This Is Not Wedding Photography: Postcards From a Wedding Day
Postcards From a Wedding Day
First off I’m not here to put down wedding photography. Wedding photography is very often very beautiful. But there does tend to be a shorthand. Whether it’s posing an sombre looking miniature couple amid massive Red Fir trees or capturing a romantically backlit bride and groom alone together for their first dance, these photos are images the couple will treasure. But if you work in the industry you tend to see the same shots week to week, wedding to wedding, and they can start to feel a little like easy visual tropes. And besides, beauty on its own is not really enough. It gets boring. So, for me, when photography focuses on what’s superficially beautiful it ends up feeling glassy and empty, and those images don’t tend to reward repeated viewing. I’ve talked before about the beauty of the snapshot, with its inherent lack of artifice, and that’s what I want this entire set of images in this post to be about — a kind of experiential series of snapshots from the day — a day that just happens to be Anna and Adam’s wedding day. So no detail shots, no carefully arranged shoes on mantelpieces, no dresses in trees. Just straight-forward simple photography about people, in the British tradition of photographers like Tony Ray-Jones and James Ravilious. Photographers who deliberately set about trying to capture something at the heart of the British experience, what it means to be Us. None of the photos I’ve selected are about what the camera can do, they’re about what the people in front of the camera can do, and the random moments I spotted while I happened to be standing nearby with my own camera. Not wedding photography then, but postcards from a wedding day.
Dedicated to Anna, Adam and Joe. You know who you are. (You’re in quite a few of the photos.)