfortable. I’m also going to talk to them about their wedding and the person they’re marrying so I can bring the joy to the surface. That’s what I want to capture, the real life joy that weddings are all about.