It goes without saying that without light there is no photography, as how else can you “paint with light”?

So to kick off my new series of how I’m trying to develop my photographic eye and be more observant, my first post is to do with this image that I took at a wedding last summer, that I just adore. It’s all about the use of light.


To sum up in 3 words what I’m looking for it has to be: Light. Compostion, Moment. When I first arrived at the preps room and saw the window, I knew that there would be an image in the making, as the window was just the right size to illuminate a face but keeping the background dark to create a bit of mood and drama. Here was my light. All that was left now was for a subject to be positioned there. Because I interact very little with the bride and her attendants as I’m merely documenting the morning, I had to wait for the right person and moment, rather than pose someone in an unnatural manner.

When the bride stepped into the light while her maid helped her put on her veil, I though “Yes! Here was a perfect composition in the making” Now it was waiting for the right moment to tell a story. As the maid brought her hands round for the finishing touches, that for me was the defining moment, which I captured. You don’t need to see who the hands belong to. The important elements are there. You just know this is a story of a bride being prepared in the morning before meeting her groom.

This wasn’t the only frame I took as other frames didn’t have the maid’s hands visible, but this was the best one to complete the storytelling of this documentary image.

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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