I’m a documentary wedding photographer…..
A wedding day is a one-off. No two are the same. They ebb and flow. They have highs and lows. There’ll be laughter, nerves, tears of joy and tears of sadness. My job? To capture it all, quietly, without fuss, without making myself the centre of attention. Not as easy as it sounds, but done right it means one thing – the most sincere, the most accurate and the most emotive record of a wedding possible. That’s what I’m good at and it’s what I love doing.
I’m an ‘available light’ photographer. That means that you’ll very rarely see me with a flash on a camera. I’m after quality, not quantity of light. I find flash a bit intrusive. It screams ‘look everyone, there’s a photographer’. It can ruin the ambience of a room. Do I use it? Yes, if I have no choice. After all, available light also means any light that’s available. But I really prefer not to. Many do, but not me.
I shoot alone. I prefer it that way. It means I know that I’m capturing the right moments rather than leave it to another. Some photographers hunt in pairs. Not me. I’m not paparazzi, I don’t sit 50 feet away with a long lens. I get in close, amongst the guests, and right in the wedding. I defer to the photographic great Robert Capa here when he said ‘If your photos aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough’.
I don’t direct. I don’t ask people to do something again so I can shoot it. Lord Lichfield once said, ‘Try saying ‘hold it’ to a moment in real life’. He had it right on that one. Moments happen. They’re real, they’re fleeting. Catch them though, and catch them well, and there’s nothing quite like it.
I’m peer-reviewed. I’m a member of the prestigious International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers. We’re a select group of wedding photographers around the world. We vet each other on entry, with questions asked and portfolios reviewed. We’re picky but we’re passionate about what we do.
I edit every photo myself. Again it’s about delivering my vision to my clients. They didn’t book me to have a faceless third-person edit the images. How can that person know what I was seeing? I spend the time needed to deliver the images intended. The moments as I saw and caught them.
In short, I’m obsessed with wedding photography. I want nothing more than to make the most special of days that little bit more special, by delivering a document of the day that can never be lost. I shoot just 40 weddings a year so I can focus on quality and not quantity.