There are a lot of important lessons I learned while photographing weddings for so many years. Maybe the most important one is that you have to be always ready for the moment. As it can happen anytime and anywhere.
A lot of my international clients ask me at the first meeting if besides German I also speak English, French or Spanish. Yes I do. But it actually doesn’t matter. I won’t attend the wedding as a guest. I’m invited to capture images, not for holding a speach. That’s the part of the father of the bride. As I am not directing my images the only time I actually have to talk to people is for the group shots. But believe me, my hands can speak every language.
That doesn’t mean that I am rude to people and don’t talk to anyone at a wedding. A lot of guests are interested in photography and want to take advantage of meeting a professional photographer for the first time. I’m happy to answer questions, but I am always concentrated and pay attention to what’s going on around me. I will excuse myself and leave immediately if I see the opportunity for an interesting picture arise on the other end of the room.
Being ready for the moment means that my camera goes with me everywhere. Even to the toilet. Not that I would want to take pictures there, but you never know what you will see on the way. And my camera will also never get packed away in the bag before I am in my car or actually arrive at home. Which brings me back to this image.
The wedding of the couple from New York City took place at the famous Gstaad Palace in the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland. Most of the guest were flying in from the United States or from other countries all over the world. A reception and welcome dinner was held the night before the wedding at the Wasserngrat high up above Gstaad. After the dinner the wedding party took the chairlift downwards again and the party went on in the famous GreenGo night club of the Palace. When I was leaving the place after midnight I passed by these two bridesmaids who preferred to sing in the lobby with the pianist of the hotel instead of rocking the dancefloor in the night club. My photo roller in one hand, the charged camera in the other hand, I was able to capture this moment while leaving the house.
By Hochzeitsfotograf Daniel Zihlmann