My Approach to Photographing Your Wedding

Although I developed a love of photography at a young age, it wasn’t until I was planning my own wedding that I really started to fall in love with the art of wedding photography.  Now, I can’t imagine a job I’m more suited for.  I love the aspects of my job, from the planning to editing.    The more weddings I photograph, I notice there are some elements that I keep coming back to my approach.

So here are my golden rules I keep in the back of my mind when photographing a wedding:

I want to capture the “real you”

The best compliment a photographer could ever receive is “That photo just captured the real us” .  Being able to capture a persons personality in an image is something I constantly strive for.

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When I shot this image as apart of Suzanne and Paul’s engagement session, I knew I wanted them to be framed in the door.  So I just asked them to stand in the doorway and “just be cute together” .  I then ran across the road to photograph them and wait for a break in the traffic to get the shot.  They’re cute together, and that’s just how they naturally stand.  I do pose a bit more when I have a very specific idea in mind, but at the end of the day I want people to look at a photo and really recognise themselves in the photo.  Not just as it’s their likeness, but it’s their emotion.

Your Ceremony is Sacred

My goal is to provide as discrete coverage of your ceremony as I can without distracting you or your guests from the importance of the moment and the vows that are being said.  I do my best to keep a minimal photographer presence, If I need to change position, I’ll do so during the hymns.  I try to keep my shutter clicks quiet and to a minimum during your vows, just waiting for the right looks and the right emotion so I’m not too distracting.

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I love this moment between Elodie and her Father as he’s walking her down the aisle.  Coverage of the ceremony is about catching those real moments and keeping the focus on the importance of the moment, not the photography.

 

Family Photos are Important (and Quick!)

Your family pictures are a such an important part of the photography of your wedding day and can be an incredibly sentimental image for you and your family members.  I know some clients worry that these images might take a large chunk of their wedding day and they’ll miss the party.

Over the many wedding’s I’ve photographed, I’ve developed a system for getting through the family pictures quickly.  These are incredibly important photos for you and your family, but shouldn’t take all day.  During our client meeting, we’ll talk through how to make family pictures go lighting fast.  Ideally, I aim to have these photos taken care of in less than 10-15 minutes.

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The Moments In-between are Beautiful

I adore documentary shots, and they make up the backbone of my wedding coverage.  From the chill moments to the extreme moments, I like paying attention and seeing what’s going to happen next.   I love that being the official wedding photographer allows me an “in” to capture a day in the lives of people that I may have never have met otherwise.

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I love this shot from Emmy and Chris’s wedding of one of their young wedding guests enjoying the wedding. Emmy and Chris wanted their wedding to have a real relaxed festival atmosphere, so they provided lots of activities, from live music, table tennis, to even bubbles.

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I have a soft spot for this moment from Jessica’s preparations for her wedding. You just can’t pose reactions like this!

 

Part of the fun of documentary photography is the trill of capturing something you never expected.  I love David's reaction here to the Dad's speech, and I especially love Sarah's as well.

Part of the fun of documentary photography is the trill of capturing something you never expected. I love David’s reaction here to the Dad’s speech, and I especially love Sarah’s as well.  They are so opposite and so perfect.

 

Finding the right amount of  “Hand’s On”

I love playing with the kid’s, I’ll move a piece of rubbish if it shouldn’t be in the frame, If there’s a lamp that’s really not working in the background when you’re getting ready, I’ll move it.   I smile and talk to guests.  The best photos are when I’m in the “thick” of the wedding, not just observing it from the corner.

I want to take an active approach to make the image better, but I don’t want to force any actions.  I still want the moment to be very real.

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I love this shot from Julia and Neils wedding.  This is Neil’s son, and we were playing “Monsters” during one of the quieter parts of the day.  I find having fun with the kids is one of the best ways to get shots with them.

 

Capturing the Whole Story of the Day

While the normal standard photography package in the UK is 8 hours coverage, I prefer to cover longer period of time.  While this does mean I work longer days, I find this works best for my style.   I know I have plenty of time to get everything I need, and the day feels more relaxed and better paced.  I’m not looking at my watch counting down until I can leave, I’m there to tell the story of your wedding as it happens.

If your planning to do sparklers or something else in the evening, let me know, and I'll be there to capture it.

If your planning to do sparklers or something else in the evening, let me know, and I’ll be there to capture it.

I Love a Good Party!!

Because I tend to stay so late at weddings, I always end up photographing a lot of epic dancing.  I love a wedding where the friends are out there really going for it.  This is one of my favourite parts of the day to photograph, and for me, it can be the most fun.

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One of the guests at Sarah and David’s Wedding treated everyone to a rendition of “American Pie”, and people really got into singing and dancing during the chorus. Moments like this is what makes me love my job so much.

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It wasn’t long into Annabel and Stavos’s wedding that the guests starting dancing on the tables.

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Some weddings have some really great elements later in the evening, such as sparklers or even bonfires, and I love including these in the wedding coverage as well.

 

 

Your Wedding Day is Not a Photoshoot

While naturally I think photography is quite important, it’s only one aspect of your whole day.  It’s about celebrating your commitment and the merging of two family’s together into a new one.  You probably have guests coming from around the world to be there on the day, and I want you to have plenty of time to see everyone.

Ideally, I like to steal couples for small portions of time (5-10 minutes) during a few parts of the wedding day.  That way your guests won’t notice that you’re gone for too long, and then I can take advantage of the changes of weather, light and location as the day moves on.  I love it when I can steal a few minutes in the church while your guests are queuing up for confetti, or a few minutes while your guests are finding their seats for the meal.

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The image on the left is where i grabbed Karl and Laura for a couple of minutes of shots inside the church while the Ushers were getting everyone ready for confetti outside. I noticed the light pouring through the window during the ceremony, and I knew I just had to grab the shot afterwards. The image on the right is from Lizzie and Matt’s wedding. I noticed this amazing light while everyone was sitting down during the wedding breakfast, so I nabbed them in between courses to take advantage of the beautiful even light. They were only gone for a few minutes, then i brought them back to their meal.

 

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This blog post is apart of my BLOG-FEBRUARY Project, where I write a blog post for everyday in February.

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