I thought becoming a wedding photographer meant losing the relative anonymity I enjoyed working as a photojournalist. I loved going to an event, blending into the wallpaper and making great images. Before making the leap I thought I would have to change my approach as a photographer. In my mind a wedding photographer helped orchestrate the wedding day and kept the pace of the wedding. I didn’t like being part of the story so working this way didn’t appeal to me. But, becoming a wedding photojournalist has given the ability to make photos much in the same way I did when I filled the pages of the newspaper.
It was as simple as deciding how we wanted to approach photographing a wedding. We simply don’t get involved. If we do our job ahead of time we’ll have a good idea of how the day will play out. We often show up for the rehearsal just to be sure we know the drill. And, of course, we’re ready for the inevitable venue change or sudden storm should the situation arise.
We prefer to work this way because we are sure to get more genuine moments and honest emotions than if we get involved. Shooting weddings are great for this because most people get caught up in the day. There’s plenty going on that occupies most peoples attention, wine and cocktails are flowing and most people don’t notice as we hover around and document the day. If they do notice us, it’s only a matter of time before the novelty of having a photographer around wears off – we get boring pretty fast.
We love to work this way. We’re happiest when left to work the scene and compose and photograph unencumbered. That’s not to say we don’t know how to work with people. We love to do portraiture and we’ll always say yes to formals.