I consider myself a fashion and advertising photographer because those are the kind of photos I like shooting most. However, before becoming a fashion and advertising photographer, I used to do weddings. Yes, I first started shooting weddings because it was a whole new experience; I was nervous and trigger-happy. Meaning, I used to overshoot everything because I wanted to make sure I got everything and every detail. I was always looking at professional wedding photographers for inspiration and new ideas. I was very eager to reproduce some of the images I saw and then give it my twist to them. Because I come with a background in drawing and painting, composition and playing with the light came naturally to me. So, I was mainly concern with different techniques., etc. I was primarily finding my way as a photographer. Nevertheless, I still like to shoot a wedding now and then.
Juan Pablo and Xochitl are very close friends of mine. I called them compadres, which is practically saying, like family. Juan Pablo and Xochitl got married, and I ended up doing their photographs. A bit challenging because I was the photographer and best man at the same time. But I managed to pull through with the help of a fellow photographer, Maggy.
Apart from the standard photographs I did for them, I wanted to do something more me, something different, something new. I know, it sounds almost to be impossible because pretty much everything has already been done. So, the first thing that came to my mind is what makes photographs unique: the story. I knew in the wedding world, they have trends like trash the dress, after the party in the morning photographs, photographs before the wedding, etc. I sat with my compadres Juan Pablo and Xochitl to develop a creative and engaging story, but more than that, the memories. And after an hour of brainstorming, we came up with a very clever one.
The story is about a couple going around the city of Hermosillo trying to raise money for their honeymoon. We ended up calling it; “Coperacha para la luna de miel” (alms for the honeymoon), and we came up with some very cool ideas. From playing the guitar on the streets, we sang on the bus, doing car washes, selling hotdogs, people interacting with us, even try selling the engagement ring for cash, and more. I was pleased with the results and the experience. I like this session because people thought we were serious about raising money for their honeymoon, to the point that we were getting money, and some were cheering on us. Throughout the day, when shooting, everything was improvised. I mean, we already knew what we wanted, but the places and the people around us were all new to them. We were asking permission for certain things, but everything was pretty much on the fly. And I guess this added more value to the images to be rawer. It was a long couple of hours’ worth of shooting, but it felt quickly. The wedding dress got dirty, but we had fun.
To the photographs them selfs, I wanted to remain loyal, which means no photo alteration or photo manipulation. Well, I did photo alteration on just one picture and did some panoramics on three photos, but that’s it. I’ll let you decide which you think it is. I corrected the images in brightness and contrast, shadows and highlights, saturation, and added basic global filters with a bit of grain to make it look like film, and that’s it—primary using Capture One. My camera back then, Canon 50D on a 24-70mm 2.8 lens with lee filters. I did not use a tripod because I wanted to be accessible as possible—no flash for that matter, or bouncer to aid the photographs. It was just me and the camera.
I loved this session because of the uniqueness. And unique or being different is what I strive for the most. Every time I look at this session, I relive that day. I remember everything we did and went through just for the photographs. We had a lot of fun. I can’t wait to do something like this again. And in many ways, this could become a new trend.