GO BEYOND THE ORDINARY
To get a shot with complexity, it takes perseverance and a heightened awareness. By nature, photojournalists reject the notion of “what you see is what you get”; knowing that there are many creative ways to approach the scene unfolding in front of them. The danger in grabbing that one great emotional shot, however, is that there can then be a tendency to let off the gas. A pro knows better, though -- constantly scanning the action and preparing for the bigger emotion lurking right around the corner.
Good examples of this can often be found in the bride’s prep room. A quiet soulful look coming across a bride’s face can convey the levity of the moment about to wash over her. This alone makes for some very poignant imagery. But if you foolishly start filling out your “photo of the year” application right then, you’ll miss the bride’s sister break into tears as they suddenly fall toward each other in an embrace.
One expert method for getting your coverage in these impromptu situations is to pull down multiple shots of the moment, as if you were at a sporting event. If you framed the composition well, you will often find a beautiful progression between your first and last photos in the series, usually ending with a rich, deeply complex image.
This is a strategy employed by WPJA members, as a way to capture the subtleties of the day along with the big displays of emotion. By taking multiple shots of the same moment, you can construct the scene in your head while still shooting; perfecting the layers and finding angles and crowd reactions that will add much more depth and meaning to the narrative.