A girl hides behind her grandmother when she, also, arrives with her grandfather at the church, for the ceremony, by the wedding photographer in Lisbon, Portugal.

The enigmas of the photographs, at the wedding


A girl hides behind her grandmother when she, also, arrives with her grandfather at the church, for the ceremony, by the wedding photographer in Lisbon, Portugal.

    Before it starts it is already happening. It is good that the things that are done, on the wedding day, are like a road that slides connecting dots that, in the end, make the journey. That is the reason why the wedding photographer is able to build a strand that will direct the eyes until they perceive the form and the details.

Because of that, I like to arrive, at the place of the ceremony, sometime before everything rushes into the whirlwind that will give me no time for what is besides, down there or upstairs.

The apparent calm of those that are arriving and receiving the others, also, coming to the big event and hello, how are you, some time without seeing you, hi, also here, we have so much to talk about, did you already see the bride, I wonder if it will start in time, did you brought the rings, the priest is not yet here and lots of small talks and gestures that the wedding photographer only can see, and catch, at the door of a church, before the wedding ceremony.

   I am a portrait big fan but I am unable to go into the streets of the city and photograph the people flowing there. I have, always, had the sensation that I am stealing and to steal is a crime. So, being a wedding photographer let me be free of that weight and I can photograph everybody and no one will ask me a question about why and what for, except for the most heard joke take care if I do not break your camera or make me come back twenty years.

That is why those moments, that anticipate the great moment of the day, give me everything I aspire to as a portraitist, and, imagine, I am being paid for that. It is a gift. Because of that, I must do the very best I can and make the best use of my cameras and lens, to compensate for the generosity of the privilege with which I was gifted.

    The photos are an enigma. What does this expression mean? For whom she is smiling? Who’s coming where everybody is looking for? Why hiding? Talking about shoes? Is the bride already there? What are the questions in the air from those not there, at the wedding, and even for the wedding photographer? He just observed and photographed. I photograph, not record conversations.

But, if we let the imagination take command we can always complete the story inside or respond to that question that the photo lets in the air, and, for me, the best ones are those that stay forever with the unsolved enigma. Sometimes, when we join some of them they answer the enigma. 

That is why I like to catch the one before and the after in the way to build the story, where no one is more important than the other, and, together, they all answer the fundamental question. Maybe, in the end, I am more a storyteller than a maker, or a taker as I like, of photographs. At least, I am glad to think so. 

The groom with two friends waiting in front of the church for their wedding ceremony.
The girl, daughter of the bride and groom, playing among the pews of the Church.
The groom and guests in conversation in front of the church.
Girl, holding hands with her father, looking at her shoes, outside the church of the wedding ceremony.
A female wedding guest looks back, sitting in the church.

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