Behind The Scenes 1/2

Buttoning the dress. Although I took wider angles of this shot I wanted to capture a close up of the final moment the dress was buttoned. Although a natural moment this shot had a few adjustments prior to me pressing the shutter button: One of the women is left handed so I had to ask her to use her right hand or it would have looked as if I was tying the dress myself - the photograph taken from my point of view. I also asked if the other could remove her Apple Watch which clashed and caused a distraction in the image. As you can imagine, this is done with good humour, and full explanation plus is all that much easier when I’ve spent a couple of hours with a family and got to know them. And yes, I spent most of the day with her watch in my pocket, both of us having completely forgotten about it. And yes I gave it back. And yes I have insurance.

For brides that are fortunate enough, the moment a father or important relative sees the bride in her dress is one of my favourites. Ordinarily I’ll ask them to wait outside a door, at the end of a path, at the top of a staircase etc but in this room there was really nowhere that this would work that wouldn’t risk Emily being seen by the guests so I conceived a plan. Emily waited in her changing room nearby with the door closed. I led her dad to The Window where he closed his eyes. Emily appeared out of her room and spoke to him; his eyes opening and welling up immediately. I like to throw the bride out softly of focus so our attention goes to the father/VIP. I never know quite what’s going to happen so I set my camera to shoot on a ridiculous number of images per second and choose the ones that capture the best emotion.

The kiss is again one of those moments that I’ll take many many shots of and look for the best. I always deliver loads of this moment but for me, the best is just before a couple kiss. Whilst there’s obviously no way I’d refine this moment as I described earlier, there is the opportunity for me to talk to the couple (separately) beforehand. I always ask them to wait a little before the actual kids to give the registrar or vicar time to move out of the frame if I’m not able to photograph from this angle. Secondly I always encourage them to take their time leading up to the kiss. Believe me, this is much easier to talk to someone about than it is write down; here I appreciate it looks like I’m giving kissing advice- lol. It’s simply setting the scene to the best I can and letting it play out.

Before the wedding I met with the wedding coordinator who suggested that after the ceremony I could take a photograph of them at the top of the stairs; this would be done after all the guests had left the room and were getting ready for the confetti walk. The coordinator was right, it was a lovely location for this image. To maximise the couples love of the final shot I suggested to them that as they walked down the aisle and up the stairs at the end of the ceremony that they stop in the same place and looked back at all their guests. This would elevate the image from being an attractive scene to one connected with their memory of the day. They don’t look back on this shot and remember me asking them to “stand straight, bend your arm a little” but instead the sight of their family and friends celebrating

A brief explanation of how I work.  Featuring the gorgeous wedding of Emily and Ben at Mount Edgcumbe, Plymouth.

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