Over the course of my 30 year career, I’ve been fortunate enough to have made a few images that perhaps some people may remember- maybe even a few images that leave an impression. Now, as a wedding photographer, I’m certainly not going to kid myself and believe that wedding photographs make a “real” difference in the world. I’m not delusional, and I realize the context in which my images are placed. That said, I do hope, and believe that some of my images can make a lasting impression on my clients, and even some others who appreciate the craft. That, in my opinion, is one of the more important elements of what I do.

These images can be made anywhere, and anytime. They’re generally not contrived, and they’re unexpected. Sometimes, images that make a lasting impression are produced under some of the most adverse conditions, such as the image of the week below. This image is now 9 years old, and was produced on a horrible, rainy day. I absolutely adored my clients- Lori and Ron, and they were getting married at the Crystal Tea Room in Philadelphia. I was really upset that we had torrential rain, and I was concerned that I wouldn’t produce anything special for them because of the weather. During a very small window of opportunity, we ventured outside. It was still drizzling, but it was tolerable. Lori was hellbent on fighting the elements, and her efforts inspired me. The streets were still completely flooded, and while we were tip toeing around the mess, I noticed the reflection in the street.

One of my favorite photographers of all time, Jay Maisel once said “take a look at what you’re looking at”. It was never more applicable for me than this moment. I had them positioned in a spot that worked well, and I simply worked the composition as fast as I could in order to prevent my client from getting drenched during the imminent downpour! This image was a complete and utter accident. I’d never have made it if we weren’t trying to avoid ruining Lori’s wedding gown. I must admit that for the past 9 years, i look at puddles in a new way, yet I have never been able to improve on this image. Trust me, I’ve tried. It just doesn’t work that way.

This image, in my humble opinion, has withstood the test of time, and hopefully will do so indefinitely. As opposed to the oversaturated, overexposed, over processed photos of couples posed against yellow walls, or the bridal party “jumping” picture, I strive to capture images that have a chance at standing the test of time. However…… only time will tell, I suppose. You just never know what you might shoot on any given day.

For the tech geeks out there, it was shot on Ilford XP2-super B+W film, and was shot on a Nikon F5 and an 80-200. I think I recall shooting at 1/30th @ 2.8. Yes, 1/30th. Cliff_Mautner_221