Armen Elliott Photo

Confessions of a Wedding Crasher

Riverview Country Club wedding

When I was 25 and studying photography, I never intended to become a serial “wedding crasher.”  I just wanted to understand what women were supposed to do on their wedding day, just in case I ever got married.  I also needed a topic for my master’s thesis and that’s when I began my “Women in Ritual” project. My preferred tool of investigation was, and still is, my camera. I use my camera to comprehend the world around me and to better understand subjects I’m fascinated by.

I found my willing photo-documentary subjects exiting the marriage license bureau in lower Manhattan. I was not their official wedding photographer; I was more of an invited guest photojournalist working on my thesis project. I had the freedom of a child who could follow her curiosity wherever it led and create images to please no one but herself. In short, I was a kid in a visual candy store of wonderful wedding paraphernalia.

It’s now been many years since I began photographing weddings professionally, and while my work has matured my fundamental approach has not changed. I still believe that spending as much time as possible with my couples creates a comfortable experience for them and allows me to understand them more deeply, which leads to more insightful images of their wedding day. In my experience, the most important photographs capture the relationships between people on a day in their lives in which those relationships mean everything. I worry far less about photographing the napkin rings on the table.

People will forever fascinate me, and my camera is my passport to places where otherwise I have no right to be but where I am always grateful to travel.

Website: Armen Elliott Photography

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