For me, 2023 was a year of settling in. I guess you could say it was a year of big changes, but in reality these changes were simply a result of me paying more attention to the direction I really want to take my work as a wedding photographer, and opening myself up to follow that direction with no second guessing. These directional changes are as follows:
Traditionally on a wedding day, in terms of photos, the ‘highlight’ of the day is the portraits: the time when a photographer takes a couple away, at sunset, for some beautiful photos of just the two of them. The rest of the day is important but kinda comes in second place to those epic sunset photos, which are of course quite staged. The thing I’ve come to realise is that many, if not most, couples don’t actually want an hour of posed shots at sunset. Whether this is a change in the collective mindset of brides and grooms, or whether this is just people being more honest with themselves about what they want on their own wedding day, I’m not sure. What couples seem to want is a few nice portraits of them, and then to spend the rest of the time with their guests.
What’s also interesting is that I 100% share this sentiment. I would always say to myself ‘just get these portraits done, then the hard stuff is over’. I found that in my own mind, I placed way too high a value on shooting posed portraits, and as a result my documentation of the wedding day as a whole wasn’t receiving the attention or care that it deserved. Sure, I like shooting a few beautiful sunset portraits, but what I REALLY like doing is watching for, and capturing, all those little fleeing unplanned moments. The really special stuff that can only occur because there are 100 or so long lost friends and family in one place, interacting and making memories. It’s these memories that I truly love to document.
So, while you’ll definitely see some sunset portraits below (I’m well aware that the very first image you see is one of these haha), hopefully you’ll notice that the majority of images are not posed. They’re natural, unposed, candid, and the result of me watching intently the entire wedding day for those beautiful unscripted moments that I love to shoot.
Moving forwards, this is how I want to structure my photography, and it’s what I’ll recommend to my couples. Let’s do 30 mins or so of portraits, that’s it. Then you should spend time with this amazing group of people who have put their lives on hold to come and celebrate your love and your relationship, and the joining of two families.
I can’t wait for each and every one of my 2024 weddings. Let’s do this!