None of the following image samples were posed.
All of them were quietly, and unobtrusively, taken via a documentary method of wedding coverage. Each was taken under natural light--no popping flashbulbs.
And each of them tells of an important emotional moment that unfolded throughout the course of the day--a moment that would never have been caught with a photographer yelling, "Hey! You two! Look over this way and smile! Ugh, that didn't work--okay, let's do that again!"
The Broken Approach to Wedding photography...
Here's a little hint about the wedding industry--it can be a cynical place. And most photographers consider themselves as some other kind of artist than a "wedding photographer". The old story goes that you shoot landscapes or portraits for your heart, but you have to take on weddings for your wallet.
And yet weddings are one of the most important moments that occur in families through their lives. To treat it with anything but deep respect and reverence seems like a huge mistake. And when these photographers show up on a wedding day, they show up already tapping their watch. They march through a series of posed formal portraits, and then spend the rest of the time taking "crime scene photographs" (you know, "here's a human body, here is where it was, here is how it looked at the time of the photograph...").
Once the wedding has ended, the most important part of it becomes the photographs. They are the only real investment the family makes at the wedding--they are the only asset that is preserved and treasured through all the phases of life and growth that the family will experience. The cake is eaten. The bar tab is paid. The venue waves a goodbye as you leave.
But your great grandchildren will look at your photographs and be drawn into your unique love story. It becomes part of family myth and identity.
THE STORYTELLING APPROACH TO WEDDINGS is much, much different.
As both a photographer and a classically trained artist, I consider weddings to not only be one of the most legitimate types of photography, but also a serious form of art making. This doesn't mean it has to be pretentious, it just means that I take weddings very seriously. They represent a fantastic artistic moment in a family's history, not some job to be taken while the mind--and heart--are somewhere else.
The problem is, weddings are incredibly difficult work. Weddings are a once in a lifetime event in the story of a family, and these stories deserve to be told by expert storytellers who can capture the moods, emotions, and interactions of the day in a way that can be preserved as family art for generations.
While it may seem like weddings happen over hours and hours--and thus, there is no time pressure--the truth is that moments unfold in an instant. The less intrusive the photographer is, and the less the photographer interrupts the interactions of the day, the more potent the interactions around the bride and the groom become. Intimacy and authenticity can be scared away so easily by amateur photographers. For this reason, weddings are some of the most difficult work professionals can undertake. They require a master's sense of portraiture, street shooting, landscape, documentary, behavior of light, dynamic composition, and the ability to read human interactions and emotions. It can take years of work to master these methods, not simply buying an expensive camera online and printing a few business cards.
This is why great photographers, as they mature in their work, usually shift toward a more documentary style of wedding photography. It is by far the most sought after method for everything from celebrity weddings down to intimate gatherings. And yet, so few photographers master this style, that very few couples really get a chance to see their wedding day from this unique perspective.
I have spent years of my life honing this method of storytelling, geared specifically toward the incredible family moments and emotions of the wedding day. While I shoot many other types of work, I am proud to be considered first and foremost as a wedding (and family) storyteller.
As a documentary photographer by method, I work hard to be as un-intrusive and as candid as possible. I direct couples only where necessary or by their specific request, and work hard to stay as invisible as possible.
I edit every single delivered image by hand, doing nothing by "batch" and never--EVER--shipping images off overseas to be edited by someone else (how can someone across an ocean know what the day felt like? How could they understand the emotions of the moments as they unfolded?).
My clients come from all over the world--and for them I travel all around the country--and together we share a great sense of authenticity, beauty, and taste. I limit the total number of weddings I take in any given year so that I can guarantee to work with every image by hand, and to give each wedding my full creative attention.
Over a completed wedding set, I seek to tell an important story. A story that, I hope, survives within families for generations to come.