By definition a curator is someone who manages or oversees the content of something and is involved in the interpretation & presentation of that content.
I believe photographers are curators. It's not about just showing up on a wedding day and clicking away with your camera. If it was everyone would be a photographer right ;-) But seriously a huge part of successful photography is knowing where to stand, how to use the light and essentially curating your photographs to best tell the story of the day.
Gemma got ready on her wedding day in a beautiful house that had huge windows making the place full of natural light. While I love these photos of the girls hanging out in the morning, I knew I didn't want to photograph Gemma in her white dress against the background of the bright windows. So instead I stood outside in the doorway and photographed looking back in at Gemma which produced much more even light.
If you've been involved in the bridal preparations of a wedding day you will know the scene laid before us in the morning often includes a room full to the brim with busy people and gear, clothes, makeup, drinks and food laid out everywhere. While this is all part of the story of your wedding day (and we do photograph it) these elements in the background of your images can be a distraction.
When Amelia got into her beautiful gown I had her stand in the natural window light rather than in the middle of the room where the down-lights would have cast shadows and uneven colours. I also adjusted my camera settings so that the background faded softly out of focus - it is just Amelia in that moment, not everything else going on in the background.
Here is how the room looked behind Amelia while she was having her dress laced up.
I'm lucky to have brides that 100% trust me to help them choose the area within which they get in to their wedding dress. And sometimes that area is outside! Because this might be where the light is best/the space is clearer to have the whole bridal party help in this special moment/or the backdrop is just plain stunning!
Georgia and her girls got ready in a beautiful family house that overlooks the coast. Here's what the sunny front room looked like during the busy morning.
I knew this would be a tight space to work in for 'getting dressed' photos & that I wouldn't be able to back up to get full length shots, plus there could be distractions in the background and un-even lighting. So I asked if Georgia would be happy to step out on to the lawn with that beautiful sea as the backdrop for photos when the girls did up the back of her dress.
The light was airy, I could move around freely to shoot and I think the beautiful but clean background helps the viewer better focus on the story and emotions.
When Andrew & Jayne did their first-look up on the top of the farm there was quite an entourage to cheer them on. Photographers, videographers, the bridal party, drivers and a whole team of their farm dogs too!
This angle shows the crew of onlookers as Jayne made her way down to Andrew:
In comparison these photographs (I think) better tell the intimate and beautiful story of their first-look.
It's not that I don't like showing what's going on in the background or that I'm a minimalist! All of the photos above were delivered to my clients in their final galleries because they all tell part of the wedding day. But I do believe part of my job as a wedding photographer is to create images true to my style and curate them in a way that tells the story of my couple's day beautifully and timelessly.
Hopefully this blog post shows a little behind-the-scenes to my thought process on a wedding day. The things I'm looking for and conscious of - light, backgrounds, composition and emotion.