Whether or not to photograph the little details on the day is a tough choice faced by wedding photographers.
I had an interesting conversation with a photographer friend recently (hey Joy!) who was shocked to hear that I don’t spend much time or place much importance on the details shots at a wedding. Bride details would be things like perfume, shoes, garter, jewelry. We went on to have a conversation about how every wedding photographer approaches the day differently because every photographer IS different and there is no formula that should (or needs) to be followed.
If I have an hour allocated to photograph the ladies before the bride gets dressed, I prefer not to spend half of that time setting up still life shots. I don’t see life in small details, I see the bigger picture. While studying photography I despised any assignment which involved product set ups in the studio, but I can tell you what the weather was like at any event I’ve attended, or what the mood was like. So it’s natural for me, to want to seek out moments and mood at a wedding, and these things cannot be found in a pair of shoes. I’m far more likely to photograph the sun shining through the window and falling on the carpet, or the bride nervously twirling her ring on her finger.
That being said, if there is extra time and if an idea of a cool shot involving the wedding dress or other details comes to me, I will of course go ahead and take that photograph. And if the bride requests it, I will definitely photograph the dress hanging before she puts it on.
So Joy and I concluded that there is no right way to approach a wedding day. Some photographers like to shoot details and some don’t. Some photographers like to follow check lists while others don’t. It comes down to the artist’s style and the hope is that the client has hired a photographer whose work they feel a connection with.