Ian Ivey [ianivey]
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I'm a Washington DC area wedding photographer (based in northern Virginia), and I shoot character studies of my clients at weddings. I used to shoot in a conventional, blended photojournalistic / posed style, but have discovered that my strength is in shooting with a more personal approach.
Despite the increasing prevalence of people offering "wedding photography," good work in this field is not a commodity. My brother and his wife married before I began shooting weddings. They tell a sad story of learning only after their wedding that wedding photography is a complex and sophisticated task; and if it is done badly, there is no satisfactory remedy. They were surprised just how costly their "cheap" photography was. They tell me their only regret in planning an inexpensive wedding was saving money on their wedding photography.
Their story is part of what motivated me to shoot weddings. One picture in particular from my own wedding is another part. It's a photo of my brother holding my wife's hand behind my back (unbeknownst to me), and the two of them grinning at each other mischievously. Seeing this image prompts the same reaction from every viewer: "What is going on, here?" This gives me the opportunity to tell a fun story about one of the best days of my life
The image of my brother holding my wife's hand is a character study. After shooting weddings for a few years, I realized that this single image from my own wedding motivates me to deliver images like it to my clients. Sometimes an image is of a moment, like this one; other times the image reveals or raises questions about the traits of the subject.
Delivering character-study images like these has become my driving purpose in wedding photography. I shoot conventional images as well, but these studies, and the reactions they provoke in my clients, are the reason I continue shooting weddings.