How was your fourth week of the year? Was it a bit of self-searching or you have found your track and are speeding up? Regardless, I hope you have a fruitful days in 2019 and have the things that you would like to do. Let’s not forget that everyday we are blessed with 1440 minutes and it is very important for you to make full use of it. In this post, I want to write about my experiences with wedding photography.
I have been doing wedding photography since 2017 on part-time basis since I am actually an engineer by profession, with photography as my passion. When I first started out, I did not intend to be wedding photographer, but more like event photographer and other activities that I like. The more I do wedding photography, the more I like it. It seems like there is something about it that is close to my soul. There is so much that we can relate to weddings that we will have to list it down to make it a complete sentence for others to fathom out thoughts. Let’s write it down here.
What is Wedding?
First and foremost, what is wedding? A wedding is a ceremony where two people are united in marriage. As a Catholic, I am close to this bible verse – Genesis 2:24: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” In another persepective, it is more than just the union of two person, it is actually the union between two family. When a man marries to a woman, it is the day he becomes her parents’ son, and vice versa. It is common for Sarawakians to call his parents in-law as father or mother. In Bidayuh language, it is andu-amang, in Iban, apai indai, and so forth. There is no limit to it, depending on your family and tradition.
It is a well-known idea that wedding is a special memory, hence it needs to be captured somewhere. I still remember the day when my aunties and uncles get married in the late 90s and early-2000s, where there was no proper photographer since the main idea at that time is cost-saving. But back then, the idea was to rent few plastic camera from the nearest camera shop and save the shots only for the most crucial moments. Sometimes, the cameraman, Kochat, will come and offer to take photo, where we can choose from the following day. In the end, we can only get a few photo album, the one that you have to put talc powder to prevent it from being damaged over time. Most of the photo albums are missing. For my parents, there was only two photo of their wedding that I can find, but that makes it is the most special of all the images I posses. Having seen the hardship it causes, it makes me realise that every moment is precious. Subconsciously, it is another reason why I am passionate about capturing moments, so that I can immortalise memories.
Some might think of them as the one that lunge a camera, or two and ran around the room. Sometimes they come in a group of person with distinctive roles and responsibility, like in an established photographer organisation. Some – like me – comes alone dressed in black and trying to be discreet like a ninja and work alone. In my words, he is the person (or persons) who was given the honour to capture the moments throughout the event. Honour is a strong word – why? I am using honour because in the wedding itself is not something that you can just arrange in a whim. It requires an elaborate planning, resources, time and energy to pull it. Forget about planning, without any money, you cannot bring it forth. Although it is “just an evening”, but it actually is 1 year, or months in the making. Because of the planning and resources, and the importance it signifies, wedding photography is the aspect that one should not put lightly. Imagine this case, because you want to save cost, you took whatever photography that can fit your budget, in the end, you get what you paid for. To randomly listing down any potential worstcase – the composition is out, the crucial moment is off, and the colour is distasteful etc. that would make one nightmare of a wedding images.
Consider the alternative scenario – let’s say you have to pay a substantial amount of money to get an experienced , and award-winning photographer. You can be sure that the images that he/she took will be pleasing. That images, will be handed over to the younger generations to see the beauty of the precious moments, the wedding of their grandparents half a century ago. This is another reason why some people do not mind of spending a sum of reasonable amount of money for their wedding photography because it is a good investment. We can earn our money back, but not even a trillionaire can bring back even a second from his past.
Claudy’s Wedding Photography Style:
Whenever I was given this honour to be wedding photographer, I always put it in my mind – how would I do it if it is my wedding? I would give my best. There is something that I realised, each of the photo created is a reflection of the photographers’ personality. All of the photographs with people smiling in it is because their soul interacts with the soul of the photographer. Just imagine if I am putting a serious face, I bet the person in the images would be neutral. But if I am smiling and interacts with them before I capture the images, the person would be smiling.
I believed, and I have experienced that photographer also plays a key role in the event, particularly in the department of immortalising memories. We can always make the event merrier, trust me. You have the power to make a difference.
Since I am operating solo (being a freelancer), mobility is a must-have. In terms of style, there is no specific school of thought that I employ, but I am doing it without the usage of any light-modifiers or external flashes. This was heavily influenced by the other Leica M photographers. In fact, for my jobs, I am only using prime lenses. That is the style that I have been using since 2017 and because of that, it sticks with me. Habit dies hard.
Among the fun part of wedding photography is its time pressure because you only have few hours to edit and create the montage for the evening. Also, let’s not forget that it is one of the best time to have fun – because you are actually part of the key person who is celebrating the event. Enjoy!
I realised that it is not about the gear that you are using. I truly appreciate the human elements in carrying out the wedding photography job, and without it, the final images won’t be as lively as you intend it to be. But there is no denying that the correct tool makes your life easier, and that is the reason why I am using Leica M.
Last one – be the change that you wish to see in this world. Be the photographer that you wish to see running around taking images of your family members during your wedding, the one that brings them joy on their big day.
Until next time, take care.
p.s. images of in this post are taken from Melanie and Ruben’s wedding. May God bless the two of them.