Whether its a Wedding, a family celebration, Christmas or just because, taking snippets of life and capturing memories has never been more important.
Life can be so short, and you never want to have those what ifs, and even the simplest of photos can be of comfort long past when the reality has passed.
Photographer Joanne Withers shares some of her thoughts for capturing Christmas, and alongside I give my thoughts how that can be applied to the world of Weddings and celebrations and indeed life.
“I am one of those people who loves Christmas.”
“It was made magical for me as a child with so many little things and I have never let that feeling go away.”
“So every year I try to capture the moments and here are my tips for reminding yourself how lovely it can be, to just be grateful for so many things.”
“Photographing the process of buying a Christmas tree can make it so much more.”
“The pine needles, it filling the car, the kids heights against the one they pick.”
“If you already have a tree, then the decorating of it can show the excitement.”
“The baubles coming out of the loft, the kids trying to reach up to hook them on and the string of tangled lights tell the story just as much for me, as opposed to just the finished tree images that appear online in abundance.”
“If it’s good enough for Joules to use this theme in their marketing, it’s perfect for you also.”
This is much like Wedding preparation. A lot of the time only the specific parts like the Bride getting make up done, their dress on on, and a completed portrait are shown.
But sometimes I think its important to share more of the emotions, the feelings, the hugs, the behind the scenes moments as thats what makes up the intricate pattern of the day.
“Close up shots of your favourite decorations remind you of the years gone by.”
“I have the fairy off my parent’s tree that has the foot snapped off, but I love to see that every year.”
“It reminds me of childhood memories and that feeling when I see the fairy again is priceless.”
In Weddings this is again reflected in capturing memories of the things that play a part in the Brides life and things that have brought her to that point in time.
This can also be applied to capturing images of the special things she has for the day like a beautiful scent that will remind her of the day, a set of pearls handed down by Grandma, those killer heels that cost a small mortgage.
“Food photography is everywhere these days, from people instagramming their coffee, to the glorious M&S campaigns.”
“Even more popular now, is the preparation of the food, rather than just the finished dish.”
“All those special ingredients that come out at this time of year are fabulous to capture. Mum’s sherry going into the trifle. The children making gingerbread with sticky fingers.”
“Messy food photography is often more descriptive than the perfect plate.”
Food at weddings is something that doesn’t get shown as much but it really should as its something that usually will involve a lot of thought pre – event.
Whether that is the scrumptious canapes, or the gastronomic masterpiece that is mains or a beautiful dessert.
The Cake though usually a centrepiece should not always get all the glory.
The Senses & The Details
“If you are asked to say what reminds you of Christmas from every one of the five senses, then you would easily come up with a list.”
“Be it The Pogues singing out on the radio, crinkly wrapping paper being torn off parcels, the smell of cinnamon, sparkling lights, or the taste of mince pies.”
“All of these things can be photographed to remind you of what summed up your 2015 Christmas.”
“Then there are the details. The Christmas jumpers, the pyjamas for Christmas Eve and what did the children leave by the fireplace for Father Christmas, are all things that make for wonderful memories.”
Sometimes details are more than just things.
It doesn’t always have to be the creative project, stunning floristry or a beautiful Wedding Gown that is a detail that appears most important.
Details can be as simple as the place where kids grew up and lovers fell in love, and can mean an indescribable amount to the people whose Wedding images they are.
These moments captured in time are just as important as the pretty stationery, the stunning place settings, the centrepieces, and overall styling of a day.
All together they are the tapestry of an Event that will be one of the most important of their lives.
“Christmas for me is about sharing with people and not just gifts.”
“Sharing time, laughter, clicks of glasses, kisses, hugs, games, food across the table and so much more.”
“Capturing any of these elements will all help to show you that Christmas can still be magical and is not just about busy shops.”
Weddings are a time for families to come together and just like Christmas it is a time for love, laughter, enjoying the moments, and catching up.
Capturing memories of the guests roaring in laughter at the speeches, people getting hurled about a the Scottish Ceilidh, those post ceremony hugs, that confetti shot and the group shot all show sharing the magic at its very best.
Sometimes in life too, we just need to stop too and appreciate what we have, and what is around us.
This year especially has seemed to whizz by in a flash, and I think most of us will wish we had made better efforts to capture those moments.
Loss makes you appreciate too moments that you should have captured so next year personally I am going to make more effort to create a pictorial record.
Thanks to Joanne for sharing her thoughts on capturing memories at Christmas and I hope my thoughts have given you something to think about too.
Enjoy your Christmas and Festive season and I hope 2016 is wonderful for all.