New Wedding Book
Posted on November 30, 2010
“Wow, what is that?” my friend asked when she looked down at the table in my office.
People, this is all I can ask for when it comes to making a book…especially a wedding book. I want to make a book that draws people in, not forces them away. Earlier today I had another reminder of this. Standing in a parking lot with a wedding client they asked about doing the book. We exchanged ideas and this person said to me, “Well, you know with a wedding book, most of your friends are gonna try to get away from that thing as fast as possible, and a lot of people aren’t even really paying attention while they are looking at it.” This echoes my sentiment exactly, and in the case of paying attention, this applies to ALL books, not just the wedding variety. I see proof of this all the time. But, the fact remains, make something that forces a reaction.
So what you are looking at is front cover in the top image and back cover in the second image. NOTHING says wedding. NOTHING. It’s a book. It’s a story. It isn’t a wedding album. Now, I know that for many of you, this simply won’t work. I get it. You live in other places, other areas where tradition plays a more heavy hand. The idea behind showing you this is simply to show you what I do, good or bad, and why I do it.
The spine can be quiet, loud, dark, light, an integral part or an afterthought. But, even when it is an afterthought….you should think through it…does that even make a shred of sense? Hopefully. My spines are typically quiet, just essentials, balanced and to the point. Fonts are smaller than what you would think. I’m not a fan of HUGE fonts. Also, this is not a font from the default window, I searched it out.
This entire book was shot with a combo of black and white film and color negative film, available light with both the Leica and the Fuji 6×9. I shot mostly with the Leica and black and white, but also offered up a thread of color 6×9. PING, PING, PING, one slow frame a time. Those of you with a Fuji will know what I’m talking about.
Now, I have to admit. I’m one of those freaks that RUNS from wedding albums. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I had to endure one. I don’t like them. I know, that might be horrible to say as a wedding photographer but it’s true. I love books. I buy them and read them and reread them all the time. There is a big difference in my mind between an album and a book.
This book is a mutt. I like mutts. Color AND black and white, 6×9 and 35mm. Bleeds. Borders. Across the gutter. Yep, all of it. Why?
Well, it’s a WEDDING book, and different rules apply, at least in my mind. I can do ANYTHING I want.
This wedding, this book, this couple, was the perfect scenario. “We trust you, do what you want.” That is what I’m looking for. Simple, clean, storytelling images, made quietly.
Do you realize what is going on in my mind when I make pictures like this, or shoot a job like this? It’s like therapy for me. I’ve never been to therapy, so I’m guessing, but it’s like visual yoga, at the risk of sounding like a douche. It is. I can disappear into my mind and just imagine the photo-life I want to see. I love to talk to people, but I could EASILY do the entire shoot and never say a word to anyone because I’ve got such a “thing” going in my mind. I don’t mean I’m special or smart, it’s just that THIS is what I’m supposed to do. I’m a photographer, or at least that is what I tell people.
“You missed a page.”
No, I didn’t. White space, quiet space, a visual timeout, call it what you will, but it is essential in my mind in forcing the viewer into YOUR pace. Slow down. This picture is important. This picture requires your full attention. No, I’m serious, this picture does require your full attention. It’s good. It’s important and you need to see ONLY this picture.
When I make pictures like these it is an intensely personal experience. So is the book. I could NEVER farm this out to someone else. It’s just too close to me. Sure, it takes time. Sometimes I nearly go mad. I curse, throw things, sweat and my insides hurt, but when I get this slick, little 8×10 in the mail, regardless of how many times I do it, how many times I receive a book, it still makes my heart skip a beat. The rest of the world just falls away and I relive. I RELIVE it all, in a two second flashback of smells, sounds and moments I witnessed.
The spine creaks, the pages smell of new and fresh and with the opening of that cover….life begins again, one slow, paper page at a time.