From a random encounter on a Berlin street, a wedding party moving from one place to another, and quite by chance giving me some of my favourite wedding images:
I was pleased to be invited by the Thorpeness Hotel and Country Club, where I photographed a wedding in November, to submit a few images from the day that they might be able to use as part of a forthcoming article featuring the venue in the January 2014 edition of Suffolk Norfolk Life.
The picture that was used- see below – is of an antique suitcase used to display congratulations cards and similar at the reception with the guests in the background enjoying their food and drink. The other two pictures aren’t mine though…the November weather turned out rather dull and grey and not conducive to spending too long out of doors!
The Country Club was a lovely venue, close to the cliff top in Thorpeness, and I was glad to be a part of the bride and groom’s day.
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.
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.
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.
The fourth is also from a June wedding, showing a quiet and intimate moment between the bride and a guest.
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?
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.
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.
Here’s a small selection of photographs of shop frontages taken on a holiday in October in the Puglia region of Italy. I do like the character of the architecture in much of this part of the heel of Italy, and as a wedding photographer I found some of these displays interesting. Essentially they are street photography, but they appealed to me as a subject for a blog post. The first four are in Lecce, the fifth is in Bari and the final one in Matera.
Here is some street photography from an October wedding in the town of Vieste in Puglia, Italy, where we happened to be on holiday. After the service at the Chiesa Santa Croce, a beautiful small church in the town centre, and a gathering outside, two white doves were released before the couple were showered in confetti. Dozens of cars with wedding guests drove around the town honking their horns. Happening across all of this by chance, I took some photographs, and here are some of my favourites.
This is a case of exploring the boundaries between wedding photography and street photography! I’ve always taken the view that what you learn from being a street photographer can be applied creatively to weddings. It’s the matter of immersing yourself in the action, looking for new angles, not being reluctant to focus on how people interact, capturing something real and dynamic.
Well, I had the chance to put some of this into practice in June this year while having a short break in Berlin. Wandering around the Neukölln district of Berlin one afternoon and heading nowhere in particular, in fact feeling rather bored, I heard a commotion down Fuldastraße and went to take a closer look. This turned out to be a wedding celebration in full flow: firecrackers, a red and white costumed marching band, and someone firing what looked like a starting pistol – I got into the thick of it and followed the wedding group along the street, trying to dodge the firecrackers and take pictures at the same time. This was great fun – even though I wasn’t entirely sure of the identities of the bride and groom, they didn’t seem to be together much, though I’m fairly sure the bride wore bright blue.
After about 300m the group came to another building and – after more noisy and exuberant celebrations in the street – went inside. My final pictures were of the wedding car parked outside.
In the end, I was really pleased to have captured some dynamic images in the street that I feel really capture the atmosphere of this occasion. I went up to a group of men and they told me they were Arabic; I didn’t know.