My two favorite books that should be required reading for everyone who picks up a camera are Sontag’s On Photography and Barthes’ Camera Lucida. I’ve talked about both before in my btf posts, and today I’m focusing on a quote from Barthes. He says one of his first connections to photography is through a photograph of Napoleon’s brother. He becomes mesmerized by the photograph, specifically the eyes, as he realizes those are the same eyes that looked upon the emperor. A portrait of the brother can help us hundreds of years later glean more about Napoleon himself and give us a fuller visual story of his life. On wedding days when I’m telling the wedding day story through my lens I like to turn it on the couple’s friends and family during important moments like getting ready, the ceremony, toasts, etc. because their eyes are the ones looking upon the bride and groom and their eyes tell an important element of the story. This is a favorite photo of mine where the bride’s sister brought the veil to the bride for her portraits. Her expression is so full of glee and her smile beams through the photo as she looks at her sister in her wedding dress and races over to deliver the final touch. Little moments of captured expression, whether it be tears or smiles, help create a more emotional and comprehensive wedding day story.
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