Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Meet French Wedding Photographer, David Bacher

Discover the beautiful work of French wedding photographer,  David Bacher who is one of the top ten wedding destination photographers by Brides Magazine UK.
Recently, we asked him a few questions about weddings in France vs. The United States and what inspires him.  Here’s what David thinks about the difference in French wedding traditions.

Generally speaking I think French weddings are more formal than weddings in the U.S. Here you are starting to see non-religious outdoor ceremonies, for example, but the tendency is still having a religious ceremony in a church or other place of worship. French weddings last longer. I normally begin photographing the girls getting ready around 10 a.m. and then stay until 1 a.m. The dinner usually lasts 2.5-3 hours and consists of a starter, main course, cheese and dessert. In general people in France spend more time together seated down for meals. It is not about finishing as quickly as possible and then moving on to something else. It is about conversing with one another and overall just enjoying each others company. I actually remember photographing an American wedding in France. I remember overhearing the best man say to the caterer. "Really, we've had enough to eat now. We just want to party"

David, how did you come to make France your home now ?

Photography initially brought me to Paris in 2004. I came to intern in the VII photo agency which is actually focused on hard social issues. At that time the famous photojournalist James Nachtwey was one of the founding members. I thought I would be able to get work right away with magazines and newspapers following the internship. WRONG. A friend of mine in Washington D.C had been doing wedding photography for a while and was a member of the WPJA. I saw that many newspaper photogs at places like the Washington Post or the New York Times were also doing weddings in a very natural style. I decided to do the same in France and bit by bit I established myself here. Now, I'm getting a good bit of work with weddings and Paris photo sessions, so I can work on my own personal projects and then pitch ideas to magazines. I'm not at their mercy for earning a living which is good.

Your photographs have an editorial quality, what is your personal style?

My style is definitely heavily oriented towards photojournalism where I try to capture moments as opposed to over posing people. I've actually had to learn to take portraits and detail shots because brides also appreciate those kinds of images. When I started out, I never thought about arranging the bride's shoes and her bouquet to make a nice still life. 
What is your favorite city to photograph and why?

I actually have two favorite cities for photography, Paris and New York. I'm working on a long term personal book project comparing and contrasting street life in the two cities. Of course both cities look different, Paris with it's beautiful old architecture and NYC with it's towering sky scrapers. I do however feel that both places have a similar vibe. They are both very diverse in terms of ethnic populations and you never know what you will discover when exploring on foot. For photographing couples, Paris is definitely the top spot.

You have such a diverse background, what languages to you speak?
I'm half American, half Austrian so I speak English and German. I started learning French in 2004 when I arrived in Paris. Then I met my wife who is French, who became my best teacher.

Merci beaucoup David for sharing your story and some lovely photographs !
We will be featuring more of his photos soon!

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