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Moments vs posed shots in wedding photography

Moments vs posed shots in wedding photography

You’re getting married and you are out on the internet, looking for your wedding photographer. There’re so many out there that it’s confusing. I wrote this to help you clarify some of the muddied waters in wedding photography.

Moments are fleeting. In a situation as fast-paced as a wedding, moments come and go before anyone has had a chance to catch a glimpse of it. All too often, for the bride and groom, the day whizzes by with them not really knowing what transpired. A Wedding Photojournalist considers it his/her primary duty to capture those moments for the bride and groom and their family.

It is for this reason why a wedding photojournalist does not spend time on staged shots and static details (like the dress or rings). In the pursuit of those staged shots, a wedding photographer can all to easily miss the real moments.

Take the case of this wedding. When I walked into the room where the bride was getting ready, the first thing I did was look for spaces and angles. The room was much smaller than usual – very intimate. A large four-poster bed took up most of the floor space. The bride, Tatiana was the epitome of composure – quiet and absolutely “non-panicky”. She was getting ready in one corner by the window. The light coming in was just beautiful. But the small room meant I needed to move slowly so as not to be in anyone’s way.

In contrast to the bride, was this little flower girl who was curious about everything around her. She wanted to try out the make-up kits and everything else! I got quite a few moments of the little girl and then it happened. The lack of space in the room and the little girl’s curiosity came together when she couldn’t help peep from behind the bride to catch a glimpse of the make-up process. As a reflex action, I brought up my camera and pressed the shutter before I could even bring it up to my eye. The moment lasted for just a couple of seconds. But I was in a position and the camera was ready to go and so I made this picture.

I think it would have been foolish to be spending time shooting meaningless details when moments could be happening. This image is much better representation of the dress than any shot of the dress, detached from reality, hanging out on a peg or tree! In this, we have the dress detail and a much more valued moment with the flower girl. That is what a wedding photojournalist will seek to achieve.

That is also the reason why a couple should never hand a set of “pre-planned” shots to their wedding photojournalist (other than say, the formals). In a wedding, you never know what will happen and those moments are precious and unique to your wedding. It is the job and passion of an experienced wedding photojournalist to seek out those moments.

As a wedding photojournalist, trained in the ways of real life photojournalism, I know how important it is to always be alert and ready to capture the moment. It is impossible to predict anything and letting the camera down at any point runs the risk of missing a valued moment.

Bride getting ready could be monotonous after a point – after all the whole process takes time. But like the Boy Scouts, a wedding photojournalist goes by the motto – Be Prepared. I use the time to work the angles, look for details and, when it presents itself, capture a moment that is so fleeting, everyone in the room would miss in the scurry of getting the bride ready.

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