Wedding photography is a challenge quite like being commissioned to paint a portrait of the bride and groom. Much like composing a fine art painting, the wedding photographer must capture a moment in time, subject it to the personal preferences of the bride and groom, make it look natural and have it speak a thousand words.
Weddings can be chaotic and noisy. Wedding days are alive with the constant exchange of emotions and contrived ‘faces’. One of the biggest challenges for a wedding photographer is capturing the quiet, intimate side of the bride and groom.
Trust, anticipation, skilled observation, savvy lens selection and a host of other judgments make it possible to pinpoint those poignant moments. To be able to produce images that will recall the day for those who were there, and for those who will be born later, is truly fine art photography.
Expanding the Medium for Fine Art Photography
One of the great things about digital photography is the immediacy of it as a medium. Making the best use of digital photography, some wedding photographers will take a laptop computer along to the reception where they will upload photographs taken earlier in the day. This practical and resourceful technique produces an ad hoc slideshow that adds an extra dimension to the festivities during the evening.
Working in the controlled setting of the studio is out-of-date photography. While it is more predictable than on-the-spot work, it has the added complication of not finishing as natural as outdoor or actual event pictures. The captured moments of the day catch the bride and groom in fleeting, albeit relaxed expressions, not available in the contrived setting of a studio.
After the wedding ceremony, many couples choose to re-live their day together over and over in various settings around the community. Wedding photographers must be prepared to capture the enthusiasm of the newlyweds, for example, out in nature using the natural light provided by the sun or represented in black and white at the foot of a local monument.
Wedding photography has changed a lot over the past few decades. Trendy pictures are no longer a fad, but are the mainstream expectation in wedding photography. Wedding photography is now ‘photojournalism’ in which the wedding story is presented through the use of photographs. Photojournalism captures unstyled and unscripted moments that do not require elaborated written copy.
Various and unusual settings are popular venues for wedding ceremonies. A wedding photographer’s talents must be more versatile than in the past. The tradition has become ‘untraditional’ and the expected is the often the most unexpected of venues. Wedding ceremonies have come to represent the diversity we treasure in humans; wedding photographs have to step up for the challenge and capture this.