Each wedding I shoot has an abundance of ‘wow!’ images that stand out for a variety of reasons: it may be a truly sentimental moment that is captured, it may be a wonderful interplay of light, or perhaps a photograph that has caught the subject unaware in a moment of utter joy; it may simply be a technically great image in which a variety of factors have wonderfully come together in a split second capture. Or sometimes…a combination of all the above!
This image, taken of the groom, his son and his nephew, marks the first of what shall become a regular feature of my blog: I hope you enjoy the image and the story behind it.
Leanne & Jimi are one of the nicest couples you could hope to meet. I had the pleasure of meeting Leanne at the National Wedding Show, Olympia, 2016. It was evident from the first few moments of meeting Leanne that her wedding day would be one that I would very much look forward to shooting: Leanne loved the images that I was displaying and was determined that I was the photographer for her wedding: with 21 other excellent photographers exhibiting, I knew that she had made a very discerning choice with me which was a real honor.
The featured image is that of Jimi (her husband – many congratulations!), their son and Jimi’s nephew. I love the juxtaposition of the adorably excitable and cheeky glance between the two boys and Jimi’s concentration as he is making the finishing adjustments to his son’s waistcoat just moments before they head to the wedding ceremony. Jimi’s body naturally framing his nephew and the wonderful three-dimensional energy provided by the natural light flooding in through the window gives the image real atmosphere.
What makes this image so satisfying for me is having captured what I had envisaged: part of the skill of documentary wedding photography is being able to visualise the image that you want to capture and then – whilst remaining entirely faithful to the unobtrusive nature of this genre – ensuring that camera settings, lens choice, lighting and vantage point all come together beautifully: it is my responsibility to read each situation and be prepared for what may happen next.
The sense of intimacy for this key moment was heightened by positioning myself low down and relatively close to the subject, using a medium-wide lens. Of course, an element of luck also features: had either of the subjects moved or I had taken the shot a split second earlier or later, this wonderful moment may have been lost.
For me, the classic feel of this image lent itself beautifully to a timeless black and white conversion, being careful to retain crisp detail in both the shadow and highlight areas whilst ensuring a richness of contrast. Using the very best prime lenses currently available and shooting in RAW enables me to retrieve the maximum resolution and dynamic range of each and every image that I take.
I wish Leanne and Jimi all the very best for what I know will be a wonderful future together and thank them for allowing me to be such an important part of their very special day.
(Nikon D750 / Sigma 35mm 1.4 ART lens @ f3.2 / 1/800 sec)