I’m often asked what my best wedding photo is…along with what’s the worst wedding I’ve ever done!
The answer to the latter is luckily I don’t get to shoot too many ‘bad’ weddings. There’s the very, very occasional psycho bride (or much worse, PMOTB – Psycho Mother Of The Bride). Apocalyptic weather can be tricky (Kent, July 2012), particularly for cameras. But most of the wedding horror stories of popular folklore – jilted at the altar etc – are exactly that, popular folklore.
The answer to the former is that I don’t have one. But every year there are a small handful of great shots, usually from great weddings, which really stand out.
This first dance shot at Rae & Oscar’s great, great wedding in Rock last month is one of those.
Normally I play it safe shooting the first dance. It’s a key moment in the day. You have to get a significantly good photograph. Use flash, go tight, go wide.
But this year I’ve re-evaluated the way I shoot weddings, to avoid falling into a groove. Otherwise you can end up taking exactly the same photographs every Saturday.
At Rae & Oscar’s my main lens (24-70) had stopped focusing properly after a knock, so I was using a 17-40 instead…but it’s often just too wide, so I’d swapped my 70-200 (on my 2nd camera) to my old friend the 50/1.4.
Opened up to f.2 and ISO at 6400 (or more, possibly) I could suddenly shoot in natural light inside the marquee. A mid shot, low angle, using the black-out cloth marquee ceiling sparkling with fairy lights, as a clean back-drop…made this photograph.
What I love about this photograph is that Rae & Oscar are totally lost in each other, under a sky of stars. There’s a romance about it, a sense of poise and emotion.
Strangely this image had been in my head for sometime, like an old song. Maybe my main lens breaking at the start of the day was a blessing after all.