Why I Love This Image: The Couples & The Cross

Why I Love This Image

Why I Love This Image

This is a pretty recent photo from Lisa and Steve’s wedding at Slaley Hall in Northumberland yet already the first thing I get asked about the image is, “did you set this up?”

Of course, as a wedding photojournalist the vast majority of my wedding photography is shot in a candid and natural way – no staging or faking of events. I want to document a wedding story of the day itself, rather than my creation of it and this photo is no exception…this was a real and genuine moment I spotted and photographed.

Now there are two very important reasons why I love this image.  Firstly, of course it’s the symmetry between both couples and the way in which they are both mirroring each others private and touching moments towards the end of the evening.  Try and stage this and it would never look so tender and touching. The couples are clearly lost in one another and my presence is discreet and unobtrusive enough to insure the integrity of the moment is not disturbed or ruined. That’s the strength and power of wedding photojournalism. It’s real and authentic and when the bride and groom look back at this photo they will remember the private moment that they were sharing, rather than looking back and saying “oh remember when Darren made us do this.”  Reality is always more powerful than fiction.

Of course, a lot of viewers won’t realise that the two men in the image are brothers and that’s what adds an even more emotional and strong bond to the image. It has meaning on a number of levels for the couples.

The other aspect of the image that really makes this so powerful for me, is the cross formed by the frame of the window. With the bride and groom sat beneath it, tenderly engaging, it gives a really spiritual mood and atmosphere to the image.  It literally reminds us of the religious traditions of marriage, even if we’re not all religious.

As a photographer you can only be alert to such fleeting moments and why you should never switch off. This image was shot about 12 hours into my working day and proves a wedding photojournalist is always alive and alert to possibilities – even at the end of the night.

You can see other images I love here.

Techie details for the camera geeks:
Body: Olympus OMD EM5  Lens: 12mm (EFL: 24mm)  Aperture: f/2  Shutter Speed: 1/40  ISO: 1600  Flash: Did not fire.

Like this photo and are getting married? Or maybe you are having a wedding at Slaley Hall in Hexham, Northumberland? Then I’d love to talk with you. Call me on 07920 422144 or drop me a quick message here.

My Why I Love This Image series hopefully gives you more of an insight of why I took particular images, their context and my thought processes. As a wedding photojournalist I strongly believe in providing an open, honest and transparent explanation of the photography I capture.

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