I finally grabbed some time to get together some of my thoughts about the last year in my job and in my life. Thinking about all of it and especially while going through photos, I’ve realised I’d been thinking about it all in two ways: in a relation to my brides & grooms and in a relation to wedding photography nowadays in general.
So let me start with: it’s been such a crazy year. And mostly in a good way which makes me really thankful. We travelled to several countries, we experienced some amazing things and we worked A LOT. Majority of the time was probably spent working, either on all of beautiful weddings or in front of the computer screens. But we got so much in return and I think that year in front of us will be year to enjoy in that.
After quite some time spent with the task, I managed to select (or cut down) one hundred photos from last year’s weddings. Intentionally they’re all simply pure photojournalistic photos. I love trying to be creative and have the opportunity to make some nice posed photos with my couples while trying to make them as relaxed and natural as possible. But grabbing a single moment that will stay incredibly significant in somebody’s life is what makes me feel so alive. So, all of my thoughts while selecting these photos were coming to the point of thinking: “These are the photos that move me for real”.
We've been very lucky with booking weddings: all of our couples know exactly what they want and they want photos of a kind they can see in our portfolio or in real weddings. The thing they almost always mention is the thing that scares me and makes me proud at the same time and that is: “One of the most important things about our wedding and organising it is to have amazing wedding photos.”. Every time I hear it, I could smile and start to cry out of stress at the same time :) But every time I also become unbelievably motivated in trying to do exactly that: giving them the real memory that transfers the true feeling about their wedding. In the end, when they get their photos, for majority of my couples the reaction is the same: the most favourite images and memories are those tiny little moments frozen in time, those segments during which they never knew we were somewhere there just watching everything and making sure we catch it in our cameras. There are some incredible stories behind those favourite moments of theirs. Some of them include people that passed away in the meantime, some of them remind them of the exact feeling they had in that moment, some of them have their important people smiling and having a good time at their special day and some of them are just pure happiness that’s letting them know again about the wonderful day they had in their lives. To be in a position of ensuring those moments are saved and left to be seen in so many years from now, is such a thrill, excitement and honour.
That's the first reason why my 2015 selection is composed of only that kind of photos. So, a big THANK YOU goes to all of our 2015 couples who let us in, and all over the place: the whole of Croatia and to weddings in India (that was a completely new experience), Spain, Germany and France. You will for sure remain a part of our lives just like I hope we’ll remain a part of yours.
The second reason why these photos move me for real is a pure rage. This rage comes out of the sort of disappointment with the wedding photography industry nowadays. Just my personal opinion: I have an impression that this industry of ours has never been more about trendy aesthetics than it is now. Aesthetics being beautiful people in wedding clothes posing in beautiful locations. On top of that, not only that aesthetics became the most important part, but it’s the uniformed trendy aesthetics that’s so concerning and disappointing at the same time. Individuality seems to be such a rarity that it’s almost hard to cherish it and that it’s almost not cool to be an individual. Similar websites, similar social networks accounts, similar designs of packaging (and packaging is suddenly SO important), similar posed shots portfolios and almost no photojournalism, in so many cases everything is similar to the point where you can’t differ one artist from another. And there’s never been more wedding photographers than today, that's why the whole thing is even more obvious. Few factors to blame there: among all good things that social networks brought to our lives, there's been a bad thing of being able to see the work of hundreds of photographers in few clicks here and there, there's been a bad thing of being able to easily see somebody’s success and to be tempted to copy the path thinking only about the business and ego but not being an artist; the second one is wedding industry that sets the trends and doesn’t care about making a dull wedding photography society along the way - wedding blogs, magazines, all sorts of wedding gurus and wedding planners - they take us to the point where now I can tell you a story of photographing wedding and having a planner behind my back telling me how *she* needs me to take photos of this and that for a blog. I’ll skip the part with my answer to her.
So all I can wonder about is: where did the moments go? Where are all of those beautiful, simple, significant moments without any staging at all that are everybody’s favourite? Why are they being avoided so often and why they live recognised only in few wedding photography organizations? I would really like to find out the answers somehow. I would also really like for this bubble to burst asap, for everybody’s sake. Otherwise, in 10+ years time, we’ll just have another silly forced wedding photography era to look back to and laugh at.
My only and simple message here is: dear brides and grooms, have kind of memories that YOU really care for, whatever they are and I can’t wait to get enquiries from some of you who find that kind of memories in photos I take; and dear fellow photographers, make photos that really make you feel alive, whatever they might look like, trendy or no trendy. I know I’ll continue to do exactly that in 2016.
Enjoy the ride, everybody!