One thing I’m trying harder and harder to do, is the tell a complete story in one image. I was told that was the job of a good newspaper photographer: Come back with one image that can stand on it’s own so well it can be put on the front page and no words are needed because the passer-by knows what the news story is all about just from that headline image.

It’s not as easy as it sounds because you have to look beyond the subject. If the subject is showing some emotion the image needs to explain to he viewer why. Come in too close and the context of the main subject is lost. Step back too far and include too much, the impact of the photo is lost because too many things are competing for the viewer’s attention.

This image tested my observation and ability to tell a story in one image, and I love this capture! I’d been photographing the bride’s entrance then began shifting my focus, looking for a different angle and noticed the groom’s nervous, excited expressions as she neared him.

When I focussed on him with the bride in the background, he did a quick crafty side-ways look and I instinctively pressed the shutter thinking “Yes!”

It was the side-ways glance that completed the story of the nervous groom waiting for the arrival of his bride. He’s anxiously waiting. Wanting to turn around, but choosing a crafty glance as he hears the excited noise from the guests behind him as his bride walking down the aisle towards him.

His personality shines through. He can’t wait to marry the love of his life!

One image. One Story. That’s one way what I’m trying to develop my art of observation as a documentary wedding photographer.

Excited groom looking sideways as he hears his bride walking down the aisle

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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