I recently photographed a friend’s wedding with a street photography approach and it was one of the most fun experiences I have had with a camera since my trip to Cuba last year. I was roaming freely and allowing my creative instincts take over to capture the moment which in short felt like a kid in a candy store.
If you want a real feel (the emotions, the anxiety, the joy, the happiness, the stress, the chaos) of how your special day went then hire a street photographer to document your wedding. I have worked several commercial wedding gigs in the past (both video & photos), obviously in Hawaii it is a big industry with many tourist coming to the islands to get married or the very least spend their honeymoon. Comparing my experience shooting a commercial wedding to the one I just did with the street/documentary approach…all I can say it did not feel like work. It didn’t feel like another day at the office and therefore by not treating everything so robotic or as a science I was able to capture moments very organically.
At the end of the day, a good photo is one that has a story, captures the moment. Whether it’s through a conventional wedding photographer or from a street photographer.
There are many key moments that takes place in a wedding event and with a good street photographer’s eye and approach the goal is to capture the moment before it fades. A good street photographer can read and react. Take the shot. Remain invisible. Find those intimate moments, candidly. And slitter their way through the crowd.
In my bias opinion, street photography is the hardest form of photography. It is also the purest form of photography. The most honest from of photography. However, I am not saying street photographer is a better option to document your wedding or event. There are many great wedding photographers that I know personally that approach it with a more traditional style and still walk away with amazing images.
Perhaps if your budget allows…hire two photographers..one for more traditional style and the other for more street style…that way you get the best of both worlds. You’ll have the regular wedding photographer for the traditional, posed, cheesy stuff…and the best memorable images that you’ll probably appreciate as time goes on with what the street photographer captures. What bugs me are the wedding photographer’s that don’t work, after the ceremony they take the group shots and done. A street photographer will work the event until its over, not missing a moment.
Yes I know, producing a wedding is crazy expensive (I just got married last year). You will be focusing and spending money on all those little details such as venue, the decor/flowers, the dress, the catering, lights and DJ….but truth is none of this will stay. A day after the wedding you will not remember most of it, it will feel like a complete blur. The only thing you get to keep from your wedding are the photos. The photos are what you will share with your friends and show your grandchildren for generations to come. The photos is what will breath for eternity.
By hiring a street photographer to cover your wedding, that person will know how to bring find those candid moments and make the ordinary, extraordinary. It is possibly the best investment you can make….This is where you should not be looking for the cheapest but for the best you can afford. Research the photographer and if you like their style contact them. So much energy is put to researching the venue and food and little on the coverage of the day. Even if the price range is out of your budget, it will be quickly forgotten once the wedding is over. Money will replenish. You only have one opportunity to document your special day.
Hear It From A Pro…
Street photographer Mason Resnick who was a student of Garry Winogrand in the 70’s had this to say;
“As a classically trained street photographer, I am always on the lookout and prepared for those unexpected moments—the casual conversations, the ebullient celebrations, and the emotionally tender interactions, that are equally treasured and perhaps even more so because this is our real life.
I have found that newlyweds love this kind of reflex-driven, high-reward form of photography at weddings since I trailblazed my unique technique in the early 1980s.
I call it Wedding Street Photography…
It was in the early 80s, while talking to another photographer friend who was about to get married, when it hit me: What if I applied Winogrand’s “attentive observer” approach to photographing weddings? I asked my friend if I could bring my camera and experiment at her Simcha, and she said yes.
After that, several more friends let me experiment as their ‘unofficial’ wedding photographer, working side-by-side with the pro. I experimented with a technique that combined an action-freezing flash with a long exposure, and the results were dynamic, energetic, and happily surprising.”
If you despise cheesiness or anything done traditionally and rather love reality, humanity, and all in all heartfelt emotion to go with it, then consider hiring a street photographer to take your event and/or wedding to the next level.
You can view the wedding I just covered here – It’s A Nice Day For A White Wedding
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