It isn’t just about the bride

Here’s a single black and whites conversion to try to sum up one of the things I enjoy most about photographing a wedding. It’s all too easy to follow the bride and groom around and photograph them either on their own or interacting with the guests, and there are some fine pictures to be found that way. But there is a risk of capturing some of the best moments happening elsewhere.

It’s a picture with two elements – guests taking photographs of the bride and groom, and an older child trying to keep a younger one under control. It’s relatively mundane – but often these moments go completely undocumented, which would be a pity.

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Lost in the moment

Here’s one of the photographs from Tracy and Ian’s woodland wedding held in June in the grounds of The Old Rectory, Great Melton near Norwich. I hadn’t given this picture much thorught originally, partly because I had so many images of the bridesmaids that I really liked. But going back through all the pictures taken in the house, around the time the bride was getting ready and the young bridesmaids were exploring the property, this is one that interested me.

In the music room there were all kinds of musical instruments set out, to the great delight of the bridesmaids, who no doubt were glad of a break between getting ready and the time when they would have to go out through the gardens to the marquee where the ceremony would be held (and hoping that the rain would stay away). I went into the room with them, hoping something interesting would happen.

She’s so lost in what she’s doing, she’s taking no notice of me as I capture her concentration. For me, it’s one of those things easily missed, and probably not even looked for if you’re concentrating totally on the bride of even just switching off for a while. Of course, the image isn’t obviously taken at a wedding, but it’s one of the parts of the day to record and appreciate just as much as shots of the main activity. It’s an ordinary shot, but it’s full of meaning.

Great Melton wedding photography – Tracy and Ian

In June I was invited to photograph Tracy and Ian’s woodland wedding in the grounds of the Old Rectory near Norwich. This was really interesting fo me as I hadn’t experienced this type of wedding before, and realised that the weather would be critical. In the end, though we dodged the showers from time to time, the day was fairly warm and the whole day was a great success. Guests mingled in a woodland garden setting with a marquee, tests, yurts and a woodland walk in the grounds of an old rectory a few miles out of Norwich.

The whole event was quite informal, with few speeches, a really interesting handfasting ceremony, storytellers and acoustic musicians.

My approach is very much that of a documentary wedding photographer or photojournalist. I try to record the events, incidents and emotions of the day as they unfold. I did get free licence to roam around and take candid photographs, and in addition a number of posed portraits and group shots, and a few shots of the bride and groom in some of the more unusual settings around the grounds of the old rectory.

I’ve included a small selection of my favourites here.