How to create exciting photos? This is the question that all the best wedding photographers ask themselves to create non-trivial and different wedding shootings. It is a question that leads every professional, over time, to determine their own unique style.
Recently, while listening to a colleague during a workshop tell the backstage behind his great photographs, I wondered if it could be interesting to share how some of my best known shots were born and about which many have often asked me.
And as always, instead of asking myself too many questions, I've decided to create a small column on my blog where I'll share the stories that have made it possible to make some of the photos that I think are the most successful.
Today I will tell you the backstage behind this photograph.
Every wedding story is summed up with a few iconic photos or even just one, which often gets several awards and which will tie me to that story over time.
Marco and Angelica's wedding for me is represented by this photo of the first dance (photo above).
I state that I had the pleasure of photographing this day in 2019 thanks to my colleague and friend Francesco Gravina which allowed me to be the third shot. A fundamental detail, as I had the freedom to photograph only what I considered interesting and necessary, given that two other photographers were busy covering the whole wedding.
The most popular question when I shared this photograph on my social networks has always been "is it made with a drone?" or “Did you ask the girls to play on the dance floor?”. Even during the workshops, one of the most recurring questions is "how to create exciting photos that can be remembered for a long time by the spouses?"
The story of this photograph is much simpler than one might imagine.
Once we arrive at the location after the religious rite, while Francesco e Matteo (the second photographer) were busy photographing the arrival of the bride and groom in the structure, I started going around the farm, as always, to analyze every corner and different points of view, not only for me, but also to be able to share them with the my colleagues.
What always attracts me are the points of view from above, because they allow me to have a wider view of the scene and tell more situations at the same time.
Entering the courtyard where dinner was to be held, I was immediately attracted by the surrounding walls. Tall, with a perfect point of view to be able to tell a party with so many guests and such a particular table. I had imagined taking a shot from that height during dinner, then I thought that I could have already started from the entrance of the bride and groom since Matteo and Francesco could have covered the frontal shot and from below.
I ask the director of the dining room which side and which route the bride and groom would have taken to enter for dinner and if there was an easy way to climb the wall and perhaps a roof.
I don't get discouraged. I talk to Matteo who immediately shares the idea, and after analyzing the feasibility and safety of what we were thinking, we understand that IT COULD BE DONE!
He helps me climb a high wall, hands me the cameras and runs to his place waiting for the bride and groom to arrive.
While I was still and motionless in the central point with respect to the court, Matteo and Francesco were in front of the bride and groom. I prayed throughout the wait and maybe even said it out loud while I stood there that the bride and groom would position themselves exactly in the center of the beams of light.
The plan was that we would have photographed the entrance from 3 different points of view but sometimes the unexpected gives wonderful photographs.
“We welcome the bride and groom”, but we didn't know that after the entrance there would be the first dance.
I signal to Francesco and Matteo to move after taking their photos to leave me free field and continuing to pray that the couple would position themselves exactly in the center I continued to photograph a scene that seemed wonderful to me. The two of them, at the center of a long and noisy table of guests who watched them, continued to dance and embrace each other as if they were alone and undisturbed.
The photo of the first dance was perfect, it could work that way.
But here's a beautiful unexpected event, just as I thought it was time to get off.
Two little girls chase each other right on the dance floor, where the indifferent spouses continue to hug each other.
I had MY photograph of the first dance, even though I had envisioned something completely different at first. This photograph was one of the ones for which I received the most awards from various associations and which gave me the most satisfaction.
There are no secret recipes on how to create exciting photos. It is certainly not easy at all: it takes an in-depth study of the location, a good basic experience and, sometimes, even a little luck!