One night over coffee and lots of laughter, a sweet bride-to-be asked Stephen and I how we would describe our photographic style and if we considered ourselves to be photojournalistic.
A simple Question Got us Thinking
Instantly I pictured a photographer quietly observing and capturing in the background. Fading in and out of rooms with little to no notice, snapping moments in time just as they were. (I personally call those types of photographers photo-ninjas.)
"Well, kinda... but not really," we sheepishly agreed before Stephen went on to further explain our style and why it isn't truly photojournalistic.
I was a little disappointed at first. We had connected so well with the couple and I wanted us to be just what this bride was looking for. Initially I just wanted to say "yes" and move on to more laughter and fun wedding talk, but I knew that wouldn't be right or fair to either of us.
Understanding Our Identity
Clearly I knew we WEREN'T photojournalists, but I also didn't feel like I knew what exactly weWERE. I knew what I liked. I knew the images that made my heart beat fast and my mind squeal with delight. But I didn't have a label to simply and accurately describe them.
Stephen and I talked more that night about what defines our photographic style and it all came down to two foundational beliefs:
1. The most critical element of a timeless photograph is authentic emotion
2. Artistic direction transforms authentic moments into beautiful art.
Was there a term for that type of photography? I still wanted to know!
As it turns out, there was.
Stephen had requested the book "Fine Art Wedding Photography" by Jose Villa for Christmas and santa delivered. Together, we promptly drank in the beauty of each page.
In the book, Villa lays out his style of photography. It's borrows from photojournalism, but also so much more. It elevates authenticity but not at the expense of artistry, blending the two into a beautiful fusion he dubs "Fine Art Wedding Photography."
His philosophy resonated with us all the way.
"The fine art approach is about creating a cohesive collection of artistic images. It's more than documentation. It's more than candid imagery. It's about integrating the personalities of the subjects with the setting to craft distinctive images that illustrate the unique appeal of each event."
Our approach centers on offering our clients an artisan vision. Sure, there are times, like the ceremony and reception, where we don't insert ourselves and give direction—It's not needed then. But there are many times, like romantic photos and bridal party photos, when we do.
When we approach your wedding, we're not just flies on the wall but on the other end, we're also not just there to put you into poses and take your picture. If poses are what you're after, you really don't need us!
We believe that good photography should make you feel something. Telling you to laugh on command or to force a smile for the camera doesn't lead to images that draw you right back into that moment when you look at them.
Our Motto: Beauty AND Authenticity
Our job it so facilitate authentic interactions and to capture those interactions in a way that allows you to relive the beauty and joy that is your love for those around you in that moment every time you look at your images. And that, in a nutshell, IS our style.
While we are constantly seeking to hone our craft and further develop our photographic vision, we fundamentally understand what guides us. Authenticity is the foundation, but we also offer direction in the process to create a well curated collection of images that beautifully, yet authentically tell an engaging story.
Documenting the beauty of real emotions in the most flattering way possible. That's something we can be proud of.