THROUGH THE EYES OF A PHOTOJOURNALIST Text by: Bernard Supetran MANILA STANDARD , 23 August '01 Ask any couple what possessions they value the most and chances are wedding photographs are among them.
Now, Imagine your most memorable moment in life being photographed as it unfold like the bombing of Pearl Harbor or the more dramatic assassination of United States President John F. Kennnedy or, on the positive side, the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. That’s why they call wedding photojournalism an innovative style of photography , which captures key moments of the matrimony unobtrusively, doing away with concocted and stage-managed images as much as possible.
BusinessWorld photojournalist Miguel Cortez will unveil the “drama” of the marriage ceremony in a one-man photo exhibit titled “ DecisiveMoments: Wedding Reportage in Black-and-White,” which is part of Wedding Celebrations 2001 to be held on September 2 at the Edsa Shangri-La Manila. The fair , organized by Gigi Bautista’s Events Inc., is open from 10:00am to 9:00 pm.
“My approach is to report through pictures the events as they happen, just like covering it for a newpaper—just like a rally, convention, conflict, or human drama where there are no choreographed scenes,” explains Cortez.
Wedding photojournalism was born in Atlanta in the mid-1990’s, in the search for a deeper dimension to traditional photography. It became the “in thing” locally two years ago particularly in the high-end market.
“ Its aim is to create a story-telling sequence for the couple to remember their most memorable day. This requires the photographer to be creative and versatile as they record and adapt to each moment by being as unobtrusive as possible. In contrast, the traditionalist try to create perfect portraits requiring him to manipulate most of the day’s events,” Cortez adds.
To put flesh in this new school of thought, Cortez will be displaying 20 11”x 14” black-and-white images capturing light and fleeting wedding moments like a flower girl’s or ring bearer’s tantrums, a groom’s pensive mood, a bride’s tears of joy, and other typical scenes viewed from a fresh point of view.
“This exhibition is my interpretation of what ‘wedding photojournalism’ should look like. My images will provide a visual accent to the fair, and capture the real moments and images with a soul,” concludes Cortez.
In his early years as a lensman, Cortez ventured into commercial photography before finally settling into serious photojournalism in the late 1980s. The 20-year veteran’s avant garde approach to documenting wedding is greatly influenced by his field coverage and involvement in corporate, advertising , lifestyle, environmental , and sports photography.
Moreover, his stint as the founding chair of the Philippine Center for Photojournalism (PCP) and the Photographers Development Cooperative-Philippines (PhotoDev), two pioneering organizations, further sharpened his outlook on the bright prospects of photojournalism as a profession in the new millennium. Putting his two decades of professional experience into fusion, Cortez blazes new trails in this exhibit with his own version of the union of non-commercial photojournalism and the age-old marriage sacrament.