Wedding photographers have a sneaky little secret. You know all those beautiful photos you see on the web? All the elegant and creative centerpieces? The florally adorned wedding arch, the stunning ring shots, and the interestingly lit shoes? The beauty in the all the little wedding details? Well those are the photos you’re interested before you get married. Their meaning changes dramatically the next morning.
When we’re gathering up your details–the rings, the dress, the champagne classes, the shoes, your bouquet and pearl necklace–we’re kind of taking photos for the next bride. Sometimes photographers (us included) are even tempted to devote too much time to them, even thinking too much about what they want to see, and not enough about what will best capture the spirit of your wedding. It’s the opportunistic temptation to be self serving that exists in all of us. And some photographers don’t restrain themselves in that respect, simply disappearing for too long.
But here’s the thing, based on our past clients, I could bet that if we skipped photographing the details of your wedding altogether, you might not even notice. When you start browsing images of your own wedding, you’re a different person. The design and style of the day–what was so important a few months ago–starts to simply be a background over which your eyes will jump from smiling face to smiling face.
Do you see what I’m getting at? It’s hard to imagine right now how much the people will matter to you. Of course, you know logically that they’re the most important thing. It’s easy and natural to feel strongly about the details before the wedding. After the wedding, however, they will have been eclipsed by the people. They will have mostly disappeared. And that’s okay too. Neither way of feeling is the ‘right’ way.
We will spend some limited time specifically giving our attention to the details of your wedding. But our reasons are a little different.
The primary reason is family posterity. While it’s difficult to imagine future generations, or the different ways you will matter to them, it’s a reality that we wish to responsibly address. The way you choose to spend your time and money on your wedding will speak volumes about you. The specific contents of those choices, say even more.
These are things that will matter to the development of future generations. Your children, your nieces and nephews. The teenage girl you mentor a decade or so from now.
It’s because of this that we often seek out details of uncommon significance. Perhaps your father is carrying a small pocket watch with your picture in it. We’d like to get a shot of that. Perhaps your getting married in the same venue as your parents, we’d like to find the details that help illustrate the oldness and newness. Maybe your garter is ‘nothing special’ but you saved a bundle on it. If possible, we’d like to capture it.
And yeah, those photos are probably going to help endear us to future clients as well. But when we’re at your wedding we labor to stay there in our mind. We are staying alert, considering what will matter to you, and to you in your future.