Welcome to my May 2017 Photo Friday round up of my Instagram images, which was based on emotions and contained my most popular post to date. Come the end of the year will it make it to my all-time favourites list? We’ll have to wait and see.

As usual, here’s May’s image round-up, along with a bit of background info on each image.

Photo Friday 2017: Image #18

Chinese Bride and groom cheering at table with guests

This image took nerves of steel to capture as the action was so quick and I had to get in very close with my wide-angle lens! The bride and groom went round each table toasting the guests then downing a glass of spirits.

You can imagine after a few glasses they all got very merry and boisterous. So I had to be in like a ferret up a drain pipe, fire off a few frames then dash out before I got elbowed by a jovial guest. This was repeated for about 10 tables. So you can imagine the fun I had covering this Chinese wedding celebration.

Photo Friday 2017: Image #19

Father of bride crying during the wedding speeches

Images like this don’t come along often as it tells the story of sorry at a lost wife and mother. Being a documentary wedding photographer means I have to document their story but in a tasteful way. So I took a couple frames then left them to grieve without hearing a disrespectful click-click-click of my camera.

I only needed one frame to help them remember their love for each other and their lost loved one.

Photo Friday 2017: Image #20

Bride and groom walking at Grafton Manor during golden hour before sunset by documentary wedding photographer Birmingham Clive Blair

This image is becoming one of my favourite images for it simplicity yet emotions evoked.

The bride and groom were walking down into the gardens during their Grafton Manor wedding at a time called the golden hour. That time of the day as the sun sets bathing the area in a warm, sunny, golden glow.

This was totally unposed. It was just them together walking into the garden area. As I saw the photo, I was excited with my pre-visualised image in my head. Then I captured the spirit of a beautiful couple in love during their perfect summer’s evening stroll.

Photo Friday 2017: Image #21

Sparkler exit at Pendrell Hall by Documentary Birmingham wedding photographer Clive Blair

You have to love a sparkler exit during a winter’s wedding! This was taken without the use of flash to preserve the warm glow of the sparklers at night at a Pendrell Hall wedding.

I went for a natural documentary shot rather than a standard standing-together-looking-at-the-camera type image. That would have meant me interfering / controlling their moment. Instead I chose to capture a natural moment as a faithful record for the couple.

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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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Have you been able to keep up with my weekly “Photo Friday” image posts on Instagram?

In case you missed any, here’s January’s round-up for you, along with a bit of background info on each image.

Photo Friday 2017: Image #1

Bride and Groom dancing to ceilidh band

I remember being told that Andrew the groom hated the thought of being the centre of attention and being photographed. They even didn’t have a formal first dance to open the dance floor, instead choosing to have everyone on the dance floor from the start, as their ceilidh band played.

This image for me tells more of the story of the fun, relaxed wedding they had with their family and friends, when allowed to just be themselves with a documentary style of coverage.

Photo Friday 2017: Image #2

Bridesmaid drinking before the wedding

This tells the story of what can happen in the morning when the maids get a bit nervous before the wedding day.

I’d over heard them talking behind me about having a quick drink before the wedding. Me imagining perhaps a cup of tea, or at the most a small glass of champagne! Oh how naive I was!! When I turn round this is what I saw and quickly had to capture this moment!

Photo Friday 2017: Image #3

Tearful bride, groom, mother of bride and sister of groom, during the speeches

This wedding was full of emotions, with many tears flowing all round.

Words aren’t needed to explain what’s happening here. Just another touching storytelling image from the speeches as the groom listens to his mother and sister.

Photo Friday 2017: Image #4

Bride and groom cutting cake at Weston Park wedding

I’ve shot a few weddings at Weston Park and always find the grand surroundings a pleasure to record. Each room has it’s own character to it, making for a memorable experience for anyone.

My aim here was to not just capture a simple cake cutting, but to show their guests enjoying the experience, along with the surroundings to match their wedding.

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