Documentary wedding photography in Wiltshire – Part 2

Part 2 of Emilie and Jamie's wedding in Wiltshire. I was recently asked which photographers inspire me to create my particular style of documentary wedding photography.

So, a few words on my inspiration...

Despite there being some amazingly talented wedding photographers around, I try and source my photographic inspiration from beyond the wedding scene. The work of Sam Abell for instance, a fine art documentary photographer, plays a huge role in how I frame and structure my images.

His images are always beautifully composed and balanced and he has an exceptional skill for 'layering' the subject matter to strengthen narrative, his images therefore demand a more thoughtful and penetrating interpretation.

Elliot Erwitt's quote "Its about finding something interesting in an ordinary place" is pertinent and describes my ethos perfectly.

But I am probably most mesmerised by Martin Parr's photography, representing society with his unique style, in an often unflatteringly honest but very amusing light. But most importantly for me however, his work is so much more than just aesthetics, it's a study of people, of human behaviour, an aspect I always apply during my wedding coverage.

A pretty picture is just that, pretty.

A picture can and should be much more.

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UPDATE - Here is some incredible feedback Emilie has left in the comments that I'd like to share here. To say she 'get's it' is an understatement! Thank you Emilie, you make my job worthwhile with comments like this...

Dear Allister

I hope I can find strong enough words to express my great appreciation of your work. I must admit that it’s a bit daunting to try and add credit that’s worthy enough of your highly praised portfolio! Nevertheless, to say that credit is due would be an understatement. I have no doubt that viewing one’s wedding photos typically represents great personal pleasure for those involved. However, it’s those creative storylines that you have so sensitively captured, which truly reflect the uniqueness of our wedding day.

Every image is beautifully framed and shows great evidence of thought and cohesive unity, not to mention the powerfully connected sense of emotion throughout. If I had to choose, I’d say that it’s your ability to pick up on several visual elements all at once, which I find most commendable. My background is in 17th century art history and so, even at risk of sounding a bit nerdy, I have to say that I take much pleasure of being reminded of works like Goya’s “Las Meninas,” in which the viewer is transported into a multi-layered world of hidden reflections and double meanings. Even after viewing the photos several times, details still continue to jump out, such as Jamie’s unearthly reflection in the bridal car window as I’m getting inside it.

Jamie and I are very thankful for the care you took in capturing those friends and family members closest to us in such a deeply sentimental way. For example, my brother now has the handsomest profile shot of himself imaginable! That’s not to say we don’t appreciate your savvy touches of humour and editorial playfulness either…Oh, and how can I leave out the wonderfully theatrical scene you captured of my bridal party outside the church – with yours truly rearing to go, arms in the air – and my flock of lovely bridesmaids all turning their heads back in support of the journey I am about to take from bride to wife.

I love how little Tilly (the youngest flower girl) stares straight ahead towards the church, exhibiting the utmost concentration for her task ahead. This picture represents every woman’s journey from little girl to bride, and it moves me deeply. You’ve also managed to portray Aldbourne church’s imposing architecture in the most inspiring way possible, and I’m baffled by how you and Josh achieved such descriptive angles and qualities of light. The beauty is most definitely in the detail (my mother and I have even begun naming certain photos according to their defining features, ie “Buttons” and “Lantern”) but the overall editorial picture is one to be cherished as well.

Overall, I’d say the balance of atmosphere vs human emotion in our photos is just about perfect. Thank you so much to you and Josh for putting such obvious care and attention into our day. I feel you must have really challenged yourselves, and the result is nothing less than exquisite. And to be honest, none of this is a huge surprise, considering your kindness and patience towards us on the day. You both were a pleasure to have there with us, very professional yet friendly, and this whole experience has been well worth recommending to others.

Jamie and I are looking forward to coming in and discussing the rest of our photos with you very soon. That being said, we could never have imagined receiving such a fantastic “taster” in advance! We really are grateful, as are our friends and family. All in all, we really appreciate everything you’ve done to help us secure a lifetime of treasured memories, that we will look back on with overflowing hearts for years to come.

Best

Emilie and Jamie

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