Why I love the magic of documentary wedding photography

Bride & Father walking up the aisle

It’s 2.30pm on a Saturday afternoon in the middle of Kent and I’ve driven as fast as I’m allowed to go from the bridal house where I had been shooting ‘bride getting ready’ shots. It was taking longer than I had hoped and ended up leaving 15 minutes later than I had planned. This meant being slightly late for the groom at the pub who was walking to the church. I parked my car in a one-hour parking space knowing full well there would be a ticket on it when I came out of the church but there was literally nowhere else to park and was the last space in the high street. My heart was beating fast as I grabbed my gear and ran to the church locking my car in the process.

I managed to get the guests as they arrived and the groom walking to the church. The VW van then turned up with the bride and her Father. I was in place ready to shoot as they came out the vehicle and walked to the side entrance of the church where there was a packed audience waiting with baited breath. I was busy snapping away searching out the key moments, I felt good, this is what the magic of documentary wedding photography is all about, living on your wits, eyes in the back of your head, heart in your mouth never knowing what is coming next.

The bride and father walked into the church behind everybody who were facing forwards, I had made a snap decision to shoot wide and get up very close as they made their way down the aisle. This is when knowing your equipment inside out determines how you get the image you are looking for. I had speedily set up in the lobby moments before they started their walk down the aisle. My Nikon camera never let me down, the focus was locked into their forward movement and the continuous shoot mode was like a methodical machine gun capturing the action.

I didn’t hang about as I wanted to leave the bride and father to soak up the occasion and I quickly made my exit around the side of the church towards the front to capture the groom as the bride was within ten feet of him.

At this point I was not aware of the outcome of any of the shots I had just fired off but was very happy when I viewed the files later after the wedding. The image captures the moment wonderfully with the brides fabulous look towards her father and the father in a teary state looking so proud.

It is moments like this that I love the magic of documentary photography and living by the seat of your pants.

Around 90 minutes later after the service I headed back to my car expecting to find a yellow ticket on the windscreen, but to my amazement, it was not there.

Contact me to discuss your wedding by going to my website www.alfrankmonkphotography.uk

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