Expert wedding photographer Jorge Miguel Jaime says, “I try to foresee what situations are about to happen, and make sure I’m ready to capture them at a second’s notice, so it’s very important for me to know a couple before their wedding. Not too much, but enough so I can capture how their love story is progressing.” Thanks to Jorge’s Sony Alpha 7 IV, he’s always ready to capture those beautiful moments.
Though most of his work is in colour, Jorge knows when the time is right to switch to monochrome.
The use of black & white for me has nothing to do with the simplification or reduction of colours, but with the light,” he says. “So, it’s those photographs in which the main component is the light that I turn to black & white. In a way, the documentary aspect of my work is also heightened by working in mono,” he continues. “Nothing is staged, and the veracity is clear. I’ve always adored the black & white images of photographers who’ve given their lives to tell stories of humanity. Those analogue images, their movement, blur, and grain, have unmistakable magic, and that’s something I would certainly want mine to have, too.”
A great example of this approach can be seen in this image of a little girl, waiting to carry a bouquet, “because, it’s not just about the bride and groom on the day,” he explains, “and they want to experience the little moments that happened outside of their whirlwind. I’d planned to take a picture of the bride in this stairwell when I noticed this little girl, left alone for a moment. Instinctively, I adjusted my exposure to see if anything happened and sure enough, she leaned in the intersecting lines of the corner with a cute little face saying, ‘you’ve left me alone’. Whenever there are children at a wedding, something emotional is going to happen and I love being there to capture the moment.”
When it comes to photographs “like this one, which is entirely about the light, they can be far more satisfactory and effective in black & white,” he continues. “This was taken at the edge of a river, with the couple positioned in a sunbeam. The strong contrast eliminated any detail in the foreground leaves, so I fired some flash into them to keep the balance.” Wrapped up in the forest and each other’s affection, “the conception was just a pure love story,” Jorge explains, “and I think the defocused leaves look like butterflies fluttering around them.”
Two main aspects of his Sony Alpha 7 IV help in Jorge’s monochrome wedding shots, he says in that riverbank image “I really leant on the camera’s dynamic range. Even though I underexposed it, it kept a great amount of detail in the shadows. That means it’s not scary for me to meter for the brightest highlights and then rescue details from the shadows later. It’s something that surprised me the first time I developed one of its photographs, I was so impressed!”
Secondly, Sony’s unrivalled eye-detection AF puts even the most fleeting candid moment in focus. “For sharper results in low-light, and to make backgrounds cleaner and compositions more effective, I like to shoot close to wide open,” Jorge explains, “so the Alpha 7 IV’s Real-Time Tracking AF is vital. With the focus I can shoot with very bright lenses at apertures like f/1.4 for a beautiful cinematic look and know that the camera is not going to fail me.”
As for his choice of lenses, “the FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA is the master lens for the wedding day,” he says. “It gives me a perspective that’s perfect for documentary shots and it’s fast enough to keep the shutter speed up high and drop distractions out of focus in front or behind my subject. During a wedding party, if it’s in a small room or I need to get close to people, I’ll often complement it with the wider FE 24mm f/1.4 GM,” he continues. “And I also use the FE 85mm f/1.8 for closer portraits, which is very light and offers great quality, while the longer focal length still gives that shallow depth-of-field I want.”
In the end, much of Jorge’s approach to wedding photography comes from personal experience and understanding. “I know what memories are important to my wife Maria and I,” he explains, “so I can put myself completely in the couple’s shoes. For instance, when we got married for the second time, it was such an intimate, personal, joyous experience with our family and friends, that there were moments when I was overcome and couldn’t speak. Those are the moments that meant the most to us, and when those memories fade away, the photographs remain. Photography itself is pure nostalgia and our couples deserve the best possible memories. For that, I need the best tools and that’s what my Sony gear delivers.”
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