Some time ago we came up against the theme of reportage with a wedding planner. Oddly enough, she insisted that her couples achieve the best results with posed photos. “And if the couple do ask me for a reportage, I tell the photographer to take a couple of shots just like that… without posing” she said.
That’s exactly the point. Reportage requires a lot of training, you can’t improvise, just as you can’t improvise fashion or still life photography.
If a professional photographs bottles all his life, he might become the best in the world in that field, but without the proper dedication he will never obtain the same results in landscape or fashion photography. Each photographic specialisation requires years of work to achieve good results. We have never learnt to photograph bottles well – probably because this type of photography doesn’t really appeal to me – but it doesn’t mean my approach should be superficial.
Reportage requires discipline, love, care, the capacity for synthesis and operative speed. Bresson said: “It’s necessary to feel involved in what you are shooting through your viewfinder”.
To take photographs means recognising – at the same moment and within a fraction of a second – both the fact itself and the strict organisation of visually perceived forms that give it meaning. It’s putting one’s head, one’s eye and one’s heart on the same axis. It’s a way of life.” We can’t stand how so many photographers sell their work as reportage when they don’t even know what the word means. Reportage does not mean taking photos in a casual way, but quite the opposite.
When we shoot I try to compose the images in terms of the narration. And post-production, the final selection, the creation of a sequence or the layout all function in terms of the narration. In this photo we can see the bride with her friends and witnesses during the final phase of the preparations. The point of view is unusual but it represents a choice which serves the composition of the photo and the story unfolding in that moment.