Wedding reportage: 5 essential features
How photojournalism can tell a Wedding
Photojournalism is a photography style that was born having nothing to do with Weddings, but its basic features can be effectively used in other settings.
First of all, let's figure out what photojournalism is..
Photojournalism, similar to the documentary photography, is an objective storytelling of the reality around us, seen by the point of view of the photographer. It usually tells about dramatic situations like social unrest, war, but also contemporary society, environmental or scientific themes, even a travel.
So the documentary photography starts inside the photographer's mind, who design, realize and show it in the form of a congruent number of non repetitive photographs.
If now You're curious about documentary photography, You have to visit the website of the most important photo agency of documentary photography in the World: Magnum Photos founded, inter alia, by Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson, two pioneers of documentary photography.
Apparently documentary photography is unrelated with Weddings. But it is possible to adapt its peculiar features in other photographic environment — and I love it! —. In my carreer as a Photographer, even if I am specialized in Wedding Photography, I had to do with other kind of shooting: but some features of photojournalism are part of me and my way of shooting, so they are always present in all my works. Here they are!
I like telling stories. A Photojournalist tells a story. Analogy is perfect. In a Wedding reportage I tell the story of the Wedding day, from the beginning to the end. Whenever I can, I like to tell the story that brought the Wedding day: a photoshoot before or after the Wedding can tell the everyday life of the couple and the story of their love.
Moreover I try to tell a little story within each picture. If You think that it isn't possible to achieve in every part of the Wedding day, You're wrong! Any situation can give a special glance, an intense hug, an affectionate gesture: all gestures than can tell a story not only to whom is involved, but also to unknown spectators. The point is to be ready to seize the moment and make it unforgettable with a photograph.
Documentary photography tells the reality seen by the eyes of the photographer.
A Photographer can tell the reality of a Wedding: there's no need to fake if I tell one of the most intense and beautiful day of Your lives. Before my very eyes there's always a sincere outpouring of love and real feelings, a deep sympathy for a blessed event, an affection that goes beyond time and space, a strong desire to celebrate.
They are feelings, moments and emotions ready to be told in pictures, what else?
Usually a Photojournalist have the power to modify natural light. A fast solution is a flash, but it is not suitable for every situation. As a Photographer of Wedding reportage, I try to take all the benefits from the available light without modifying it. I like working in this way not because I want to adhere strictly to unwritten rules, but rather to remain as discreet as possible.
If a bright flash can bother, think about a team of assistants building a set with reflecting panels and stands with lights or umbrella! I prefer gain an advantage with discretion and intimism, rather than build the perfect lighting in every situation: the result that You can see clearly in all my pictures is a natural and spontaneous attitude of all the people I photograph.
During couple portraits I provide some indications of the best place where couple can stay, in order to have the best natural light. But, after sunset, if the Venue haven't a good lighting system, I use some non-invasive professional lighting to achieve the best result.
Since I like to tell the reality around me, respecting Bride and Groom's feelings, I engage unless I have to. Otherwise Bride and Groom forget about me.
I prefer to give some advices before the Wedding Day — as I do in this blog — rather than be too present during Wedding day.
The discretion of a Wedding Photographer is essential in order to have a natural and spontaneous shooting: just after my arrival You'll forget about me, so my shooting will be a real Wedding reportage, just like the ones You can see in the Gallery.
5. Seize the
A good Photojournalist is not a lazy man waiting the right shot coming towards him, but is a dynamic and curious seeker of the right moment to be immortalized: the moment to be seized could be just around the corner, although fortunately I photograph Wedding scenes and I am not in dangerous situations, as many Photojournalists.
This is the difference between who believes in Photojournalism and who calls himself a Photojournalist. How can You distinguish them? Ask for looking complete photoshoots of different weddings: if You cannot see any peculiar picture that identify each shoooting, You are looking the work of what I call a serial photographer. A serial photographer is an unmotivated photographer who does more or less always the same task: You'll see always the same pictures but with different people.
A real Photojournalist is constantly searching, not only for delivery the best memories as pictures, but also for his personal growth.
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