When I got back into photography I only had one rule. No weddings. I did do weddings, in another life. It was before children, before digital photography, before a lot of things. Weddings were a lot of pressure but they paid the bills. I always said I wouldn't do them if I didn't have to.
This time around things are different. I can pick and choose. I've chosen to click away at smiling children and their families, High School Seniors, and the occasional well behaved dog. I kept repeating the No Wedding Mantra for a few years and then I cracked. I gave in. Just one, I said. Just to see... and the next thing I knew I was shooting weddings again. Digital photography has changed everything. When we shot weddings with film, even though we knew what we were doing it was always a little nerve racking. Things move quickly and sometimes you really did pray you got that shot at just the right moment. No wonder we placed the Bride and Groom in those silly poses to make sure we caught the important moments back then! Nowadays that little LCD on the back of the camera provides reinforcement. Glancing at it every once in awhile provides a sense of security we didn't have back then.
My approach to capturing a wedding is so different from what it was the first time around. I wouldn't call myself truly a journalistic or documentary photographer although I definitely lean in that direction. Purists in that realm capture everything from the sidelines like a news photographer. They don't interact with the wedding party and they capture the day like a fly on the wall. I do strive to document events as they unfold in a natural way, but I will certainly encourage the Bride and Groom to make slight adjustments if doing so will turn a good image into a great one. It's far from a "stand here and do this" approach but I'm not leaving everything to chance either. If the Bride and Groom want formal photos of themselves and the wedding party those are definitely posed, but in a relaxed way using what I call "directed posing". I arrange people in a pleasing configuration as a starting point but then we just see how things evolve. With this approach to the day it's easy to feed off of the energy all around me and channel it into a creative direction that tells the love story in my own photographic style. It's exhilarating. Never say Never.