THE THREE TOOLS by THE PORTUGAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
I started to photograph weddings at a time when started to have a change in the way of doing it. After my first and unexpected, experience that decided the new way, I had some other weddings, photographing for a friend with so many years as a wedding photographer. In what he asked me to do, the new way was already noticed in some signs but, in general, still was the formal photography where everybody was under the orders of the photographer wishing this and that, stopping the action once, in a while, in a way to catch what he thought it was important. So, I go on for the mission with the “order” pre-established and, in some way, I would satisfy that script. Because, by nature, I am not given to routines, here and there, I heard him you did not do this, you have forgotten that and how can I do the album as I want? But because he was a very nice person he knew that, on the other side, I had given him other photos that offer to him a complete story.
Since I started to have my own clients, my vision of the way to photograph, and the wedding was the boss. Little or no commands, except for the moment of the portrait when everything was ready to go to the next important part, and I told to all my clients that each other must do their job during the day, without worrying about each other. Who is to get married should do it as if the photographer was not in place and the photographer must catch what seems important, always in mind what is the best for the story needed to be told ahead. I knew that, as the photographer at the wedding, I needed to develop abilities, still very fresh, that will be fundamentals to bring that story, over and over, richer. It was something that I took very seriously because a big part of the photos I picked up was some kind of learning mixed with experimentalism. I brought with me tons of photos and it needed very hard work to select those really important for the wedding day’s story.
In a way, I was repeating the same process as when I started, some years ago, in my path as a photographer, instead of brides and grooms, I had bottles, detergent packages and so many inanimate things that gave me lots of trouble to make them beautiful and as the client asked. However, at a wedding, what was asked was a completely different thing. Instead of the rigor of the composition, already before the photo was a photo, I had a chaos that needed to be harmonized, instead of the serenity of the studio, I had a velocity of happenings that before I was able to catch it, was gone away forever, instead of the verification that everything was like the layout of the client, I had wandering people without scrip or previous draft. With all that, I was learning the two, maybe three, fundamental tools that, today, I use without thinking: observation, velocity, and prediction. If I forget only one of them, at the end of the day, all the hard work of the wedding photographer will be worth very little.