The Chen wedding was on City Island in the Bronx. A life long New Yorker and still there are places I am going for the first time. I jumped into my car in Brooklyn and drove down Eastern Parkway to the Jackie Robinson Expressway where I sped through zigs and zags emerging onto the White Stone Bridge and then finally, an hour and a half later, City Island. I arrived early. Met the bride and groom, walked around the space, unloaded my gear, set up and started to photograph. There are so many cultural components to being a wedding photographer that one has to be sensitive to. I love photographing action and events and making visual narratives out of candid moments. Most of the people at the wedding, especially the elderly, were from Taiwan. As soon as I would point my camera at a group of people they would freeze up, stiffen out, pause their candid moment, look at the camera sternly, a kind of pose, and then continue. It made my job difficult. I just photographed more. Then I started to feel like people were turning their backs on me. I spoke with people, asked people to pose, directed them, moved them, laughed with them and photographed around it all. The funny thing is that as soon as people, any people, start to dance, they can’t help but smile and their guards are dropped instantly.
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