Natural and Relaxed Wedding Photography in Ireland

Story telling, Natural, Documentary Style, Relaxed, Informal - all words that are used by wedding photographers to describe their “style”, but each of these terms is very much open to interpretation.

Most of what I do could be referred to as most of the above - it is is un-posed and completely natural - for instance I was at the wedding I have just delivered to a couple yesterday for 14 hours, and 36 minutes of that time was spent asking people to look at the camera or doing some natural, informal couple shots. 36 minutes out of 840 - that is 4.3% of the day, the other 95.7% was spent just enjoying themselves with family and friends whilst I photographed what was happening - real moments.

I thought that I would explain just one facet of what all of the above words and terms mean to me, and show a bit about the way that I work at weddings - and as always for me at least a picture (or two) speaks a thousand words.

So Story Telling . . . .

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This is an image of the bride’s father (on the right) and another guest putting the world to rights. The story here is that the Bride’s dad is still sitting in the same seat that he had been whilst at the top table, and was joined by the other chap whilst the staff at the venue cleared the room down around them ready for dancing, they were too busy chatting and didn’t move from their spot! I liked the story but the image wasn’t strong enough for me so I made a mental note to re-visit the scene.

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This is a bit better; I liked the expressions, the gesture adds tension, black and white works much better with the lighting and moment and also the subjects right in the corner of the frame and negative space make a more interesting composition. But I could still do better . . .

I saw the kids playing and knew there was a good chance that they would come in to frame at some point, so waited and the pay off was this shot. I love the juxtaposition of young and old, I love the mirroring in the position of the kids and the sense of motion, but I still wanted to hold out for one more.

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This was the last shot that I took of this scene. I wanted to add drama so I put my camera on the floor and knelt down pretending to tie my shoe then composed using the back screen, lowered the shutter speed very slightly to add a bit of motion blur and waited for the right moment. The little boy ran in to shot, and I took the frame. I like the crop through the head of the boy, It focuses attention on the Bride’s Dad and his partner in chat, whilst still conveying that “excited kid at a wedding” feeling through the movement and expression of his mouth, the out of focus floor and perspective literally on the floor really work for me too.

This was all done without telling anyone what to do, asking anyone to “hold that position”, “just do this” - no intervention from me at all and the subjects are unaware of the camera; which I hope makes the viewer feel like you are there in the moment, viewing events exactly as they happened. This shot tells a story of the Bride’s Dad, adds in a little humour in the juxtaposition in terms of age, a little dash of energy, and has what I think is a fairly interesting perspective and composition - these are all things I think about when working.

This was the last shot I took of this scene before going off to find the next part of the story to tell . . . .

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