Contributed Pavel Kounine
Wedding photography is often misunderstood. There is an assumption that the photographer either points and shoots (and is thus undeserving of respect) or is expected to craft an idealized vision of the couple, irrespective of their personalities. Whether it’s walking through a meadow, holding a big red balloon, or huddling under an umbrella: these scenarios are no doubt easy on the eyes, but reveal little about the individuals themselves.
Enter documentary photography. It’s a style that is commonly associated with journalistic endeavours or more “serious” pursuits. However, its popularity persists because of the way it allows those in front of the camera to experience the event as it was meant to be enjoyed: free of inhibitions.
The things that make documentary photography special are precisely the reasons it is sometimes overlooked: the lack of control and reliance on spontaneity translate to images that have no precedent. Every event is approached differently, depending on the circumstances that make it unique, such as the lighting conditions, location, and unplanned occurrences.
Granted, some people are weary of this as they treat photography just like any manufactured product: easily replicable. But for those seeking pictures capable of revealing one’s humanity, know this: sometimes beauty can only be attained when you’re not trying too hard.