Shutter Hub member Gemma Taylor gives us her alternative perspective on approaching wedding photography – making the most of real scenarios, and combating naffness…
I’ve been proudly taking fresh, unposed, alternative wedding photos, as Taylor Wolf Photo, for 5 or 6 years now. However, I can still feel the cringe factor when I tell people I’m a wedding photographer as you can see them conjuring up clichéd, stuffy pictures, and I’m quick to tell them, “…but whatever you’re thinking, not THAT!”
My approach is quite straightforward, to make the most of the light, capture the emotion, and see the best composition, which I guess is the instinct bit as everyone would photograph the same thing differently. I’d describe myself as very real v very trendy. I don’t want to follow trends as they fade, I just want to make the most of real scenarios and capture it in a beautifully different way.
For me, wedding photography completely overlaps with editorial photography – visiting new places, capturing the action, the fashion, and food. I love the calmness of the morning when I can style the dress or shoes with the same creativity I’d have shooting for a fashion magazine, and then the ensuing madness of the rest of the day where I pride myself in being super fast to capture lots of spontaneous moments and expressions, which is comparable to capturing a festival or the mayhem of a market for a travel mag.
Every couple who books me is completely different, and people want something that reflects them, and their taste – which typically is not old fashioned and naff, so something not out of place in a fashion or travel magazine is typically welcomed. That said, they are real people not fashion models, nor want to be, so posing is out.
If I’ve ever asked anyone to “look into each others eyes” I’m very sorry (as I might well have done in the early days while I was still developing my style), but I promise it won’t happen again *blush*. The spontaneous moments that you can’t pose or plan for are always the most special photos, plus with a wedding I figure who wants to be away from the party for too long to get the ‘perfect’ contrived shot?
That does mean a lack of control compared to other photography, you can’t choose the background, wait for the right light, tinker with the styling, or manipulate the angle someone stands when they say their vows. But in my experience that all makes me a better photographer across all of my work… and flying by the seat of my pants for around 10 hours is what I love.