Flow and the Art of Wedding Photography

Over at 37signals there is an interesting post on the state of “Flow” described by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi as

being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.

Some athletes call it being in the zone, being able to tune out the crowd during a crucial freethrow at a finals game, letting muscle memory take care of the ball’s trajectory. Jim Paredes just recently talked about Flow and his song writing process and how his best songs were created at this state in less than five minutes.

Flow is something I try to reach in every wedding. During Flow, I let my subconscious take over the camera settings, I let him decide if I turn on the flash or not and I let him change the lens for me. I let him find the moment, let him decide where to point the camera and when to press the shutter.

Mimi tells me she gets into the flow once she starts shooting the details. I, on the other hand, need a trigger to reach this mindset. Before each wedding I need to listen to either California by Phantom Planet or 1979 by the Smashing Pumpkins. I don’t really know why but I swear it works. :laugh:

But I do admit that Flow sometimes escapes me, specially when I haven’t shot a wedding for like a month or the videographer’s style is having his lens just a foot away from the couple’s face. Shooting with Flow is probably one of the reasons that make me enjoy wedding photography and get the killer shots in the process.

How ’bout you guys? What’s your Flow story?