Tag Archives: clearwater wedding photographer

What is Wedding Photojournalism?

  First, let’s talk about what wedding photojournalism is not.

  Wedding photojournalism is not photographs of people standing around looking into the camera.  Wedding photojournalism is not a simple shot of the bride and groom as they kiss at the end of the ceremony.  Wedding photojournalism is not a bland photograph that the viewer simply glances at and goes to the next shot.

  Wedding photojournalism is capturing the emotions of the day as they happen.  Wedding photojournalism is shooting photographs that evoke an emotion.  Wedding photojournalism is capturing the joys, the laughters, the tears and the looks of love that a couple exchanges with each other and also with their guests and families.

   It seems as if every photographer’s web site I look at has  line that says they’re a wedding photojournalist, but all of their galleries show photographs of people posing for them.   Look closely for claims of wedding photojournalism.  If you don’t feel some emotion while looking at their photographs, chances are it’s not real photojournalism.

  I had the pleasure of photographing Kyle and Roxanne’s wedding at the new Tampa Museum of Arts last week.   It’s wonderful to have a beautiful, interesting venue to shoot a wedding in, but to me it doesn’t matter where the couple gets married.  I’m so much more interested in the way they look at each other, the way they interact with their guests and whether or not they’re able to forget I’m there and let their true emotions come through.

Mother and daughter before the ceremony

   I got a little emotional when I first saw this photograph of Roxanne and her mother comforting one another before the ceremony.  I actually got a lot emotional when I saw it.  My first thought was:  THIS is a photograph.  My second thought was:  THIS is why I do what I do. 

  But, how quickly things can change. 

Three seconds later

   According to the time code on my image data, this shot is exactly three seconds after the top shot.  The two shots are literal definitions of the term “gamut of emotions”. 

  Roxanne and Kyle’s wedding day did run the gamut of emotions.

Green elevator, green dress

  This shot is Kyle’s sister as she stepped into the green elevator with Roxanne to go to the ceremony.  That’s the actual color of the elevator.  Kyle’s sister said she could blend into it with her green dress.  She tried to.  Roxanne reacted to the much-needed comedic moment. 


  There were rules about shooting in the Tampa Museum of Arts.  You could not photograph the exhibits.  They are protected by copyrights.  There were, however, ways to use the Museum’s beautiful interior and exterior design to enhance the photography.

Waiting to make their entrance to the reception.

  This is Kyle and Roxanne as they waited on the second floor for their cue to make their entrance into the reception.  To me, there’s something about the annonymity of the shot, combined with the graphic elements of the Museum that make me love this photograph.

  Kyle is a very personable and charming man and I think this photograph of him chatting with Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio and her husband shows captures those qualities. 

Kyle chats with Mayor Pam Iorio.

    Of course, you must shoot some posed photographs, even as a photojournalist, but I believe in adding some photojournalism even to the posed portraits.  They don’t have to look posed.

  Again, classy, confident Kyle posing, in an un-posed way.

Zimmerman, Kyle Zimmerman

  This was actually a portrait I did of Kyle while dialing in my exposure and lighting and waiting to shoot Roxanne.  I told him I thought he looked very James Bond-ish.  The minarets of the University of Tampa loom in the backround. 

    Again, a posed moment with a photojournalistic angle.

Photojournalistic Portrait

  I’ve found out that very often, the almost-kiss is much more romantic and dramatic than the actual kiss itself.     

    Of course you have to photograph beautiful portraits of the bride.   I really love this shot of Roxanne standing alongside the Hillsborough River looking confident, beautiful and completely at ease.

Roxanne by the Hillsborough River

  I love shooting everything during the wedding day, but particularly love the emotions of the reception.  By that time, the stresses of the day’s preparations have melted away and it’s time to relax and have fun, surrounded by the most important people in a couple’s life.

  The bride is always the center of attention as these two anonymous young men unknowingly helped to illustrate during the reception.

The center of attention

    I always say that I can only photograph what’s there.  This reception celebration had ample opportunies to capture the stress-less moments following the planning and execution of a wedding day.

The reception.


Toasting their guests

    Light is the seasoning of a photograph.   If you know how to do it, a photographer can greatly enhance the quality of the photographs by using it well.  In the shots above, the disco lights used by the DJ add to the ambiance of the shots, as do the backround lights of the city of Tampa in the overhead shot. 

  I also knew that the Tampa Museum of Arts had colorful lights on the exterior of their building but they were not lit while we were doing the exterior portraits of Roxanne and Kyle.  I had truly wished to incorporate them into the portraits.

  It wasn’t until later that I noticed Kyle and some of his buddies outside the Museum, taking some time for man-talk and play.

  The exterior lights had come on by this time.    I used them.

  Good photojournalism is telling the story of a wedding day through the photographs.  You have the emotions of a mother and daughter together in the last, few moments before the ceremony.    You have the laughter of a bride and her bridesmaid as she tried to blend into a green elevator.  You have the drama and beauty of the romantic portraits.

