If you are a wedding photographer, I have no doubt that you are aware of the backlash created by the recent Vogue article stating there is now no need for traditional wedding rituals, liking them to voodoo. The journalist certainly sees weddings through very different eyes to the average bride we meet and capture at Aspire Photography Training. We will never know the motivation behind the article, or what inspired them, it shocked and rocked the industry and filled many like me with sadness and I believe it was a sadder day for Vogue than it was for us. So many of us still believe in the craftsmanship of well-designed cakes and flowers, beautiful dresses and accessories.
I could not relate to this journalist’s viewpoint at all. It was so far from my mind. I can only reassure those rocked by the article that this recent bride, now Mrs. Monks - me! - felt passionately about the photography, the skills used on that windy, dark, November day. I felt passionately about our beautiful cake, which brought a tear to my eye when I witnessed it for the very first time. Ditto my hair and make up, floral designs and calligraphy. All created by experts, all skilled, and artistic. Even though I class myself as arty, crafty - I strip furniture, design rooms, style, cook, but with all these inner skills I could not imagine pulling all of those skills off myself or asking friends to with compact disposable cameras. ‘Disposable’ being the operative word!
Forgive me; this is far from a rant more an observation having recently travelled through the process.
It’s not pleasant to read the comments of a journalist who totally misunderstood generations of brides and grooms past and brides and grooms to come. Our job as professionals is to capture values, beliefs, fairytales, love and history. Photographic images represent a time, a style within that period, and tastes of the decade. We are indeed capturing weddings, yet we are also storytelling for the future too and this point was totally missed.
My rules as a ‘slinky lingerie wearing’ type of gal who values all artisans, craftsmen and women from all corners of our earth are as follows
To capture all –
Jewellery bought with ‘giving’ in mind not ownership; flowers chosen not only for their beauty but also to fragrance the room and create atmosphere; cake to tease the appetites of little girls and grandmas alike; beautifully designed gowns tailored to celebrate the shape and form and style of the bridal party. Capture how a boy feels about a girl, girl feels about a boy. Delight all with your storytelling, talents and imagination.
Professional photographers bring a magical lens, creative cropping, intelligent eye, smart usage of depth of field and composition nothing a disposable camera can capture as our journalist for Vogue suggested. Even the best smart phones can’t do what the professionals do, contribute more to a wedding than just the times you press the shutter!
Vogue brings so much to us all as we flick through the fashion pages, beautiful imagery, also captured by professionals. Perhaps they simply had a bad day……………. Who knows?
By Catherine Connor
Image by Jenny Heyworth Photography