Of all the goods and services you purchase while planning for your wedding, photography could very well be the most confusing. That’s because today’s photographers offer such a wide variety of styles. It’s not like comparing apples and oranges, but more like comparing apples and kiwis and watermelon.
In the field of wedding photography, my style is referred to as “wedding photojournalism.” As an original member of the highly-respected Wedding Photojournalist Association (I was invited to join when it was first founded), that means my photos tell a story. They capture those wonderful spontaneous unexpected “moments” that embody genuine emotion and make your day different.
My assistant and I don’t follow the same script from week to week, so your wedding won’t look like the last wedding we photographed (and the one before it, and the one before it.) Instead, we recognize that each wedding story is unique, and we work hard to tell your story.
Not long after I started shooting weddings, a bride complimented me saying my pictures “had captured the spirit of” her wedding day. Her words perfectly summed up our goals, and since that day I’ve used the phrase as a tagline for my business.
If you are comfortable giving your photographer freedom to break from the same old wedding photo list in order to achieve something even better – the unique, the unexpected – then wedding photojournalism may be perfect for you.
Many wedding photojournalists got their start working for newspapers and magazines, where posing or staging is frowned upon, e.g., in sports or news coverage. Unable to direct their subjects but required to bring back compelling pictures from each assignment, photojournalists learn to be careful observers, paying close attention to the moments and details that tell the story.
I have been a photojournalist since 1988; my first ten years as a professional photographer were spent working for major daily newspapers in Alabama, Mississippi, and most recently at the The Bangor Daily News in Maine. Since going freelance in 1998 I have worked in Maine for magazines from all over the country. Please visit the “clips” and “about” pages of my MicheleStapleton.com web site to see where my non-wedding work has appeared.
I understand how important your wedding day is to you – not only are you publicly professing your commitment to each other, but you have also gathered your families and dearest friends to celebrate with you. There are so many wonderful things taking place that I don’t have to stage anything. Instead I work to unobtrusively capture all these delightful moments – planned and unplanned – and to preserve them in pictures you will treasure for the rest of your lives.
And, even though I’m a photojournalist, I encourage you to plan some posed shots. Most couples want at least a few portraits (of the couple, family members, the wedding party, etc.) for their personal history. Of course, that doesn’t mean these shots have to look stilted or that they can’t be fun. Together, we’ll determine a style that suits you best.
With a photojournalist documenting your wedding, the result will be a lively, candid and up-close chronicle of this incredibly important day in your lives.