Based in New York City, Josh Wong is a photographer to whom models at New York Bridal Fashion Week flock backstage, knowing he’ll capture the most incredible shots – both, candid and posed – that they can potentially add to their portfolio. Whether he’s capturing an intimate destination wedding in Positano or photographing the latest designer collections at fashion events, there’s a reason why Josh is the go-to NYC wedding photographer for the most stylish and discerning couples. We had a chat with the longtime friend of Grace Ormonde Wedding Style about all things wedding photography:
GO: How would you describe your photography style?
A: I describe my wedding photography in two styles. The first is the documentary and photojournalistic. Capturing the day in its raw, organic and natural state is vital in preserving the memories. The second is editorial fashion wedding photography. The shots are not the typical nor will they have the cheesy (sorry, no Prom poses) wedding picture feel. The images look edgier and are created looking like they are for magazines but with normal people (non-models).
GO: Do you pose and instruct couples on what to do during a photo session?
A: Most of the time, yes! But not all the time. I will coach the couples in terms of how to make the images look better. How to position the body and create body language. I coach them on what to do with the arms and hands. I even teach the couples how to walk, stand and sit. Once the I give the couples these instructions and they practice a bit, it almost becomes second nature. At that point, I rarely have to instruct couples. Only instructions after that are just minor body adjustment.
GO: What is your opinion on "trendy" poses? (ie: The couple holding hands and facing the camera straight-on with a serious facial expression.)
A: I have always prided myself as a photographic artist to stand out, be different and original. To never follow the status quo. With trendy poses, they eventually become similar to the cheesy prom poses, so I am surprised that many wedding photographers still do this pose. I probably will never be a fan of it thus you will never see me intentionally pose my couples in that fashion.
As side note, my couples all know my style of photography and hire me based on that particular look and artistic taste, so I generally never get asked to do a photo like that. If couples come and meet with me and ask for these types of photos, then generally we would not be a good fit.
Is there an exception? Yes. When you are documenting and just taking candid shots and you see the couple in those poses, yes I'd probably take that picture. But the chances are slim because those poses are not so natural.
GO: What are your favorite moments to capture during the wedding day?
A: The first look. The father/ daughter dance and personal vows (if the couples have it).
GO: How far in advance should a couple reach out to you if they wish to book you for their wedding?
A: I'd say 9-14 months in advance. But that doesn't mean to not reach out. You can contact me any time as things change all the time. Slower months are the winter months. Celebrity weddings get planned in three months' time most of the time.
GO: What advice do you have for couples who are searching for a wedding photographer?
A: Not all wedding photographers are created equal. I categorize photographers in three tiers: There are the pro-Amateurs/slash photo hobbyists/enthusiasts. These are the part-timers and may not have the experience. There are the professional service wedding photographers. These are true professionals with experience and will deliver a good product (most of the time). The product may look the same throughout all the weddings. Finally, the luxury and photographic artist. They are like the Mercedes Benz's of photographers. They will deliver something that totally stands out and will amaze you. My advice for couples is to get to know your photographer's body of work and see what tier they fall into. You will also get what you pay for. The photographers images should speak to you. Interview and meet your photographer and be sure that you two are a good fit for each other. Even if you love the photographer’s work, if your personalities clash, it will not work out.
GO: Aside from weddings, are there any other types of photography you enjoy?
A: I love street, photojournalism, and editorial fashion. With the advent of drones, aerial photography is rising on my list. Of course, I always incorporate all the skills into whatever I photograph.