The opening pages of the Wood Norton Weddings sample album that I have produced shows the early stages of a bride getting ready. The particular bride in question is Nicola, who got married to the love of her life in an indoor wedding ceremony at the Wood Norton, just before Christmas 2019.
These images are some of my favourites from the whole of 2019, and I really think that they make a wonderful set together in black and white. From left to right we first see the bride and her bridesmaids looking out of the window, watching the groom and groomsmen arriving below, as well as the Orangery being set up for the wedding reception later in the day. The second image shows Nicola, the bride, sitting on the window ledge and applying her own makeup. It's important to note that I didn't sit her here, as I tend to shoot everything in a true documentary wedding photography style - instead I let her and her bridesmaids do what they would had I not been there, and shot without them knowing for most of the time. The light here couldn't have been better, and if I were to choose where to sit someone in this circumstance, I don't think I would have changed anything. For me, the addition or inclusion of the wedding dress in the photo is of utmost importance too: Wedding photography, like all good photojournalism or documentary photography requires context - without the inclusion of the wedding dress in this image, you're left with a photo of a young woman sitting in a window applying makeup, with no other narrative. With the wedding dress in the image, it's more easy to guess or ascertain that she's likely the bride and today is likely her wedding day - as is the power of good photojournalism. A photo truly is worth a thousand words! For the third image across from the left, I chose to shoot through or past some of the bridesmaids as the bride was kneeling in a mirror to make the finishing touches to her makeup. You can see she already has her veil in place and that the bridesmaids have now gone from wearing dressing gowns to being in their bridesmaids dresses, indicating that the preparatory stages of the morning were coming to a close. I often shoot between or shoot 'through' people like this, as once again it's a great way of adding context to the images. After all, the bride chose to spend her morning with her four closest friends in the world, so why not include them in the wedding photos? In the final image, on the far right hand side we can see the bride having her wedding dress fastened by the mother of the bride, as the bridesmaids watch to the sides. For me, the best thing about this image is the quality of the light that's hitting the bride. Most people will think that photographers needs lots of light of any quality to take good images, and that's not the case - photography is about rather having a little good light than lots of bad light. The Wood Norton is a great place to photograph brides getting ready in the morning. There are large windows which flood the spaces with natural light, but the dark wooded panelling that adorns the rooms means the backgrounds are darker than the subject, really brining a natural focus to the images.
Location: The Wood Norton.Keywords: Pure documentary wedding photography (15).