I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few weeks thinking about what distinguishes me as a photographer (and, in turn, what distinguishes Organic Exposure as a company). There are several main things that have continued to come to mind, one of which I thought I’d discuss for a bit here. It’s a quality that’s featured quite prominently on the home page of this website, encapsulated by two words:
This sounds great (doesn’t it?). But what does it mean? To answer that, I’ll share a bit of my philosophy:
I believe deeply that a great photograph (especially a wedding photograph) is a reminder of a real moment that really happened. It’s why we carry our phones around and snap pictures of things in our lives that seem even slightly exceptional. It’s the truly unique power that still photography has: to freeze not only an image, but a memory. Photos allow us to quickly re-enter a meaningful space, where we can forever tour, explore, and bask in the elements that made that moment meaningful. Truly, it’s amazing.
Here’s the thing, though. In order for a photograph to have that power, it must be preceded by an actual experience. A photograph, in other words, that isn’t preceded by a real experience is a reminder of a shallow, hollow memory. It’s why it can be boring to look at someone else’s vacation photos–they (not you) are the ones who have real experiences to be reminded of. (Please, however, indulge your friends if they want to share their vacation photos with you…it’s only polite.)
This is especially true for a wedding. A wedding at its best is a deeply meaningful, intentional experience. The photos I produce at a wedding, then, are at their best reminders of that experience.
This is the key: if anything I do as a photographer inhibits a real, meaningful experience from taking place, then the photos I create are reminders of shallow, hollow moments. Worse yet, if I do anything that creates a negative experience, then my photos are reminders of just that–a negative experience. This is why I promise to whomever I work with to never be obtrusive.
So that means several specific things:
- I will never do anything to change a real, meaningful moment
- I will never try to manufacture a real, meaningful moment. I will let them emerge naturally (dare I say…organically). They are best this way.
- I will be very sensitive to what makes a moment meaningful to you. I will do my best to save a reminder of it–a reminder that will allow you to forever re-enter that exceptional space, to tour and explore its extraordinary parts, and to bask in its real meaning.