THE SOUL OF THE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
Nothing to do with the photos from the wedding of Mónica and Nuno but it was written some time ago for the older site.
“I always had inside me, since I was a child, the desire of doing things with my hands and I never had the skill for repeated gestures. Anything I need to do and repeat more than three times, for sure, fourth time I will fail. But on other hand, I’ve always felt good dealing with the unknown, not knowing what comes next.
Let me talk about another subject that seems to have nothing in the last paragraph, but it is what moves my way to do what I do, and doing it is my motivation for life.
I always had a fascination for machines because of their ability for precision, repetition, and reliability. But my fascination for machines is not for themselves, but rather because of the capacity, inventiveness, and need to solve problems of a human being. Since the simple pendulums of the weighing scale or the complexity of the offset print machine force to build an authentic monster with millions of parts to deal with the delicacy needed to take, from a large wheel with a stamp, only the necessary ink to print in a thin sheet of paper, that if viewed in profile it is no thicker than a hair, and, at the least pressure error, will smash the ink or crumple the paper. And, however, it will work for hours and hours for larger quantities of prints. Come to my mind these two examples I could talk about are the computer chip, the rocket for the moon, and too, of course, my beloved photographic cameras. All those machines fascinate me not because of what they do but because they were a result of a need and were the product of the human imagination.
However, all those machines never work well without touch, sensibility, and the ability to feel someone. In a printing company, we may find several printing professionals. People control those powerful machines for printing those papers. Without those professionals, those machines are only a tangle of rolls, filters, casters, electric wires, and other components designed to join paper and ink. The big problem is exactly to find the right amount of the mixture of the ink and the pressure of the “stamp” over the paper. A slight difference can change completely the final result we want from it. There, the human factor is essential or the machine is just a soulless thing. Even so, among all the people that can control the machine we find, maybe for magic reasons, always one of them that understands it far away better than the others. It is the master.
The master is someone who knows how to do better. To do it it is necessary to have some special understanding of the tools, and the raw material and, when joining them together, achieve the perfect artwork. The one is the artisan. From the experiences I’ve had, I have never, whether in pottery, on an assembly line in a factory, in a car repair shop, or watches, in simple, but complex, the act of making flour in a windmill, none of these things happen without the artisan master.
That is him, the artisan, who with his knowledge and love for what he does and does transform the raw material, sometimes impossible to recognize, into such an artwork that fascinates who sees it, identifies who made it, and is an example for the connoisseurs. Regardless of the complexity of his knowledge without his special sensibility to work with the machine, it was impossible to achieve such a status of transcendentality. It was a wish of mine that as a wedding photographer I could, in my performance, transmit that soul, the soul of the artisan.”