Enhancing Story In Editorial Photography with Robert Hall
I spent roughly a decade photographing over 600 weddings before I pivoted into editorial photography. The purpose of editorial photography is to create images that visually convey the information or are Enhancing Story of the published text. In my niche, this most often means creating portraits that define the goals or achievements of people.
Weddings are built for telling stories, big and small. There is the obvious story: a couple is getting married at a beautiful cathedral on June 12, 2021. Then there are the more intimate stories: the relationships, emotions and history between people. Just because these stories are abundant on a wedding day, it doesn’t mean it’s easy to capture them well. It takes a skilled photographer to identify a story taking shape and have the responsiveness to capture it, both physically and technically.
When I started in the editorial world, I quickly realized that the absence of the photojournalistic structure in weddings pushed more of the story development onto me and the creative teams I worked with. Reflecting on my first two years working in the field, I can clearly see a pattern of the things I look for when communicating visually.
There are venues and vignettes that clearly define a wedding day. The dance floor, head table, bridal suite and chuppah are all examples of this. The familiarity of these scenes do wonders to create clarity in the wedding day story. When I am given the freedom to choose a location, I opt for the most authentic setting to accompany the story.
I’ve found this has major benefits, even if it means giving up more photogenic locations. First, It’s more likely to accurately reflect the “where” of a story. Additionally, authentic locations are familiar to the subject, unlocking more things I look for in my photos.
Authentic locations may not always be the cleanest, most photogenic locations. But their benefits to storytelling far outweigh their appearance.