Hard to belive it’s been a month already since my last round-up! But in case you missed any, here’s my round-up of my February “Photo Friday” image posts on Instagram.

The emphasis this month was on emotions. From the nervous bride and groom before the start of the wedding ceremony, through to the happy couple in fits of laughter.

Photo Friday 2017: Image #5

Nervous groom by documentary wedding photographer Birmingham Clive BlairThe groom was super chilled in the morning before this moment arrived. This is when all the planning comes to the important moment of getting married to the love of your life. Your life is about to change from here on. No wonder nerves are bound to kick in and affect even the strongest man.

It great capturing the smiling photos during the after-ceremony events, eg during the drinks reception chatting to friends. But weddings are a mix of emotions and I want to capture that wide gamut of feelings throughout the day.

This image for me tells the story of how he felt at this crucial moment in his life. An important memory to cherish.

Photo Friday 2017: Image #6

Happy bride and groom in car by documentary wedding photographer Birmingham Clive BlairAs the bride and groom were leaving the church for the wedding breakfast, I remember them briefly looking around in my direction with having a beaming happy smile. I quickly thought I have to capture that natural, happy look of “Yeh, we’re married!” It was a fleeting glance, but I had to be ready for the unexpected, and I was so glad I captured this moment in their history.

I was fortunate too to capture the reflection of some guests, especially the one man looking on, to give context to the image. This wasn’t a posed shot from a photo session. This was a real wedding, with real emotions. It’s moments like this that I love as a documentary wedding photographer. Unposed and authentic.

Photo Friday 2017: Image #7

Nervous bride before coome abbey weddingHere’s the opposite end of the scale to the previous image. This bride was being accompanied by her mother down the aisle, and before she entered the room, there had to be one final preparation of the veil before entering the ceremony room.

You can feel the tension in the moment with the bride’s facial expression. Her eyes are fixed ahead, concentrating on what’s about to happen in a few seconds time. Her pursed lips betray her nervous breathing to calm herself down. The dramatic lighting in the corridors of this Coombe Abbey wedding adds to the drama of the occasion.

Being discrete and sensitive to these moments is crucial as a documentary photographer. I purposefully kept quiet and in one corner of the room and allowed her to focus on the occasion ahead rather than feel the need to interrupt or distract her with needless chatter. This was her time to savour and remember. This was my time to capture a genuine moment. A memory to cherish.

Photo Friday 2017: Image #8

Bride and groom in fits of laughter by documentary wedding photographer Birmingham Clive BlairI wish I could remember what was said to produce these fits of laughter! All I remember was I had to be quick to capture it. I usually keep the camera to my eye while watching a scene and waiting for the decisive moment. During the exchange of the rings something funny was said and everyone burst into laughter!

You don’t expect belly laughs at such a solemn part of the ceremony. But I’m so glad I could preserve this unscripted moment for them.

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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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