The Present Moment and Mindfulness

“This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.”

At a recent Manchester wedding video I shot, I came to notice how calm things were at the bridal preparations I was filming. The bride was having her makeup done and the hotel room was serene with just the occasional click from the photographer’s camera. I was quietly documenting the wedding, being very discreet as not to disturb the wonderful pre-wedding atmosphere. When the thought came to me that I had not thought of anything but shooting this wedding since I came into the room. I was lost in the moment.

Being lost in the moment was a wonderful feeling. I was not worrying about shot selection or kit choice. I was not fighting with myself on how to shoot the day or second-guessing myself on how the day would go. I was completely focused on moving within the scene capturing the moments as they developed.  Almost at one with the actions within the room, I could read the action and be in the right place at the right time before it happened.

Being able to attain this state comes from developing an eye and ear for the situation at hand, but also from freeing up the mind by having a minimalist approach to shooting weddings. Developing the eye and ear to read the action is a skill one gains from shooting 100’s of wedding over my career. However one can gain the benefits of a minimalist approach by simply taking less equipment into the wedding shoot. Less equipment brings freedom to be creative as one’s mind is unencumbered with equipment choices. A secondary benefit to less equipment is that you can move more freely and discretely with the confined space of the bridal preparations.