I hear and see the term photojournalistic thrown around in wedding photography all the time and I think it’s become a word that wedding photographers throw around casually to describe their style but I and many others hold that term to a much higher standard the mere documentation of an event. To me if you really look at a photojournalist’s work it does more than just unobtrusively document your day, which is something every wedding photographer does by default. Photojournalists elevate simple documentation because they capture images that tell stories within the layers of images and through decisive moments where basic documentation falls short.
I will give you some examples below but let me just put this on other thought down into words. What might seem like luck to some (as in OMG how cool of a moment is that and/or look at what’s going on behind them!) is really about a dedication to the story, anticipation and hard work. When you come across an image that really tells a story or really represents a perfect moment you know it because it makes you pause and think, you feel it as much as you see it.
I could have made this image of Valerie and her dad with a wall behind them but instead I anticipated the reactions of the bridesmaids to this important moment that happens at nearly every wedding. I probably took 10 pictures in this sequence but I love this one because we can see both of them, their expressions and you can feel the moment in the reactions of everyone in the room.
This is how I hope every groom feels right after being married. Foreground moment + background moment = greatness.
This was a first for me, it happened only once and it was late into the night. Even when it’s 12:45am and we’re two of only a handful of sober people in the room we’re working hard to be in the right place at the right time.
Caitlin and John exchange letters… it would have been an image even if I had just focused on John but watching her anticipating his reaction is what really makes it awesome for me.
With split second timing needed for this image chance favors the prepared. It’s not too often that you even see a wink much less catch it on camera.
There are 10 great shots of Sarah and Shane walking back up the aisle but this really works best for me because it’s the peak moment in a reaction to a friend that gives it a little something extra.
This was just about anticipation and knowing the wedding day… this was a last dance after the crowd had already left the ballroom. The last kiss of the night before the wedding was all over. Again it pays to be present and work the scene until you can’t, dancing alone would have been fine, the kiss is the moment.