Every year, major wedding websites come out with their lists of "must-have" wedding photos, which often include things like "a really good kissing shot," "your shoes," "an artistically angled shot," and "his boutonniere..."
But I think not.
There are so many great, creative wedding photographers out there with better visions for their clients. It's a shame that the louder voices rule instead of the true artists who serve their clients with inspired images. Ah, but such is the way it is.
Which is why I'm writing this.
I'm only one small voice. But what I believe constitutes the type of wedding images couples want to hand down to their sons and daughters and future generations hasn't been arrived at by editorial staff looking to come up with some material for this week's edition.
No, sir. I've come to my conclusions solely based on what moves me and touches my heart, and that of my wedding clients, and from what I've experienced firsthand at the weddings I've photographed when emotions run deep.
In my world, weddings mean more than a snapshot. The photos that come from a wedding also mean more. They hold significance. So the following photos are five of my "must-haves."
1. A parent's love. Not merely a photo with a parent, mind you, but an image that depicts the depth of your parent's love for you.
2. The passion in that moment right before the kiss. I understand kissing happens on a wedding day. Obviously. But to have couples kiss for a photo has become such a crutch for the uncreative photographer. It's become a cliche pose repeated often throughout the day. But the emotional content of the anticipation of the kiss when it's just the moment before... that speaks about the couple's feelings even more so. It comes through.
3. The connection of the generations. That instance when your parent or grandparent, for example, eyes beaming, kind smile on his or her face, treasuring you, reaches out and there's a gentle, loving intimacy in all of that. It's the moment that reaches across the generations and makes that connection.
4. The understanding that life has now changed. When we say goodbye to what was and embrace our new journey forward. Things are the same, yet different. It's an unspoken recognition. And ultimately, it's really about life. And that is what the wedding is. The cycle of life, and life's journey.
5. And to remember that we are loved. We often regret that we didn't tell someone how much we love them, and then it's too late. But it was said -- in a photo. Silently. There, in the look on the person's face, captured as it happened. Completely camera unaware. Caught in the act of showing what they were feeling in their heart at that moment. For you to remember how you were loved. And for you to see how wonderful your life really is.