I’m a documentary wedding photographer which means my photographs will tell the honest and unscripted story of your day, not a series of poses or orchestrated shots which bear no resemblance to the feelings, the emotions, even the smells, tastes and sounds you’ll have experienced on your wedding day. Weddings these days don’t have to be formal and stuffy, and neither does the photography. The photographs are the only thing which become more important and hold more significance over the years. To say that the dress/shoes/flowers/venue/band will all be forgotten over time is a hackneyed phrase, and yet it’s true. Your memories become more precious, and your photographs will become the only way to revisit your day, and for little people who have not even been born yet to witness that day themselves, 10, 20, 30 years from now. Documentary wedding photography ensures a fluidity to the day and a genuine narrative to your wedding photographs.
For me, a good photograph is when light, composition and timing all come together at the right moment, and the resulting image has the ability to evoke emotion and feeling. All manner of things can inspire and creep into my work, whether it’s fleeting human interaction, a trip to the cinema, or the work of favourite photographers such as Will McBride or Harry Gruyeart. I’ll always look for pleasing compositions and balance within a frame so the resulting photograph is as beautiful as it is genuine. It’s very important to me that the photography doesn’t interfere with the couples enjoyment of their wedding; I aim to be completely unobtrusive and yet get utterly immersed in the day – it is the greatest compliment when couples tell me they are amazed at the moments I managed to capture as they didn’t even realise I had been there.
Every photographer you speak to will have a different approach to how they photograph your day. And so you can get a better understanding of how I work, here’s mine:
- I don’t intervene in the flow of the day, which means I won’t direct you, or any of your guests, or ask you to repeat anything. I won’t stand on the sidelines shooting with a long lens like uninvited paparazzi: I will be close to the action, keep my eyes and ears open and have my camera lifted ready for the punchline of a joke or an unexpected show of affection.
- I won’t take your dress and hang it in a tree or put your engagement ring on the heel of your shoe: all the tiny details that you have worked so hard on will be photographed as they are found, and will build a strong narrative to the story of your day.
- I don’t believe in perfection. You can’t control the weather, the best man’s speech or how much Prosecco your best friend drinks. Just roll with the punches and take in every glorious moment. Take Georgie. Despite it being August, there was torrential rain as Georgie arrived at the church. The kind of rain that’s so hard it’s bouncing back off the tarmac. With the help of a few passers by with umbrellas, and with her dad and bridesmaid holding her dress up, she splashed her way into church, smiling and laughing the whole time. Moments like this are what will become your memories of the day, and the things you will laugh about in years to come. It’s these fleeting moments that I like to capture, the little threads which all weave together to tell the story of the day.
- I won’t take you away from your guests for photographs in a hundred different locations: I will be there to photograph you enjoying the party with the people that mean the most to you. I believe that your memories from your day should be made with your family and friends, not with your photographer, and for this reason, I like to limit the time I steal you away for pictures of just the two of you to around 15 – 25 minutes, at a time when the light is the best. Depending on the weather and the time of year, this could be during your drinks reception or just before the dancing starts.
- I don’t work to ‘must-have’ shot lists cut out from the back of a bridal mag, and I won’t take contrived, soulless pictures that look like someone else’s Pinterest board: I will capture the atmosphere and the energy, the details and the emotion, the tears and the laughter and the hundred and one little stories which make your wedding uniquely yours.