Picture This

Picture This: Late for the Wedding

Picture This: Late for the Wedding

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

Wedding photographer Hertfordshire

There’s a lot about being a wedding photographer that’s nothing to do with the actual moment of taking a picture. And that’s what makes it so fascinating.

For the documentary wedding photographer, so much of the joy comes from keeping your eyes and ears open on the big day. Some people call it observational photography – it might be noting who are the characters, the laughers, the jokers, the lads about town, the shy ones, the kids that won’t sit still, the spritely grandparent and the wild dancers – the list is endless.

There are all sorts of reasons why I like this photo of Sarah and her bridesmaids taken at her St Leonard’s church wedding in Bengeo, Hertford. The drama of it – she was running late for the ceremony. The humour – it just makes me smile; maybe it’s because of how close together they all are (very pre-coronavirus!) and how determined they all look. And the fact that, apart from the 1970s houses on the right and the modern dresses, it looks like it could be a scene from 900 years ago. The Norman Church of St Leonard dates from 1120.

Documentary wedding photography

But I would never have got this photo if I hadn’t overheard that Sarah and her bridesmaids were running late, and then taken a calculated risk. At that point I was with the groom, Nick, and all the guests in the church waiting to get pictures of her entrance. I’d already got a few shots of Nick and the families looking slightly nervous so I made the decision to head off from my ‘safe’ spot by the vicar in search of the drama, the story.

Before I become a documentary wedding photographer I was a journalist and editor of Canon Europe’s pro photography website and magazine. One day, I was interviewing the great American photojournalist Christopher Morris and I asked him how he managed to capture such unusual and arresting images. “If everybody’s running one way, I run the other way,” he said. I must have remembered that advice. And that day in Hertford, it paid off. (Oh, and yes, I did make it back to the groom in time to capture the bride walking down the aisle. Just.)

If you want a wedding photographer in Hertfordshire, or anywhere else, I’d love to you to get in touch.

See more photos from Sarah and Nick’s wedding in Hertfordshire.