Working with the available natural light allows me to remain discreet, without bursts of flash alerting my presence to all and sundry. But more importantly than this, it allows me to capture the true mood and ambience of a scene so that viewers might really feel what it was like to be there at that precise moment.
It’s great to capture a shot of all the guests in context and there are a couple of points in the day when everyone will be together in the one room. The wedding breakfast is usually one of them, and the ceremony is the other. Following this beautiful ceremony at the oh so special Botleys Mansion a couple of weeks ago, I spotted the stairs at the back of the atrium and knew they would make for a wonderful sweeping shot of everyone in the room. Click the picture to read more.
I like my pictures to be neat, balanced, tidy so I’m always looking for lines and shapes to help balance the picture and lead the viewers eye through it. I’m also a sucker for a bit of symmetry. Click the image to read more.
As a documentary wedding photographer, I pride myself on my discretion. My ability to remain low-key throughout the day and almost disappear amongst the guests. This is fundamental to my style and my whole ethos regarding wedding photography is built on this premise. Click on the image to read more about the story behind this candid portrait.
I photograph weddings of all sizes, from intimate weddings with just a handful of guests to extravagant weddings with 200 or more. As a documentary wedding photographer I very rarely take the typical ‘large group shot’ of every guest stood in front of the venue. Instead, I always look for different naturally formed groups at weddings…
It’s all about timing when photographing weddings. You can have the most amazing eye and set up the most amazing compositions, but if nothing happens the resulting photograph is going to be a little flat. I’m a reportage wedding photographer but first and foremost I am a people photographer. People are what make a wedding day for me and so I use people in nearly all my pictures in some way or another…
The decisive moment was a phrase first coined by the late Henri Cartier-Bresson to describe the precise moment when everything in a scene comes together. In his own words “Inside movement there is one moment in which the elements are in balance. Photography must seize the importance of this moment and hold immobile the equilibrium of it…
What is candid wedding photography all about? The dictionary describes candid shots as unposed, informal, uncontrived, impromptu, natural. I certainly think that sums up my style of documentary wedding photography. Regular followers of mine will already know that I’m always looking for those moments that happen naturally…
A well thought out firework display can be incredible to watch, always generating a few oohs and ahhs along the way. But fireworks don’t just have to be reserved for 5th November or New Years Eve. Fireworks at a wedding can be a great way to end the days celebrations. I actually had a firework display at my own wedding, a surprise one I might add. My usher, Dan, disappeared on the morning of my wedding and returned a bit suspiciously a couple of hour later to help put the finishing touches to the venue. Little did I know that he and my brother were planning a surprise firework display on Tankerton beach, looking out to sea.
Regular followers of my website will already know my love for black and white wedding photography. There’s something very timeless about a beautiful image devoid of colour. Once you strip away the colour it becomes all bout the content, The subject, the light, the shape, form and composition. No distractions. Don’t get me wrong, I love a colour photograph too. And actually find myself switching the balance of black and white and colour on a wedding by wedding basis. It really does depend on the day itself.
Following on from my previous blog post, I thought I would share another image from the same wedding that showcases low key wedding photography. For an image to be considered low key it should be dark with a majority of black areas. With this image of a bride and groom dancing, I wanted to really give a sense of the mood of the moment.
For an image to be considered high key it should be bright with a majority of light or white areas. With this image of a bride and groom entering to meet their guests for dinner,I wanted to create a mood that was fitting with the grand entrance the couple were given.
What is a wedding photograph? To put it simply, any picture taken on a wedding day can be considered a wedding photograph. It might be a picture of the bride and groom, but equally it might not feature anyone at all.
My style of documentary wedding photography is all about moments. Real moments of the day, that flow together to form a narrative to tell the unique story of each couple’s day. There are of course the big moments; the vows, the kiss, the speeches, the first dance. But there are also a multitude of little moments throughout the day, too. Moments that for the most part will go unnoticed, or forgotten as time passes.
The wedding shoe shot is one that nearly every wedding photographer under the sun will take. But that doesn’t mean they all have to look the same. I have nothing against a nice shot of some shoes. After all, the bride has probably invested quite a bit of time tracking down the right pair and probably paid a fair bit for them, too. So it makes sense to get a shot of them where possible.
The first dance is always a wonderful moment for a wedding photojournalist to capture, as no two are ever the same. Different couples, different venues, different songs. It’s always a lovely moment when the bride and groom are essentially alone for just a minute or two, albeit under the watchful eyes on their onlooking guests. It’s great to see how couples treat this moment differently. Some choose to slow dance in each others arms, staring lovingly at each for the duration of the song. Others will whisper things into each others ears, prompting smiles and laughter which is always a joy to watch. I have even photographed a couple pulling some ‘pulp fiction’ style moves on the dance floor.
Reportage Wedding Photography means different things to different people. To some it’s a series a close up faces, photographed through a crowd and then converted to black and white. To me, reportage wedding photography is so much more than that. It is storytelling wedding photography, observed and unobtrusive.
With my discreet and emotive wedding photography, I always seek to tell the real story of the wedding day. Not just the big moments that everyone sees, or the ones that make the guests laugh, smile and cheer. I like to capture all the tender little moments too. Part of my style as a reportage…
For many, this is not your typical wedding photograph. It doesn’t contain a bride. Or a groom for that matter. It doesn’t contain details like shoes, flowers, favours or cakes. It doesn’t even show the wedding venue per se. But it does tell an important part of the story of the day.