  You have to leave and call it a day sometime.

  I think this shot of Kyle is a good close to the story.  He’s married the woman of his dreams. 

  He’s the king of the world in a $1.99 LED headband.

The King of the World in a $1.99 LED headband

  Thank you so much for letting me be a part of your incredible day.


Shannon Mulaire and Randy Scott’s Wedding Day

  A wedding is a monumental occassion.  I know from talking with my couples that there’s immense stress involved with the planning and an incredible amount of anxiety involved from worrying about whether everything is going to go off as planned on the special day.

  Shannon Mulaire and Randy Scott gave me the most incredible compliment when we had our last conversation before their April 8, 2010 wedding at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Florida.  They told me “Tim, you’re the ONLY thing we’re not worried about”.

  In other words, they had complete confidence in my professionalism to be where I was supposed to be, when I was supposed to be there and that they knew I would deliver images that had power, emotion, drama, laughter and fun….and love.

Shannon and Randy

  That’s the key to great wedding photography.  Shooting images that have passion.  Not everyone can do that.  Wedding photography is so much more than delivering images that are simple inventories of who was there. 

  Shannon is a great reporter at WTVT, the FOX affiliate in Tampa.  She knows the power of images, visuals.  I know that she would much rather cover a story that has powerful video to accompany and enhance her stories.  Randy has a TV news/sports backround too.  He’s very much aware of how important great visuals are. 

  It was incredibly flattering that this pair would trust me to deliver those kinds of images.

Shannon in her room before the ceremony

Shannon's Maid of Honor's portrait of her

  And, sometimes, it’s not just me that shoots a powerful image.  This shot above was a photograph that Shannon’s Maid of Honor was shooting of her.  I think that what makes this such a nice image is not from MY photograph, rather because the shot from the Maid of Honor is a beautiful frame. 

  You have to keep your eyes open when shooting a wedding and let any ego you have subside.  I was very complimentary of her Maid of Honor for this photograph.  I have a standing  joke with guests.  It’s, “don’t shoot anything that’s better than mine”.    Sometimes, they don’t listen.

  Shannon and Randy’s wedding was stunning in its details, location, but more importantly in it’s sealing of the union between two people who are quite obviously very much in love with one another. 

   There is nothing more romantic or beautiful than the way a bride looks at her life partner while he says his vows.

Shannon looks at Randy while he says his vows to her

 And, a kiss is never just a kiss during a wedding.  I always try to shoot the kiss with a wide lens so you can see the reaction of the guests in the backround.  I loved going through the images with Randy and Shannon when they came by to pick them up.  Looking at this kiss photograph, they were pointing out the guests in the backround, admiring her father taking a photograph, Randy’s mother (in purple between the two) gripping her hands together–beaming with more emotions than I could probably imagine.

The Kiss

  That’s one of the secrets that many so-called photographers don’t know.  A photograph can have multiple layers of interest.    A professional photographer does not want someone simply glancing at their photography.  A professional photographer wants whoever is viewing their work to STAY in the photograph.  Adding multiple layers of interest is one way to do that.

Romance on the Gulf of Mexico

    Even this silhouette photograph has multiple layers of interest.  The color and drama of the sunset adds to the beauty of the moment between the two.

  Of course, sometimes a single layer of interest is all that’s needed.

Glamorous Bride along the Gulf of Mexico

  Even this photograph has subtle, multiple layers of interest.  Shannon said that one of the reasons she chose this gown was because of it’s light and airy structure.  She knew that it would blow easily in the wind along the Gulf of Mexico.  The movement of the gown adds to the beauty of this shot.

  The Ritz-Carlton in Naples was an exquisite place to shoot.  They know how to take care of their guests and I think a lot about visuals as well.    The reception area was lit with purple and blue lighting.  The tables glowed with light.    When I saw that, I KNEW that not only would there be great visuals of the couple’s first dance and the other moments of fun during a reception.  I also knew that the color of the room would add visual impact, drama, beauty and another layer of interest.  Of course, you cannot just go in and shoot it.  You have to have a true  knowledge of light and how to manipulate it, use, enhance it.

  That’s one of the differences between a professional photographer and the guy or gal who says:  “I’m a professional photographer, I have a Nikon camera”, then proceeds to photograph an entire wedding with direct, on camera flash in automatic mode.  Doing that would have not allowed the colors of the room to marinate into the frame.   You have to use slow shutters and subtle, subtle lighting. 

Color, Details, Multiple layers of interst (The web doesn't do justice to the color in this frame)

  A wedding is a celebration of love, but also of friendships and family and new unions.   

 After it’s all over, though, it’s the photographs that keep those moments fresh and vivid in your lives.   

Celebrating their Union

  Thank you both so much!!!