Contemporary Wedding Storytelling | Photo Story #4

Contemporary Wedding Storytelling —The Story behind this slightly out of focus kid's photograph, and how it was taken

Have you ever wondered why do we take photos? Why do we keep our best memories as treasures?

It's an easy answer: we do value them so much. They represent the story of what truly happened, in a precise moment, in a particular place. And if it is also possible to capture it in a relatively unique way, you have a killer combination. And this is what Storytelling is about.

The big charm is that these moments allow us to be part of the story, once and again. And most of the time, it's not just about if you like or not a photograph, it's more about how that particular photograph makes you feel. It's quite different, and I think much more enjoyable. Probably that's the reason candid photos have become so lauded in recent years. It's easier to evoke feelings and relive meaningful moments through a candid photo than a posed one. In fact, the more authentic the photographed moment, the easier it will be for everyone to spy out the personalities and moods of the protagonists.

And in that way, I must say kids are such a model of authenticity, and therefore an inspiration for my storytelling!

A perfect instance is the photograph I chose for this post, a lovely sample of what contemporary wedding storytelling is about. It was a small intimate group, including a few kids. And, being a small crowd, of course, I had plenty of time to focus more time on all the people. So, throughout the day, I took many photos of the kids in many situations. I was trying to capture their part in the wedding story, with all their natural candidness and joy. Their unique and brutally honest way to see the world and live the life, which we all love. After all, kids will always be kids!

Withal, we could say that anyone can take a candid photograph. Just don't pose the people, and be sure they are unaware that you're taking a picture of them. That's all, and then you have a candid photo. Even so, without good composition, creative vision, and capturing the right moment honestly, the photograph may not say anything about the person or their participation in the story.

Ergo, for a storyteller is essential to seize candid photographs to create storytelling ones.

After all, a good photograph can help the narrative or be the narrative; you just have to be aware to always fulfill the primary sense of the story.

Btw, let me tell you a little bit about the story behind this picture scene. It turns out this little boy, with the cutest elegant outfit ever, at a certain point in the evening, was playing with the flower girl's handbag —obviously with all her toys inside. So there I was, very amused, taking a few pictures of them. But every time I tried to take a picture of him, he realized. Every time I tried, he simply stopped doing what he was doing as if my camera and I were intimidating him.

So, I decided to turn around for a few seconds to avoid this awkward situation for him. Then, when I turned back again I saw the little boy using all his knowledge, expertise, and touch for a quick self-scan! He was really focused, minding his very own business. A blast of pure child authentic magic.


Indeed, this image is slightly out of focus, yes. The focus is not on the eyes, but on the chest. Is it good? —I don't think so. Do I care? —Not at all. Now I have the picture I wanted, the precise moment capturing the whole essence of the child. I prefer a slightly out of focus photograph instead of losing that exact moment. The kid is having a marvelous shaggy time, with a girly bag in one hand while the other one is carelessly busy. Too absorbed to notice the little damsel claiming her belongings was about to end her persecution. I simply love everything about 'that' moment.

As Henry Cartier-Bresson used to say: "When the soul, mind, and heart are aligned, it's the moment to press the shutter, the decisive moment." —In this case, I didn't have the time to frame my composition correctly. I shot from my hip (or lower) without looking at the viewfinder. I tried to focus the little boy's face/eyes, barely framed the subject, and pressed the button. Everything happened in no more than half a second! I didn't want at all to lose the mood, to "intimidate" the kid from his action, or having him posing to the camera.

"I would rather be honest than impressive"

Here we go, that is one of my favorite quotes. Honesty is the key! I know a few moms would prefer the picture of the boy recently dressed, maybe looking at the camera with a big "fake" smile... But I know much more who will love to treasure a picture like this of their own child :-) It's how things happened, it's the truth, and it's beautiful. Priceless.

One of the things I most like about all the wedding photography evolution is that, with the arrival of new generations of trendsetters, several market niches were opened into the light. Suddenly, we are talking about contemporary wedding photography, with a bunch of young couples that indeed are style-conscious and tastemakers, but also fearlessly confident and authentic.

So, I say. Honoring the youngest generations, let's empower everybody else to be bold, authentic, and adventurous young souls. Embrace the authentic beauty of ourselves. Like the kids we once were, and we always be.

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