Today I went to a photography exposition of WeeGee at Foto Colectania in Barcelona.
WeeGee was an American photographer who photographed street scenes at night in New York in the 1940ies. While looking at the superb prints we discussed the question whether he may have staged some scenes.
In my opinion all his street photos were pure reportage shots. He would encounter a situation and he´d quickly decide from where he´d shoot without changing anything. Of course we do not know. It may well be that my idea of how he worked is similar to what I would do. I always try to find photos.
When I photograph a wedding reportage I follow the course of events and I try to predict what is going to happen next so that I have enough time to position myself on the right spot. In my previous blog post I have already talked about this.
So to what extent should a wedding photographer intervene in what is happening in order to obtain better photos? Does an intervention from the photographer improve the quality of the photos? I strongly believe it does not.
As I wrote in my previous blog post I want to capture the couple as they are. Therefore I believe it is important that I am an invisible bystander who is ignored by the protagonists and the guests. At any rate WeeGee was not just a bystander; people in some of his photographs are cheerfully looking at us. It seems they were in contact with the photographer. Still I believe he did not stage any of his photographs.