Sunday, February 14, 2016

Don't let a photographer ruin your wedding day

Posted By on Sun, Feb 14, 2016 at 7:59 AM

I came across an image showing two photographers recently — one a videographer, the other a still photographer — both moving in close (read "crowding") to a bride and groom as they kissed.

I’m sure they captured a stunning shot, but what struck a chord with me was just how invasive these two photographers were.

I’m a trained photojournalist — what that means today isn’t always clear. But at one time it was supposed to mean that I was responsible for documenting my subjects without intrusion or direction.

At a wedding I do not direct the course of events but rather, with care, interpret real moments and frame them in a such way that goes beyond the ordinary.

With training and practice, a good wedding photojournalist can elevate the subject and create rich storytelling images from even the smallest, quietest moments happening in front of the lens.

If you’re getting married? Your wedding is not the subject of a big budget motion picture, nor are you a fashion model doing a bridal shoot for Vogue.

It's ok to be a real person with promises, commitments and, yes, even problems. I encourage you to participate in this uniquely human ritual not because you want bragging rights on Instagram, but because it's supposed to mean something.  

Unsuspecting couples often hire a wedding photographer without a true understanding of this.

So what's my advice to anyone hiring a photographer for their wedding?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. For instance, “Wow, that’s a crazy, awesome picture. Would you mind telling me how you made it?”

The answer to this question, of course, will tell you how careful the photographer was, what their true motivations were, whether it really illustrates the couple’s own personal story and whether it was made at a wedding at all.

Today, the trend is for photographers to show a portfolio of images that are often not photographed at a wedding at all, but made from styled shoots with models. I think it's because making beautiful, touching and intimate wedding pictures without directing the couple and their guests is just plain hard to do.

Please don’t get me wrong. Everyone loves a good photo shoot. It’s why I encourage couples who want this type of imagery to schedule a post-wedding photo session. To illustrate this, I've included pictures of Christin and Jacob's wedding day photographed in a photojournalistic style at Keystone Resort. Two days later we spent a relaxed afternoon together at Mount Falcon Park.

On the day of your wedding, resist the urge to cater to the photographer’s every whim. Don’t be afraid to say when you’ve had enough.

Your wedding is a special day; the start of a lifelong commitment. Don’t let it be sullied by a photographer who doesn’t know enough to respect it.

Always remember this is your day, not theirs. 

click to enlarge Christin and Jacob's wedding ceremony was photographed at the top of Keystone Resort. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Christin and Jacob's wedding ceremony was photographed at the top of Keystone Resort.

click to enlarge Jacob's mother shares a moment with her son before his wedding at the top of Keystone Resort. Wedding photojournalists are uniquely capable of capturing not just action, but reaction. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Jacob's mother shares a moment with her son before his wedding at the top of Keystone Resort. Wedding photojournalists are uniquely capable of capturing not just action, but reaction.
click to enlarge Christin holds hands with her mother before her wedding at the top of Keystone Resort. A wedding photojournalist observes and photographs intimate moments without intrusion. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Christin holds hands with her mother before her wedding at the top of Keystone Resort. A wedding photojournalist observes and photographs intimate moments without intrusion.
click to enlarge A pleasing portrait of Christin is made without direction as she rides the gondola to the top of Keystone Resort on her wedding day. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • A pleasing portrait of Christin is made without direction as she rides the gondola to the top of Keystone Resort on her wedding day.
click to enlarge Christin and Jacob decided to share a few words with each other before the ceremony and the result is a touching image. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Christin and Jacob decided to share a few words with each other before the ceremony and the result is a touching image.
click to enlarge As Christin walked with her father to the ceremony the wind caught her veil.  A fast shutter speed, anticipation and quick timing captured their reaction. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • As Christin walked with her father to the ceremony the wind caught her veil. A fast shutter speed, anticipation and quick timing captured their reaction.
click to enlarge In an unexpected moment, Jacob serenades Christin during their ceremony. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • In an unexpected moment, Jacob serenades Christin during their ceremony.
click to enlarge Christin reacts to Jacob's serenade. Anticipation and training is key to capturing moments like these. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Christin reacts to Jacob's serenade. Anticipation and training is key to capturing moments like these.

click to enlarge Christin and Jacob celebrate after their wedding ceremony at the top of Keystone Resort. Their joy in this photograph is unrehearsed and honestly felt. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Christin and Jacob celebrate after their wedding ceremony at the top of Keystone Resort. Their joy in this photograph is unrehearsed and honestly felt.
click to enlarge Christin and Jacob are framed by pine trees as they walk to their reception at Keystone Resort. In the moment, unobtrusive photography is the order of the day for a wedding photojournalist attending a wedding. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Christin and Jacob are framed by pine trees as they walk to their reception at Keystone Resort. In the moment, unobtrusive photography is the order of the day for a wedding photojournalist attending a wedding.

click to enlarge Christin dances with her father during the reception. Capturing timeless moments between loved ones is the goal of any good wedding photojouranlist. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Christin dances with her father during the reception. Capturing timeless moments between loved ones is the goal of any good wedding photojouranlist.
click to enlarge Jacob gets the garter in this storytelling image from their wedding reception. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Jacob gets the garter in this storytelling image from their wedding reception.
click to enlarge Two days later Christin and Jacob walk together during a photo session. They chose to do this after their wedding so they could enjoy their wedding day and still have some more directed and dramatic pictures together. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Two days later Christin and Jacob walk together during a photo session. They chose to do this after their wedding so they could enjoy their wedding day and still have some more directed and dramatic pictures together.
click to enlarge A stylized bridal portrait of Christin at Mount Falcon Park at sunset. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • A stylized bridal portrait of Christin at Mount Falcon Park at sunset.
click to enlarge Jacob and Christin watch the sunset at Mount Falcon park during a styled shoot after their wedding day. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Jacob and Christin watch the sunset at Mount Falcon park during a styled shoot after their wedding day.

click to enlarge A moment between Christin and Jacob captured at the end of our photo shoot together at Mountain Falcon Park. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • A moment between Christin and Jacob captured at the end of our photo shoot together at Mountain Falcon Park.



Colorado Springs photojournalist Sean Cayton loves remarkable photographs and the stories behind them. You can see his wedding work at caytonphotography.com, his personal work at seancayton.com and his editorial work in the Colorado Springs Independent.

Tags: , ,

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Latest in IndyBlog

Top Topics in IndyBlog

City Gov (12)


Local News (11)


Food & Drink (4)


Military (3)


Elections (3)


Recent Comments

All content © Copyright 2016, The Colorado Springs Independent   |   Website powered by Foundation