Henri Cartier-Bresson called it “The decisive moment”, some call it being in the right place at the right time, others might call it being lucky. I call it “awareness”. If a photographer is aware of his/her surroundings, has immersed themselves in the atmosphere enough, and has enough experience of the situation they are in to predict the next move then they are more likely to capture that moment.
Wedding Photography is my specialist subject, not one I could use on Mastermind, but one that does give me a little bit of authority to write about it. I have been photographing Weddings as a professional photographer since I was 18, I am 40 in a couple of weeks time. Obviously style is subjective and I don’t always subscribe to the latest trends and fads, but I am a firm believer that Wedding Photography is one of the hardest photographic disciplines to master, but the easiest to try! I have never been in a war zone, and I am by no means making a direct comparison between Weddings and battlefields but I would imagine there are similarities. Aside from the odd Champagne cork and overenthusiastic guest our job is a relatively safe one unlike the war photographer, but to keep ones composure, to be aware of all of the elements of the event whilst working quickly is a skill-set that can take years to master, and some never achieve it.
In a lot of situations at a Wedding there are unrepeatable events, miss it and it’s gone. A true Wedding Photo-Journalist will preempt these moments and be in the right place and the right time, with the right lens, the right exposure and the right combination of settings to not just capture it but to embody the emotion and paint the scene in light for all eternity. Only with years and years of experience will a photographer feel the unswerving confidence in any situation to be able to provide this timeless record of a couples big day.
Working from dark interiors of churches to bright sunny days, from a tiny corner of an 14th century public house to a cathedral a Wedding photographer must know his/her job inside out, his equipment like a best friend and have the technical knowledge to surpass all other photographers. It is easy to photograph a wedding with mediocre snaps with basic equipment and basic knowledge. To produce consistent results that evoke emotion is the mark of a true professional, Wedding Photography is Evolving…..