Wedding photographer Notley Abbey | WEDDING 365#20

WEDDING 365 PROJECT – Daily choice of a wedding photojournalist image 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 lens, F1.8, 1/60, ISO 1000

VENUE: Notley Abbey, Buckinghamshire

ETHOS: I’m crossing the line. I can hear shouts of; “That’s not photojournalism, that’s not documentary, certainly not reportage, you’re shamelessly posing, directing, cheating with light that you’re adding in. Six lashes Sir for contradicting the shooting style you champion so readily within these posts.” Whilst it’s correct that as I mature stylistically, my desire is to (as a good photographer friend of mine says) observe not orchestrate, I still maintain that if time permits and it feels appropriate to the moment, or client, portraiture is still an important part of what I do and the overall story. See, there’s a grey area here. Is a portrait a documentary moment? Well, actually yes, I do believe it can be. If subtle. This is a one off event, truly a one off event. Even if things change for the couple in the future, this is still, a one off, never to be repeated in quite the same way, event. It happened, it’s part of history. In the same way that when I produced radio documentaries about people, part of the process would be to orchestrate an interview, I don’t feel that this is any less part of the documentary because for a short time, I organised a photograph to reflect the clothing, emotion, architecture, landscape and so on. The difference is that certainly now, I will try to pose as naturally as I can, or is right for the couple. No dipping of brides backwards, no leaping in the air. A calm hopefully observational record of bride, groom, or couple that celebrates the day, in a slightly more traditional sense. In photographic terms, relating back to my former life in broadcasting again, this is my interview. Quick word about light. I’ve used a Sony 10W video light here, best one I’ve found so far. Good spread of light enabling me to operate reasonably low ISO and balance the light being bounced off the building in the background by up-lighters, thus avoiding flash and allowing for a softer feel.

  • James said:

    Interesting reading and bang on the money about finding the right time for certain shots.

  • Was intrigued to see this post after your tweet Neale. It is great to read your ethos about supplementary light and the place for this in documentary photography. If it's the difference between getting the shot and not in dark conditions, it's clearly appropriate from a technical point. And I agree that by facilitating portraits with a little form and lighting, we are able to record a unique occasion in the way it deserves.

    Video light is great for this. I keep one in my bag and love the instant feedback and quality of light. Back in December, I even used some off-camera flash in a softbox for a portrait in the pitch dark. Don't judge me.

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