Piękny, Polish translation to the English word beautiful, is one of the words I can use to describe June 16th 2012, the day on which Jakub & Izabela were pronounced husband & wife. With a great couple for an entire day, allow me to express myself & my experience the write way!
What makes a picture beautiful? Since the definition of the word beautiful varies from one person to another, so does the definition of what a beautiful picture really looks like. As a creative & highly imaginative person, I truly enjoy asking the couple about whether or not they would be interested to allow me to express myself the artistically creative way. Whereas some couples prefer the more typical/conventional kind of pictures, others seek originality & images that will stand out. As a photographer, no matter how crazy my ideas can be, I have to adapt to the style of pictures that the couple is searching for or expecting. After hearing how Jakub & Izabela defined what for them consisted of a beautiful picture, my mind took a flight of ideas. “Vanessa, go as creative & as crazy as you want, we trust your work”: said the couple. A recipe of creativity, innovation, imagination, passion & photography? Deliciously exciting! I was now ready to express myself & my personality. The Polish lovers & I would share ideas, which were to be later realized. The question to myself now was: to prepare my creativity or to improvise it? My answer? Why choose one when i can choose both? After answering my “art expression dilemma”, my brainstorm began. Thinking outside the box, one of my favorite mental activities… After generating hundreds of ideas, I communicated with Jakub & Izabela to share & narrow down my ideas with them. Umbrella, sunglasses, newspaper, hockey jersey, board with words…those were amongst the ideas we had agreed upon.
On the wedding day!
To make your thoughts & ideas come true, what an amazing feeling! Camera around my neck, ideas/objects in my backpack, off I went to concretize our exciting thoughts. It’s an exciting challenge to find the nice angle, the nice postures, the best action image & to add a creative touch to the entire moment, which will probably last few seconds. Patience, determination & constantly active original thoughts are mandatory at this point. It’s all about seeing the image in my mind & reproducing or translating it to the real world. Result: beautiful success. On the right & at the end of this post, you will find very few of the pictures that I have taken on June 16th 2012.
About my experience with the culture:
Dziękuję! One of the few words I have learned during my day. Pronounced Chin-kwi-ye, this word means thank you in English. As a person who fluently speaks 4 languages & who has some abilities to fairly speak 2-3 more, it was a highly rich experience to listen to a completely non-familiar or strange language. The church ceremony was held in Polish. Polish… A soft Russian maybe? A blend of Spanish & German? Not really. According to my hearing, Polish is simply unique. But why am I talking about the language? As a photographer, I personally think it is important to be a culture-chameleon or ethnographer, to some extent. For those who are less familiar with the term, ethnography is: “exploring cultural phenomena which reflect the knowledge and system of meanings guiding the life of a cultural group”. Observing & learning about other cultures is interesting. I really appreciate not only trying to feel the culture surrounding me but also truly appreciate & enter a state in which I become the observer, the photographer but also part of the culture. It’s one way to reach different artistic perspectives, expand or stretch the horizon of image possibilities & gain knowledge with a cultural flavor. Learning few Polish words has obviously also helped me communicate with the Polish strictly speaking wedding guests. Although holding a camera & body language can be predicted as “time for picture”, knowing few words was slightly more advantageous especially when approaching & making the “photographee” smile!
Small interesting cultural fact: Towards the end of the night, I learned that the Lebanese & Polish culture shared something very interesting: 3 kisses! Indeed, when Polish people greet each other, they give 3 kisses on the cheeks.
Jakub & Izabela, it was a pleasure being your photographer & videographer for one of the biggest & most important day in your lives. Saving your memories & making them last was a wonderful experience & thank you for allowing me to share them. May your new life statuses bring happiness & may you live happily ever after :)