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Black and White wedding photography

Updated: Nov 3, 2022

The last wedding I photographed was a family affair - the Groom was my 1st cousin once removed (my cousin's son). So, with his permission, I decided to experiment a little! I decided to shoot film, alongside my usual digital cameras.

Last Autumn I'd started using my late Father's Rolleicord Vb. It dates from 1968, takes 120 film, and produces 12 square photos on every roll of film. Compared to modern cameras, it is a pain to use, and very slow! But I managed to produce some lovely portraits on it. I wondered if it was possible to use it at a wedding, taking just twelve photos to tell the story of the day.

I also decided to use black and white film, because I could process it myself. I didn't need a darkroom (just a large light proof 'changing bag' to load the film into a developing tank,) and I could do the whole process in the kitchen! The necessary chemicals are still available. Once the negatives were dry, I could scan them onto my computer and then work with them as normal.

In addition, there's something timeless about black and white photographs. Apart from the fashion worn and the hairstyles, it would be difficult to date these photos to 2022 - something the family will hopefully appreciate in 25 years time!

In theory this was fine - but not with the Rolleicord! It was just too slow to use, and I would have to use an obtrusive tripod for many of the shots. But then I discovered a friend was selling his Mamiya 6 and its three lenses. This made shooting a wedding on medium format film again much more feasible. It was lighter, more ergonomic, more versatile with it's three lenses, easier to focus, and had a built in light meter. I took it with me to Ben and Maria's wedding at Glenskirlie Castle, to use alongside my modern digital Nikons.

Below is a 'contact sheet' showing all the twelve photos, and below that, the photos themselves. What do yo think? Is this something you'd like to have in addition to my normal colour coverage at your wedding? Please leave a comment!

12 B&W photos from Ben and Maria's wedding, photographed on film and shown as an old school contact sheet.

Ben's father helping him get ready before his wedding.

Maria's mother helping to adjust her wedding dress before her marriage to Ben.

Ben and Maria's wedding ceremony at Glenskirlie Castle, Scotland.

A smiling bride and groom leave the ceremony room after getting married at Glenskirlie Castle, Scotland.

A group photo of the Bride and Groom and all their guests at Glenskirlie Castle, Scotland.

A formal portrait in Black and White of the newly married couple, Glenskirlie Castle, Scotland

A black and white photo of a happy bride and groom hugging at their wedding in Scotland

Bride and groom kissing at their wedding in Scotland, photographed in black and white.

Black and white photo of the bride and groom's reaction during the. speeches at their wedding in Scotland

The groom kissing his bride during his speech at his wedding in Scotland. Photographed in black and white.

The bride and groom's first dance at their wedding reception in Scotland. Photographed in black and white.

2 Kommentare

28. Juni 2022

Great stuff Simon!

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Brian Harris
Brian Harris
28. Juni 2022

Lovely set Simon....doesn't matter what camera you use as long as the photographer has your level of talent and empathy...but yes, the B&W images do have a wonderful timeless quality to them...

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