WHEN THE HOUSE IS FULL by THE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
I remember this morning of bridal preparation for the wedding well. Sonia’s parents’ house was packed with people. Family, friends, colleagues. As soon as the wedding photographer walked in the door and saw this flood of people, I knew immediately that he would also have full cameras and hungry lenses tasting the many, many photographs that were everywhere. Deep down, I admit, I’m a big fan of confusion. A lot of people, each one with its own sentence, this way it’s better, make sure you don’t forget… what are the shoes doing here?… look, are you here too? it’s been a long time since I saw you …. what time is it, make sure you’re not late… do you want some help?… humm!… The patties are excellent, where will you come from if I need them?… Anyway, you can imagine the number of photos I have to sort through all morning. When I find a full house like this, even if I have to look for them, my concern is the ones that run away without my noticing or because I didn’t arrive on time.
A wedding photographer is like those scientists who go into the field in search of the subject of their studies. I love to see paleontologists who walk up and down hills, valleys, and mountains with pick, hammer, and brush in hand. You may ask but what does a paleontologist have to do with a wedding photographer? Everything, one, he has developed a visual ability to discover on the ground, on the cliffs of hillsides, in the valleys of rivers those signs that could be just a stone with a strange feat or the fingertip of a dinosaur and that, using his tools, he discovers a huge one that was not yet in the catalogs. The other, the one at the weddings, also became an attentive observer to discover, in the confusion that there are many people in the middle of many people, that gesture of affection, a look that can only be caught once in a lifetime, a composition that will never be possible to recombine or, that there are always many, smiles that drive my lenses crazy when, as many as they are, they don’t know which one to choose.
Perhaps one of the best characteristics of being a wedding photographer, in my view of course, is to know how to see, to observe. Knowing how to discover the photograph before having photographed it. Without that, you will see no more than a lens pointer on a camera. This is because a wedding photo since we are in one happens because of a process that runs almost at the speed of light to finish the most important part of it. The right time. If we take as a subject one of those smiles, it is only photography when it reaches, in its process of smiling, that moment. Before it was not yet in a condition to be captured, and then it will be gone and either it is not the photograph you thought or it may even have been lost forever. When we have a full house, as was the morning of Sonia’s preparation, it wouldn’t hurt if another one got lost, but when there aren’t many people to smile we have to have the same eyes as that paleontologist and discover them even if they are camouflaged. That’s the wedding photographer’s job.