How I Shoot

 
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Photo bios are super interesting, unless they are your own. The short of it is that I had access to cameras as a kid. After some winding roads, here we are. It kinda doesn’t matter.

But how I shoot, or more accurately, how I try to shoot, is something that I can write about. My style varies depending on need, but when I am free to shoot how I want, I would fall under the ‘documentary’ style - a loaded description. I love documentary photography. I have over a 100 books by my favourite photographers. They are books on the wars and conflicts in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti. They are about the culture of blues and BBQ in the south. They offer me a glimpse at the Blood tribe in Southern Alberta. They take me to Sochi to show me how the Olympics are allowing Russia to gloss over the extreme poverty in the area. They let me stay with the Mennonites for over 15 years across three continents. Some of the books have a  fly on the wall feel, showing events as they unfold. Others have powerful portraits where the subject is challenging you to hold their gaze, to empathize and connect with them. I want to connect.

These books are made by giants in the field. Alex Webb, Donald Webber (gave me the best advice I was ever given for photography - but that’s for another post), Bruce Davidson. George Webber (so many Webb types), my personal favorite Marcus Bleasdale, and many more.  Stylistically, aesthetically, and philosophically, these gentlemen are very different from each other. Many times they are at odds with each other. But the core is storytelling. Being true to the story, to the moment, that they have been given access to. What that means is always up for debate, but the intention is there.  

How does this relate to wedding photography? Well, the wedding, the people, and the day are the story. The story and those moments are a privilege to be able to photograph. The moments are not something to be re-created or made up. You either get them, or you don’t. There is no better feeling than pushing the button and knowing you got it. I yearn for that feeling. I chase and hunt that feeling. Weddings, portraits, or documentary, I’m chasing those moments.