How the photographer learns from the moon, for weddings

PHOTOGRAPH WITH ONLY THE EYES by THE PORTUGAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

  Some time ago I wrote this and I do not know why, it seems good for today. No direct relation with the photos:

  “ I am not, definitely, a landscape photographer. Not because I do not like nature and all the appealing motifs to photograph but because for some reason, I did not discover yet, why I am not compelled to pick up a camera, choose a lens, eye on the viewfinder, and frame a part of the space ahead of me and make what we call a photograph. If in this process, photographing, I am almost obsessive when it is about people and where the people are, why in the fields and the front of a magnificent valley with a violent but harmonic and emotional outline of the mountain, or the camera is not in place or, if it is, does not fly to the eye.

    How many times on a walk to travel, in the middle of the way, I turn to my wife, Lurdes, and say the most stupid thing, coming from a professional photographer: It was a beautiful photograph. And the most strange thing is that I say it without any kind of frustration or the slightest irritation like when I notice, at a wedding, that I was too late for that expression in a face that, meanwhile, turns around or for that mother listening with enthusiasm her child and I was with the wrong lens. Until some time ago, it was a question with no answer and, I was intrigued by that. Some time ago, reading a text from one photographer who advised us to refine our sense of composition just by looking, imagining the frame to select the piece that we think may give us a good picture, or something very close to that. I remember that my brain lit up and said to myself, in silence, a strident: this is what I always do.

   Since I know myself as a photographer, and maybe before that, I do it because of my memory of the things, or places where I have ever been, rarely do I remember the entirety but only that square, that valley, that medieval street of the French village or parts of the Senhora da Cola celebration. In my dividing in parts memory, I only remember pieces, frames, as if they were taken from the whole and only the parts with harmony were left, like the perfect colors or, with people, their separation from space and their faces look like soulful glowing lights giving meaning to the universe.

   On one of those last trips, on the way to be a wedding photographer of a couple’s day in Fundão, Paula and Victor, I did the most beautiful night trip ever. Since I enter the A23 and leave the A1, I looked to my left and I saw a huge orange circle still giving a goodbye kiss in the far corner of the earth. Of a captivating pearl yellow, making my eyes winged insects, of those species that blindly fly to any light, that must seem to them of inebriant beauty, to the point that life itself is an offering. 

   Looking away just the necessary to keep the wheels of my car in the center of the lane and keep my life pulse active, I went down the road, almost as a butterfly in love with this Full Moon face that sometimes was on the left, still brushing the line of the trees out there in the landscape, as if it was a high contrast black and white photograph and, in the next curve, it appeared to me, as an illusionist trick, on the right side glowing a silver field with low grass dewed by the dampness of the night. But, euphoric, when it was in front of me, at the end of the road as if was waiting for me for any loving encounter, offering me a portrait framing, with the white marks of the road indicating the direction and guaranteeing the harmony of the mass, the vanishing point and if just a little for the right, a perfect rule of the thirds. It stays there, in the background, quiet, like a giant pearl prepared to receive me, and the speed and the darkness of the night remove all the elements of the world, and only she, majestic, the only being exiting, with me, in all known and unknown universes or like the eyes of the lovers for the first time catching fire.

   But, like life, the noise of the tires on the road forces me to another curve, right at the top of the hill, just because of that, the Moon gets out of the way, suddenly run to my left side, and despairs from my sight, probably guilt of bewitching me those hundreds of meters until the top of the hill. But, knowing that my love did not want her captive forever inside my eyes, gifted me all along the way, as a funny and bad behaved woman, between peeps under the bridges, offering me the best for my wide lens, between tufts of trees that masked her for the delight of the telephoto lens, as if a troupe of Chinese shadows theater had been hired to ease my journey.

   Not even once have I been tempted to pick up one of my cameras. But I photographed so, so much, that my head is still full, like a camera card before been downloaded to my computer. I believe I am always photographing. When I walk in the garden, at the beach, or in the street my eyes never stop looking for the best point of view, sometimes, I feel like a parrot on perch, finding the best position to find what is the best to see and, seeing is the constant work of the photographer, including the wedding photographer.

    That is why, when I am in my work as a wedding photographer, I feel that I apply in the practice all the learning in the landscape, without cameras. It may seem silly, but probably it is and without ever deciding on it, it is my method of always learning to be a photographer: never stop watching.

Bride and groom to be photographed.
The groom's grandfather plays the mandolin.
Bride and groom sitting in the garden, under the light of the sunset.
Bride and groom leaning against each other, in a slit of the setting sun.
Bride with the bouquet in her hand.
Groom sitting.



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