A few days ago my fiancee and I had the privilege of taking engagement photos. This was a pretty amazing day for the both of us. Especially when a bunch of people rode by on horses and asked if we wanted to get pictures on some of their noble steeds. My bride to be and I said yes—of course!—and jumped on those horses like we've been living in the wild west for years. The people were so kind, they even lent us their tassel jackets and let us wear their cowboy hats. How cool is that?
Here's a preview shot (I'm waiting to get more from my friend Nate whose site you should check out):
Who would've thought I'd make such a great Clint Eastwood type? I sure didn't.
Anyway, the point is that the moment you see on film was captured. It wasn't staged. There's simply no way you could've staged something like this with my fiancee and I, because we aren't the type of people who would own or rent horses (or tassel jackets) to feature in our engagement photos. Rest assured: our wedding will be the furthest thing from western themed.
And yet, this unique moment happened on that day, and Nate was there to capture photos of a moment that my fiancee and I will always remember, laugh about, and tell others when we talk about that time when we jumped on horses during our engagement photo session.
Working in media, there are certainly going to be times when we have to stage moments. But it's always better to capture moments if we can, because it's always more meaningful for the people who were part of that moment to see and engage with. This is because there's a certain kind of atmosphere and story embedded in the media that you just can't fabricate.
This is but one of many examples where I've seen this detail play out, but I think it's safe to say: capture moments. Don't stage them.