Storytelling is an amusing pleasure and challenging honor.
Taking a picture that tells a story is like a fun, creative game. And I say game because, like everything in life, if you do not manage to enjoy the process, it will probably become a routine activity. And worse still, an ordinary one. That is why I also consider it a true honor. I feel very fortunate to be a happy storyteller, and I thank the people who make my passion my profession.
However, along with the blessing comes the challenge. I genuinely believe each story is absolutely different, unique, and unrepeatable. The most authentic and real moments of life simply cannot be repeated or duplicated. No matter how hard you try, authenticity is neither rehearsed nor manufactured; it just happens.
So when you tell a story, there are no excuses.
You cannot hide yourself arguing that "the light is not adequate" or any other condition that you consider prohibitive, and evidently neither in the lack of inspiration. When you value the responsibility involved, you adjust to whatever life throws at you. Doing your best to tell the story in the most meaningful and honest way by making a visual statement.
When I think of a photograph that I have taken, it always comes to my mind all the details and happenings that took place so a particular photo could exist. We photographers are used to saying that if we need to "explain" an image, then we have failed in our purpose of telling a story. A picture is stated to say more than a thousand words. For this, the entire audience should be able to understand it immediately: the message must be direct and effective.
Imagine taking a picture of a child at the exact moment he sees a disgusting insect. The bug causes him something, a sincere, natural, and immediate reaction, a change in his emotional state. An emotion. Now imagine that instead of an insect, it is a hundred dollar bill, his response and excitement would be completely different, right? We can add information in the description of a photograph, talk about the date and place it was taken. We can write the most beautiful and captivating story, with all the hashtags and keywords you want. But ultimately, the image should always be revealing on its own. Allowing to understand in an instant what it is about (subject and context), and what was the photographer's purpose.
Wedding photography is an excellent example of this. The simple fact of photographing two people dressed in elegant wedding attire, no matter how handsome they look, doesn't really tell any story. It could well be two models posing to promote a wedding gown brand. It is the little details around that add context to the narrative.
At weddings, many moments pass before our eyes, and many of them happen at the same time. For example, during a ceremony: the bride and groom exchange a tender look, the parents whisper among themselves, and the cute nephew is distracted playing while someone else is crying. How to choose, then what is the most crucial moment to photograph? Should we take photos of everything and everyone? Or be selective, concentrating on what matters most? I believe that every situation is different, and we should always do what is necessary to tell the most accurate story as possible.
For instance, on the day of Rachel and Kevin's wedding, I had left their hotel to head to the beach where the ceremony was taking place. It was about 6pm. As soon I stepped on the beach, I thought: "Mamma Mia, how many people, how much confusion, this is chaos! Now many of my photos are going to come out with people in the background"... A few seconds passed, and I embraced the situation. I thought that what might seem instinctively a "problem" could actually be a possibility. Having different photos and telling the story of what was happening in that precise moment of the day, shortly before their wedding, on Medano beach -the most popular beach in Cabo San Lucas.
There is obviously a reason why the bride and groom decided to get married on that beach. With their feet on the sand and having a fantastic background of rocks and sea, right? Well, the tourists, locals, and vendors that pass by are part of the context and culture of the place, then one way or another, they should be included in the full history of the event. So, I stayed for a while to take a panoramic. An emblematic photo of the place of the ceremony. I wanted to capture the wooden arch with the flowers, the boats, the sea, the rocks, the blue sky, and obviously the people passing by. So I synchronized my finger with the shutter and waited until I got all these elements in a cleaner and more visual way. Seeking that the walking tourists were all at a proportionally calculated distance between them. The seller with hat, perfectly framed between the fabric and the wooden frame. And on the right side, the tourist who was dressing from behind. In other words, a very beachy image and, at the same time, wedding photography. With beautiful light and careful composition.