Throughout the years, each one of us has had very particular encounters with our family’s photographic files, specifically with our parents’ and grandparents’ wedding albums. Going through these images made us wonder about our motivation for photographing weddings and we soon realized that doing this is significant work in itself; for these photographs not only represent a bridge to past times but also a way to document the era we live in.
If one thing is clear, it is that wedding photography goes far beyond aesthetic composition, but rather forms a language of conversation in which many references are immersed. Telling a story through images requires different paths of inspiration, a very close contact with the couple and the creative freedom of those who put their signature behind the lens. Tanya Chávez, Víctor Morales and Jimena Zavala are one of the foremost creative teams in the wedding industry working with Whitelab to redefine the way we create a visual language in photography. Here we tell you more about its history and creative process.
Whitelab’s story began eight years ago. Although the three of them have different professional backgrounds, Tanya, Victor and Jimena ended up studying photography together and it was there, at school, where they met. Their career has involved work in the publishing industry, being not only photographers and editors in various national publications, but also as keen observers in documentary and street photography. The result of his work is like watching a story elevated in aesthetics, always giving prominence to those moments in which, despite the lack of words, feelings are the ones that take over to feed the composition.
“We like to get to know and create bonds of friendship with the couples we work with, this allows us to have a more intimate and natural approach with them. We try to make the couples we work with feel comfortable and confident with us, this always leads us to have a spontaneous and fluid result.”, they say, referring to what gives a completely different stamp to the visual legacy that they create and bring to life with their cameras. For Whitelab the important thing is to let the situations and moments develop as naturally as possible, always aiming to let themselves be carried away by the couple, their families and friends.
Because they know that the presence of a camera can sometimes be a source of tension, they always try to remain unnoticed so that it is the moments what guides the composition of that story and, therefore, their authorship. For this perfect triad, inspiration is a source that flows constantly and doesn’t stop, and it is precisely through the references that accompany them that they have managed to give unique shape to their work. “We believe that everything that enters through the senses nourishes what we do. The music we listen to, the books we read, the movies we watch, what we like to eat, and so on. That implies how we perceive the world and therefore connects with the way we are interested in representing it.”, they said in the interview.
The constant challenge is one of the key motivations for Whitelab, that is why they understand the relevance of photographs beyond their final result, but through the value they offer. “The three of us have had the opportunity to go back through our family memories and look at our grandparents’ and parents’ wedding photos, and we love to think that someone years from now will feel the same way we do when they see these images, and we believe that doing this becomes a documentation of the times in which we live and how we live them.”. Regarding the pandemic, Tanya, Victor and Jimena share with us that it is these changes that make photographing events even more interesting: the adaptations in fashion, the emergence of accessories such as mouth covers and even the new ways of configuring spaces. All of this is now a specific testimony that “forced us all to think about other ways of living and relating to each other,” they say.
That is why perfect weddings do not exist in their record, but each one of them offers something very specific and completely different. The personality of the bride and groom and their friends is fundamental, of course, but it is not the only thing, since the venue, the music and everything that is part of this great day also enter into the equation. “We have had events of 500 guests where the party never stops and the vibe is incredible and also much smaller weddings, where the energy is much more intimate and closer; it is likely that because of our personality we connect more with the latter”.
Whitelab defines itself as a documentary and photojournalistic approach, although they claim that the visual testimony of their photos is also proof of their love for the editorial side of portraiture and fashion. In her work you will find all kinds of images that, without hesitation, experiment with contexts and make them even more their own. New approaches in beauty, in the details of a wedding dress and even in the genuine gestures of children that always manage to give that extra to the atmosphere.
To generate those images that will be the visual legacy of such an important occasion, Whitelab recommends “choosing a photo team with whom they connect, feel comfortable and share and like their style of photography. Talk with them about the expectations you have for this day but allow the photographers to propose and do what they know how to do”, so that the wedding becomes the perfect excuse to relax and dedicate the necessary time to generate those images that, over time, will be the best reminder of a date like no other.
And yes, in case you were wondering, Whitelab covers national and international weddings, the only thing you should take into consideration is to hire this service as far in advance as possible to ensure the availability of the date. Although they recommend doing it six months in advance, they also share that they have had couples contact them a year or two before the wedding.
As if it were an exhibition, the work of Tanya, Victor and Jimena is an example of how to take the best of art everywhere, to every celebration… to the uniqueness of each “I do!”. And that is what Whitelab is: the proposal of a photography that is lived and relived as many times as necessary; always with the same dose of inspiration, ideas, perspectives, distinguished proposals of beauty and, of course, uniqueness.