One of the many things that I really like about shooting or capturing a wedding, interviewing the parents. Mind you, it is no easy task.
Since 2012, I have hits and misses when comes to interviewing parents. Some are open while some are reserved. Some welcome you to the family instantly while some just sees you as a service provider.
Along the way, I have tweaked my way of asking and the question structuring. Those who have engaged me, might have seen me shed a tear while doing this.
1. Speak in Malay.
– If they replied in English, let them be. That is their time.
2. Speak with conviction and a lot of respect.
– If you need to speak like a news reporter, do it. That way, you are indicating that you are serious about your question.
– Be mindful of your tonation. You got to project humility and respect.
3. Use a standard Malay language.
– No need to use the “Baku” language.
– Don’t use “bahasa pasar” unless you are of the same age as the parents. You are an outsider.
4. Pay attention to body language.
– Pay attention to eyes, lips and body language like actions of swallowing.
– If the eyes are watery, parents are about to break.
– If the lips are trembling, again, they are about to break.
– If they keep swallowing their saliva, it means, they are trying themselves very hard not to break.
– Trust me, you can feel it.
5. Don’t push.
– If parents are not willing to share their experiences, don’t push it. Remember, you are an outsider. You are a “guest” to their family circle and reception.
– Make them comfortable about sharing. Let them know it is ok to share the emotions. It is ok if they converse in improper language structure. After all, it is about keeping it real isn’t it ?
6. Don’t interrupt.
– Let them finish. Even it means a very long pause.
7. Discipline yourself.
– Do not make any noise. Do not talk to your fellow videographer. Do not meddle with your camera settings. Give your fullest attention. Immerse yourself with what being said. You could learn a thing or two from them.
In this wedding, it took a while before the mom open up to us.
Some of the questions that we asked,
1. Apakah ucapan Makcik untuk Hafizah ?
2. Sudikah makcik kongsi sedikit sebanyak rahsia perkhawinan makcik ? Ini supaya, bila Fizah dan Hadi tonton video perkhawinan mereka, kata-kata Makcik akan menjadi satu bimbingan, dorangan and pegangan untuk mereka.
The mom, reacted openly to the last question. Her success secrets were her repeated answers.
For me, personally, the perfect example of true love is not Romeo and Juliet or fictional story like Lagenda Budak Setan. It is our parents who made it so far. They are the perfect example of any simplest and true love that you find.