It's been an incredible year for wedding photography, not only have I been totally spoilt with amazing couples, I've documented events at some pretty spectacular venues too. In fact, as I write this post, I await the start of a wedding at the jaw-droppingly bizarre Aynhoe Park in Oxfordshire. From my seating position I can see a pair of interlocking hands, which sounds perfectly acceptable, only that they're around forty feet high. I'm just feet away from a Polar bear, donning a top hat, and no less than three unicorns and a very friendly cat.
Today's wedding has a Narnia theme and the couple have gone to town on props and effects; it's been done incredibly well and feels just like a film set. Guests are even required to enter a wardrobe and struggle through Christmas trees in order to reach the room where the wedding breakfast will be held, where there is even more to be taken in.
Whilst I still have several weddings and shoots left this year, in addition to some weddings that won't be blogged until early January, I thought it would be a nice touch for my last blog post of 2010 to feature my very favourite shots produced and subsequently blogged during the last twelve months. I've decided to feature some images that might not necessarily mean as much to you, the viewer, as they do to both the couple and me, so perhaps they won't be as obvious.
You'll also notice the odd posed shot, or at least where subjects are purposefully looking at me; contrary to popular belief a posed shot can symbolise just as much as a moment-based image.
A very elderly relative had travelled a particularly long way to attend a wedding and would just like one shot with their grandchild or perhaps, during today's wedding with this weather, a shot of both families together having made it through all this snow.
Perhaps the most poignant to look back on however, and I've had several weddings this year of a similar nature, is where a close relative is terminally ill. It's such a delicate atmosphere that is quite often filled with frustration and, understandably, hurt surrounding the notion that a parent, sibling, friend or even child won't be with them for much longer.
As a father, son and brother, I feel incredibly privileged to be given the responsibility of documenting such a personal and sensitive occasion. I am very proud of being able to achieve images that embrace the day for what it is and not take advantage of such an emotionally charged environment.
Targeting isolated portraits of grieving relatives crying is something that I find very distasteful and unnecessary.
So, when you view my favourite images of the year, look a little deeper. That said, there are plenty of images that made it into the selection simply based on aesthetics, humour or initial impact. Each image will no doubt be interpreted differently too; one of the beauties of photography is its subjectiveness - perhaps my most favourite element of the medium.
I would be delighted to hear your thoughts and interpretations and I wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
In no particular order: