A Wedding Photographer Does Street Photography
A genre of people photography that this particular wedding photographer also loves.
In “street photography” there are two particular such photographers whose work I have always admired greatly. These are Frank Meadows Sutcliffe from Whitby, whose beautiful environmental portraiture around the beginning of the last century entailed the use of plate cameras. The quality of his work is still hauntingly beautiful.
The other is the Frenchman behind the term “the decisive moment”. Henri Cartier-Bresson is the acknowledged master of street photography. He became an early adopter of using 35mm film for stills and was well known for using the superb Leica rangefinder cameras. Whilst he could have been forgiven for working much more hastily with the new format, he still watched and observed with great patience. He waited for that decisive moment. All whilst communicating with, enjoying, and having great empathy with those who appeared in his images.
It is this “decisive moment’ philosophy that strongly guides my wedding photography. Preferring to use both eyes to observe all around me rather than spending the day just using one eye through a viewfinder, I refuse to just hold the camera up to my face and blast away at 20 frames per second, whilst hoping for the best. Observation and communication are both key. There are so many very wonderful moments during a wedding and they don’t always happen directly in front of the photographer. Holding the camera to the face for most of the day risks missing so many of those precious moments.
Street Photography using those same principles
Whilst it’s very special to get up before dawn and see the sun rise over the beach and capture the serene beauty of the landscape and the sea, it’s still people that I do best.
So here is a very small selection of my own such photographs captured reasonably recently. I’ve just got Paris and London here (with a tiny smattering of Glasgow) but I hope you enjoy them. Hoping for a photography-dedicated Paris trip later this year. We’ll see how the year goes.
“If you can smell the street by looking at the photo, it’s a street photograph.”
– Bruce Gilden