Must Have Photographs – Part 2

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Seems like everyone who writes about weddings has a recommendation for the must have photographs.  Except me . . . and Claire Lewis.   Neither she nor I believe you will cherish the must have photographs on your list or anyone else’s list.

Instead, Claire – who I’ve never met – recommends in her book – Exposed: Confession of a Wedding Photographer – that the ones you’ll love are the informal ones showing people relaxing and having fun.  I couldn’t agree more and worry those times I’ve been handed hundreds of ‘must have’ scenes in a list. 

The challenge is that with a must have photograph list that is very long, your photographer has to focus on the list, not the unfolding events, to be sure to get them all. Actually, many must have photographs (entrance of the flower girl, first dance, cake cutting), come naturally. For me, there are many times I see something special happening and follow my instincts to capture it.  Those are the pictures that are uniquely yours. Neither you nor I can predict what that may be but those are usually the ones that surprise and delight. Give your photographer permission to do this for you. If you’re nervous about it, sit down a talk it through with him/her. They’ll understand.

Again, for most brides, the best shots happen unscripted.   The worst are staged weeks or months ahead, trying to anticipate what wedding events.

I once watched another photographer pose a couple in an very awkward position at their wedding. He whispered to me, “I do this pose in every wedding, it’s my creative one.” Huh? Every wedding? Creative? Do you just love the idea of having your picture taken in exactly the same pose as every other? Certainly, group shots are different and many families have a tradition of taking them.

Like me, Claire Lewis knows that while someone will want some of those deer-in-the-headlights shots and photographers are happy to take them. However, the ones that you’ll want to keep forever, post on Facebook and send to your friends are very likely to be the ones that capture the essence of your special day, not someone else’s static pose.

Delightfully enough, those are the ones that many good photographers like to take, too.  So take my (& Claire’s) advice: pick your photographer based on what you love in their work and turn them loose. 

Your job is to have a wonderful time.  Your photographer’s job is to capture the wonder.

Previous Article: Must Have Photographs, To Pose or Not to Pose?

About the Author:

Dan Derby, Wedding Photographer

The spirit of a wedding day lives in fleeting events, unfolding without direction. Wedding photojournalism is how the story of a wedding day can be captured artfully. Trained as a designer (BA & MFA) and skilled in visual story telling, Dan Derby works quietly throughout your wedding day making sure this happens. He is based in New England but travels where ever he’s needed.

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