Over the last few months, I’ve started photographing a good deal more weddings alongside Kris Ugarizza and Red Wave Pictures here in Madison. In addition to being a great opportunity to add to my portfolio, shooting weddings with a photojournalist’s style keeps my skills fresh while I’m doing less day-to-day newspaper work.

But sometimes, it can be easy to get comfortable and complacent when photographing weddings—hitting all the “standard” shots such as cake-cuttings, kisses, and father-daughter dances.

But that can get old. When you just document what’s happening, you’re not really seeing the event. So I’ve challenged myself to really start seeing the art around me at these weddings—balancing the documentary with art for art’s sake.

These kind of “found art” photographs are certainly not a huge focus of my work in general, but it teaches me to focus on composition, framing, balance, and all the core aspects of good photography—which I try to extend back into my photojournalistic assignments.