Music has always been at the center of my life. There are always musical phrases floating in my head pretty much every minute, even when I sleep. I go through life with a constant soundtrack in the background of my consciousness. The music I hear varies depending of my mood and the situations in front of me. Through the years I have noticed a 'wedding' playlist emerging slowly, pieces that run through my mind while I photograph a wedding day. The people in a wedding become like characters in a play or a movie or a music video clip. It's a way of reverse engineering I suppose. Generally the music is added to a movie when the footage is already there; for me the music comes first and it influences the way I photograph.
I see a wedding day as a play in 4 acts.
1. The preparations
Bride and groom are getting ready for what's to come. Often there is a slight tension which builds up in the final moments of the "getting ready" act, the climax being when the bride puts on her gown and magically 'becomes' a bride, with a new, almost outer worldly presence and glow. The transformation always touches me.
What goes on in my mind during these moments is often some cool jazz that morphs into higher intensity bebop and sometimes even touching free jazz. Miles (So What!, especially the beginning of his solo... Coltrane, sometimes Mingus or Monk.) The soundtrack of the 1957 Louis Malle movie "Ascenseur pour l'échafaud " (Elevator to the Gallows...obviously no pun intended with the symbology of getting ready for marriage!) also sometimes floats through my mind especially when the light is dramatic and there is a feel of calmness in the room.
2. The Ceremony
Things get quieter in my mind then. Debussy or Satie or Ravel provide the backdrop for what's unfolding in front of me. A sense of serenity, maybe even childlike naïveté.
3. The Couple portraits
This may be the weirdest. When I photograph the couple, there is this James Bond theme that I can't shake off. Casino Royale, the Chris Cornell theme song always pops up, especially the final vamp when Chris yells "you know my name"... A sense of epic heroism but also something linked to fate, destiny and a touch of melancholy. James Bond movies also represent to me the archetype of the 35mm film look, the colors, the grain, all features that I look for in my own work.
Lately there has also been the Future Utopia song. The ethereal mood is hypnotizing. Something sensual about it, some couples feel and look that way, it's like a video clip unfolding in front of me.
4. The Reception
There I invariably hear space age bachelor pad music! Esquivel or even vintage Herb Alpert stuff! Strange enough?