I have been working so much these last 8 weeks, and have looked through 20,000 photographs from recent weddings and portrait sessions. Besides a perfect portrait, the images that stand out most for me are the documentary captures that I position and wait for. Capturing an evocative and timeless moment that isn’t staged is very rewarding. No words necessary to describe what the person is thinking at that very moment. It says it all.
This moment was one that I anticipated, and having spent some time with both the bride and maid of honor before the ceremony, I was certain to capture it. The maid of honor and best man were positioned opposite the bride and groom on the alter, which was a cool setup because they did not have to turn around to see each other. They caught eye contact during the ceremony just as they were about to begin exchanging vows and there it was.
There are many important things to pay attention to during a wedding ceremony, some of which does not even occur on the main stage. There are many guests and everyone at the ceremony is in some way important to the couple getting married.
My job is to tell a story with my images and that does not mean keep the camera pointed at the couple. I need to keep an eye on the people in the first couple of rows…such as Mom & Dad. Very proud and emotional beyond control, mom could not stop herself from crying tears of joy as her daughter is starting a new journey in her life. Dad, trying to keep it together as best he can, and checking in on Mom as he knows how she is feeling. This image helps tell the story because you can almost feel the emotion pouring out of this still photograph.
This is the first installment of my image of the week series on my blog and I hope to continue for a while. My blog has been all over the place with all the different material I have been shooting and I need to try and get a routine going to keep things in order. I like to shoot anything and everything. Even though I can most certainly be labeled a wedding photographer, I like to share other images throughout my experience.
Anyway, I thought a good way for me to bring some consistency to my blog is to do an image of the week post where I can post one image per week and say as little or as much as I would like to say about it. Hopefully others will join in and post their opinions to make this even more interesting. The image I choose can be of anything recent or old, but you can bet a majority will be wedding images.
I thought I would start with an image of a wedding I shot just this past weekend. The thing I love about this image is what it stands for. The couple actually did a grand exit from the wedding reception in a classic cadillac with the just married sign on the back. I did capture the full shot of the car with the sign, but the challenge here was to capture the last kiss through the bright glare in the back window, which lasted about a half a second before they were off. It was so classic and vintage. People just don’t do this anymore.
Although summer doesn’t officially begin for almost a month, I consider Memorial Day weekend the beginning of summer. A long holiday weekend (for most), filled with parades, car & air shows and barbecue. There are also plenty of people out there need to work feverishly in order for the rest of us to enjoy our time off. Retail stores running holiday sales, market workers where we purchase goodies for our backyard bash and of course the beverage distributor, which always has a line out the door.
Continue reading Memorial Day Weekend
Just a sneak peak at the wedding from this past weekend. We were blessed with such a beautiful day and we all had an awesome time. I grabbed some from the batch as I skimmed through quickly and decided to post just a few. There is still a lot of work to be done as this was a very long day and a lot of pictures to go through.
I am going to be very busy through the next few months, but I will definitely find some time to post some pictures with a little blurb at the very least.
Congratulations Angela & Mark!
This shot was taken two years ago during a North Babylon Football away game. I was hired to shoot the final game of the season for the 6-7 year old team in Malverne. During halftime, I was able to capture part of an animated pep talk the coach was giving his team while preparing them for the last half of football they would play for the season.
I personally have always connected with this image and I keep coming back to it because for me it captures the essence of what it means to be a coach. The emotion on the coaches face and when he touched his heart, I knew to grab the shot. Coach your knowledge with your heart. These kids listen to your words, do what you ask, they learn the game and all the situations that go along with it from you. Show them the way you know is right.
For all the coaches out there who volunteer their time to children everywhere and don’t expect anything in return but a sense of self-satisfaction, here’s to you! Whether you know it or not, most of the kids you coach will remember you forever. You are a hero to many!
When I am asked how I would label my general style of wedding and event photography, the answer is definitely documentary. Documentary photography is what most people know as called photojournalistic. Although the technique may resemble a photojournalistic style, I do not consider myself a photojournalist. When I am hired to photograph a wedding, my job is to visually document not just the motions, but the emotions.
It used to seem easy to me when I looked at great candid images on some website and I would say, I can take that picture. That’s easy, there is no complicated lighting or planning involved. Not it’s not! I don’t care what equipment you are using; if you see a moment that is already happening, by the time you bring your camera to your eye to compose, get in position for a good vantage point, focus in the low light and press the shutter, the moment is long gone.
The most important tool I use when documenting any event is anticipation. I have to keep my eyes wide open and anticipate everything about to happen so I am ready when it does.
I just launched a gallery dedicated to documentary images on my website here. This gallery will be completely overhauled by the end of this years busy wedding season along with the rest of my portfolio.
I hope you like!
The wedding album is the icing on the cake for me when it comes to wedding photography. It’s the ultimate presentation of the favorite images and it better be pretty damn awesome. Which is why I enjoy designing these books so much.
Some time after the bride & groom have seen their images, they will select their favorites for the album or allow me the power so select these images, or a little of both. In either case, I then get to work on designing a book that begins as a single blank white page and becomes a carefully designed masterpiece filled with some of their most cherished memories of the wedding day.
I met with a client recently and they were blown away with the amount of photojournalistic pictures that were made at the wedding reception. These moments are as natural as it gets. It appears that I am right in front of the subject when these images are taken, but that is not the case. I do not want the subject aware of my presence when I am shooting these images. If they were aware, the emotions would not look natural. When I approached the bride and groom at the end of the reception to say goodbye and one last congratulations, she looked at me in surprise and said “I honestly thought you left”.
That’s the way it should be. I’m going to post some different photojournalistic images over the next couple of weeks as I update my portfolio with some of my more recent images.