The Importance of a Photograph

August 31, 2015

I am not a wedding or event photographer by trade.  I actually turn down quite a few of them because they are not my focus.  Shooting in the studio and on location for spec and interacting with other professionals is really what I do.  Recently, I found myself saying "yes" to a select, few events and I am glad that I did.  Photographing these events reminded me just how important photographs really are.

I like to say that a photograph is freezing a moment in time that will never be repeated.  They capture memories to look back on for reflection.  After losing my mother to cancer a few years ago I realized how blessed I was that she kept a lot of photographs over her lifetime, capturing moments that allowed me to relive my time with her and give me new insight to her life.  I am so very thankful that she took the time to create such a large collection of memories on film.  This, of course gave me new perspective on what I do, especially on the rare occasion I agree to photograph an event.

Recently I photographed a wedding for an acquaintance that I know through a mutual friend.  It was a small wedding, very beautiful and quaint.  I was organizing the shot list that the bride wanted, making sure to get all of the 'must-have' photos and ensuring that I had pictures of the venue, set-up, tables, etc.  You know, the usual.  Part of taking wedding photos is capturing both staged and candid moments.  I really don't like people posing for pictures and every time I picked up my camera and someone saw me, they changed their behavior.  I have to be stealthy to eliminate this problem, except for the shot below and one of the main reasons for this blog.

Somehow I got wind that the father of the groom, who was recently widowed, drove all the way from Maine to south Florida by himself at the ripe, young age of 83.  For whatever reason, it really made an impression on me.  I knew that he had a story to tell.  I knew that from looking into his eyes.  I decided that I was going to take his picture both candidly (if I could pull it off) and staged, one on one with him talking to the camera with his eyes.  Although this was a wedding about the bride and groom, my favorite shot is all about someone else, the father of the groom.  I am more than confident that in years to come, this photograph will be reflected on with a smile.  Yes, photographs are important.  Capture the moment and cherish it.

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