A year ago, today, I had the priviledge of doing the wedding photography for a beautiful couple, Jonathan & Brandi. The day was wonderful, and shortly later I did a blog post sharing some of the images I captured from their wedding. What was so special about this particular wedding for me? I photographed the entire thing with my iPhone. You can view the posting right here.
It's taken me a year to write this post, but I wanted to write it for two reasons. One, to say thank you to everyone who left me such kind words. Your comments truly made my day, and still do. And two, I wanted to follow up with all the people I seemed to drastically offend. Some of you wished shame upon me, called me a fake, an embarrassement to the photo community, and also called my work insulting, but what bothered me was all of those who insulted the couple and their wedding.
I originally wrote this posting defending my decisions to the haters, but I rewrote it because when it comes down to it, they either didn't read the original posting and see what it was all about, or they just wanted to troll. I don't need to explain anything. I'm incredibly grateful that I had the chance to work with Jonathan & Brandi on their beautiful day. It was my favorite wedding to be a part of.
What was so cool about this wedding was that the couple *wanted* me to photograph their wedding with an iPhone. In fact, when I told them that I was going to bring my DSLR along anyway, they strictly told me not to even think about bringing my digital camera. It simply wasn't an option for them to be photographed with it. They wanted their photos taken with an iPhone and edited with Instagram. Why? The reason is actually quite beautiful.
Jonathan & Brandi met and fell in love in San Francisco. Their love story was made possible through a city that provides life, love and magic. They wanted San Francisco to be part of their wedding, for the city itself was what brought them together. How did they incorporate San Francisco into their wedding? In a few ways, actually:
- they got married in San Francisco's beautiful City Hall
- they used Uber (a town car service started in SF) to get them from place to place on their wedding day
- the bride wore a dress from Betabrand (a funky clothing store started in SF)
- they had their wedding photos based around Instagram (a photo app started in SF (my favorite photo app!))
If you ask me, their love story and how they incorporated San Francisco into their wedding is pretty damn cute. I have never photographed such a personal wedding before. This wedding was nothing but beautiful, intimate, and filled with so much love. This was not your cookie cutter wedding. This was authentic and exactly what the couple wanted.
One issue with deciding to photograph their wedding with an iPhone was jeopardizing the quality of the photos. Shooting with an iPhone meant that the photos wouldn't be as crisp, editing in Instagram meant that the photos would have a lot more grain to them, and the entire thing in general meant that printing size would also be limited. While quality is incredibly important, so is authenticity. The couple knew that the photos would be smaller, grainier, darker and that they'd only be able to print them so big, but they were fine with that. Their love was and is more important, as is their story and how they met. The other good news is that I have printed many Instagram photos before, and I absolutely love how they turn out. Sure, the photos are a little more grainy, but the emotion is still there. I've seen tons of large prints from Instagrams and they always turn out beautifully. I wouldn't have agreed to photograph their wedding with my iPhone had I not believed they'd come out with great photos, ones they could cherish forever. And okay, bragging rights, I'm quite proud of how all the photos turned out.
To me photography is about the heart and the soul. Photography should be fun! Photography should be about experimenting and capturing real moments. And so quite frankly, I don't care what kind of camera anyone uses. Use what you have. Please! Don't listen to all the haters, they're usually the ones who are resistent to change, and what is life without change? Shoot your heart out with whatever equipment you have. Your courage to try something new and push boundaries inspires people to think and create in different ways. The world needs more of this.
Thank you again to Jonathan & Brandi for having me photograph your wedding. Your wedding is one I will never forget and is one of my fondest photographic memories. And thanks to Cole Rise for helping take photos with me that day. Couldn't have done it without you.