Recent excitement at JPG have made us step back and take a good look at what we do. We love photojournalism, and here’s why: we get to be THE witness. It’s like when a golfer gets a hole-in-one, and they really wish someone was there to see it. We are that someone, and it’s freakin’ awesome.
This past Saturday, we photographed Blair and Ross‘ wedding in Center City, and during their portrait time, we had a few [naked] photo-bombers. Since then, their story has been picked up by 150+ publications across the World, including the New York Post and Philly Mag, and a few in languages we could not understand. We had a similar experience last year when a photo of one of our brides went viral, along with the hashtag, #sharkkiss. This time around, we wanted to take the opportunity to share some tips for couples and photographers on how to accomplish this awesome experience for themselves.
- Preparation is key. Even in photojournalism, we need to be prepared for whatever comes our way. At JPG, our goal is to capture real moments, but you need to be ready. This applies to your equipment (I switched lenses to adapt during this shoot), as well as preparing your couple for whatever craziness the day might bring. For a wedding photojournalist, this meant sitting down with Blair and Ross, and explaining that the Naked Biker photo-bombers might be a part of their day. It’s important to prepare your couple, because they’re probably not as accustomed to jumping into the action like we are. Blair and Ross were awesome, and decided to go with the flow… which brings us to our next tip.
- Just go with it. When taking wedding portraits, some posing is necessary. But in a situation like this one, these shots required a whimsical approach. We told our couple to let go, and just do what felt right! This is the attitude that we love our couples to have, and what ultimately produces the best photographs. The best moments are real — and it’s our job as the photojournalists to anticipate what looks great and press the shutter button.
- Keep your eye on the subject. What made Blair, Ross, and the Naked Bikers such a fantastic moment was that it was all happening at once. It’s like Inception– a story within a story! We were not only documenting a crazy parade of naked people (complete with tutu’s, paint, and pasties), we were documenting the most important day of Blair and Ross’ life. We made sure that the photos remained about the couple; the bikers even helped with this by cheering them on! You’ve got to keep your story straight, while capturing the big picture.
The post-wedding happenings have been an awesome ride so far, and we cant wait to see Blair and Ross appear in more publications! Keep an eye out for more “Tip Tuesday” posts about weddings and photojournalism.
Thanks again to our adventurous couple, Blair and Ross. We couldn’t have done it without you!
Best, Joe G.