How I shoot weddings.

Ah, weddings!  I love them! I can't get enough of them and I can't actually think of a better day to be part of! So much is going on from bridal prep right through to the end and once the nerves have dissipated and the champagne's flowing it's just one big massive party - jam packed full of emotion,  merriment and celebration! I'm unbelievably lucky to be able to call this my job and I am so thankful to all my couples for allowing me to tell their story with real documentary style photography.

When I took this picture it actually made me cry in the church.  Bride Michele holding her 91 year old mum's hand at her wedding in Macclesfield in 2016. I can't even put into words what this picture would mean to me if it were myself and my mum.  Moments like this are what I am looking for at weddings.

When I took this picture it actually made me cry in the church.  Bride Michele holding her 91 year old mum's hand at her wedding in Macclesfield in 2016. I can't even put into words what this picture would mean to me if it were myself and my mum.  Moments like this are what I am looking for at weddings.

HOW I SHOOT WEDDINGS

I don't like to think of myself as a 'wedding photographer'.  It conjures up all sorts of formal traditional nonsense in my mind.  I think back to hour-on-hour of group shot shenanigans, pretend cake cutting and general all round bossyness when I've been a bridesmaid or a guest in the past.  I've been to a fair few weddings where the photographer was tooootally uncool and many times I can barely remember what happened because the photographer was too busy joking around with people or barking orders at them.  I don't want my couples to remember their wedding day for what I made them do or what I said.  In fact I would be mortified if I missed a shot because I was so busy chatting away or cracking jokes with the bridesmaids. Don't get me wrong I'm not mute... or unsociable - far from it, I love chatting to your guests and mingling and having a giggle but I never ever make myself the centre of attention or be the instigator of a joke nor do I take my eye off telling your wedding day story. 

Leanne was walking round the tables during the wedding breakfast chatting to her guests when I saw this moment about to happen.  I absolutely love the eye contact in this picture.  And the chocolatey face of course!  I often convert big moments in pictures into black and white.

Leanne was walking round the tables during the wedding breakfast chatting to her guests when I saw this moment about to happen.  I absolutely love the eye contact in this picture.  And the chocolatey face of course!  I often convert big moments in pictures into black and white.

MOMENT-LED PHOTOGRAPHY

To that end,  I shoot a weddings very quietly. I observe-and-click, observe-and-click, observe-and-click all day and night.  I'm always watching for moments unravelling and then shooting through them until the moment's passed.  One of my skills as a documentary wedding photographer is being able to anticipate a moment before it happens, and place myself in the right position in order to get the best framing, lighting and background.  I'll be your eyes and ears for the day because, let's face it - you'll be so busy having an amazing time!

An emotional moment at Sophia and Jonathan's West Tower wedding last year.

An emotional moment at Sophia and Jonathan's West Tower wedding last year.

GROUP PHOTOS

Most people would like some formal photos too (some don't and that is great too) and I'll set aside 20-30 minutes aside for these.  I whizz through them and this timing allows for 5 or 6 different groups.

The spot Vicky chose for some of her group shots was across a country lane outside the church. There were quite a few cyclists passing by as we were shooting which everyone found hilarious.  I thought this would make a great shot!

The spot Vicky chose for some of her group shots was across a country lane outside the church. There were quite a few cyclists passing by as we were shooting which everyone found hilarious.  I thought this would make a great shot!

Group photos against a fabulous red brick wall.  I have no idea what was said here but obviously something really funny!

RELAXED COUPLE PORTRAITS

We'll also spend 15 minutes or so doing some relaxed authentic couple portraits.  I usually just take you both for a walk somewhere away from your guests.  You'll be so glad to get some time together to let the day soak in.  You'll also be amazed at how little time you spend together on your wedding day too so this is a good opportunity to catch up on all the awesomeness that's happened so far!

Bride and Groom relaxed couple portraits with field as backdrop
Bride and Groom portrait against black and white background

If we've got spectacular evening sun I may whisk you both away for some quick sunset shots.  This isn't always possible, so when it does happen expect me to be very excited! These will take no longer than 10 minutes.

Bride and groom at sunset at West Tower in Ormskirk

IN REAL TIME

A lot of venues like suggesting a staged cutting of the cake or signing of the wedding register.  I don't really like setting anything up because it's suddenly not very authentic, so it may be worth mentioning to your venue or celebrant that you are hiring a documentary wedding photographer who captures the day as it happens, un-posed. Rest assured, I will still take these photographs for you, but I won't set them up or interrupt your day.  Likewise with the confetti if you want to do it, just do it and I'll capture it as it happens in its gorgeous authenticity.

Often venues like to set up a cake cutting before it actually happens (I'm not even really sure why they do this).  I prefer not to, and capture it as it really happens!

Often venues like to set up a cake cutting before it actually happens (I'm not even really sure why they do this).  I prefer not to, and capture it as it really happens!

So that's it for now - I hope I've given you a little more insight into how I shoot weddings.   I'm a serial moment-hunter and I love nothing more than giving you authentic un-posed documentary wedding pictures that you wouldn't otherwise see.  

IF YOU'RE INTERESTED IN BOOKING ME TO DOCUMENT YOUR DAY, PLEASE DO GET IN TOUCH! - I'd LOVE to hear what you have planned.