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This Is How: ‘Jewish Wedding, 2017’ by Shlomi Amiga

Always an honour to feature a new ‘This is How…’ piece by our This is Reportage members, and today is no exception as the brilliant Shlomi Amiga (Canada) takes us behind the scenes of his recent Reportage Award-winning capture. Really great insights into capturing connections between people – and doing so by not only capturing faces or expressions. A brilliant read; thanks Shlomi!

I’ve always been a sucker for connection. Yes, of course I shoot portraits and details and all of that during a wedding, but the moments that really move me are those in which people come together. Photographed or not, it is a captivating sight to me.

A few years ago I attended a wedding photography conference in Europe, in which the wonderful Candice Cusic was one of the main speakers. At one point during her talk, she mentioned hands, and how much they can convey in photographs.

With some practice and experience, it’s fairly easy for us photographers to showcase emotion with facial expressions – it’s all around us during a wedding. I always found body parts however to be a challenging, subtle yet beautiful way of documenting the same connections between people. The opportunity doesn’t always present itself in the midst of wedding day craziness but when you spot it, it’s priceless!

I took this shot during the Horah dancing at an orthodox Jewish wedding. I was on assignment for Avital Zemer and went all out on the dance floor (as I usually do, frankly). If you ever photographed the Horah you know that it can be a bit of a war zone at times. The rhythm and speed of the crowd going in circles can easily knock over a grown man! You get stomped on by high heals, pushed and shoved, and knocked in the crotch every few seconds on average. All in good party spirit but if you go in there it’s important to know what’s at stake. Is it worth diving in? Absolutely!

The best thing about this craziness is that there’s not a lot of time to think. Compared to all the other parts of the wedding, the dance floor is a fast paced environment with little to no time to worry too much about technicality. Personally, I feel like it is the most liberating part of the day, both for me and my subjects.

You can see more of Shlomi’s work on his website, or here on his TiR profile.

Shlomi mentioned Candice Cusic as an inspiration in his piece; Candice is also one of our judges for the current Collection of awards.

If you enjoyed this article, you may be interested in the vast catalogue of other ‘This is How…’ pieces by our This is Reportage members.

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