The New Art of Capturing Love: The Essential Guide to Lesbian and Gay Wedding Photography
It's all over the news, and the headlines of this very website are plastered with it: A couple is suing a photographer because the company won't service a same-sex wedding. If money can buy it, a same-sex couple deserves all the same privileges as a divergent-sex couple. But the question we should ask ourselves is, "Why do we want to hire a photographer that is homophobic?"
The work of a photographer is more than the lovely photos of heterosexual couples that she's shot. A couple doesn't want the thousand words a photographer's picture tells to be a story of tolerance. They want it to be the story of them.
"The New Art of Capturing Love" by Kathryn Hamm & Thea Dodds attempts not only to educate the photographer but also same-sex couple and their families.
A couple planning to exchange vows is really looking for a documentarian who can see the beauty inside of their pairing. A photographer needs to see a couple's unique chemistry in an instant and capture it in a moment. Couples want to be seen honestly, but in the very best light. They want someone who can show them their passion, their desire and the magic that made them fall in love in the first place.
This book doesn't offer a lot of technical advice to the photographer. Each photograph is accompanied by the type camera used, the ISO, the shutter speed and the size of the iris. But nothing is said about the lighting requirement or techniques used for dealing with the practical challenges of the specific photograph, not to mention the manipulations in Photoshop.
There are some nice photographs that may provide inspiration for set-ups, but the content that accompanies them is general with only tidbits of helpful advice, like allowing yourself more time if you need to shoot two wedding dresses.
Much of the book consists of a few basic paragraphs on a subject, such as kissing in public.
The advice on this subject seems geared toward the photographer: "Consider the situation and the couple thoughtfully before asking a couple to embrace in public." Nevertheless, there is a separate "Behind the Lens" section of this subject that covers much of the same material. "Our first priority with same-sex couples must be to ensure comfort and safety," it says.
Sometimes the "Behind the Lens" section gives historical information, as when Canada legalized gay marriage.
The fact that millions of same-sex couples around the world are getting married is revolutionary. The content in this book is not. But if you browse it you may encounter some ideas that you hadn't considered.
"The New Art of Capturing Love: The Essential Guide to Lesbian and Gay Wedding Photography"
By Kathryn Hamm and Thea Dodds
$24.99 paper (Can $28.99), 240 pages, over 180 color photos