I first heard about this story on facebook. The headline read “Father of the bride stops wedding to share special moment with daughter’s stepdad” The story shared on yahoo news is about a wedding in Ohio photographed by Dalia D Blackburn.
To give you a bit of a background here, the bride’s biological father was set to walk her down the aisle but he interrupted the wedding to grab the bride’s stepfather to join them. It’s a touching moment. Truly touching. It breaks tradition and although this wedding might not have been shot in a way that would land the photographer a top spot on the major wedding blogs or a feature in the biggest bridal magazines it’s exactly moments like this that we as photographers have a duty to show. Our job goes beyond pretty pictures of decor and details. We’re hired to document a celebration and that’s more about the emotions of the day than it is about the details.
Dalia did the right thing. She reacted quickly. She didn’t sit there and concentrate on waiting for the bride to walk down the aisle. She shifted her focus to the dads. And in the world of photography we all to often criticize other photographers for their editing or composition but sometimes the most important thing we can do is just to react fast. The photos that Dalia made got worldwide attention but what matters most here is what it’s done for the bride’s family. We admire photographers that shoot celebrity weddings and land bookings in exotic destinations but what happened to just showing love? What happened to telling a story? What happened to being there for your client? Why are we all competing for the latest and greatest thing when sometimes the greatest things are right before our eyes?
When you took a look at Dalia’s facebook page you’ll find that the images from this wedding have had over 1 million shares in just two days. There’s a reason for that. It may not be a technically perfect photo in the eyes of photographers but it’s so profoundly emotional that it doesn’t need to be. It’s just human. It hits home and all of us can feel the emotion in the moment.
If you visit Dalia’s website you’ll find it’s incredibly simple. It doesn’t have anywhere near the level of style or design that the majority of photographers put into their portfolios but the most important lesson to be learned from this example is that how you react to a situation can literally change everything. Had the photographer been focused on shooting the bouquets or the some other details at this moment these shots would have been completely missed. We as photographers get so incredibly set on showing off and getting everything so absolutely perfect that it would be a shame to miss a moment like this because you were shooting a stationary object.
When asked about the photo the photographer said, “Families are what we make them… make it about your kids and not your ego.” I think the same should be said about shooting weddings. Make it about love and not your ego.