I believe . . . I am at my best when photographing a wedding. A few weeks ago I wrote a blog, “What I’ve learned as a wedding photographer” and it was quite insightful for some of you. I was challenged to write what I believe as a wedding photographer. So here goes. But remember, this is what I believe and you my find my beliefs differ from yours. And that’s ok.
This is what I believe.
I believe a great photo should tell a story.
I believe a few good photos can also tell a story.
I believe a balance of great photos punctuated by good photos is magical.
I believe many photos are good, but only a few can be great. In a collection, one will be priceless above all others. I believe that one image is personal to each of us & will vary person to person.
I believe in knowing the limits of my gear. And I believe in back up systems.
I believe in divine intervention. God works in very clearly mysterious ways – often.
I believe in being fearless to get the shot – no matter what. GET. THE. SHOT!
I believe my senses are turned all the way up when I look through my camera.
My heart races and pulse pounds. I believe I am invincible when I am shooting. I can do anything. And nothing can stop me. My smile is more authentic than almost any other time. And my intensity & focus is palpable. My reactions are ninja-like. The eye NOT looking through the viewfinder is just as busy as the other – but in totally different way. I believe I have better balance when I am shooting. I believe I can hold my breath for as long as it takes to steady my camera. I believe my hands, eyes and brain make millions of choices each second while I am shooting. I believe I am transformed when I am shooting.
I believe in orchestrated chaos.
I believe there are givers and takers. And we are all this way – more or less. I am giving my all when I am shooting. When I am finished, I am exhausted.
I believe that if I took all the shots of a wedding day and added them together, they might not equal a single minute. Individual shots are often 1/500th of a second. Some slow down to 1/60th of a second.
I believe Ferris Bueller was right “life moves pretty fast, if you don’t slow down you could miss it!” I believe images freeze time so you don’t miss it.
I believe I should direct, effect & orchestrate if need be; especially if I can highlight love. And weddings offer an abundance of love to be captured.
I believe in First Look.
A couple will get very few moments alone. They are constantly being pulled one way or another. Not a moment of peace. It's rush, rush, rush from start to finish. Often the first dance is the first chance they've had to be near each other in a tender moment. I believe in First Look because it gives the couple a few minutes to just be near one another.
I really believe in First Look!
Most of all, I believe First Look gives the bride & groom, together, some of the most precious & intimate moments of their wedding day.
I believe in bridal sessions.
They give a setting for trial hair and makeup. But they yield amazing photos of the bride.
I believe smarter couples are better couples. If they are self-aware they are my favorites. And I believe couples that are true to themselves and their vision are the best. I believe in making a shot list with each couple.
I believe everyone should slow down on wedding day. Everyone. Most of all, I should slow down.
I believe each couple should remove as many “traditions” as possible. I believe wedding traditions started out as someone else’s good idea. Those great ideas caught on. I believe couples should incorporate structure that makes sense to them. But don’t throw a garter to a nine year old and your weird uncle that never got married.
I believe a DJ is critical
I believe flowers are important at your wedding. I believe music is important, but a DJ is critical. And I believe a planner is the smartest choice a couple can make. But I also believe a couple must trust & follow the planner. To do otherwise would be unbelievable.
I believe wedding cake should taste as good as it looks. It’s your wedding cake!!! Nothing is more sad than seeing plates of cake with only one bite taken. If you are going to have a wedding cake then make sure it tastes as good as it looks. I believe your guests will remember this detail more than others.
I believe organizing and editing is the real work.
I believe only photographers know the joy of finishing a set of wedding images. I believe most folks have no idea what it takes to artfully edit each scene of wedding day. And I also believe, they shouldn’t have to know. It’s my job.