Robert Capa famously said “If you’re pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” He also probably said, “Jesus fucking Christ, for the hundredth time where did I put my shitting keys?” but that’s less relevant for the purposes of this blog post. Capa was also a war photographer and the astute observers among you will have noticed that this is not a war photo, and that wedding photography is not war photography — as much as some of the hardcore wedding photojournalists would like to think that it is. Mentioning no names. Jeff Ascough you know who you are. You don’t have to get up close, of course. Even shooting with a Leica Q and its fixed 28mm focal length, but you when you do the photography is always much more in the moment, capturing the buzz and tumble of a chaotic live event like a wedding. But I will say, because I always say it and I see no reason to stop now, you are allowed to shoot with a deeper aperture. It still baffles me that most wedding photographers have a go-to aperture setting of around f2.8. But why? Yes, I’m talking to you, 83.7% of the wedding industry. Why? If this shot was taken on 2.8 the groom would be in focus, but because he’s close to the lens so much of what’s going on behind him would be lost to the ‘dreamy’ shallow focus look that seems to be the default setting that 83.7% of the time. Most notably the bride. (Statistics entirely made up before 9am on a Friday morning by the way.) So the message of today’s blog is ‘get close, shoot deep, get amongst it.’ Or don’t. It didn’t really pan out too well for Robert Capa in the end, did it. Although I do like to think Robert Capa the wedding photographer might have fared a little better.
Technical details for the photography wonks:
Camera: Leica Q
Shutter speed: 1/250
Mode: Aperture Priority
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