Loran and bridesmaids in a decisive moment at St Anthony Hotel San Antonio Texas -0386-L1003507
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Decisive moment – Image of the week 11 – Philip Thomas

Loran and bridesmaids in a decisive moment at St Anthony Hotel San Antonio Texas -0386-L1003507

I love what I do for a living. For over 25 years, I’ve been fascinated with the ‘Decisive Moment.’ My style of photography is primarily based on this concept and what I look for to tell a story in one image.

The ‘Decisive Moment’ is the idea that Henri Cartier-Bresson spoke of when all the elements in a photograph, the overall image, the visual and psychological elements of people in a real-life scene, spontaneously and briefly come together in a split second. The elements of the photo come together in perfect harmony to communicate the essence of the situation. An example of this might be when the couple leans in for their first kiss. It’s not when they kiss, but the fraction before their lips kiss. However, for this to be labeled a decisive moment, the overall image design to be in perfect harmony, based on dynamic symmetry and geometry.

You have to know people and have emotional skills when to strike the shutter.

When it makes sense, I’ll add the sequence of images captured leading up and beyond the photo. This frame is one of those images where a lot is going on.

A sequence of images captured at St Anthony Hotel in San Antonio Texas showing a decisive moment
A contact sheet showing the sequence of images captured before and after a decisive moment.

In this image, I knew Loran, the bride, on one-third of the frame was walking over to get her dress from the hangar, and she has beautiful light on her face. Her mother is on the far left gazing in the mirror with the hairdresser adding the final touches to her hair. Her friends with drinks in hand, move toward the bride. The eye moves from the brightest part of the image, from the veil to the wedding dress. There are her shoes in the bottom right corner. The movement of the dress in the bride’s arms and the repeating patterns of her dress and the veil, the bridesmaid’s fingers, and arms all point toward Loran. The bridesmaid’s body shapes come together really nicely in terms of composition and rhythm. A ‘decisive moment.’ Then, the moment was over, and I was moving on.

Captured with a Leica M10 and a 21mm Elmar f3.4 lens.

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