A similar double page spread to that of the opening pages of the Wood Norton Weddings sample album, this page however focusing more on the very final moment of the bride preparation stage of wedding photography.
The left-most image shows Nicola's wedding dress hanging in one of the windows of the Wood Norton's bridal suite (Nicola is pictured wearing the dress in the middle two images on the page.) As Nicola was married in December, the light outside wasn't too bright and overwhelming which was useful for this photo - in some extreme circumstances, the edges of the dress can appear to be too bright or the centre of the image too dark in order to compensate. This is one of the things you have to deal with less when it comes to winter weddings!
By contrast, the second image on the page shows one of the Wood Norton's summer brides, Amy, having her dress fastened by her mother. This image is really important for a few reasons but the main being that Amy's mother fell in the bathroom and broke her arm and shoulder in the minutes after this image was taken - it was to be the last photo of the two of them together on Amy's wedding day. For the image, I asked Amy to stand towards the window as this is my preferred method of lighting a wedding photo. As all of these images are in black and white, the quality and direction of the light is of far greater importance than in a colour image where you can use the colour as a tool too.
In the next image, we see Nicola standing square onto a mirror (which is obscured by the bride herself.) This isn't a style of image that I would usually take to be honest, but it's a wonderful image all the same, and one that I didn't set up - in my role as a documentary wedding photographer, I just stood back and watched the moment unfold before me. I love the lighting in this image, coming from the left of the frame the light just skims the various raised parts of the dress and really shows all of the details. The other thing you take away from this image is the scale of the dress, and the petite figure of the bride. It was very fitting for a late winter wedding!
In the next image, we see the same bride a few seconds after the previous image was taken. This time I've asked the bride to turn her head into the light as this is better for wedding portrait photos. I took this image in order to show the bride's wedding flowers in the photo too. I really like how the brides veil is lit in this image, with it only really being visible in the gap between the bride's shoulders and her hair.
The final image on this double page spread, on the right hand side is one of my favourites from the whole wedding season, showing Nikki having her dress tied by her maid of honour. I think you can tell (hopefully) that this isn't something I've set up - I wouldn't have asked the bride to stand in the bathroom! Nikki was getting her dress on behind the closed door and we were running a little short for time. As soon as she was in a position to be photographed, I pushed the door open and didn't disturb the two of them. As I did so, one of the bride's sons came and stood in the doorway to watch. I purposely took a step or two backwards to shoot at a wider angle, and include the door and walls to create a natural frame for the image, shooting past the bride's son for some added context. I love everything about this image, from the bride's stance to the light and even the setting, bath included. It's a wonderful, natural moment and one that just wouldn't have felt the same if I had try to set it up.
Location: The Wood Norton.Keywords: Documentary wedding photography (387), Wood Norton Weddings (387).