When I meet couples to discuss being their wedding photographer, they often ask me how I got started in wedding photography, so I thought I’d write a blog about it… and here it is!
Having studied film at University, and always being very aesthetically-inclined, photography was a natural hobby for me to fall into. I quickly became passionate about it; I always wanted to push myself to get better, and tried to learn from the photographers I admire most. A few years into my photography journey, my mum’s partner gave me a book on Henri Cartier-Bresson, and everything changed.
Henri Cartier-Bresson is a legendary French photographer, who travelled around France and, later, the world, documenting life around him. I found his images so powerful, as they captured real life happening, but also told a story and combined that with real visual flair and artistry. He called the timing and decision making of pressing the shutter ‘the decisive moment’.
Cartier-Bresson’s potent combination of visual elements with emotion and storytelling was incredibly powerful to me, and I decided that I wanted to move more in that direction in my personal work, which led to me spending many an afternoon pounding the streets, searching for a ‘decisive moment’ of my own.
A few years later, my cousin got married, and I thought I’d take my camera with just a simple 50mm lens and no flash. Over the course of the day, I snapped away happily, doing what felt natural to me, as my family interacted with each other. I really enjoyed documenting these moments, and the great thing about weddings is that they are often happy occasions, filled with emotion, which meant that there was a lot of fun stuff to capture.
By the time I worked up the courage to put the resulting pictures on Facebook, I was bowled over by the response. A lot of my family had never seen my photography before, and it felt like they saw me in a new light. My cousin even took me aside and said that she wished she’d got me to do her wedding photography – high praise indeed! That moment lit a fire in me, and I have loved photographing weddings ever since.
Weddings combine pretty much every aspect of photography you can think of: landscapes for shots of the venues and surroundings, reportage and documentary work for the candid shots, portraiture for the portraits of couples and group shots, and action photography for the dancing.
Ask any wedding photographer what they love about it, and they will tell you that they love the creativity and the challenge of a wedding day, and the opportunity to be a part of such a significant day for the people involved. There aren’t many forms of photography where your work is looked at for years - even decades afterwards!
Over time, I've refined my style and approach - but I still feel that my instinctive style is the same. I approach each wedding with my aim being to follow the emotion, to document a wedding with a cinematic, but realistic style, and I like to augment this with some natural, simple bride and groom portraits.
Of course, with there being only one chance to get most things right, there can be a lot of pressure on the day, and if you add that to often less-than-ideal-lighting conditions, and the famous British weather, it’s by no means an easy job. But we wedding photographers embrace the challenges, and enjoy being problem solvers. There’s nothing more satisfying than getting a great shot from a challenging environment!
The best wedding photographers love wedding photography because they can’t imagine doing anything else, and want to capture meaningful, thoughtful, and emotional images for their clients. I like to think that I meet this description, and that is why I love wedding photography so much.
If you’re looking for a passionate and creative wedding photographer, I’d love to hear from you. I am London-based, but cover the UK and beyond. Feel free to get in touch, and let’s create the memories that your big day deserves.