This Is How: ‘Eat This’ by Linda Bouritius
Today we bring you a fantastic ‘behind the scenes’ piece by Linda Bouritius, as she tells us all about her recent Reportage Award-winning shot from Collection Five. Linda’s thoughts on the discussion that this image created – both positive and negative – and the huge affect it had on her photography, are really profound; can’t recommend reading this piece enough! Thanks so much to Linda for being so open and sharing her thoughts like this.
Do you know that feeling that when in the corner of your eye you see how a moment is developing, like you can pre-visualise what is going to happen, your senses are becoming stronger, your heart beat raises and all you can do is dive right into it, well that’s how I got this shot at this amazing festival wedding.
From the first time I met these two awesome human beings I knew their wedding would be something different. No traditions, stiff reception or protocol, but a wedding completely designed in their own style.
It was a hot Friday in August. The whole wedding was set in the amazing setting of venue Dutch Biz, in Amersfoort, the Netherlands. The getting ready took place in the main mansion, looking out over a big field where later the ceremony was held.
After the ceremony we went to another field on the property where various food trucks were placed. In the centre a big stage was built and a reggae band was ready to kick-off the wedding reception. From that point on it was all about dancing, music, good food, nice drinks and having an amazing time. The sun was still shining, giant zorb balls and badminton to play with. It was one big mini-festival to celebrate the love of these two.
It was the end of my working day and as I was putting down my camera the bride asked me if I would like to have a sausage. I declined as I am a vegetarian. “Well you don’t know what you are missing”, the bride yelled at me. In the corner of my eye I saw her and her friends coming together all getting one sausage. Well that I was missing something I immediately understood and I grabbed my camera and fired. This wasn’t a moment I anticipated for, something I have visualized before and was waiting to happen for a long time. It was my gut that screamed ‘take this picture, compose, compose and fire’!
The moment from picking up the sausage, getting a bite at it and starting to laugh really hard, as the girls became aware I was taking pictures of it – for me the end of a genuine moment – took only 1:17 minutes.
When arriving home I immediately imported my cards and returned to that moment. I immediately knew which image to select. It was part of the first preview I send out to the couple. And I know it made the bride laugh. It was because I knew my couple is all about humour, not taking things too seriously and living life with a big smile on their face I knew they could appreciate this image. See the fun in it as how I intend to shoot it, to bring a smile on people’s faces. And the fact that in the end the girls were aware of me taking this picture and not making a comment about it, just laughing really hard, I knew it would bring them back to this funny moment they shared together and the good memories they have of this day together.
Of course there’s the ‘dirty mind’ (which is a joy forever isn’t it?) that comes into play with this image. And I was honestly a little bit scared when posting it for the first time. Would people understand my kind of humour? Would people be offended, think of me as a sexist. Well people have. The image has been picked up by some wedding communities and as I soon found out, either you love it or you hate it. Some said that the image isn’t respectful to the bride and that they would hate me for it if I were their wedding photographer. Others applauded my sense of humour and the journalistic approach of the situation, showing a real bride eating a sausage instead of the glamour styled brides.
It was quite the experience having your image being centre of a discussion; having people you don’t know defending your image or saying awful things about it. Even though having people saying negative things about your work isn’t nice, I detected that the discussion strengthened me. I created an image worth discussing about. It wasn’t always easy, but it made me believe harder in the image I created and the direction of my work. I want to photograph couples that are easy-going, are open-minded and see the fun in life. What better way to express that than with this image.
For me this image brought a huge shift in my photography, but most of all in my own vision who I wanted to be as a photographer. It felt good and somehow deliberated to decide to stand by my image and be proud of it.
NIKON D750 with Nikkor 35mm 1.4
Shot at ISO 1250, F4, 1/1600s
Thanks so much to Linda for such a fantastic and thought-provoking piece! If you’d like to see more of her work, visit her website, or check out her portfolio here on This is Reportage.
We have lots more wedding photography tips by our TiR members over here, too.
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