Back to the Suck / by John Javellana


Back doing weddings again.. I must admit that it’s not the most elating practice of photography especially here in the Philippines wherein one’s aesthetics and feel could easily and inevitably be tainted by the popular demand. Think Storyline vs telenovela flicks — yes, that far. 

I suddenly remembered why I stopped shooting weddings 2 years ago. It is just so damn taxing but it’s a necessary evil for me today. I know the profession calls for us to deliver all the wishes and even the smallest of whims the client asks for and I don’t blame them. It’s somewhat embedded in the culture.

 But every once in a while you meet a couple who wants to have something out of the norm; a couple who lets you do what you’re professed to do - capturing important, essential and impactful moments that are meant to be timeless and would always remind them of their special day, who they were and how they felt that very same day whenever they see the photos 10, 20, 30 years from now. Which is what wedding photography is for me. Not trying to make fashion models out of the couples who clearly are not; not the stale thrown-away veil shots; basically not trying to turn the couple to something they are not. 

I know sometimes it’s the couple who wants these things but we as photographers should know if it is for them or not. They have every right to demand as clients, who hire and pay us. But our profession gives us the right and responsibility to make it right. Yes we are in the craft of providing clients our services but it does not mean that we do everything they want to the point of allowing them to look bad. Forced. To the point it’s silly at times. It’s a basic fact in life that sometimes what we want is not the thing for us.

We all carry the “wedding photographer” metier along with us everytime we shoot. Admit it — it’s something that isn’t that respected in our country nowadays but it is up to us to uplift that image one wedding at a time.