Alison inquired for my birthday, which fell on a Saturday last year, and I had resolved not to book it unless I had the right feeling from the inquiry. Well, to say Alison gave me the right feeling was an underscore. When I asked her if there was anything special I should know about her wedding, she responded with this, word for word.
“I just want to tell you a little bit about my vision. I am really not looking for someone to document every little detail of the wedding day. If I only got three shots that were fabulous, I would be happy. What I am looking for is capturing critical moments. And good f-ing design. And grand abstractions. And extraordinary light. I love fine art portraiture. I love photojournalism. I love experimental pieces. I love the faded, dull colors of photographs from the 60s. I love good photographs. So I am really hoping this is good news to you, that you can kind of have artistic license and not have to worry about whether you got the one of the shoes in the foreground, or the dress hanging up, or every place setting. I am not super interested in keepsakes, or a feature length documentary. I just want a few fabulous images. Will you tell me how you feel about this?”
I felt pretty good about it, to say the least. I headed into Alison and Shaun’s wedding day resolving to treat it as a birthday gift to myself and to only bring the camera to my eye when I wanted to. As wedding photographers we so often have to balance our own creativity with what our clients (and their families) want from wedding photographs so having complete freedom from Alison to photograph a kid picking it’s nose over her first kiss and to do whatever I wanted when shooting their family ‘formal’ of 20 people was pretty liberating.
Do I think every picture I took that day is earth shattering? No, but every picture I took that day was one that I wanted to take, not one that I felt like I had to take, and that on it’s own is earth shattering.