Emotion is what drives my work. Happy faces, big hugs, gesturing hands and faces. I love all of it. All of the micro expressions, the hand holding, the roll of the eyes, the nose nuzzle. Big or small, emotions are what drive my work at Liam Smith Photography.
In order for the whole thing to work, for the day to flow and for your pictures to be the absolute best they can be, you need to be vulnerable. It’s why I hark on about meeting before the wedding so you know who I am and feel comfortable in my presence.
If you can’t relax around me, you’ll see it in the pictures, guaranteed. I know you will be looking through my portfolio looking for a documentary wedding photographer, someone who captures moments rather than posed pictures, and that’s me, for sure, but it has to be noted one can only photograph what is in front of them. If part of you thinks I’m a lunatic, then the process breaks down.
My work is never about making anyone look foolish, or creating an image that laughs at a person. The fun I aim to capture is about individuals sharing joy and laughter. There always comes a time in documentary wedding photography where something will happen and you have to make a judgement call, is it funny, or would it cause embarrassment in the future. I’ve had a few drunken moments occur in front of me that fit the latter category, I like laughing with the guests, not at them.
Possibly the most vulnerable part of the day is during couple portraits, this again emphasis why it’s important to meet beforehand, if you know me and trust me, then we can make beautiful pictures. IN front of your friends and family during the ceremony, you don’t really notice me, all eyes are on the bride, but during couple pictures, it’s just us three.
This is where the being vulnerable bit really comes into play.
I can photograph what happens in front of me. If a moment occurs, I’ll back myself every time to photograph it. I am lightning on the draw – I love westerns – and I know my gear so well that I can operate it without looking, no problemo. The ingredient that always has to be present is being vulnerable.
Being open to experiencing the day for what it really is and truly letting the emotion of the day wash over you. I love people and by extension, I love the people I photograph. I mean that sincerely, if we are working together then I emotionally invest in your day, it’s how I connect with my surroundings and tap into the feelings in the room. It’s what lets me identify moments before they happen.
With that in mind, it’s my intention to capture you in a way that tells your truth. I put you in flattering light with a cool background in calm surroundings and then let the truth unfold. This is where you come in. You have to bring it. Bring the love, bring the lust, bring the joy, bring the happy tears.
Whatever it is you’re feeling, bring that, and let it come out for the world to see. I believe that my pictures are beautiful because they show people how they really are, and there’s beauty in that. I don’t buy into retouching skin or using tools to shrink bums, what people do, how they interact and ultimately how they love is what is beautiful.
Never let anyone else tell you otherwise, the beauty lies within your truth. Show that, and you’ll have the most magnificent set of photographs that you will be cherished within your family for generations to come.