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The Pinnacle of the Moment

It’s been a while since I actually sat down to write!  Life has taken a sharp turn ever since we had our baby and boy it’s been difficult to find time to blog, not to mention actually write.  Hannah has been behaving very well tonight and I haven’t had the usual interruptions, and so I decided to dedicate this moment of peace to actually writing and reaching out to you guys to give you a glimpse of what I do, and why I do what I do. =)

This is going to be the first of a multi-part series, hopefully ;-)

I’ve always been fascinated by emotions. It’s the first thing that really draws me to wedding photography in the first place – besides having to always work with awesome couples and meeting new people!  Below are a few images I captured just a couple weeks ago which makes perfect example explaining a little bit about my thought process and my approach to capturing emotions during a wedding.

Go ahead an move on to the image, but take it one at a time!  I promise it’s worth it to take it slow, and read the captions under the image one at a time!

First off this is a picture captured the moment when the bride’s dad just walked her down the aisle letting her go and before handing her to husband to be.  I’m a dad, and I have a daughter (although very young!), and I can imagine the weight he’s bearing in his heart as he walks her down that aisle and letting her go.  I’ve seen this in many, many father’s face – it’s an amazing mixed emotion of love, joy, and a little bit of sadness.  Those emotions are clearly felt in the bride’s face as she seemingly avoids direct eye contact with her dad knowing that would just tear her up further.  A picture like this is no accident.  It’s through an anticipation during the first half of the day through observations.

This also paves way to following up the shot with more emotions during the reception.

Their wedding vows are heart warming and it really shows much about how much the two care for each other, and that the bride’s caring personality and strong emotion ties to those she love.  She teared up during the ceremony and that gave me yet another clue to what to look for later that evening.

Hold it right there!  Told you not to scroll that fast! ;-)

Slow down a little bit here as we continue on to the reception.

During the father’s speech I continue to focus on the two as I frame the bride’s father in this frame with the bride and groom sitting at their sweetheart table.

More anticipation to the right moment to capture the image I’m after.

This serves the purpose telling the story, but this isn’t the image that truly shows all the emotions and the story between the father and daughter that I’m after.

But then this serves well as the story continue to unfold and paves way to the father daughter dance which follows.


This is one of the shots I took early on during their dance.  The joy is there on the father’s face, and you see the bride relaxed and you can tell her happiness in her body language even thou you cannot really see her face in this picture.  The groom sits in the background watching.

Again, this would have served the purpose documenting the day, the event, and emotions.

But again this still isn’t what I’m really after, as I continue to watch, as I continue to shoot, I switched over to the other camera I was carrying which has a longer lens. Note: I do that all the time in order to 1) give me a quick change of perspective, 2) having a longer lens with large aperture allows me to use depth of field better to identify my subject matter, and 3) allow me to keep the right distance away from my subjects so that I do not enter their comfort zone and feel that someone is intruding.

#3 is extremely important for me because I believe once a photography crosses that boundary, emotions often fizzle and all that work during the day, all that anticipation for that moment, will be gone.


I have the lights set up to the way I wanted,

I have the subjects there in position,

I got everything aligned now,

as I wait for the right moment.

I know a lot of photographers would have given up by now thinking this is it, and this is the “moment” that you wanted to capture.

Dad shows that satisfaction through his face as his daughter holds him close.

But not yet… as I continue to shoot.

They keep turning, spinning around in the dance.

The bride tears up as she holds her father close in her arms


Dad closes his eyes allowing his emotions to flow through his mind, his body, and his soul as his daughter tears up

This would have done it with the light behind them illustrates their figures on the dance floor,

as the music comes to an end, wrapping up the dance…


As the music ends, as they’re about to let go, he holds her close in his arms one last time.


This is the pinnacle of the moment.

This is the pinnacle of the moment of all those emotions build up throughout the day, all through observation and anticipation as I align the lights and the frame.

I could stare at pictures like this for a long time and my mind would go blank, drowning in thoughts pondering about what really goes through their minds in moments like this.

and this, is what I love to capture.

I would have stopped and wrapped up this article in the last frame, but I thought I would show you what comes in the very next second as the bride wipes her tears, her father lets go of his arms, and all that fizzles in just one second.


I hope this gives you a better idea about my work and what I love.

It’s been wonderful time sitting in front of my computer taking time off from editing tonight and actually writing about something meaningful. Hannah hasn’t cried throughout the past hour as I continued to write peacefully! =)

Please kindly let me know what you think about this!


Love this post Herman. Well done!

Stunning! I find it fascinating on how you go about capturing the “moment”.

Great reflections. :) And nice captures of all the emotionals that day. Like a play by play!

Love your descriptions. I have a different perspective as I was reading through it. Though I’m not there yet but I automatically put myself into the dad’s perspective. You did capture those moments well.



next one

Lisette & Jonathan @ The Villa Banquet Hall, Westminster