Shooting a wedding takes a lot more than technical knowledge. Photographers must capture intimacy and fleeting moments in a way that creates powerful memories for the couple and their friends and family.
Joe Buissink is a fine art wedding photographer who started shooting weddings after he attended some friends’ weddings and watched the hired photographers taking only formal shots. It seemed they were paying more attention to mechanics than story-telling. Buissink felt something was missing. He wanted to capture the love and emotion he saw and felt. In this basic wedding photography workshop, he explains how to connect with people and approach weddings artistically:
Wedding photography used to be more about who was at the ceremony rather than the details of what was taking place. Buissink uses a photojournalistic style to capture the details that let us know that every wedding is unique. Each couple’s story unfolds differently. In order to maximize his artistic freedom, he hires primary shooters who capture the basics of the wedding and the formal shots. This practice lets him be the second shooter. He can focus on creating art.
Technically speaking, Buissink sticks to the basics to remain unencumbered by equipment. Bright flashes tend to take something away from tender moments. Though he knows how to bounce light when needed, Buissink prefers to work with available light as much as he can. He achieves this by using fast lenses and high ISOs. Both film and digital cameras are used for his photographs.
Buissink’s work is emotional because he is emotional. In the video, he shares his personal story of childhood adversity. The abused child inside him feeds off all the love he sees at weddings, and his attraction to human emotion is apparent in his images.
“The most important thing about photography is who you are.”
Buissink uses his gift of emotional sensitivity to sell his clients on an experience rather than on commodities or services. He know that clients want a photographer who wants to be at the wedding rather than someone who treats photography as nothing more than a job. Clearly, it’s important to know how your camera works, but when photographing a couple on their life-changing day, it’s even more valuable to know how to connect with people in order to create imagery that elicits feeling.