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March 5, 2019

The Human Element

Most of my couples have not studied photography or have a formal education in Art History. They are drawn to my work because of the emotions that the images stir within them. I always ask what they enjoy about looking through my photos, and the answers vary widely but still have a common thread. Real, truthful, not forced or posed but genuine moments and exchanges cloaked in style and captured in real time. The next question I often ask is “what is the most important aspect of your wedding?” After I listen intently to them, I have a pretty strong sense of who they are and what they love.

Even though couples haven’t studied the history of photography or the great portrait photographers of the 20th century – I have, and I’ve used that knowledge to create what you see today. From portrait to fashion and everything in-between, great photographers have a vision for the work they are aspiring to develop whether it is through a single image or a handful of shots we all want our pictures to have a voice.

In wedding photography most photographers keep it very vanilla, a simple story of love, romance, beauty – but I see things differently than that. Yes, weddings are those things, but the people that make up the event are wildly more intricate and complex than a common adjective. Richard Avedon is arguably one of the 20th centuries greatest photographers. He was a brilliant portrait photographer and changed the face of fashion through photography. Avedon would study his subjects before shooting them, he would learn about their nuances, the way they smiled or the way they looked when concerned and used his knowledge to capture people in their purest form. I do the same. I pay attention when talking to couples on FaceTime, the way they interact with each other, the things they say about the other, and the answers they have to my questions. All of these small details make up the truth about who they are, how they think and act as individuals and as a couple.

Couples are far too complex and beautiful to shoot them all the same way. Many wedding photographers feel the need to direct a couple into the idea of what they should look like based off of our heavy rotation of programmed marketing or how they should behave during the day. They want to create soft, feminine, or dreamy images – something you would expect to see. They do it for everyone, and they shoot creating a uniformed look that becomes very expected and flat. Yes, I think some brides certainly fit that bill but not all. Some are very shy and traditional, but others are outgoing and full of energy. Some brides ooze with confidence and style, and others have some of everything, but they are all different. The beauty of photography to me is the people I work with. It is something I love – no two are the same. The depth of my job is never-ending because of the nature of the human spirit and its endless possibility.