It’s Instagram Photo Friday Round-up time again where I share a few thoughts behind my weekly image posts.

This month’s highlights come courtesy of wedding venues in London, Worcestershire and Warwickshire.

Photo Friday 2017: Image #22

Bride and groom during the golden hour at sunsetYou can’t beat photography during the golden hour of sunset! This type of light makes for a lovely romantic mood. So after the wedding breakfast when I looked out of the window and saw this beautiful sunset scene, I just had to grab the bride and groom and rush them outside for a quick session before the clouds hid the beautiful sun.

I’m so glad they were able to come out, as we would have missed this golden opportunity during the special golden hour.

Photo Friday 2017: Image #23

Groom and men looking cool before the wedding1 plain wall. 1 large window to the right. 4 lads feeling relaxed before the wedding. . Job done! Again it’s about the light creating a mood.

You can get better lighting than natural light. It makes for a real, authentic photo rather than a stark, full on flash image.

Photo Friday 2017: Image #24

Father of bride shaking groom's hand as he hands over his daughter during the wedding ceremony.Any father who has had to give away his precious daughter will know the mixed feeling and emotions running through your head at this critical moment. I don’t think much words aren’t needed to explain what’s happening here and what this father of the bride is thinking.

This is what I love about storytelling. One image with all the necessary elements present can tell a whole story.

Photo Friday 2017: Image #25

Detail of back of wedding dressI don’t like being simply called a wedding photographer as that implies I simply photograph weddings. I much prefer the title wedding story teller which tells you I’m capturing the story of the whole wedding day from different angles. Capturing not just peoples faces also but the behind-the-scene images that can get missed.

Here I noticed how the bride and groom were holding each other in a loving embrace, plus I saw the beautiful detail on her dress as a light breeze wafted her veil to one side. So I decided to capture two stories in one. 1) How the bride and groom were feeling on the day, and 2) Capturing the intricate detail of the all-important wedding dress.

Photo Friday 2017: Image #26

Bridemaids too are an important part of the day as shown here. This maid came into the room where all the dresses were hanging and when she saw her dress she felt proud to be involved in her friends important day, plus she gets to wear this beautiful dress.

Part of my storytelling, documentary photography approach is to tell you the observer how people felt on the day as I capture their mixed emotions, whether it be tears of laughter or sorrow. I have to be quick and discreet to capture these fleeting moments, but that’s the challenge I love meeting at every wedding.

No two weddings are ever the same, which is why I feel passionately that a documentary approach is the best approach. This is key, especially when I occasionally I get a “Pinterest request” ie I’m asked to reproduce an image found on a Pinterest board.

I’ve got no problem with that but I always check first by mentioning: “While I don’t mind, which would you rather have: An image reproduced from someone else’s wedding, or real, authentic and natural moments captured from your own wedding? I can’t do the two because, while I’m trying to recreate another photographer’s ideas, I’d be missing the natural moments from your own wedding. If that’s what you’d prefer then no problem. But be aware you won’t get the type of images seen in my portfolio as I’d be restricted in my artistic freedom to capture what really happens at your wedding”

This usually solves the problem and they trust me to record their wedding naturally, giving them real moments and emotions rather than staged and oftentimes forced/fake emotions that can be spotted a mile away.

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What Is a Documentary Wedding Photographer?

This is an often asked question. In simple terms it means being an observer and recorder of your wedding, with little interference. If you’re familiar with Star Trek, think of it in terms of The Temporal Prime Directive: To visit, to watch, not to interfer and to bring back a record.

Read More About My Documentary Wedding Photography

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