I can’t recall feeling moved by photographs featuring the wedding of strangers before. Then again, I guess I rarely browse the wedding photographs of people I don’t know!
As special and significant as weddings are to those involved, they’re everyday occurrences, and I suspect that it’s having a personal connection with the couple that imbues wedding photographs with much of their emotional charge.
At least, that’s what I’d have assumed… until I discovered the incredibly emotive work of Brisbane-based wedding photographer, Jonas Peterson…
That Jonas truly understands the art of storytelling is manifest in the affecting quality of his stunning images.
Speaking insightfully of his particular love for shooting weddings, Jonas says:
It’s got its rules and in some ways it’s a very orchestrated event, you know what’s going to happen, you know when people are going to do what. And yet you know nothing. Every wedding is completely different, every couple adds something new to the mix. I love being there to capture their day and I hate being in the way. You won’t find me running around telling people what to do, hauling flashes and umbrellas from room to room, setting up shots I’m good at. I try and walk in with a sense of naïvety. I try and capture the events as they happen.
I know the story is there, all the beauty and drama, all the characters and the details. I’ve started to trust the day. It will be beautiful, people will be relaxed with me around, I don’t have to tell them what to do, where to look. I watch the story unveil and try to capture every bit of it. Today I work as a photographer capturing these things the way I see them.
I’ve realized I’m good at telling stories – long and short – mine and others – and there’s nothing I love more. I don’t need to do much, the stories are already there, magnificent in their glory, all I need to do is capture them and put them together, be it in an album or a slideshow. You won’t see me creating moments, telling the groomsmen to “fight” with the groom or hear me tell dad to hug his daughter before walking her down the aisle. He probably will anyway and if he does, I will capture that moment, because that is the moment that matters.
Below are some more samples of Jonas’ work which features the New Hampshire wedding of Rachel and Jeff. But first, here’s an extract of the email Jeff initially sent Jonas…
My fiancé, Rachel, has urged me that “Sometimes you need to just throw it into the universe and see what comes back” – and now here I am writing to you.
Photography is so interwoven into the fabric of our relationship as the camera is almost always by her side. We are adamant about telling the stories of others and naturally we have been searching long and hard for someone to tell the story of our wedding.
Our wedding is August 13th, 2011. It will be a humble celebration on a small beach in Rye, New Hampshire. There will be a full moon, pie, and good company.
It is the stories your photos tell that move me so much. Our wedding is a story we hope to share till the end of our days and perhaps beyond that. I sincerely hope that you will be the one to help us tell it.
And this is the result…
Jonas tells of another compelling act of storytelling that day:
All day we had this seagull circling us. During the ceremony he was sitting on the rock wall next to the wedding party and when I was shooting my portraits he was looking down from the sky. After I shot the photo of Jeff and Rachel between the two leaning trees, I showed it to her and Rachel burst into tears.
She quietly told me that her grandfather had promised her he would always look after her.
– When I die, I will come back as a seagull, don’t you worry, he said.
The best kind of wedding photography is intimate storytelling that resonates and connects. Be sure to pop over to Jonas’ website to view more of his fabulous portfolio – it will be time well spent.