High summer is usually the busiest time of year for a wedding photographer and this year is certainly no exception. August came along in a glorious blaze of sunshine, heralding the Madingley Hall wedding of Will and Sophie near Cambridge.
Breaking with tradition, Will opted to have the support of a ‘best woman’ rather than best man and Sophie walked down the aisle with both parents (something that I will have seen three times by the end of the year so maybe it is a growing trend).
Certainly the day had all the elements for great wedding photography; amazing summer colours, a jubilant array of people, near perfect weather and the impressive 16th century architectural gem that is Madingley Hall as a backdrop, standing elegantly amongst the lush verdant grounds originally designed in the 18th century by ‘Capability Brown’.
Like most contemporary weddings many of the guests had their own cameras; ranging from very expensive DSLR’s, to point and shoot phone cameras. Invariably many of those images will already be on social media sites and e-mailed back and forth between friends and family. It won’t perhaps matter to anyone at that point whether they are pin sharp or framed perfectly – it’s all about the excitement of seeing the record of the day and recalling the emotion of a moment in time……….what I bring to the day as the professional wedding photographer in attendance, are the images that I believe make the difference; For Will and Sophie, these are the quiet moments pre-ceremony, nervous banter interspersed with reflective pauses; the hushed quiet and concentration of the ceremony; the tears, laughter and smiles as celebrations begin and they receive their guests and importantly the intimate moments away from the ‘madding crowd’ before re-joining their guests to party into the evening.
I always say to wedding couples ‘be inspired…be yourself’. Occasionally I have to remind myself of this phrase so that I continue to ‘be myself’ in order to deliver amazing images consistently captured in a documentary style. One of the things that I reminded myself to do this summer is to slow down. What do I gain by slowing down? It gives me time to look, observe and capture the image that no one else will. An angle that is unusual, incredible natural light, expressions and behaviours of people; these can only be captured if you are watching and know where and how to watch. Sometimes an incredible shot is pure luck but it is having the knowledge of where to look for those opportunities and what to do when they arise that makes the difference.
I recently watched a short film ‘Into the Light’ featuring legendary photographer Don McCullin, as his journey from using film cameras to digital is recorded. One of the defining moments for me was when he was out on location close to a railway station. Observing the people around him he turned to the other photographer that was accompanying him saying ‘there’s my shot, did you see him?’ Crucially he waited a while longer for what he believed to be the right moment before pressing the shutter and not once did he look at the back of the camera. He kept his eyes on the crowd ever vigilant for the next shot. Don McCullin reminded me that photography is about observation, watch, wait and press the shutter. When asked how many good shots he expected to get from the shoot he simply said one, reminding me that one brilliant image is worth much more than limitless mediocre images ever could be.
Thank you Sophie and Will for allowing me to be part of your day and thank you Don McCullin for sharing your amazing vision and passion for what you do.
Are you planning your Madingley Hall Wedding?
If you’re planning your Madingley Hall wedding and like this style of relaxed wedding photography why not give me a call 0370 626 5200, drop me an email, or use the Contact Form to get in touch, I’d love to hear your wedding day.