A Photographer’s Eye

Catching the image on the edge..


World-renowned, National Geographic photographer William Albert Allard once wrote, “I think the best pictures are often on the edges of any situation, I don’t find photographing the situation nearly as interesting as photographing the edges.”


This statement has never been more valid than at a wedding. On the surface weddings all appear the same. There will be a bride who wears a dress and the groom will likely wear a suit. The heartfelt vows and inspirational words from the pastor and the family will resonate deeply as guests from far and wide watch from amidst the overflowing floral arrangements. If we are very lucky there might even be a bit of kissing before the day is over. But when it is all said and done the parts of the wedding event that will remain in our memory forever are those moments on the edges caught in our heart and on camera.


Many times the photography from weddings is formed from a limited perspective that is just one dimensional allowing the viewers to experience what it was like only from the bride or groom’s point of view. Yet there are so many other wonderful aspects of the wedding that are valuable for historic artistic and personal reasons. This can include images of family and guests as well as the event preparations or the evening departure.


One of the most powerful moments during a wedding happens as the bride enters the ceremony. The delivery of the bride is one of the most time honored traditions across cultures from the wedding ceremony. The father will walk his daughter down the aisle and pull back her veil to give her a kiss and then announce to the entire world that he is giving his daughter to this man in marriage. But the image on the edge happened right before they entered the church when the bride and her father locked eyes and she whispers in his ear that she loves him. This is where the real moment resides.


The emotion at weddings is so strong and can overwhelm the best of us. This emotion can help create some of the best moments from the event. Of course there is the emotion from the ceremony and from the toasts, as well as the mother son dance, that we have come to expect. But what about the best friend who is so overjoyed to be at his friend’s wedding that he won’t stop smiling or the flower girls who keep the entire room laughing as they pirouette around the room. These behind the scenes emotions created at weddings are powerful and not to be missed. When looking at wedding photography place a high value on the emotion that has been captured and the story the picture tells.


These fringe moments happen throughout the day and it takes a keen eye to perceive them. Pictures during the preparation and the primping or while the groomsmen are riding in the stretch limo are sometimes offbeat or humorous or intimate and always true. The spontaneity of images on the edge often reveals who we really are when the spot light is off us. These fleeting interactions with lifelong friends and family reveal our character and personality and are the real jewels that must not be overlooked.


For this reason, finding a photographer who looks outside the routine wedding box and sees instead the complex relationships and unique narrative of the wedding party and guests is paramount to priceless photography.


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