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How the art of listening can create a powerful image

For contemporary wedding photographer Jonas Peterson so much about storytelling is about story listening and trusting what you have in front of the camera. And this is one of his favourite wedding images that he’s ever taken. 

I really love this image. And in this photograph with Jeff and Rachel, I told them where to stand and they started interacting. Not only is the emotion between Jeff and Rachel great, but we also have the trees mimicking exactly what the couple is doing.

It wasn’t until Jonas showed Jeff and Rachel the back of the camera that he noticed there was a seagull in the middle of his frame. He was about to tell them: "Don't worry, I'll take the seagull out in Photoshop", when Rachel started crying and said: "My grandfather just passed away and he said, 'I'm going to be at your wedding, and I'm going to be there in the shape of a seagull'.”

I listened that day and that's something that I have tried to do more and more instead of trying to tell a story that's not mine.

 Behind the image Jonas Peterson image
Image credit: Jonas Peterson