Recent PostsIn Love "Just Married" at Chicago Marriage Court, "Turned Around" The Kiss, "Just Married" at Chicago Marriage Court Holding Hands series from "Just Married" at Chicago Marriage Court Standing up at Chicago Marriage Court Family series, "Just Married" at Chicago Marriage Court Next Series in the Chicago Marriage Court project After the wedding ceremony at Chicago Marriage Court Just Married at Chicago Marriage Court
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This B&W series emphasize the soulful, loving connection that the couples shared. Removing color untethers the photographs from the realistic view we are accustomed to. It draws our attention to a smaller set of expressive elements and details.
I requested that the newlyweds keep their attention on each other, and asked them a variety of questions while photographing their responses. Can you guess what questions I asked? Please leave your thoughts here on the blog.
Approaching portraiture in that way enabled me to capture the couples interacting naturally rather than posing for the camera.
When I was asked, "what should we do?" my replies included, "Get closer", "Look at each other", "Switch sides"...
"Just Married" at Chicago Marriage Court, "Turned Around"
This installment emphasizes the body language and aesthetics of the couples with minimal if any focus on the face. I asked the couples to hold hands and turn towards the wall.
We rarely see photographs of people turned around because we are habituated to look at the face and eyes to connect and communicate with others when we meet. I believe that when the face is not the focus, we are freer to simply look at the aesthetics of the couple and how they fit together noticing other details that might be passed by when they are facing us. It is not meant to be unflattering or irreverent, it's simply a rare view and another way of experiencing the couples, like sculptures.
Do you prefer seeing faces and expression? Do you reflect differently on what you are seeing when there aren't any faces to see? Does the lack of facial expression emphasize a different set of elements to consider? Please take a little time to leave comments here on the blog, I'd love to know your thoughts.
The Kiss, "Just Married" at Chicago Marriage Court
These kisses occurred in the midst of photographing and weren't encouraged or suggested. While I have many views of each couple, there are very few where they kissed and some couples didn't kiss while I was photographing. Very understandable given the intimate nature of kissing. There were always people behind me, much commotion and sometimes antics from the ever changing throng of people walking by. When asked "What should we do", my answer was always, "Get closer".
"The Bride of Frankenstein" is written on her t-shirt.
Holding Hands series from "Just Married" at Chicago Marriage Court
If you have been visiting my blog you've seen some of these couples already. In this series I asked each couple to stand and hold hands, suggested they communicate non-verbally and asked them questions while I photographed them. The couples looked the most natural in the first or second exposure. After comparing the early shots to those following in almost every instance the early shots were better. By "better" I mean that the photographs revealed something about who they are in a very direct, simple and unintentional way. As time passed the couples had more time to be aware of being photographed and to consider how to present themselves. We are all faced to some extent with the same issues when a camera is pointed at us. When we look into the camera it can quickly change what we choose to reveal or withhold about ourselves.
This project was meant to be seen in its entirety and to present the fascinating elements, expressions, aesthetics and ways of being that couples share. The body language, attire, and little details, all come together to show us something ineffable about attraction and love.
Share your impressions, I'd love to know what you think.
Standing up at Chicago Marriage Court
This post is the fourth in a series of portraits I created at the Chicago Marriage Court. All the couples were photographed shortly after getting married in a waiting area steps away from the court office. I asked the couples to react and communicate non-verbally to statements such as, "Think back to when you first met", "Think of something unexpected that happened on your first date", "Think about something you don't agree on", etc.
I'd love to know your impressions. Feel free to leave a comment. Thanks for visiting!
Family series, "Just Married" at Chicago Marriage Court
I took the opportunity to photograph couples with other family members when time allowed. I waited a short time to see how they arranged themselves and my only direction was usually for all of them to move in closer. I wanted to retain what they did naturally without much intervention. The families were always photographed at the very end of our time. There were many people milling about behind me much of the time which resulted in the couples and family members being distracted by those that were fooling around, making them laugh and shouting out all sorts of things. It was all part of the experience and I didn't ask them to look into the camera or to focus on me. They always eventually came back to paying attention to each other or looking at me.
Next Series in the Chicago Marriage Court project
I couldn't imagine what couples would do, but I wanted to see and feel who they were with as little intervention by me as possible. I had about 25 minutes with each couple if I photographed their wedding ceremony and afterwords. It was fascinating to work with so many people in such a short space of time. Many of the couples, over the course of photographing them, got more comfortable which allowed for some of the heartfelt and beautiful choices they made with each other. I respect and appreciate the art of posing and utilize it on many occasions but it's an entirely different approach to photographing people.
All the photographs in this series were taken toward the end of my time with them and after the marriage ceremony when I asked them to take a few minutes to do whatever they would like. Some chose to present themselves directly to the camera others didn't...Do you prefer one approach over the other? If so, why?
After the wedding ceremony at Chicago Marriage Court
I photographed more than 100 couples at the Chicago Marriage Court. I wanted the photographs to tell stories about their relationship to each other and reveal something of their nature and spirit.
Instead of posing the couples I suggested they place their attention on each other while I asked them questions and photographed them as they reacted. I asked them to not talk (much...) and try to communicate with their eyes and how they held each other.
The first series of photographs were taken in the waiting area just outside the court rooms and during the marriage ceremonies. I've introduced the project in Black and White for the first series then shifted to color. The photographs in this series were created in an adjacent area to Chicago Marriage Court where I photographed all of the couples with some surprising and wonderful results. I'll be adding photographs regularly, so drop by for a visit.
Thanks for taking the time see what I've been up to.
Just Married at Chicago Marriage Court
This is the first couple I photographed. I wanted to photograph couples in a way that would reveal a part of their story with as little intervention by me as possible. Being in front of the couples with a camera can put me at a deficit because people have a natural inclination to present themselves. I was looking for a more natural, less intentional reaction. I developed a series of questions that I asked the couples while suggesting they place their attention on each other. I refined my approach over the course of the project.
I've introduced the project in Black & White to focus on the similarities shared among all the participants and to focus on their expressions and the feelings they share. The following posts will be in color and I made that choice to convey more information and see the differences among them.
© Marc Perlish Photography