The Garter Throw

Nobody will ever convince me that the right candid moment captured has less power than a beautifully posed image. And, while a well posed image can be remarkable, it's these candid captured moments that you'll look at in 10 years that will bring all the emotion and memories of that particular day and time.

In this upcoming series on candid photography, I have selected a number of images to discuss and illustrate this point. 

The first is a set of four pictures from a wedding at the Vintners Inn, in Sonoma, California. This was a wedding with a fantastic couple who I was with all day and months before for their engagement shoot.

On their wedding day, I had the pleasure of meeting the bride's little sister, Serena, who was also the maid of honor. Throughout the day, we could see her with her boyfriend. They had been together a little while at that point and clearly, their relationship was the real deal.


Cut to the end of the night when it was time for the bouquet to be tossed by the bride and garter by the groom. When it was time for the groom, Ben to throw the garter, Serena's boyfriend was the one to catch it. While catching the garter is a special moment, it’s a required shot for any photographer to get. Prior to setting myself up in an optimal position to capture the men trying to catch the garter, I noticed Serena setting herself up to video or photograph the moment. Upon capturing her boyfriend catching it, instead of taking shots of his reaction 10 times. I caught him perfectly once spun around and saw her and was able to shoot her filming and reacting to her boyfriend catching the garter. Looking back, the thing I’m most proud of is that I couldn’t have known that he was going to catch the garter. I had to process who caught it, and at the same time realize that Serena would react...and find her to catch and complete that series, all within seconds. This aspect of photography cannot be taught, the instinctive ability to see situations developing before they occur and capturing them.


The end result was fabulous, because she was hysterical. She thought it was the funniest, most wonderful thing of all time. And what's even more special is that about two months ago, that couple were engaged. They will now and always have that moment to look back on in 10 years or 50 years. Undoubtedly, they will look back on the series of four photographs on the day that Serena’s sister, Bailey got married and her boyfriend caught that garter. That couple were in a number of posed pictures that night, however, they're not going to matter as much as those four because it foretold exactly what happened.

The thing that I was most proud of is that I didn’t know that he was going to catch it, but to realize that this was Serena’s boyfriend and that she was there.