I was connected with Kelli and Brad through my favorite LA-based event designer and planner: Emma Petievich. After hearing about the couple, that they were traveling from out of state and bringing a caravan of 50 or so guests with them, and that the ceremony and reception was to be held at one the most beautiful venues in Los Angeles county – The Terranea Resort, I made a proposition to Kelli and Brad about photographing their wedding in a very unique way.
My good friend, Asgeir Bollason of Asgeir Fotographica and I have collaborated on weddings in the past, and began brainstorming over a year ago, while flying across country from a wedding we had just photographed. Both of us are lovers of documentary style photography. We both find our inspiration from from non-wedding photojournalists and push each other to strive toward bringing this style, as pure as possible, into our wedding photography. Often, we complain to each other, that the weddings we photograph never quite seem to fully allow either of us to truly photograph the event – from beginning to end – as true photojournalists. Even though our weddings mostly include documentary coverage, they usually also require portraits to some extent. Another hindrance that we discussed, and this is more self-imposed than coming from our clients, is a sense that there is an unspoken list of photos that we must deliver rather than a freedom to seek and find the most interesting moments as they arise.
Our idea on that plane ride was to photograph a wedding together without one single portrait, or any list or demands, whatsoever, from the bride and groom. We also agreed that attending the wedding with minimal equipment (we both used only Leica cameras) and more as guests, would force us to push the limits with what we had, and to be less noticeable and obtrusive to the guests. In doing so, we surmised that we could be free to find moments that we otherwise might miss, as well as be freed up during the day to be as creative as we could possibly be. Many, many thanks to Kelli and Brad for granting us this opportunity! This wonderful couple, with their family and friends, were completely gracious and at ease with Asgeir and I! I am convinced the result allowed us to achieve exactly what we envisioned and we are calling our collaborative effort: “Soulful Observers.”