However you plan your wedding, my approach to photographing it is the same. Whether you're getting married in a church, or having a civil, humanist, or civil partnership ceremony, on a beach, or somewhere else special to you, I aim to photograph the whole day and provide you lasting memories of your wedding, honestly and without interference. You may have heard of 'documentary' or 'photojournalist' wedding photographers. That describes me perfectly. It is your day and I won't change a thing about it! I usually arrive an hour before the bride leaves for the ceremony, photographing her bridesmaids and parents as they get ready (and the father of the bride writes his speech!) If the groom is nearby I can usually find time to also photograph him, his best man and his ushers as they get ready. I drive ahead of the bridal car, to be ready to capture the bride's arrival and the last minute preparations with her attendants. During the ceremony I usually stand at the back of the room or church, unlike most wedding photographers. From this angle, using a variety of lenses, I can shoot wide angles of the whole venue to close-ups of the exchange of rings. And although at the beginning of the formalities the bride and groom will have their backs to me, very quickly they turn to face each other so that I can see their faces. (If, like most photographers, I stood in front of the bride and groom, I would not only just get the back of the grooms head, but also I would be incredibly intrusive - something I absolutely aim to avoid.) After the wedding ritual has ended I give the newly married couple a chance to receive the congratulations and hugs from the wedding party. Then I encourage them to move on, and take them to the location I have chosen for their official portraits. I don't pose people! I put you in a pre-chosen location and then suggest you act naturally - by kissing, hugging, or walking towards me. I am never in your face, preferring to stand a short distance (or further) away from you. I believe that the couple (or any subject) being comfortable and relaxed leads to the best images. Then I photograph the 'official' group shots, which I try and do as quickly as possible. The minimum requirement from most wedding party's is to take pictures of the bride and groom with their parents and siblings, and with the best man, bridesmaids and ushers. I also always try and photograph a group photograph of every guest. Of course, this plan is always up to discussion! From this point, my minimal interference continues. As the reception continues I photograph the guests enjoying themselves, whether it's laughing, drinking, or playing the provided games. When it's time for the speeches I not only photograph the speaker, but mainly I photograph the reaction of the bridal party and their guests. After recording the first dance, I usually stay for the next few dances to photograph guests enjoying themselves. I love ceilidhs! They make much better photos than people shuffling to a DJ's playlist! If I've been booked to stay until the end of the wedding (usually marked by Auld Lang Syne, or the striking of the midnight bells) I continue to wander the venue with my eyes open and my camera at the ready. This might produce photos of drunken guests supporting the bar, or younger guests asleep on a sofa. There will be definitely more dancing photos, and the finale - whether it's The Pretenders' 500 miles or the more traditional Auld Lang Syne - always produces fantastic images! When it's all over I aim to have a story of your wedding day, and to have a small gallery of photos on this web site, so that while you're on your honeymoon you can start to relive the memories - and also discover what you missed!
How I photograph your wedding
Updated: Mar 11, 2022