I love emotion. When photographing a wedding I look for emotion, for passion, for real moments of love and happiness. In fact, that’s what sets me apart from so many “candid” shooters. Anyone can sneak up on someone unaware, take a photo while they’re not looking, and call it a candid. But capturing emotion is a different story.
Ideally, I’d love to be the unobtrusive fly-on-the-wall capturing spontaneous moments of pure emotion completely undirected. Sometimes I’m fortunate enough to do so. Some couples are so totally in love with such heartfelt passion that deeply romantic moments happen every time they glance at one another. As a hopelessly idealistic wedding photographer like myself this is a dream come true, setting the perfect stage to create photos with intensity and impact.
Far more often capturing real emotion takes a lot of work. Most couples feel that same passion for one another, but it can easily be overshadowed by the demands of the wedding day. Did the flowers arrive on time? How do you put this blasted handkerchief in your pocket? It looks like rain and we’re having an outdoor ceremony. The limo driver is lost! There’s just so much to worry about that it’s easy to let those romantic feelings take a back seat for a while.
That’s when I have to step in, as a photographer, and help bring the passion back to the surface, if even for a short time. “Hey, let’s sneak away for a few minutes. Let someone else worry about details for a bit.” We find a quiet spot and I ask the couple to just talk with each other. It’s amazing how naturally their emotions take center stage, how quickly they find their smiles again.
But what about the couple who is simply too reserved, who doesn’t seem to have any passion at all? Yes, that’s fairly common. All I can say is that I can’t MAKE emotions, I can only try to gently coax out what’s already there.
Beautiful scenery and perfect hair, make-up and clothes make for pretty pictures, but they don’t really tell the real emotion of the day. Don’t be so focused on making magazine quality, stare-straight-at-the-camera-and-say-cheese, model-like images. This is your day, telling your emotions and your relationship. Relax and let those true feelings of love and affection come out. Your pictures will be infinitely better for it.
Other Candid Moments: