I think a lot about the possibility to start going to different events in the role of the photographer. It’s not like I really need the money but I guess that it will serve to me two big advantages:
1. Working under labour conditions; this will only contribute positively to my “photographic eye“; having to catch certain moments with the idea that I will have to give more than 1000 shots at the end, is educational and positively challenging;
2. Preparing for darker times; I always considered that financial stability shouldn’t ever be taken for granted so in this sense I like to train myself and be prepared to manifest as a freelancer in as many domains as possible;
So in the sense of the above, this summer I had the opportunity to attend this “pseudo-traditional” wedding. It looked a lot like a ’90s wedding, at least during the daytime activities, the ones I’ve attended and photographed. I was there as the second shooter, the one that is in charge of capturing moments from a different perspective and with a different frame of mind. Didn’t have to attend the night activities and especially I didn’t have to stay until the morning, filling cards after cards with photos that are supposed to fill the contract. Nope.
I looked for those compositions that somehow represent me, the “not so glamorous shots”; I lined up the elements that I thought are interesting from the “photojournalism” perspective, which I consider that not only make for interesting shots but also can compose a special kind of album for the spouse and groom, those shots that are going to either bring a smile on their face or a certain kind of memory.
Part of those shots (the ones I managed to edit by now), I’m showing in this article. These are the “black sheep” of the album. The “intense” ones, the compositions I tried taking never forgetting about me and what I like. I know it sounds rather selfish but my philosophy tells me that apart from the event and the main actors, the photos HAVE to reflect the personality of the photographer. And the photographer has to have personality in his photos. The lack of one cancels the other in my humble opinion and the resulting shots will be void of candour, of emotions, of unicity… of “composition” after all. I don’t claim to be a good photographer… I’m still on the level of “enthusiast” but whatever I do, I like to put passion in it and dedicate as much brain power as possible (for me).
As the deadline for all of the shots is in October and because I respect the right of the primacy of the wedded couple, the shots with them and the more “personal” ones, will be posted after the handing over. That will be “Part 2”.
All of these shots have been taken at the bride’s home. According to traditions (or so they say), the bride has to be picked up from her home by the broom. So the photographers have a difficult job of running between his house and her’s, in order to get the moments when they dress in the first place. The whole process of dressing up as a bride or groom is done in a show-like manner. So you’ve got to be there. You have to make them put out a show so there will be enough chances to get a good frame out of 100 maybe. This job gets really much harder when the bride and the groom have their homes some kilometres away. Not from the same city, not from the same village.
I was shooting with the only thought in my head: get it differently. I like “different”. Somehow I get stimulated by the idea that I have to do things in a different way than they already do it. So I got concentrated on details and on different angles. While my colleague was banging his head against the door trying to make the bride do this and that (hard job, really!!!) I took my time trying to get details of the other activities around. There are so many people gathering at this type of events. All the relatives, all the neighbours on the street, there is a big, long, crappy looking table in the middle of the yard where everybody – dressed up as nicely as they could – sit and wait while drinking juice and eating cold things. It’s like a big sit up, with people leaving, people going, nobody knows what the fuck the others are doing and where is the action. The only common human being is the bride (or the groom) around whom everything revolves. There are questions and answers, tips and recommendations, orders and traditions.
All was happening very slowly around me. Somehow I felt really in a skin that I liked to use and I took advantage of the whole random things happening, all the traditions (or pseudo-traditions) that they were doing now and then and I shot taking my time. Checking every time through the viewfinder of the camera, framing the shot and analysing the composition. I wasn’t even pressing the shutter if I didn’t like it as they use to do, just in case. Nowadays electronics seems to make us a little more sloppy as it really allows us to take any shot. There another type of energy being consumed when you take each and every shot just because “there is space”. It’s a technique, nonetheless, but I am somewhere in the middle. I use a 16GB card, not that I can’t afford it but because I want to be as clean as possible from the camera. For these shots, I tried to use as little cropping as possible since I framed the shot.
I walked a lot and my watch was happy about it.
I think I have a good advantage that I’m pretty small and agile. I’m a thin guy and I manage to squeeze between people, in narrow places and it’s never hard for me to get down even flat on the earth in order to use every little bit of angle I have. That’s why I like using that 50mm. It’s like the fucking lens is made by a fitness coach. All these shots are taken with the 50mm but in Part 2 I’ll have shots made with a nice 35mm SIGMA, I borrowed from @littleone .
So, anybody in need for a second shooter? 🙂