As I gear-up for the 2013 wedding season I've been taking a look back at my work from the weddings I shot in 2012. As a body of work I'm pleased with it. I was able to execute a few Ideas on the spot on the days and I also ended up with a few gems that I genuinely didn't expect to get from certain moments or situations. Sometimes photographs turn out better than you think given the circumstances of light, tight surroundings and time.
So, for this weeks post I've picked out a few images that for me, stand out from the collection. They're all images featured in my portfolio, but I thought it would be a nice idea to tell the story of each image and how it came to be. For me it feels like all of the images I'm sharing today were only made yesterday and I remember each one vividly.
It must be said that I have re-written this post a number of times. My first attempt had them in an order of how much I liked them, but I kept moving them around. So, I have decided to post these images in no particular order, but instead ask you to rank each image and tell me which ones you like best (if you like any of them at all that is!)
Each image is setup to view in Lightbox mode, so please do click and enjoy them in a larger size.
1: The duty of a proud father
This is Hazel being given away by her father at the beginning of what was a beautiful ceremony at St Lukes Church in Maidenhead, Berkshire. It's one of those churches where it seems fairly large from the outside, but it's only when you in that you realise the grand scale of the place! It was huge!
This was one of those church ceremonies where the Vicar was happy for me to move about to get the shots I needed to. She didn't mind where I moved to, so long as I didn't use flash and didn't make too much noise. I love it when those sorts of vicars are involved - after a bride and groom have just spent good money on a photographer - let them do their job!
Owing to the large church, the aisle was quite long so I had plenty of time to photograph Hazel as she walked toward Matt. I got down low for this one.
2: The glow of the bride
Gemma and Dave were married in a stunning October ceremony at Wasing Park in Aldermaston. It was raining, but that wasn't going to dampen anyone's spirits. Gemma and her bridesmaids were getting ready in a small barn-type room at one end of the park. There were tall ceilings, lots of space and one entire wall of the room was glass doors - so there was also plenty of light.
For this picture I politely asked Gemma and her makeup artists to move over to the window so that I could make the most of the stunning light coming in. I was using my 24-70mm for this shot and was standing a few feet back. I waited very patiently and snapped away a few times whilst Gemma's makeup was being applied. I was quite pleased with this particular shot; I quite like the gentle gesture of the hand applying the makeup, I like that you can see the brush being held and I really like the focus on Gemma's face - a picture of calmness. And that's exactly how the morning was. Gemma was surrounded by her best friends and closest family - everything was going according to plan and Gemma was relaxed. A wonderful wedding day and one that I'm very pleased to have been able to photograph.
3: A task for experienced hands
This is Shaleen being laced into her amazing wedding dress. The morning I arrived the house was buzzing; the children were running around and excited and everyone was getting ready. Shaleen seemed a little nervous though, so, to try and settle her nerves I started snapping away capturing the morning's events and showed Shaleen a few shots on the back of the camera as I was taking them. Seeing the images certainly appeared to make Shaleen happy.
Shaleen poured herself a little drink, took a few sips and quickly kicked into action. In no time at all Shaleen was in her dress and almost ready. For this shot I put the camera into monochrome - I knew I'd want this one in black and white - the other advantage was that when I showed Shaleen the photograph on the back of the camera she was seeing it in black and white.
4: Three cheeky little bridesmaids
I made this photograph during Shelley & Dean's breathtaking summer wedding in June. It was a hot (very hot) day and we were all in the conservatory where Shelley was getting ready. This has both it's advantages and it's disadvantages. The disadvantage was that the heat was being trapped in the conservatory where we were, add to that the children running around and hairdryers and you end up with a room akin to a Sauna. But this was nothing a few open windows wouldn't fix! The advantage however (which by the way far out-weighs the disadvantage) was that being in a room effectively made of glass meant we had beautiful, perfect, even light. Great for photography!
I took down some canvases that were hanging on the wall, moved a few chairs out of the way and made a nice plain background to shoot on. I lined the bridesmaids up in height order and was giving them instructions on how to pose. But it was only when I said to the girls to do something completely random after the count of 3 that I got this image. They each did something completely different, and the wonderful little Faya (right hand side) decided to thrust her bouquet out to the side. I was very pleased with this image. They were just like little trained models!
Sean and Lesley were married in November last year - the last wedding I shot in 2012. It was a fresh day with a little frost on the ground so we were going to be limited on how many photographs we could make outside - I was conscious of everyone getting too cold. After Sean and Lesley had exchanged vowels in a very personal and very intimate ceremony we all stepped outside for confetti, group shots and the customary congratulations.
This is Hayden, Sean and Lesley's nephew. Quite simply he couldn't wait to launch his confetti into the air. Everyone was standing on a small patio area and when we started to hand out the confetti quite a few people stood back and got their camera's ready. Hayden was left standing in the middle and Sean and Lesley were standing just to one side of this photograph. I was standing quite far away but I could see exactly what was going to happen: Instead of waiting for the signal and throwing the confetti over Sean and Lesley, cheeky little Hayden had decided he was simply going to send his confetti into orbit! He held his handful of confetti in both hands and then 'Whoosh' - up it went. The sheer look of joy and delight on Hayden's face is what makes this image for me.
So, what do you think?
So those are my favourite 5 images from the weddings I shot in 2012. What do you think?
Please do leave a comment below - I'd love it if you were to tell me what order you would have put the images in!