Wedding Photographer, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain - Ana and Julian at Hotel Echaurren

 9/3/13 Boda de Ana y Julián, Ezcaray, La Rioja, España. Foto © James Sturcke Fotografía |

Wedding Photographer, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain

Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004) the great French photojournalist, is often quoted to have said that “sharpness is a bourgeois concept”. According to one account I was reading he said it to Helmut Newton as a bit of a joke, to excuse the camera shake caused by his ageing hands. Whatever the circumstances it begs the question: Do photos have to be in focus to be good?

In many of my favourite photos of Ana & Julian’s recent wedding at the Echaurren Hotel, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain, some key players are out of focus. The church vicar conducting the ceremony in the first photo below for example. He’s at the front of the photo but by shooting him out of focus I’m suggesting that he’s not the subject of the photo and I’m forcing your eyes to keep looking for it. In this case the photo is about Ana & Julián’s loving glance back there in the distance. The priest just sets the scene.

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At other times blur in a photo can bring it to life. The photo above was shot as the couple entered the dining room to the cheers of their family and friends. It’s one of the highlights of any wedding, a moment charged with emotion and movement; both at the heart of my photography. By using slow shutter speed and continuing to shoot even when I know the bride is no longer in focus, it seems to me that the photo well conveys the movement, joy and chaos of the moment.