Friday Photo: Paint It Black

Friday Photo: Paint It Black

So why are so many wedding photographers afraid of the dark?  I just did a google image search for ‘wedding photography’ and after my eyes stopped bleeding long enough to take it all in I was confronted with an endless sea of soft greenery, golden sunsets, gauzy ‘dreamy’ backlit brides and a complete absence of personal style.  Unless of course you define your personal style as being Jose Villa’s personal style.  Of course I am making sweeping generalisations here.  That’s the point of a polemic.  If I wanted to trade in factual journalism I’d do a shit ton of research and go write for The New Yorker — which I never could because they want you to do a shit ton of research and I am way too lazy.  I do know there are great wedding photographers with their own styles, their own ways of seeing the world, nice, wry, gentle senses of humour and a desire to create personal images.  But even then there still seems to be a fear of heavy blacks and of anything with a sense of mystery.  It’s like there is a tyranny of the face.  A sense that everything on a wedding day must be beautiful in a way that conforms to a narrow set of parameters–okay maybe I’m talking about the ‘fine art’ wedding photographers here, but it’s not limited to that crew.  On top of this most of the big blogs tell you explicitly that they won’t feature black and white photography.  Why? Are they just astute readers of their market or are they pandering and condescending to the perceived ideals of their readers?  Filtering what they get to see as wedding photography.  Whatever the root cause it’s leading to a depressingly uniform feeling across the industry.  Yes there’s a heaviness  to this image, a more sombre sense of mood, but there are plenty of happy ones in the mix, as well.  As photographers we take hundreds of images on a wedding day.  Surely, within all that, there’s room for pretty much everything, no?

bride in shadow london wedding photographer

Technical details for the photography wonks:

Camera: Leica Q

Lens: Fixed 28mm

Aperture: f7.1

Shutter speed: 1/250

ISO: 6400


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