Distracted

An image from a wedding at Thorpeness Country Club, shot in my usual documentary style and converted to black and white. Some images work better in colour, some in black and white, and in some cases either works well.

Here we have a symmetrical arrangement of two wedding guests posing for a photograph during the reception, and notice the facial symmetry as well as the similar dresses. I do like this image.

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A winter wedding photo shoot

We were in London last weekend to see the Nordic Noir festival on Brick Lane and had some time on the Sunday to visit Tate Modern; after crossing the Millennium Bridge towards St Paul’s we came across a young Chinese couple having their post-wedding photo shoot on the steps with the backdrop of St Paul’s itself. The quality of light was excellent. I only had a Canon Ixus compact camera with me, but along with other tourists I managed a few photographs before leaving the couple to enjoy their day.

In the third picture, I wanted to include a London bus to give a real sense of place and a different angle – the slogan ‘I love Mormons’ was unplanned but adds a certain something.

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2013 in five images

Here are five images I’ve chosen as a way of summing up my year of wedding photography – not necessarily five of my favourites, just five that gave me something interesting to think about.

The first, from a March wedding in Essex, was taken as the bride was getting ready. What I liked about this composition was the arrangement of the three figures and the flow from top  right  to bottom left. Of course, it is also part of telling the story of that part of the day.

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The second, also from a wintry March wedding, shows the couple on the point of leaving the church. Resisting suggestions to photograph them from outside the church door, looking in, I took photographs next to them looking out – not just to record the event in a documentary way, but to capture a natural expression.

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The third is from a June wedding in Norfolk, and the composition was again of interest, with the bridesmaid speaking in the centre, the groom looking around rather distractedly, and the woman bottom left looking out of the frame.

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The fourth is also from a June wedding, showing a quiet and intimate moment between the bride and a guest.

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Finally an image from a November wedding in Suffolk, taken in the village pub before the wedding with the groom and groomsmen. Why can buttonholes often cause a problem?

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To sum up: an interesting year in which I photographed a small number of quite diverse weddings and also managed to come across weddings in such places as Germany and Italy, providing some additional images of the kind where wedding photography and street photography come together.

It so happens the all but one of the five I’ve chosen here are finished in black and white, though this was not a deliberate intention. I’ve found that for wedding photography, around a third of my final selection of images will be in black and white. With personal work (see for example the lighthouse photographs in my personal projects) I will invariably print the colour originals.

Before the wedding

The tables are laid, all ready to go……a scene from a recent country club wedding in Suffolk.  Though I’m not overly concerned about capturing the inanimate details of a wedding, preferring to concentrate on people and how they interact, these shots help to present a rounded picture of the occasion and pick up on little things that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.

So for instance here, there isn’t much going on, there’s no-one in the frame, but I liked the linking of the inside and outside spaces (and for anyone familiar with the venue, the buildings in the background might well help to locate it). There is a sense of something about to happen.

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I’d like to wish season’s greetings to all – and advance notice that I’ll be publishing a post with my five favourite wedding photography images of 2013 by the end of the month.

A winter wedding at the country club

From a lovely Suffolk wedding in November – I briefly nipped round from a position  on the other side of the groom and here’s a black and white taken from there. I’ll make some more images from this wedding available shortly. I do like black and white and I find that more and more of my photographs look better when presented this way.

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An Italian wedding

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I’m still deriving plenty of interest from going through some photographs I took on holiday in Vieste, Italy in October 2013, some of which featured in my blog post of October 20th. Here are a couple of my favourites from a wedding I came across at a delightful small church in the town centre called Chiesa Santa Croce. I frequently prefer a black and white conversion in the case of these Italian people shots – something about the dark suits and sunglasses makes this feel right.

In the first picture I’m standing right inside a group of wedding guests, a couple of whom are looking in my direction, but what I like about this picture is the younger man on the left, whose attention is taken by the woman in sunglasses centre right.

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In the second picture we have a group of men standing next to one of the wedding cars. This was taken near to the hotel used for the wedding reception, coincidentally the hotel were staying in. I’d just walked back to the hotel after taking photos of the guests milling around outside the church.

Again, I’ve use black and white here to remove the distractions of colour. The group includes (as I remember) the groom. They’re looking at the car, they’re talking among themselves. There isn’t a great deal going on in this picture, but I like it as a commentary on weddings, Italian style.

2012 in five images

A brief review of my year in wedding photography, limited to just five images…..

I’ve decided to pick just five photographs I haven’t used in this blog or on my website before, converted to black and white, to sum up my photographic year as a documentary wedding photography. This wasn’t a particularly easy exercise, but here are the results and I hope you enjoy looking at them.

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The first is from a Norwich wedding in April. This was in the church before the main wedding service itself, well before the bride’s arrival. The wedding was a fusion of a Zimbabwean and a British wedding – here some of the guests are clearly enjoying themselves quite uninhibitedly, though the small boy isn’t quite sure what to make of it

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The second is also from April, at the reception in St Andrew’s Hall in Norwich. I think it was the lovely interaction between the two women that appealed to me about this image, with the way their arms are linked together in the same angled shape.

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The third is from a June wedding at The Old Rectory, Great Melton near Norwich – one of the bridesmaids is having her hair done while another bridesmaid waits, reflected in the mirror. This is a beautiful country house venue, though apart from bridal preparations much of my time was spent outside, dodging the summer showers while photographing a woodland wedding.

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The fourth is an image from a wedding in Florence in June. I just happened to be outside the beautiful Chiesa Di San Miniato Del Monte overlooking the city when the wedding party spilled out of the church after their ceremony, so I merged with the crowds and took some documentary shots: here I captured some of the interactions between guests while the couple were posing for photographs in the background.

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Finally the fifth image is also from Florence, and taken on the iconic Ponte Vecchio while a couple walked up and down being photographed – I just took advantage of the circumstances and took some pictures. It’s a pleasant combination of bride and groom and (separated from them) a number of passers by.

Image of the month 11

IMG_4774_bw600For this month’s image, I’ve gone back to look at some pictures I took at a family wedding back in September 2009. This was in the evening, with some of the bride’s family getting together and making music. Something appealed to me about the balance of the composition, the fact that everyone is looking in a different direction, concentrating on the musical instruments, the mundane details of glasses and bottles. It’s understated, and yet captures the feeling of the moment.