Wedding Photography : Moment By Moment – The Wheat Field
There is no ‘downtime’ at a wedding. The story of the day moves forward whether I’m around to photograph it or not and I can only reflect the day in my photography from my point of view.
In a long day of photographing I can be taking photographs for ten, twelve, fourteen hours at a time. I don’t spend this whole time with a camera pressed up against my face making pictures – but I do spend the time watching, listening and looking for photographs that will move the story of the day forward.
The Fence Jumping Flower Girl
The picture above was taken during the meal as the children were exploring outside in the early evening sun. Now I take the opportunity during the meal to have a little downtime and recharge myself for the evening ahead but I’ll take a little wander every 20 minutes or so just to see if anything interesting is happening. That’s when I discovered the fence jumping flower girl in the photograph.
I’m currently reading a fantastic book about photography that was given to me by another wedding photographer, Paul Rogers. He thought I’d appreciate it and he’s not wrong. The book is ‘On Being A Photographer’ by David Turn & Bill Jay.
Now I’ve been photographing weddings for ten years why would I bother to read about photography – surely I’ve got it cracked by now! Am I that bad at learning?
When you stop pushing you should give up
I think the second you stop pushing yourself, the second you stop trying to be better at what you do, that’s the day to give it up. Each wedding I photograph I’m looking for something new, some way of telling the story that is better or more interesting.
In the introductory pages to the book David Hurn is struggling to define what documentary/stroy-telling photography is and talks about ‘great pictures’ and linking images that support them. That’s very much how I approach photographing a wedding – each photograph builds on the previous one to push the narrative forward.
Then David Hurn defines his approach:
“I think of myself as a reportage photographer. I like the word. It implies a personal account of an observed event with connotations of subjectivity but honesty. It is eye-witness photography.”
I read that ahead of the weddings I was to photograph last weekend and thought ‘Yes. I’ll take that – thank you.’
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