People have barriers they put up to the world and sometimes it’s difficult to know if we are ever seeing the real person and sometimes we can wonder if it’s ever really possible to do so.
I see the real person in those split seconds when they forget everybody else, and it’s those moments I long to capture. When they feel the hand of their loved one, or remember a memory that sparks up that feeling of joy in the pit of their stomach, and comes out through their eyes.
I try to see people in the way they can communicate to people they haven’t met yet who it is that they are. Maybe it’s the little look they always make. Maybe it’s the expression that forms when they look at someone they love. It’s when the guard comes down that the moment is special.
I see the couple looking at their photos when they are old and wrinkly, and being taken back to the day in an instant. Sometimes it hits me when I think of all the couples looking back at the photos I have taken, and I remember how important the job we do is.
Working with couples, and at weddings, these moments happen all the time so it’s a privilege and a challenge to seek them out and capture them on camera. It’s easy to forget how much skill we need to meet people we have only briefly met and make them feel comfortable enough to open up to us. Photography is always going to be a mix of technical and personal skills – and it’s the latter that are so hard to attain if you don’t have them already.
We can take beautiful images in beautiful places, but it’s the photographs that capture how people really are that are most treasured as time goes by. This is what I see when I click the shutter. It’s what keeps wedding photography so exciting for me, and how I can deliver the best set of images to my couples.
David McNeil is a London based international wedding photographer. He is teaching a class on Wednesday, the opening day at this week’s Farm Week called Owning the Moment ~ 10 reasons why you are not a wedding photojournalist. There will be an assignment set on this class and as I know what it is, I am really looking forward to seeing how the attendees rise to the challenge. We have a couple of spots left if you want to grab a last minute place.