Documentary wedding photography is pretty much what it says on the tin - wedding photography in a documentary fashion. That is, to sit back and capture things as they unfold, naturally, with no direction. This style of photography is how I get the most authentic photos of a wedding day, because you're seeing things exactly as they happened.
Beth and Matthew got married at Great Malvern Priory in Malvern, Worcestershire. The priory itself is a vast venue and I thoroughly enjoyed my first wedding there. One of the things that struck me the most about the priory was the sheer length of the central aisle. I had spent the majority of the wedding ceremony at the front of the church, in the choir stalls, taking candid moments when the time was right. After the signing of the register, I knew that there was to be a blessing at the very front of the priory, under the stained glass. As soon as the register was signed, I made my way to the back of the church, ready for the bride and groom to make their grand exit before moving on to their reception at Whitbourne Hall. I had a long lens on my main camera body, taking selective images of Beth and Matthew receiving their blessing. With no real warning, one of the flower girls left her pew and ran up towards the bride and groom. Just as abruptly, she did a U-turn and came skipping back down the aisle towards me.
In most situations where you're expecting action, you can set the camera to it's fastest mode (where it takes 12 or 14 photos per second) and rattle of 6-8 photos in a burst. This means you don't miss much, but you also create a lot of noise. However, this was inside a church, at the quietest time, and my camera was on the 'silent shooting' mode where it slows everything down to avoid undue noise and disturbance. I dropped to one knee and lined the flower girl up in the frame, and waited to take a single photo when everything was right. As soon as she got to a position where she was big enough in the frame to make the distraction of a camera click worth while, I pressed the shutter button. I consider myself extremely lucky to have picked a moment where the flower girl was completely airborne!
Location: Great Malvern Priory, Worcestershire.Keywords: Documentary wedding photography (375). 1/320; f/2.0; ISO 2000; 85.0 mm.