One moment – layering people


Weddings are about people….period.  Brides are frequently overwhelmed with the planning, the details, and the timing of the wedding day.  Everything can be a difficult challenge and we are quite often inundated with  hundreds of websites showing off a plethora of detail driven links that can get us away from what is really important.  That always drives me back to the essence of the wedding…..the individuals present.  It is quite simply the most important piece of the day.  Details can be replaced, people cannot.  That is part of what defines my style as a photographer.  I spend time capturing all of the details and obviously want to showcase that in my work, but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t look for a unique perspective in regards to all of the people present.

I was able to photograph a wonderful outdoor wedding this past weekend and after the wedding ceremony, everyone made their way to the tent for a fabulous reception.  I noticed quite a few people moving outside to talk and play croquet.  This gave me the opportunity to explore the scene and wait.  Watching is most important when it comes to capturing images that go beyond the norm.  It is analogous to the art of good conversation and becoming a good listener.  I waited while watching the game of croquet and all of the sudden I realized that an image was arranging itself before me.  If you look closely, you will see seven layers that don’t intersect.  It’s very easy to take an image of a subject and a background, but capturing an arrangement that doesn’t intersect and contains numerous parts that each tell a different piece of the story can be a great challenge for any photographer.  It’s why people like Henri Cartier-Bresson are so well thought of after documenting people for such a large part of the twentieth century.

This is what moved me about the arrangement of this image.  There are seven layers: 1) The boy who is the center of interest.  I liked his pose watching the others.  2) The boy running with a croquet mallet out of the frame on the left.  3) The group of four ladies talking in the background.  4) The bridesmaid and the little girl in the background.  5) The boy on the far right of the frame in the far background.  6) The grass.  7) The trees.

Everything seemed to come together for one shot – a split second later, and I would have lost the boy running out of the frame….. that and the posture of the main subject is the most important part of what makes this image for me.