There are many facets of a photojournalist’s background that instinctively inform and guide their professional achievements. Because so much of their work involves observing human nature, they almost need an anthropologist’s approach to photography. In fact, some have actually obtained an anthropology degree for this very purpose.
Others have taken a real world approach, cutting their teeth as newspaper and magazine photojournalists. Working a beat, you quickly learn how to get to the genesis of an emotion; how to capture a thousand words of feeling in a single image, frozen for eternity. Often it’s the small moments, the wordless reactions to overarching events, which carry the most power.
Photojournalism, at its core, is a master class in personal biography.
One can see the effects of this training in several places at a wedding. But only if you’re looking for it. Like most masters of artistic vocations, great work is defined by the seamless application of talent. Remember that home video that was shown at the reception of the bride and groom as children, growing up before everyone’s eyes? While the crowd was glued to the screen, the photographer had his lens trained on the couple’s parents, waiting for that private tremor of emotion to appear.
The raw untouched reaction shot is a prized asset at weddings, and it’s these kinds of personal connections that photojournalists live to immortalize.