By Heather Joy Roth
Spontaneous moments and candid photography is a growing trend among couples getting married. Look through some recent wedding albums and you might see pictures of brides, half-dressed, getting dolled up for the big day or the littered reception floor. The trend in television and print media is reality. You see celebrities exposing much more of their everyday lives than ever before, letting us peek into their homes and special occasions. Brides try emulating casual images of celebrity couples on their big day, and fashionable magazines such as In Style. The posed, “say cheese” portraits your mother had are being replaced by warm, artsy shots.
Documentary Wedding Photography is a take-off on Photo Journalistic style. Photographers capture candid moments, such as the mans face when he sees his blushing bride walk down the aisle. Formal photography for the new generation of brides just won’t do. This allows the photographer to express his or her own sensibilities and expression through his work, greater artistic freedom. Not unlike traditional wedding photography, the cost of the documentary approach varies, with prices from $5,000 to over $15,000 for a celeb-favorite photographer.
Many photographers are opting to meet the couple beforehand and get a “feel” for their personalities. This visit can be extremely useful, guiding the photographer on how to take shots the couple would like to see. All the things learned about the couple will guide the photographer in creating a storyline to go with his or her photos.
Although this is the current trend in wedding photography, traditional photos are not “out of the picture” yet. The couple almost always wants a photo that can sit for years on a counter-top or mantle. But, this portrait does not have to be awkward or contrived. Also, many couples opt to have both a journalistic style and more traditional style of photography for their special memories. This may be the best idea yet, because you get the best of both worlds. Couples have often had only candid, photo journalistic photos taken and realize there are no pictures of their parents or siblings, which can be upsetting.
Many photographers are capturing moments of frustration, such as a bride fighting to zip up her wedding gown. These humorous shots lighten the serious tone of the day and always brings a smile to the couples face, once the tension-filled and sometimes severe mood of the day passes. Emotions are at an all-time high during a bride’s big day, so it is essential for the photographer to know when and how to shoot a photo.
You may want candid shots of the bride and groom preparing for the ceremony, but the bride may not want to be photographed without make-up. If you know how to gracefully shoot one of the most important days in the couple’s lives, capturing beautiful, genuine photos can be easy. Many awkward moments can happen during a wedding, especially at the reception, where intoxicated women in strapless gowns can reveal more than they would like too. Tactfully choosing to not photograph these indecent moments is the best route a photographer can make. These are moments that the couple would like to forget, not remember.
Many brides will walk around in their undergarments without shame, but may not want this image displayed in their album for everyone to see. It really depends on the comfort level among the couple. A temper tantrum the bride has over a mishap during the day should also not be photographed. The bride most likely has been dreaming of this moment since childhood, and her expectations are usually set high. Therefore, a mere mishap could set her off into distress. A respectful, professional photographer will sense when shot could be interpreted as humorous versus embarrassing. A special moment is something that has a feeling to it. Real, visual proof that the bride and groom are to live happily ever after, and these shots are sought after by not only the couple, but the photographer as well. A moment like this is not posed or unnatural. It is the couple glancing into each others eyes after saying “I Do”, it is the first dance as Mr. & Mrs. and it is undeniably indefinable.