“What’s your style?”….. I hear this question with almost every one of my awesome couples. I even hear it from the couples that aren’t so awesome. Of course that’s only because they went in another direction. But hey, I can’t be for everyone and they’re still awesome… Just not as awesome. haha…
Anyway… “What’s your style?”…. I believe somewhere, there’s a handbook with questions to ask your wedding vendors and this is just one that falls under photographers. Of course my answer is generally “it’s the style you want for your day”… Followed with a laugh. Really though, wedding photography styles. They vary across the board. You’ll see some photographers with their work being very photojournalistic. Why is this? Do they prefer not to interact? Is it how they were trained? Are they more of a voyeuristic type individual? Is it just what they want to shoot? Then there’s the very formal and portraiture style, almost trained to a “T” by the book. What ever book that may be. Every pose, every piece of a day detail oriented, formulated and set up…. Artistic. Many pieces and parts of the day. At times more fun, other times more serious. Really working off the photographers thoughts and feelings of the day… Shots that you need to just trust the photographer on because you may see what they’re trying to do but really not have a clue at how awesome the shot will be. High fashion, lost of off camera lighting, more dramatic. Worked around the style of the day and in my eyes, a very edgy style with images that can be striking but with less softness to them. And then the natural light photographers. Generally softer, more elegant and love. Each style incredibly fitting for a wedding day and perfect in it’s own ways….
Anyway…. Back to what where I was originally going with this… (I tend to ramble and get off subject at times, don’t hate. haha)… “What’s your style of shooting?”…. Well, here’s the thing for me. I don’t want to just shoot in any set style. If you look at my work you may see images that hit you more than others. Images that make you smile, think, cry, feel…. Some images a moment, some more posed or styled with off camera lightning. Some may be a single tear as the bride put on her gown and just realized “oh, shit just got real, I’m walking down the aisle to my forever”…. Maybe it’s a laugh between a bride and her girls. Maybe it’s the photos of the details, or your hands together, almost cropped out of the shot but enough where you know what that moment was. That piece of your day.
What I’m really getting at is that I don’t want to be “a style”… I’m self taught and have run thru all the styles over the past 10 years and what I realized was this. Well, a couple things.
One: No two weddings are ever the same, no two couples are ever the same and no two days are ever the same. Wedding photography and photography in general are dictated by a few things. Lightning, imagination and creation, the subjects and the emotion.
Two: Therefor, no two weddings can ever be captured in the same way or with the same style. Maybe that’s why some couples gravitate toward certain styles that they like.
That being said, for me, it’s not about a certain style. It’s about all the styles. Each and every one and using each and every one while capturing a wedding and the days story.
I don’t want to pigeon hole any wedding into a style. And hey, let’s be honest, I don’t want to pigeon hole myself into any certain style. What I do want to do is capture a day as it’s meant to be captured. From the moment I arrive and begin shooting I do so with an open mind. A wedding will dictate much of how I shoot. From being a fly on the wall with the getting ready shots, or capturing that tear rolling down your grandmothers face – But at times, coming in for that artistic or stunning image of a bride or groom. To the ceremony, where I’ve been told that I’m part ninja because couples never knew where I was or that I even got certain shots. I’m going to use off camera lighting for the family shots and for the bridal portrait shots we’re going to have a blast…
For the photos of your newly married love and yourself, we’re going to run the full spectrum (as long as time allows)… We want to capture some formal shots because even if you say you don’t want any, I promise in 10 years you’ll wish you had some. We want to capture more artistic shots. We want to capture shots that are just moments happening. It’s these moments where I want to run the full spectrum of what should be, your wedding day captured…
And yes, at just about every wedding, as long as it’s possible and time allows, I want to create some stunning images where we set up some lighting. Maybe we do this later in the night when you need a break, or maybe it’s as the sun sets and we just want that stunning images captured. Either way, as long as you’re both “put together” (let’s face it, there have been some weddings where a groom or bride has, well, had a bit too much to drink and these shots just won’t work) we will rock out some of those creations.
Really, what I’m saying here is that I don’t want to be a certain style for your day. I want to be every style. I want to shoot the moments in a photojournalistic style. That slight touch of a hand, the tears, the love… I want to create bridal portraits with you that will be stunning, who doesn’t want to look the best they can? I want to be a photo ninja during your ceremony… And when it comes to the formal family shots, I get the director hat put on and rock them out in a quick and painless way so everyone can just get to the party. I want to rock out the bridal party shots where we’re all having a blast and get to creating the images of you and your love. Classic, artistic, edgy and timeless….. Then we rock out the reception. Additional lighting when needed, in the middle of the dance floor while everyone is partying all around, or off to the side for those intimate shots….
Your day, your day doesn’t deserve one style. Your day doesn’t deserve to be pigeon holed…. Your day deserves every moment and every piece to be captured as it’s dictated by that moment. And well…. That’s my style. To use everything I’ve learned to create with the moments as they unfold. It’s really that simple, yet not simple at all. 🙂