Picture This

Picture This: Dancing in the Dark

Picture This: Dancing in the Dark

In my ‘Picture This’ series I focus on an individual image, or series of images, and explain why I like it.

Londesborough Pub wedding photography

As a documentary wedding photographer I like to capture wedding guests letting their hair down on the dance floor at the end of the evening. This stage of the wedding day can make for some of the best and most interesting wedding photos.

This is one of my favourites examples of such an image. It almost looks like it could have been taken in the 1950s. In fact, I took it last summer at a wedding reception in the Londesborough Pub in Stoke Newington, London. There was a kind of Fifties/New Wave feel to the day anyway. I was trying to capture a dance scene that reflected back down the years to a time when some of the older weddings guests might have got married.

Documentary wedding photography

The look on the main subject’s face – as if she were thanking the stars for this joyful night, the people, the music – is what first draws the viewer. Then the eye is guided to the couple in the background, who could have been lifted out of a Jean-Luc Godard film. To the left, and ‘balancing’ the image is Emily, the bride, smiling in her classic A-line dress. And finally, all three are ‘connected’ by the triangles of the bunting dancing above their heads and leading the viewer around the picture.

I always try to get in among the dancing guests with a wide-angle lens (35mm or 24mm), simply because it makes for the best and most natural and documentary-style images. And I almost never use artificial light. It was pretty dark on the dance floor, but had I used a flash, even on low power, it might have flattened the image out. More importantly, I would have been too obtrusive to capture the unguarded emotion I’m always looking for.

If you like my style of candid wedding photography I’d love you to get in touch.