Documenting vs. Capturing Emotion

Over the holidays, Jen, Zoe, Anna and I were in Virginia visiting my sister, her husband and my new niece. After Christmas we went to my cousin Emily’s new house to visit with more cousins and other relatives. It was fun getting together with everyone and talking and running around with all our kids.

My cousin Emily and her husband, Steve, got married in April of 2008. She and my aunt had asked me separately to shoot her wedding. I politely declined, because I wanted to enjoy myself at the wedding and hang out with my family. I didn’t want to miss having fun by worrying if I got the shots that I needed to get. Of course I brought my camera and took tons of pictures. One of my favorites was from the end of the day. Someone noticed that there was still a bunch of fake rice that wasn’t thrown on the couple at the church. So we all made a circle around them and starting throwing the rice. I immediately grabbed my camera and starting shooting, because I noticed what was going on. Emily and Steve were in the moment. They weren’t posing or feeling shy because all the attention was one them. They were genuinely having a great time with their family and friends all around them.

The photographer that they hired didn’t get the shot. Don’t get me wrong. Their photographer did an adequate job. He got the “must have” pictures throughout the day. But I think he missed a lot of the emotion that was all around throughout the day.

I was reminded of this when Emily’s father pointed out that from the hundreds of pictures that were taken of the bride and groom throughout their wedding day, mine was the only one that they had on display and in a prominent location on their mantle. It was the one that caught the emotion of the day.

Thanks Emily and Steve for the great wedding! We have to visit more often!


Javajem - January 15, 2009 - 9:51 am

Fantastic shots! I’m glad you were able to capture that special moment 🙂

EMily - January 15, 2009 - 11:52 am

My cousin, Chris is a wonderful photographer. He’s right, our favorite pictures are the ones he took pictured above. If you’re looking for someone who can capture the essence of your day without being posed, he’s your photographer.

You won’t regret hiring him.

RHoney - February 9, 2009 - 12:51 pm

Hi Chris, you sre so right about capturing the emotion and not just the ‘must have’ shots – good job! I also totally agree about not shooting friends/families weddings, it’s nice to be a guest for a change. Rebecca

Pam Breese - February 9, 2009 - 3:42 pm

You make a great point. That was a wonderful compliment that you received! Sometimes those are the best comliments. I would love to go into client’s homes to see what they have on display!

Sam - February 9, 2009 - 6:22 pm

You captured great shots!! Always sooo nice to see real emotion! I wish they were BIGGER though – maybe I’m just going blind!!

Christopher Elston Photography - February 10, 2009 - 7:42 am

You can click on any images on my blog to view them bigger! Thanks for the comments!

mark byrne - February 11, 2009 - 6:30 pm

Its the difference between hiring a photographer and a great photographer – you got the shot.
Great images, they really show the joy of the moment.

Amy - February 11, 2009 - 7:41 pm

you are so right! you captured great emotion!

T w i t t e r