Tuesday, May 09, 2006

What is wedding photojournalism?

What is wedding photojournalism?

With the trend in wedding photography over the last few years moving away from still posed portraiture to a more natural journalistic style of photography, it seems that all photographers are now photojournalists. But what does it really mean to be a photojournalist? You will find many types of answers to this question depending on who you ask, since there is so much confusion about this topic I wanted to provide some real information about what photojournalism is.

Here is the definition of photojournalism: "journalism that presents a story primarily through the use of pictures". The definition is very simply, but I think where people get caught up is in the simple word "story". A story is more than just candid photo's of an event, it is showing all aspects and angles of the event. For print Journalism to be good it has to be balanced, right? It should show all sides of a story and give you an in-depth look into a news event. Photojournalism is the same thing, the photographer should really try to capture images that show more than the surface of the event, they should show emotion, details and should all work together to tell the story of the day. When looking at the photo's you should be brought back to the day and all of the feelings should come rushing back to you. Unfortunately a lot of photographers that market themselves as photojournalists have been working for years as very traditional, formal portrait photographers. They are now trying to change the way they shoot by taking photo's of the people at a wedding not looking into the camera thinking that is candid thus it must be photojournalistic.

A true photojournalist not only has years of training as a photojournalist but also has a natural instinct to be able to scan a scene and predict where and when things are going to happen. A photojournalist will have a deep passion to be able to capture the essence of a day and capture all of the emotions of the day that will bring you right back into the wedding.

One of the best photojournalists of all time was Henri Cartier-Bresson, who coined the term the "Decisive Moment". Here is a quote of his that to me really shows everything a photojournalist must posses to be able to do his or her job well: "To take photographs means to recognize - simultaneously and within a fraction of a second - both the fact itself and the rigorous organization of visually perceived forms that give it meaning. It is putting one's head, one's eye and one's heart on the same axis." Cartier-Bresson recognized that a photographer must have a certain instinct to be able to predict the moment and act quickly. He also felt that it isn't just your eye taking the photograph but your head and your heart must all be working together to get the photo. If you are looking for a photojournalist to cover your wedding the most important thing to look at is their work. Check out their portfolio and see if the images tell a story of the day and really capture decisive moments. These photo's should show you the emotion and feeling of the day without ever being there. If the photo's are just a collection of candid photo's but you don't see the feeling and emotion of the day, then the photographer isn't really a photojournalist.

By Mark Stagi Fine Art Wedding and Portrait Photographer View our award winning photography online at: http://www.fineartweddingphotography.com
About the Author

Mark Stagi is an award winning wedding photographer. He travels worldwide for weddings and also does cutting edge wedding album design. His online gallery can be found at Fine Art Wedding Photography - www.fineartweddingphotography.com or at www.wedclix.com



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I am a Photographer based out of San Jose Ca. I travel all over the place taking photos of wedding and other events. I have been married to my beautiful wife Lisa for 7 years. She is a Real Estate agent for Alain Pinel Realtos (http://www.lisa4homes.com) We have a baby on the way (baby Faith coming in Sept!) and have 2 cats Jasper and Lucky. When we do have free time we spend it together biking, swimming, playing tennis, snowboarding, or Watching movies. Check out more of our Award winning wedding photography

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