Why I Love This Image
My Why I Love This Image articles aim to give you an insight into why I took or love a particular image from one of the many wedding stories I shoot. As a wedding photographer I believe in being as open and transparent about the work and, I hope, by sharing my thoughts on some of my images you can both see and feel my passion for wedding photography.
Traditional Posed Wedding Photography vs. Wedding Photojournalism
As a wedding photographer who specialises in a wedding photojournalism approach, most of my work will naturally feature real moments, genuine emotions and true expressions. However, most couples do also require a number of the traditional posed portraits on the wedding day and I am always more than happy to oblige. In fact, my most popular wedding photography package, The Wedding Storyteller, includes unlimited posed portraits and group shots as part of it. So this image, from Emily and Phil’s wonderful wedding story, at Sedgebrook Hall in Northamptonshire, was part of the formal shots of the groomsmen.
The Influence of Anton Corbijn
I’m a huge fan of the Dutch photographer (and now movie director) Anton Corbijn – in fact it was his portraits of some of my favourite bands and musical artists, back in the mid 1980s, that inspired me to get a camera and become seriously interested in photography in the first place. One of his favourite techniques, especially when shooting bands, is selective focus and a very shallow depth of field…in other words having one person in focus whilst others are out of focus – as demonstrated in Corbijn’s 1997 portrait of Depeche Mode above. So I definitely had that kind of technique in mind when I set up and posed this wedding portrait of the groom and groomsmen at Sedgebrook Hall.
The Moment’s In-Between the Moments
Even though this image was formally set-up it still actually captures a lighthearted moment, in-between the formal shots. The two photos above show you the unedited shots that were taken either side of the main image itself. I’m not sure what we were talking about – and yes, I like to talk with my subjects when shooting portraits as I want to keep the mood light and informal if I can – but clearly we were having a laugh regarding something and the Best Man threw his head back and, bam!, a moment in-between a moment, was perfectly captured. In lots of ways, even my posed portraits do become semi-formal and manage to capture the real moments and emotions you’d normally associate more with my candid wedding photojournalism approach. Quite often, it’s these less rigid and less formal portraits that work best and still retain the integrity of the moment. Add a black and white look and you end up, as here, with a classic, fun and intriguing portrait that defies most of wedding photography’s portrait cliches. That’s why having a passion and interest in the history of photography and being inspired by great masters of the medium improves you as a wedding photographer and not peddle out the usual portraits that every other wedding photographer does.
The Geeky Technical Stuff
As with all my wedding photography, this image was shot on one of my Olympus OMD EM5 camera bodies (I shoot with 3 bodies at every wedding) – light and discrete cameras that are perfect for my wedding photojournalism approach. The lens itself is the stunning Olympus 75mm f/1.8 prime (I always shoot with prime lenses) – which I can safely say is the best lens I have EVER shot with in terms of image quality, sharpness and clarity. I could gush all day (and night) about this truly brilliant portrait lens. My aperture was set for f/2.2 – shallow enough for the required selective focus but not maxed out to ensure fantastic sharpness. Although a bright sunny day, we were in the shade of large tree, so had set ISO 400 and a shutter speed of 1/200, sufficiently fast enough to capture the best man’s movement but not so fast to run the risk of underexposing and losing detail in the shadows.
Love this image too and are getting married? Or maybe you are having a wedding at Sedgebrook Hall in Northamptonshire? Then I’d love to talk with you about your wedding plans and how my wedding photojournalism approach can capture the real story of YOUR wedding day. Call me on 07920 422144 or send me an email here. Alternatively, you can send me a private message in the form below and I’ll get back to you as quickly as possible. You can find full details of all my wedding photography packages and prices here.
My Why I Love This Image series hopefully gives you more of an insight of why I took particular images, their context and my thought processes. As a wedding photojournalist I strongly believe in providing an open, honest and transparent explanation of the photography I capture.
Your message will be entirely private and cannot be read by anyone else. Alternatively, you can call me on 07920 422144. Thanks.