For years, we’ve struggled to find a word, or some words to describe our photography style. We know what we are not. We are not classic and clean, we are not dramatic, and we are not purely artistic either. Over the last few years, we’ve used storytelling, photojournalism, documentary, lifestyle, and photojournalism+fine art. They are all true, but not quite there yet. People who learn a second language may understand our struggle. Sometimes you just can’t find the right word to capture the essence of your feelings and thoughts.
From the very beginning of our wedding photography journey, we knew that it is key to create emotional resonance through the photographs we make. Not just one photograph. Not some big moments. A series of photographs that tells the story of the most important day of your life, reminding you of how you felt.
So it is storytelling anyway. But what is our way of story telling? How to convey this emotion? I mean, any photographer can say their images can tell a story. But it’s their way of telling the story that makes a difference, makes them unique. What is our way to distinct us from others then?
First of all, we believe that the wedding itself is the storytelling model. That’s where the story is and all the elements we include should serve this theme. Now on the wedding day, you never have to be afraid there’s not enough interesting material. The bigger challenge is to recognize the MOMENTS and integrate them and the moments IN BETWEEN into the whole story.
The MOMENTS are the most compelling stories-within-the story that can stand alone by having its own beginning, middle and end. Think of the wedding as a novel or a movie. The moments define it and make sure the story has the enormous appeal.
Everybody is different and every couple have a different vision in their mind. Some would like a private moment for themselves before they show up in front of all their guests; while others keep their emotion peak until the ceremony. This is another important part of our storytelling. We are photographers, not directors. We understand our clients decide what the moments are, and we are there to document their stories instead of creating our own.
We don’t keep clicking cameras without stop on a wedding just to impress the clients. But we do always keep an eye on everything around that’s happening, because besides moments, there are moments IN BETWEEN. They are the parts that serialize the story, helping it flow naturally and comfortably. Like music, if it keeps hitting the high notes, eventually you will feel emotionally drained. The moments in between are there to keep the whole story more enjoyable.
Again, at the end of the day, our goal is to present to our brides and grooms a story that not only grab them, but also let them sink in. And in 50 years, that same story will still be able to draw them back into the day, letting it wash over them again.
In reflection, there’s nothing really new in this blog post. It’s not like we invented a new art form. The emotional sink-in style is used in every aspects of art, whether its writing, photography, film or TV stories. But this is truly what we aim for and we are glad to finally be able to say it right.