Story Behind the Photo: A Moment

April 16, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

As photographers, we all say that we're there to 'capture the moment.' In fact, a quick wedding photographer search will turn up about 90% of us listing that phrase somewhere on our website. I don't know who started it, but we probably all owe you a percentage of our profits. (That's a joke, not a legal statement.) The hard part though, is not capturing the moments, but making sure those moments happen even though the couple has a camera in their face.

It's human nature to act differently when a camera is on. Not to get too technical, but there is even a documented phenomenon known as the Observer's Paradox, which says that the mere knowledge of being observed or recorded changes your behavior. I know this to be true because I cringe every time my wife plays a phone video of me playing with our newborn, because I'm just so awkward when I know the camera's there! (Or maybe I'm just awkward all the time. I choose to believe it's the camera.) So as a photographer, how do you get the moments to happen as if you weren't there, but still capture them?

Well, very simply, go eat dinner in another room. That's exactly what happened in this shot. I was eating dinner with my crew while the bride and groom and their guests ate dinner as well. And as we sat down, I saw this open window that perfectly framed the Sweetheart's table. And I thought to myself, man it'd be cool if they weren't chewing on food right now. And sure enough, the glasses start clinking (that means a kiss), and I jump up and grab my camera, and snap this pure moment...a moment when everyone thought the photographer had left. That's why this is one of my favorite photos, because it's possibly the purest moment I've ever captured. Not to mention, every once in a while you get a bride and groom who seem they were made specifically with each other in mind. This was one of those couples.

Splendid.
Karl.


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