I want our photographers to document more than to compose. I concede that "posed" or "choreographed" photos are staples at weddings and that they cannot be avoided. Still, I want to keep these to a minimum and if possible, have the composed photographs still look as if they were not composed. I want photos that are spontaneous and organic. I want more of the unguarded moments, the moments that were never meant to be seen, and the moments that should forever be remembered. I want the photos to reflect the genuine love, joy, and fun that my guests felt during the ceremony and the reception. Portraits. Portraits. Portraits. Did I mention portraits? I also want more photographs of people than food or inanimate objects. Yes, these details will be included and photographed but I want expressions, smiles, tears, hugs, and movement. I want more emotion than landscape. I also want honesty.
Yes, I'm demanding and I acknowledge that all my demands will cost us. I know that to get all of them, we would need to hire awesome photographers and give my guests an equally awesome experience. I chose our two sets of photographers based on their capacities to deliver spontaneous and organic. Both are excellent at portraits and absolute professionals. I have no doubts that they would be able to rise to the challenge of documenting our wedding and reception.
Our first set of photographers is the power couple Sheila and Jorem Catilo. Sheila (née Juan) was my org mate back in the College of Mass Communication in UP Diliman. We were both broadcast communication majors and even then, Sheila was an artist. I didn't really know that she had a knack for photography then because she was well known for her amazing singing voice. Still, it did not come as a surprise that she would have equally great talent in that department. She and her husband Jorem have taken care of my friends' weddings and recently, the high profile Romulo-Soledad wedding. What I love about Sheila and Jorem's work is that they are very good at capturing emotions. Their shots of family members and guests are exactly the kind of shots I would want for my own wedding. I feel the intimacy and the love in their photos.
Our second set of photographers is MangoRed. The Dagooc brothers' works are often featured in leading bridal magazines and websites. What I love about MangoRed is how their photos look so alive and vibrant... and sexy! I love their use of color and I love how their portraits capture the life and love in their subjects. I initially hesitated to get them because they seemed to specialize in destination weddings with hundreds of exotic elements that can be photographed. Our wedding is far from exotic; it is more classic and elegant. Nevertheless, I am confident that their talent can capture the raw emotions that our wedding and reception will certainly be full of.
Execution is proving to be tricky. JP and I have spent a great deal of time just talking about the day's sequence of events. We are certain that we want both sets of photographers to be present during the wedding ceremony, but as we will be having two receptions, we plan to assign one photographer to each reception. We have asked Sheila and Jorem to take on our lunch reception, and MangoRed to handle our cocktail party at The Loft. Hopefully, both will agree. Sheila and Jorem's intimate approach would go well with our small lunch reception, while MangoRed's bold and passionate style would amplify the rocking atmosphere of our cocktail party. It would also be a treat to see how two different photographers would capture our wedding ceremony. I read somewhere that if one is minded to have two sets of photographers, it is better to choose two with different shooting styles so as not to get near-identical shots.
The biggest disadvantage of being the bride at your own wedding is that you can't possibly be everywhere the whole time! You won't hear all the juicy side comments, you won't see every funny moment, and you won't be able to see all the facial reactions... yes, even the cringes. Oftentimes, the bride and groom are harried, hungry, and harassed. Even when they aren't, as the "stars" of the wedding, they spend a great deal of time smiling and posing for the camera instead of chilling out with guests. While I intend to eat and bliss out on my wedding day, my own humanity prevents me from being omnipresent and omniscient. This is why my photographers are going to be my new best friends. They will be my eyes and capture every smile, every jaw drop, and every sheepish grin. Their wonderful work will help me remember the first of my many beautiful and momentous days with JP.