A little over a year ago, a group of friends sat around and did what photographers so often do in private: We complained. Wedding blogs had become such a powerful force in the industry, but by and large they focused on details—cute things you can do with flowers, with table settings, with, of course, mason jars. It makes perfect sense—we feed them, but we are not their audience. Their audience is trying to plan a wedding.
But if we believed that the most important aspect of the wedding day was the details, we’d be florists. We’re documentary wedding photographers because we believe in the end that what matters at a wedding are the people there. A couple drives themselves to the brink of insanity planning a wedding, knowing all along that they could just pop off to City Hall and get it done by lunchtime, because to them it adds something to be surrounded by friends and family from so many different circles of their life. These people bring stress, but they also bring incalculable joy. They bring their personalities, their histories, and they help make the wedding day a bit of their own history. Weddings are about beauty and love and showing your fantastic taste … but what lasts are the relationships we carry with us, and the stories we tell as photographers is simple, but deep: “What happened? How did it feel? Who were we on this day?”
Weddings are beautiful. They’re also hilarious, heartbreaking, stressful, chaotic, transcendent. They are everything that we are, intensified.
So we decided to create a forum where we could show this off. We didn’t do it for money — indeed, hundreds of thousands of page views later, we haven’t made a dime, and of course we’re showing off the work of other photographers. We did it because it needed to be done, because we believe it’s important.
For the past twenty-five years, all I’ve had of my father are photographs, memories made solid, personalities made tangible, moments that tell a deep story. It’s how I know him; it’s how I remember the way he laughed, his presence, how I can come back to those moments and see them with the eyes that I had then and the eyes that I have now. Moments matter. Maybe nothing gold can stay, but with the right photo you have the fuel to remember all of the joy, heartache, and plain silliness that makes us who we are.
I am so overwhelmed that this Web site has taken off far more quickly than I ever hoped. I am so honored to be in this with my co-editors Kyle Hepp and Chris Lin, who have done the vast majority of the day-to-day work as I’ve dealt with my busiest year ever—71 weddings, which is just as hectic (but fantastic) as it sounds. We are all so amazed and thankful at all of the incredible photographers who continue to submit work. And we are surprised and delighted that so many brides have come to find Moment Junkie to be an invaluable guide for their own wedding. No, you can’t plan moments—but you can remember to take a deep breath and remember what matters.
To celebrate this anniversary, we decided to hold a contest as a way to highlight just some of the amazing images that are now buried deep in our archives. We got together and decided on our 25 favorites, and then put them up to a public vote on Facebook. Adorama graciously offered to sponsor this contest, and the winner will receive a $250 gift certificate, while second and third-place winners get a very cool camera bag (I’ve got one and use it on all my portrait shoots).
Because we didn’t want this to be just left up to a popularity contest, we also each chose an individual image that to us exemplified the best of what Moment Junkie is about. What we found is that apparently to us it is about gravity, and photographers named David.
First place: The Champagne Rainbow, by Conrad Lim
Second place: The Cows, by Jakob Granqvist of Nordica Photography
Third place: The Upskirt, by Alex Bee Photo
Congratulations guys! You get stuff from the great folks at Adorama!
This is what I love about Moment Junkie. Almost any other blog wouldn’t know what to do with this picture. It doesn’t help future brides plan a wedding (other than to say “watch out for the kids”); it has noise and an EXIT sign and a plan-looking ceiling and all sorts of things that a pixel-peeper would tut-tut at.
And it’s one of the best wedding photos I’ve ever seen.
In every client meeting, I’m sure to sneak in the sort of language that lets them know I’m looking for the big picture. Weddings aren’t just about the couple; they’re about all of the people they’re going through such a painful planning process to celebrate with. Weddings aren’t just about love and romance; they’re about fun and laughter and, yes, anxiety (always) and catastrophe (sometimes). But it doesn’t matter — if you end up married at the end of the day, then anything that happens just becomes a story five minutes later. And, you hope, you get great photos along the way.
David was in the perfect place and frame of mind to get this photo, and he couldn’t have framed it better. The lines of the boys and the clear action in the background forces you to think about what happens next … and then after that … This isn’t just a pretty photo that you look at and forget five seconds later.
This photo is everything Moment Junkie is about. It’s a cake moment, but it’s not really a cake moment, if you get my drift. It’s perfectly timed—a split second later and the bride’s face would’ve been blocking too much of the groom’s expression, or more likely, the groom’s expression would’ve changed to one of sheer terror as well.
And I love that the shot David submitted isn’t when the cake is on the floor after the fall, it’s the split second right beforehand. The anticipation in the photo is amazing. Some might call it luck, since we don’t all have four-tier cakes toppling over at our weddings every weekend, but David was in the right spot at the right time to capture the perfect angle—head on to really showcase the action and highlight my favorite part of the frame, the groom’s clueless happy face.
This is hands down my favorite picture Moment Junkie’s ever featured.
Chris Lin picked “The Floss II” by Amy Dale
This photo from Amy Dale does not involve stuff falling. When this came across the inbox, I knew we would be having a second daily photo featuring dental floss. What I love about wedding photojournalism is the little moments that too often get forgotten in the bigger events.
This looks like it took anticipation from Amy and excellent timing. The layers of the composition and the juxtaposed contrast work—the helper, concentrating in the foreground, a bystander cracking up, and the bride, desperately trying to not laugh with someone’s fingers in her mouth. That tension in the frame makes me wonder whether she held it together or cracked up herself, and that question of what’s about to happen makes Amy’s photo perfect for Moment Junkie.
Thank you readers, thank you photographers, thank you Adorama, and thank you everyone as we head into our second year of showcasing the best moments in wedding photography!