This is a slightly different post, perhaps a little controversial and maybe even a little precious but I want to introduce you to my way of thinking about wedding photography and photography in general.
My belief is that when you choose your wedding photographer you are not buying their time, their experience, their professionalism or even their expertise but you are buying their eye.
You are buying the way they look at the world but more so the way they see your wedding. Everyone looks at the world in a different way, of course they do. People see colours differently, events differently, moments in time are remembered in different ways. How many times have you listened to a friend tell a story thinking ‘that’s not how I remember it’ or have you disagreed with your partner over the colour of a new dress? These are simple examples but this theory can be widened to look at historical events written in to history and told in a different way depending on which book or article you read. The interpreter will put their own spin on events and sometimes perhaps even embellish the story. Think about the world of art and the way that Van Gogh saw the world all bright colours and big bold swirls of life to the bleak grey cityscapes of Lowry. If these painters had perhaps both painted that vase of sunflowers you would quite clearly see two very different paintings.
So now think back to photography and much the same thing can be said. It fascinates me constantly to look at other photographers work, not necessarily because I love to look at pretty pictures (although I do) but more so because I am so interested by how another photographer sees the world. I so often look at an image and am surprised by the angle, what is in shot, the composition of shots and sometimes even the subject chosen to photograph. Often I am pleasantly surprised but sometimes I am left not quite ‘getting’ the shot and wondering what is missing.
This becomes even clearer and even more fascinating when I shoot a wedding with another photographer. Sometimes this will be when I have had an assistant with me or occasionally when I have the pleasure of second shooting for a photographer I love. In fact take yesterdays wedding: This was a wedding I shot with a photographer I LOVE and respect and whose work blows me away every time I see a new post on his blog. Steve Gerrard is a photographer I met a few years ago on a photography course who at the time was a DJ and specialising in the world of music photography. It is this love of his music work that he wanted to introduce to the world of weddings and has very successfully done so in a rather Rock n Roll way. His style is quite different to mine but this is what makes his work so very interesting to me, to be able to love another photographer’s images but identify that we are quite different is what it is all about. To have a look at my take on Rand and Stef’s wedding click HERE to see Steve’s shots of the same wedding click HERE. They are both great (I hope you think so!) but both very different. Granted this is partly because I was second shooting and thus trying to gain different angles to Steve but also in the way the images are edited and processed, mine are softer, sometimes brighter and ultimately more ‘me’; his are cool, funky, edgy and very much bringing his amazing music photographer talents in to this the wedding.
So my point (after all this rambling!) is that photographers are available in pretty much any budget and in no way is this a call out that you should spend lots of money but more that you should choose your wedding photographer with your heart. I am not naive I know budget, products, whether you like the photographer or not all comes in to making a decision but strip all that back and look at their images. Look at what has been captured and they way it has been captured, do you love colourful crisp images or muted images with funkier angles. Do you feel something when you look at the images?
Ultimately when you choose your photographer you are choosing the way they look at the world, what they see through their lens and how they capture moments in time. If you feel something when you see a photographer images, if they tug at your heartstrings and leave you wanting to see more then I believe, without exception, that this is the photographer for you.