Letting the Moments Happen by Los Angeles Wedding Photographer Brandi Potter
I'm not one of those photographers that recreates moments or creates them. I'm not going to move you to a better lighting situation and have you redo excited screams with your friends Or shoot you pretend getting ready because you got dressed or did hair and makeup before I arrived. If you and your grandmother have an intimate moment with one another I'll hopefully be there to capture it, but I'll never try to redo that moment. I want you to be completely and naturally you with no interference from me. It just wouldn't be the same otherwise.
When you receive your wedding photos from me you're going to see all of these real moments. You're going to know they were captured as they actually were and that they aren't staged just for a photo op. As you look at your wedding images years down the road you'll be thankful for the REAL emotions that happened, and not something recreated to look good on facebook. You're going to be able to tell a story and relive the day exactly how it was. It would be a disservice to you if I provided anything but the real. I can help guide you along the way when it comes to light or the room, but it's my job to create beautiful images regardless of what the environment looks like.
We (photographers included) get so caught up in the perfect that we forget to just let things be. The imperfect is perfect and the small nuances don't matter in the grand scheme of things. Your dress or tux may be a little wrinkly from embracing one another, the makeup may run from emotional tears, and your feet may get dirty from dancing too hard. These are all the moments you'll want captured. These are the imperfectly perfect memories that you'll want to take home with you from your day. Embrace the chaos and don't fret over things out of your control.
What About Portraits?
Family Formals, Bridal Party, and One-Two Couple Portraits are the exception to this rule. For Family Formals it's always quicker to stage everyone, and occasionally people are interacting in a way that I can give non posed images of their families. For the most part though I view family formals as some of the most important images of the day, and want to make sure everyone looks nice in them.
For the Bridal Party I try to do at least one generic, smiling at the camera photo so that you have ONE image of your group of friends smiling altogether. The rest are natural images with some silly prompts from me so that you're interacting with one another and showing exactly what your friendship is like.
I generally only take ONE image of the wedding couple smiling at the camera, because that's the one Mom's and Grandma will likely want to print. The rest are filled of natural in-between moments and prompts to have you forget that I'm there and to focus on one another. Obviously I help you into flattering positions, but I really just want YOU to be YOU so you recognize yourself and your relationship in your photos.
The running, dancing, or emotional photos are all REAL moments happening in that time, and not faked. I've actually had multiple couples ask during their portraits if we can do "one of those fake running shots that I do" or try to fake an emotional moment and I have to explain to them that what they see within my work, is all real.
Creative or Editorial Images are of course a bit more staged, but I generally put people where I need them and let them melt into one another or the moment before taking the photo. That way the moment and expressions are still real, but we're getting some kick ass wall art for you.
At the end of the day I just want to make sure that you've lived in the moment throughout your wedding day and that nothing is forced. This day is one of the most important days in your life and you'd regret spending the entire day chasing something that's not real instead of basking in the now.
Enjoy the day. Don't stress over fake moments. Surround yourself with people who will allow you to be you throughout the day without trying to push you into everything being perfect, embrace the imperfections of the day and please hire someone that allows you to be you on camera.