Do You See What I See? Observational Wedding Photography
What would you think if during your wedding and over the course or, unless it’s a buffet, courses of your Reception and for the rest of the day, your Wedding photographer was sometimes, perhaps a little unexpectedly, looking over your shoulder at the action?
Maybe that doesn’t sound so odd, but what would you think if I went a step further and proposed a “voyeuristic” approach to photographing your wedding? How about if I were to suggest that I was going to focus on getting the best “bug shots”? Would you be content to think of your Wedding Photographer as a fly on the wall? Or does all this seem a little bit off the wall?
All of the above, as well as other delightfully whacky terms, such as the “Dutch Angle” , the “Guest Shot” , (which, you’ll be relieved to hear, doesn’t mean I’ll be handing over the camera to your aunt’s eleven year old god son to run rampant with), the “Passer by” and the “Birds Eye View”, the last of which you can perhaps more easily guess at, are all terms identified with a type of photography I describe as “Observational”.
Amongst photographers it has other names: Documentary, Story-Telling and Photo-Journalistic being some. To my mind, two of those three don’t really chime with what you might expect from a Wedding photographer so, let’s simplify the various terms, combine the best of them and think and talk more specifically about Observational Story Telling.
Most couples, unless one or the other has a background in professional photography, start their hunt for a wedding photographer either on line, inputting such searches as: Wedding photographers South Wales, or Cardiff wedding photographers and/or by attending some Wedding fayres, which helpfully provide an opportunity to grill the photographers and compare the different service levels and prices each is offering. Please do that – don’t passively allow me, or any of my competitors, to talk at you. Challenge us, because whilst it might not obviously seem to be the case we’re all very different. Test us, because by so doing you’re more likely to find the right photographer for your wedding.
In my opinion, that means a photographer who’s going to do a lot, lot more than line you up in front of the arch and snap loads of still bodies with “smile please” faces.
OK, you probably will want a few of those, but surely your day merits something bigger, better and, when you review the images a month or so later or open up that album in years to come, something a darn site more imaginative!
Observational Story Telling means that, in addition to those traditional stills, I make the effort to get shots with the WOW factor and, at the same time, allow you and your guests to enjoy more of the day with one another and spend less time attending photo calls. I capture those magic moments that might be going on around you and could otherwise be lost and, unobtrusively, I take up positions at the Church or at The Reception, that permit me to get unique shots from unexpected angles; hence all the terms I introduced in the opening paragraphs of this article.
Perfecting this style of photography takes a long apprenticeship and not every professional Wedding photographer can or should offer it. It also requires keeping fit – very fit. When you’re assessing a selection of wedding photographers in South Wales have a little think about this. Who among them will be able to maintain and employ a creative and imaginative approach to taking pictures throughout the day, sometimes for up to twelve or fourteen hours?
So that you can tailor what you want from me, we’ll look closer at the different types of shot in later posts. Here’s the thing though– no matter how sprightly I may remain as the day draws to a close and no matter what clever terms I regale you with, I do understand that what you really want to be sure of when you employ me, is that you’ll get dynamic, exceptional photos that capture your day perfectly and will provide forever a treasure trove of wonderful, enchanting memories.
Your wedding day isn’t every day and because I have the experience and the know how to think beyond the everyday – together, we’ll uncover the magic in every moment….and from many angles.
Please Get In Touch if you would like to chat about your wedding photography.