Photog Faves: Dads

Emma Frankart Henterly

With Father’s Day coming up this weekend, we thought we’d take a moment to honor all the dads out there with another installment of our Photog Faves series. Today, the guys at Style & Story Creative shares some of their favorite recent father-daughter moments, and head photographer Ben Adams sheds some insight on the process of capturing these sweet moments in the following Q&A.

What makes a really good father-daughter photograph?

Honesty and authenticity is crucial in wedding photography, because they will directly reflect in the photograph itself. The experience and emotions felt when the photo is being taken will be preserved alongside the visual representation of the moment. If you stage something again after the moment has passed, if you interrupt a quiet moment, if you interrupt when a father sees his baby girl in her wedding gown for the first time, etc., all these intrusive actions will be remembered with the photograph. Don't interject yourself into the story that is unfolding.

Are there any inherent challenges to capturing father-daughter photos?

Capturing the honest and genuine emotions of fathers on a wedding day is definitely a challenging task and requires great intentionality and finesse. It's not that there is a lack of emotion, but as a photographer, it's about being present in a way that allows those moments to be captured. Fathers don't have a problem expressing their love in private, but when there is a camera around, dads tend to be more stoic. We try to have the smallest and the least intrusive setup as possible. That way, when dads allows those feelings emerge, we are there to preserve that expression of love and not to stifle it. We try to prioritize the story that is present and allow it to naturally unfold. If a situation gets awkward, we stay with it, putting aside our discomfort and focusing on being present.

What are you focusing on during these moments?

Now, having a daughter, all I can think about on a wedding day is standing in the place of the bride and her father as if it were my daughter and I. It’s almost like an out-of-body experience, and I strive to get the best shots that I know I would want of my little girl on her special day.

Do you take any special approaches to photographing and editing father-daughter photos?

Our photos of fathers and their children tend to gravitate toward a black-and-white edit. Removing the distraction of color allows the viewer to focus more on the emotions captured.

With how important these images are, how do you make sure these moments are not forgotten?

We make sure all our couples receive something real and physical from their wedding day: an album. Print has the ability to preserve memories in an exclusive way that digital files can't. It brings you closer to the memories that are present. Not only are you able to relive those moments, it allows you to physically hold on to your memories, generating a stronger bond. Print allows those memories from that one day to transcend generations.