I recently had the pleasure of photographing Sacha and Charlie's wedding in Rendcomb near Cirencester - a truly stunning part of the Cotswolds. I'm shooting more and more weddings in the Cotswolds, it's such a charming and memorable region to host a wedding. A considerable number of my customers either live and work in the city or reside in the London suburbs, a Cotswold wedding appears to be the ultimate retreat. There are some fantastic wedding venues there - ranging from the small, elegant manor and spa to the grand estate.
Sacha and Charlie's marriage ceremony was at Rendcomb church which dates back to the 12th century. The reception was held at Sacha's parent's home further up the village where an impressive marquee was waiting to receive the wedding party.
The whole event was exceptionally well planned and I thoroughly enjoyed myself, the images really speak for themselves.
Documentary Wedding Photography - My Ethos
I was also recently asked why I work alone on weddings - my ethos...
I have taken on second wedding photographers in the past and now with the benefit of hindsight can confidently say that I am considerably less intrusive and intimidating and more approachable than two, sometimes three photographers shooting the same wedding.
The familiarity that I am able to achieve by approaching a wedding not unlike a guest enables me to make very intimate and honest photographs.
I use small cameras and lenses, very rarely use flash and dress like a guest too, in fact people will ask me from time to time how I know the bride and groom. This is when I know I'm doing a good job.
I am aware of very few wedding photographer teams that can pull this off, and from this handful even less that are documentary in style. This intimacy and trust is only achievable when working on your own, not through over zealous coverage. For the vast majority of the two photographer market the customer appears to be getting very ordinary 'blanket' coverage - from the moment the bride wakes to kick-out time.
Maybe that's just what the customer wants. Though I'm not so sure. I would guess that the majority of customers are a little mesmorised by the thought of having hundreds and hundreds of great photographs to look back on, getting quotes like "every little detail".
The customer may get every single detail photographed and probably a mugshot of each guest but they will almost certainly be left feeling disappointed.
It's simply impossible for a photographer to supply that many 'exceptional' shots in his or her own style if they are focussing on getting absolutely everything and everyone.
Some may say that statistically two photographers are better than one because of the volume but it simply does not work like that. It's highly unlikely that two photographers of outstanding quality, in terms of timing, composition and people skills are working on the same wedding - if they're that good why not photograph on their own?
I genuinely believe that you get out what you put in - hire a team of photographers to document a delicate event and subtleties will be missed due to the low level of comfort and familiarity between subject and photographers, subtleties that would remain present with a delicate touch.
My ethos is and always will be quality over quantity, coverage of a consistently high standard from start to finish. I don't see the benefit of having hundreds of mediocre, average snapshots with the odd 'good one'.
Consistency - every photograph included in a series of wedding images I would be comfortable displaying in my portfolios, it's that simple.