Storytelling Wedding Photography » wedding photography capturing natural, unposed moments

Lots of wedding photographs are in my newest book. “Master’s Guide to Off-Camera Flash” is available online at Amazon.

Cover photograph: Yoga teacher Luci Berardi in Vasisthasana.

I’ll be sharing a lot of info about the book in future posts. Can you believe it took 2 years from contract signing with the publisher to the book hitting the street? As I’m learning that’s not unusual in the world of book publishing. A real shock to this photojournalist accustomed to meeting weekly and daily deadlines.

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An engagement photo session before your marriage gives you a casual, fun, relaxed set of images. It’s also a great way to become better acquainted with your wedding photographer – especially important if you’ve chosen a photojournalist who will be documenting your wedding as a photo story.

Your photographer will be closer to you at your celebration than anyone else so make sure you feel comfortable with him.

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One of my favorites showcasing the beauty of B&W – dramatic, eye catching moment as Molly’s dress is laced.

No two celebrations are alike. Every wedding is unique, one-of-a-kind, with it’s own storyline. Much like a great movie,  it’s complete with Cast of Players, Personalities, Drama, and Ambiance. Much like a great novel, it’s a story with beginning, middle, and ending. Chapters separate the flow of the day.

My signature “storytelling with a camera” photography captures a wedding as though it were a great film or novel. “Getting ready” photographs become the opening chapter. We’re introduced to the Main Characters. These 3 B&W images give a glimpse of what’s to come.

Aaron puts on cufflinks, Molly’s sister freshens make-up.

Little kids always lighten the moment and provide great photo ops.

Great vantage point for shooting a wide angle, scene setter of the chapel.

Telephoto lens is a must for capturing the detail and special moments at the alter.

The 3 images above demonstrate how I use camera angle and lens choice to further tell the story. Low angle with the kids lets us see from their perspective as well as see them properly (had I shot from adult eye level we’d be viewing more of the tops of their heads and would miss seeing his eyes gazing up to the alter ahead). The scene setting photograph taken from the chapel balcony is like the sweeping panorama in a movie. We see all of the Cast, the Guests, the Chapel, and the Ceremony in progress. It’s off-centered to the left on purpose, with the hanging light and dark timbers leading your eyes down to the seated guests and the bridal party at the alter. The close-up of Molly and Aaron plays nicely against the over view image. It’s not just a “snapshot” of them at the alter, but a perfectly timed moment where they blow out their individual candles used to light the Unity Candle.

Details, details, details… so very important to photograph.

Molly spent some time selecting her bridal bouquet. Her favorite flowers. The florist spent a lot of time arranging them, delivering them to the chapel in a cooler so they stayed fresh. But flowers wilt. The detail photograph at the left is the only memory left to showcase their beauty. It’s a “must take” photograph.

Once the ceremony and reception end the only thing left are the photographs, making every image so vitally important. No second chances, no re-takes. For their “official wedding portrait” I positioned Molly and Aaron in the middle of the chapel aisle, not up on the alter. This perspective lets us see them and the chapel bathed in late morning sunlight.

No 2 weddings alike. Cutting the cake with a beautiful ceremonial sword. Balloons, crepe paper, and shaving cream for the Jeep.

My lifelong career as a photojournalist (see more images at Barry Staver Photography and be sure to “Like” us on Facebook) gives me the experience to be in the right places at the right times to capture the deepest emotions and most important moments for clients. Aaron held up this sword for only a couple of seconds, showing it to the guests, before it was used to cut the cake. By being in the right spot I quickly focused on the blade. This photograph adds a very personal moment to the cake cutting chapter of their day.

After the toasts and the cake cutting, I noticed the groomsmen “casually” leaving the chapel. My instinct told me what they’d be doing. The photograph on the right is evidence.

One of these two photographs, in my opinion, is perfect for a closing spread in their Storybook Album. Which do you prefer?

The January chill in the air and ice on the creek actually helped make this post-reception portrait session more photogenic. Molly and Aaron totally forgot that I was photographing them. They were able to spend several minutes alone after saying good-bye to their families and guests as the reception ended. Did I mention that she’d requested a photograph of her red shoes? They’re prominent, in a natural way, as Aaron carries them during the walk.

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