I just finished shooting a very "contemporary" wedding this past weekend for a wonderful couple that also happen to be very good friends. I have not shot a wedding like this before. Most weddings are steeped in the traditional aspects involving the church, the ceremony and celebration (The Reception) of the commitment which captures the emotion between two people who love each other and are officially embarking on a journey together. Weddings are usually very similar in scope, cut from more similar molds than dissimilar, with some variation in the reception, or maybe the bride/groom prep but even with these custom changes you usually have an idea of what shots will be required and with who.
But as I learned and saw, that commitment takes different forms for different people. A wedding doesn't have to dwell on tradition or ceremony and celebration. There will always be a certain level of ceremony with any wedding, that can't be escaped, but how that ceremony is shaped is dependent on the way a couple live and view their lives. Sometimes the ceremony and celebration are one and the same. Emotion and love was certainly a mainstay of this recent wedding but it was extended beyond the bride and groom, well into their families and friends. This event was a celebration of their life together so far, giving something back to those that have guided and helped them get to this point. Giving back something to those that love them. This was a celebration with a bit of ceremony. So my job then, was more as that of a documentarian with the purpose of "capturing the vibe" (important phrase!) in showing the personalities not only of the couple but of their families and friends too. Several hundred of them. Not an easy task, but I sort of specialize in a more editorial style for events which I think, fit this event. But as us photographers do, I wondered all night if I was doing the right thing. Getting the right shots. Ultimately, I put my faith in the bride and groom and let them guide me, providing the direction for the images they desired.
As I started working the images in post a day later, I got this pit in my stomach realizing that I didn't have this type of shot, or that shot or hardly any of the shots that comprise a traditional wedding portfolio. I got anxious. I got sweaty. A total Holy Crap this better be right moment. My brain was processing way too many scenarios.
So.......I reached out to the bride and groom this morning. I processed just over a dozen images yesterday and sent them both an email link to my client page for providing client proofs. I have processed just shy of 100 photographs now and have them uploaded to the client collection page so that they can see the progress but more for me to be able to show them what I have and certify that my work and thinking was on target. What would they think?
The bride texted me saying, "We really like them!" and an earlier email concerning the very first fifteen images stated, "Dude! They're Great!". The groom texted me this morning and said, "They're awesome. Capture the vibe perfectly". Theres that important phrase.
My images seem to be right on target then. I feel a bit better as I resume my post work. Oh yeah, there is one more twist to this wedding...it was supposed to be an outdoor event but winter type weather forced a "change of venue" lets say? That changed a lot of things and thats the subject of a whole 'nother blog post.