I’ve been working on a wedding album today for the incredible Forbury Hotel in Reading. Shot right at the head of this year, this is an image captured from that wedding, though in church – the reception was at the FH. When provided a level of latitude by the minister, I’ll often subtly place myself in the wings, as sooner or later, you just know, you’ll capture ‘the glance.’ And here is that glance, in all it’s glory. It’s that ‘I love you darling’ moment that I’m eager to record as a wedding photographer.
So I chose this one for it’s simplicity as record images from the day are equally as important as the complex light solving signature wedding photographs. ‘Parent sees daughter’ moments are often the first open emotional contacts, but they don’t have to be joyfully tearful. This relaxed family photograph brings three key members of the day together in one frame. Daughter, father, mother.
SHOOTING DATA: Canon 5DMk2, 24mm lens, F1.4, 1/200, ISO 1600, underexposed by a third.
In composition terms this image wouldn’t win a heap of wedding photography print competitions. Geometrically it breaks several rules on that count. But if there were a ‘grab shot’ category, well, maybe it would fair a little better. This is a photograph that describes my photographic approach to reception shooting, which in colder months can often be quite a cosy affair. The grand vistas that frequent the summer catalogue are replaced by nooks and low lit saloons. These are the times I opt for shorter focal length lenses, such as my workhorse kit glass; the 24mm prime F1.4. I can get in tighter, move around in space that can be cramp as guests mingle in rooms that were not necessarily designed for that many people all at one time. Ears are as useful as eyes at this point and mine are tuned to listen for excited chatter, laughter, conversation; expression that gathers what I refer to as character shots. This is an example of that. Their faces are lit by pin spots in the bar and perhaps a faint dab of the back screen illumination from the camera they’re looking at. The girl has noticed my presence, but I don’t think that steals away the focal point of this photograph; the amusement they are receiving from whatever it is they’re looking at. It’s a grabbed moment, though there is a little injustice in that description. It’s grabbed from an awareness of my surroundings and understanding of light (there’s no flash deployment).
WEDDING 365 PROJECT – Daily choice of a documentary wedding photograph selected from my catalogue, collated from time spent documenting these unique events. Ethos provided for prospective brides and grooms, shooting data for the togs intrigued by that kind of information. Please comment, it makes a World of difference.
SHOOTING DATA: 5DMk2, 24mm, F1.4, 1/500, ISO 1000.
ETHOS: I sometimes describe what I do flippantly as a series of happy accidents. With each successive year my work becomes more documentary in form and capture. My eyes are less script led and there’s a maturity developing that seems to find photographic opportunities. Here’s a very simple image. I love the way grandparents connect with their grandchildren. Add to that some artwork in the background that shouts story story story, this one could be titled; “Fly like a bird my son, fly like a bird.” My wife incidentally sees something entirely different; their clothed synergy, in shirt form.
WEDDING 365 PROJECT – A favourite documentary wedding photograph collated from my time spent photographing these unique events. Ethos provided for prospective brides and grooms, shooting data for the togs intrigued by that kind of information. Please comment, it makes a World of difference.
SHOOTING DATA: 5DMk2, 24mm, ISO 250, F4, 1/5000.
ETHOS: If 365 is designed to showcase a ‘click in the life,’ it seems fitting to show what I see when I walk ‘on set’ most wedding mornings. This, is so often the start of each wedding story. The fact that the scene is somewhat cluttered with the props of the day ahead, is perfect. This very real photograph tells the story far more than a pristine invention of the truth. “Let me clear the table at least?” No thanks, I’ll answer, everything is perfect, just where it is.