There are times as an artist where sometimes you feel stuck. This year I ran into one of those road blocks. I found myself photographing all these beautiful wedding-day details with beautiful color film with it's pastel colors... and that's about all I felt I was doing.
Where was the story? where were the real moments? what was happening during the wedding day while I was off photographing the dress (even though I knew there were going to be PLENTY of photos of the dress... actually on the bride... in just a few minutes). same thing with the shoes. and the jewelry. and the garter and the bouquet and the......
you get the picture.
What the heck was I doing? I started questioning it.
the words 'whimsy' 'ethereal' 'fanciful' 'decadent' 'magical' to describe weddings began to sound completely fake and contrived on my tongue. I actually stopped blogging completely, because I couldn't force myself to follow the industry trend. Forgive me, but I just didn't buy it anymore. I knew that weddings were deeper than that. that it wasn't all 'whimsy' and there was a more raw story to wedding days, but I was afraid to show it or frankly... do it... for fear that my clients would be unhappy that their wedding day photos depicted more than the perfectly stylized wedding day details we see on pinterest and blogs.
What has happened is a weird cycle of events that have dug us deeper and deeper into the pinterest-wedding hole. You see, blogs want to feature wedding-day details (aka, color photos of the knick knacks, bouquets, centerpieces, invitations, etc) because these are the items that newly-engaged couples want to see for inspiration. Newly-engaged couples want fresh ideas that they can do or copy for THEIR wedding. but, since you can't necessarily copy things like Emotion, Spontaneous Moments, and Connection with Loved Ones, blogs/magazines don't publish that because people planning their weddings can't copy that, so it won't sell. I get it... I do. However, an unintended consequence of this scenario is that the ONLY images that are published are color 'stylized' images of..... things. And since that's what newly engaged couples see over and over and over in publications, pinterest and blogs, that too is what they envision for their wedding. Unfortunately, the story, the emotion, and the documentary photographs in black and white never see the light of day. And because clients don't automatically envision that as part of their wedding day photography, photographers, in turn, are afraid to include that for fear of their client not liking the 'un-pretty' images. We fear these sentences: "do you have that in color?" "why is it so grainy?" "i'm making a weird face in that one" "why would you take a photo of the dress being steamed?" "I want you to take the dress and hang it up on the tree out there across the street- even though it has absolutely nothing to do with the story of my wedding. i just think it would be pretty". So we do these things. because we are afraid to change the status quo. and because we are nice people and truthfully, above all, we just want to make people happy with our work... even if it means delivering work that we know deep down in our hearts is not as good as it SHOULD be and COULD HAVE BEEN.
On a whim, I put out into the wedding universe that I wanted to photograph a wedding completely on Black and White, and completely photo-journalistically. 'who knows', I said, 'maybe it will be complete poo or maybe it will, actually be whimsical and magical. in the real truthful sense'.
and if I'm being 100% real with you, I am a black and white photographer at my core. i mean, can you get any more timeless and romantic than a solid black and white film image?
I'll let you decide for yourself, but many thanks to Ryan Weeger for letting me tag along at his wedding and live out my all black and white film wedding fantasy. here are a few images from the day.