Take a peek at these. You’ve heard and read the sentiment that 2016 was a year to forget. But one element your wedding day has is that it will come with a fully protective, and splendidly looking, global problem resistant jacket. Aside from the trials and tribulations of the world, that day – your day – will be preserved in it’s own glory. That is what I found looking back on my 2016. And when I look into those days there were many moments that were almost hidden within the celebration and the throng; that could easily be missed in the celebratory swapping of photos after the big day. So I wanted to share a few of my moments of 2016 – in no particular order! – which I think make beautiful, natural wedding photography. Not necessarily what people would think of as being the most important photos; but ones that have just as much significance and meaning.
1. Anne & Terence. The ceremony was in Whitby and just the two of them and two witnesses (and a photographer…). So a little different than the norm but when they arrived at the party, friends and family awaited either side of the village hall drive with open arms. Such a wonderful moment as Anne embraces Terence’s mum.
2. Katy & Peter. Both Katy and Peter work for Oxford University and is where they met. They’ve seen The Chapel at Trinity College have it’s year long restoration and had their wish to be married there granted. So how very special to be there to record the moment Katy walks down the aisle in this truly beautiful place.
3. Lisa & Marc. I have children. I love them so very dearly. But sometimes they just do their thing at the wrong time and in the wrong place. Little Jack wasn’t used to seeing his mum in a wedding dress (good thing!) but asking her – well, not so much of the ‘asking’ – to “take it off!” in the middle of her vows wasn’t a goer.
4. Jade & Troy. Some weddings have a huge host of ‘mates’; just loads of them! Jade and Troy’s wedding had gangs and gangs of them. The mates are the ones that, in theory, just keep the laughs, the gags and the party stirred up through the day while you’re the one left with the same but also with the those more emotive moments. Cue Jade’s mate who just couldn’t take the beauty of the day anymore. Lovely touch and then the mates took care of the rest.
5. Eunice & Alistair. Eunice was from Thailand and Alistair had rigged up the live link from 5845 miles away so all families could take part. She couldn’t resist a few waves during the vows. Fab.
6. Laura & Adam. Always plan. Be ready. But when when your plan gets switched be ready for the spontaneous. I had to switch from a view looking down the stairs to looking up the stairs at the last moment. Was ready; and wow!
7. Alex & Michael. The most boring wedding ever…Well that’s what they said. I didn’t quite believe them. In fact the opposite was true, of course. Who said group shots couldn’t be fun and have a little edge..
8. Anne & Terence. Sometimes you just do not need people or faces in a photo to explain the different emotions and feelings that pervade the day and peoples’ lives.
9. Hannah & Adam. Dogs in suits? Yes, that’s right. Why not? Perfectly usual thing. As the Adam and the lads went off to the ceremony we spotted the dogs in all of their seriousness and splendour and then lightened it up a little. Good stuff, fab moment.
10. Zowie & Martin. It’s almost always the way that the shots that you’ll love most are the ones that aren’t planned or ‘set up’. I was waiting to capture a photo that Zowie wanted showing her dress to her dad who was waiting at the foot of the stairs in. Just before that the final adjustments of the dress by mum and the bridesmaids collided with time and the beautiful light from the window to create this moment.
11. Katie & Adam. I often meet people who love a natural approach and style to photography like me. By that very definition no two images would be the same, so therefore difficult to show what exactly that means. But this moment perhaps epitomises something near to that. For me it has the anticipation, emotion, beauty, no choreography and yet feels like an exacting moment in time.
12. Lyndsay & Alex. Always good when you get told that there’s going to be an unusual twist to the wedding. Foggy the owl was going to deliver the rings for these guys and even though there was a bit of practice before the wedding we had one chance on the day. Well done, Foggy.
13. Lyndsay & Alex. It was a perfect day, not because Foggy played ball or that at the time Lyndsay and Alex went for a walk late on for photos there was a beautiful September sunlight but because the natural chemistry between them shone through. When they first met they told me how they weren’t so keen about the camera – a natural feeling to have. But allowed a little distance there was no awkward posing required…
14. Sarah & Jeff. Everyone loves to capture the wedding as a guest in their own way. Selfies, little vids – I’ve even had Guests bring their own drone! All the merrier I say; it never really gets in the way and everyone wants to be part of it and share! It’s just sometimes you want to suggest that it’s better looking at what’s going on…for real.
15. Sarah & Jeff. Weddings are not just superficial celebrations. They come full of histories. This shot is of Sarah getting ready in the morning and is shot in the reflection of a photo of her and Jeff when Jeff proposed. So the day Jeff proposed to the morning of the wedding has come full circle through this photo; capturing an important span of time in Sarah and Jeff’s history.
16. Cheryl & Joe. Histories are also important when it comes to friends and family that cannot be with you on the day. Whether not able to be there because of distance or passing, photographing the detail is really personal and important. Many a happy and sad tear is shed and when I saw this photo at the top of a display you had a sense of love, meaning and that history.
17. Lucy & Rick. Happy smiles. The photo incorporates abstract images of people around her and throughout the day she smiled and smiled and smiled. Just a joy to have been there and so must everyone else have felt the same.
18. Emma & Wayne. It’s not always the bride and groom that need to take centre stage in a photo. This is nan and grandad. They kind of assumed the same role after some photos of Emma and Wayne. It was if this was their moment all over again.
19. Zowie & Martin. Signing the register can bring about the ‘traditional’ shot, typically prompted by registrar or vicar. This shot typifies a more unassuming view. Not too close, not too far but allows Zowie and Martin the right space to have their private moment. As though looking through a window from a cold night outside there’s a wonderful warmth to the moment when they sign.
20. LeAnn & Luke. I love the natural approach. That went without saying for LeAnn and Luke’s wedding but it’s also about any shots the couple want to ‘set up’ and work on with me; so sometimes staged. LeAnn, Luke and I found this little lane on our drive around before the wedding and worked out just what we wanted. It went perfectly on the day. We even had a little wind to blow the veil.
21. Charlene & Gaz. I love these two. So easy going. This was one of those moments though when you pick up your bag and walk out behind the bride and then you see the shot. “Charlene”. All she did was turn to the camera and you have that moment she is steps out to meet go and meet Gaz. No turning back.
22. Ellis & Matty. There always a good speech somewhere. Even better when the props come out. I honestly arrived with Ellis around 10am and never stopped laughing or smiling with her and Matty until I got home. It’s a personal choice because it epitomised my view of them for the day. Sheer fun and friends forever and a day.
23. Kerry & Ian. Sometimes you look for a different perspective. I think because Kerry and Ian were so cool – with cuban cigars and metal guitars! – then it just makes me respond with trying something different. This was shot in the hub cap of a very cool wedding car.