One of the great things about being a San Francisco city hall wedding photographer is the fact that we get exposed to many different cultures on a daily basis. By far one of the more frequent types of weddings we cover are from the Chinese culture. In some cases we have actually photographed weddings where the couple actually was visiting from China. That has not happened as much recently, but we still have had many experiences. Some of our brides and grooms didn't even speak English which created a whole new challenge, but a fun one. In fact, when faced with non-English speaking couples, we show them many of the poses rather than telling them. One of the benefits of handling most of our weddings with 2 photographers is the fact that we can demonstrate some of the poses for our couples. In most cases, this isn't necessary, but it's a nice option to have. In the picture above, we did something we have not tried too often because it can be tricky. We put a light way behind the couple and then remotely fired it to create great backlight. Its not what I would call a natural look, but it has impact and grabs your attention. The light shining through the doorway makes it seem like it could be natural light. In many ways, that is just the thing that makes the photo compelling. You don't really know where the light is coming from, but it definitely adds some drama.
Through the years we have also learned to interact with people of different cultures in a way that works best for them. Sometimes this means being very outgoing and fun-loving and sometimes we will be more reserved. Success in the city hall wedding photography business comes from knowing how to adapt to each client and making them feel comfortable during the actual photo shoot. Uncomfortable brides and grooms often lead to wedding photos that look forced and not natural. Whether we are working with Chinese, Korean, or any other Asian culture, we try to work with each couple closely. We recently discovered that many Asian couples feel uncomfortable kissing in front of their parents. We actually never knew that and so it was a good thing to finally comprehend. It helps to understand these types of things in advance so we do not ask our couple to do anything that they prefer not to. There are many other cultural differences regarding Asian marriages, but they are too numerous to list here. The important thing to know is that we respect these issues and make sure we are doing the right thing and keeping everyone comfortable and happy. On the other hand, at times we make sure to at least suggest the photos that will be memorable for the couple in the future and this might involve pushing the envelope a little. Even if it means getting away from their parents. Feel free to let us know if there are any cultural issues we should know about before we photograph your San Francisco city hall marriage. We are happy to adjust to your needs and preferences.
Another Asian couple after their San Francisco city hall wedding