Every now and then there would be a requirement for a photojournalistic style wedding photographer. It is a testimony that some people love to see a unique perspective to a clichéd routine. That just augurs well for photographers who shoot in this style.
For most couples getting married it is important to have good pictures. Beyond doubt that’s the first priority. That is why most couples would prefer to select a photographer who can guarantee good images of their wedding in the ‘traditional style’. After all this is a special once in a lifetime event and no one wants to take a chance with their wedding photos.
Having said that some couples go beyond the formal styled images. They want a special photographer who can capture those special moments in a style that’s ideally suited for this type of impromptu moments. They need a candid photographer who can shoot in a style that is best described as ‘Wedding Photojournalism’.
As a budding wedding photojournalist you ought to be very excited with the prospects of this profession. It is an exciting world of opportunity no doubt, but I can assure you that it comes cloaked like a lot of hard work. A different photography style does not make you any different than a traditional wedding photographer. You still have to play by the rules and then improvise whenever you can to make a mark. The following tips will help you to get a foothold.
A photojournalistic wedding photographer tend to have a different approach
A photojournalistic wedding photographer is one who is like a striker in soccer. He does not indulge in playmaking but finishes a play by scoring a goal. Am I getting through to you? Ok you don’t understand soccer. Let me rephrase that for you. A photojournalistic wedding photographer isn’t someone who is there to pinch a run. He is a pinch hitter. It his job to clear the bases with one strike.
To explain further, a traditional wedding photographer has a list of shots that he absolutely must get by the end of the day. A wedding photojournalist is not weighed down by such a list. He is free to capture moments whenever and however he wants as long as he essentially does what he is expected to do, make candid captures of the fleeting moments which misses the lens of the regular photographer. Armed with the tool of his choice he might get some mandatory shots, the ones he may have planned in his head and then move on to scout for stories that are unfolding elsewhere.
Most wedding photojournalists would never accept a shot-list to begin with. That seriously impairs his/her creativity and the whole purpose of having him/her shoot a wedding. This is why most couples who hire a candid photographer would also hire a proper wedding photographer to take care of the must-have shots.
Have the right gear with you
Having the right tools for the job is a pre-requisite for great candid wedding images. Most wedding photographers would have at least two to three lenses with them at an event. I know of a candid wedding photojournalist who would shoot with nothing but a fast 50mm prime. When asked why he shoots with such a lens, he would smile and say, “Because no one else does.”
The right tool isn’t just a tool but the means to the end. That end is a direct product of the vision of the photographer and is dominated by his/her style. There is nothing in the photography rule-book that says you can’t shoot a wedding with a 50mm prime. You can shoot with anything that you want as long as you are able to get the photos that you want.
Look for interesting stories around you
If you are a wedding photojournalist your mantra for success is “Carpe Diem”. While everybody was busy photographing the bride and the groom at the altar, the wedding photojournalist, having taken the mandatory shots, was looking around for stories that were unfolding. She spotted the father and mother of the bride holding fingers. She quickly made her way through the wave of shutterbugs, behind where the senior couple were seated, and captured the shot. She framed their fingers at two thirds to the left while using the shallow depth of field created by an f/2.8 aperture to blur out the bride and groom in the background. The photo was a hit when she shared the edited versions online with the couple.
Look for interesting camera angles
A unique camera angle allows you to get a completely different perspective of things. A candid wedding photographer shooting a Bengali wedding noticed that the bride was swarmed by family and friends after alighting from the waiting car outside the venue. It is traditional that the couple don’t see each other on the day of their wedding before the ‘first -look’. With a dozen photographer encircling and clicking away she looked around for a vantage point to capture the moment. She noticed a balcony overlooking the portico. Quickly getting into position she captured the moment. Sometimes taking the extra few steps can make all the difference in the world. The Wedding Photojournalist Association puts special emphasis on camera angles to its members for this reason.