A generation gap between parents and their offspring is but natural. So also the desire for Stage photography versus Candid imagery at the wedding. The youngsters go for the “natural” thing while the parents want all the uncles and aunts covered onstage.
I went through a wedding almost 4 years ago. The images captured there have never made it online because we both felt that they were too artificial. Graduating to the DSLR spawned a desire to capture weddings for what they really are – fun, frolic, tradition, tears, coming together, moving on – a host of emotions that can’t be posed for.
This is easier said than done though. It’s akin to being a press photographer with the outlook of an artistic story teller. There’s so much happening at any given point in time that the individual tends to get overwhelmed. It’s important to keep your bearings on a course that defines how it all comes together as a complete story.
Someone else writes the script and directs the show as well. My job is to be around (all the time) and show you the story that unfolds. I try and avoid frontal shots or direct eye contact (with that familiar – please look here and smile… cheese). The third person narrative is part of the candid photographers arsenal. Another weapon is a slightly longer telephoto lens that keeps me out of the firing line but gives me the range to shoot from afar. People are so much better at being themselves minus the camera guy in the frame of reference. Look for the little things and those moments between the posed photography/rituals when the couple heave that sigh of relief. Watch their eyes and see them connect. Those moments that are worth diamonds.
I’ve never asked my friends (we’re always friends by the time the wedding day comes up) to pose for the camera and we’re all the happier for it.
All said and done, weddings range from a few hours to a week as far as timelines go. The video is something for the record (to see who ate the most). The images are what you sit down with on a rainy sunday afternoon, ten years down the line and cuddle up with your spouse as you remember… and smile.