21st January 2014 . Weddings Wow Wow Wee Wah!

6 Photographers, 6 Favourite Photographs

What happens when you get in touch with a few of your favourite wedding photographers and ask them to submit their most favourite image of 2013 for a blog post? Well, firstly, cries of: ‘Only one?! Oh but there are so many- how could I possibly choose?’. But secondly (and after some gentle persuasion), an inbox of six equally beautiful but startlingly different photographs that reveal a little something from the other side of the camera.

Intrigued to see what makes these ‘togs tick?

First up is the fantabulous Dominique Bader who I, of course, chose to photograph my own wedding due to her incredible ability to find the most beautiful light. Dominique’s images combine romance and clarity, whilst possessing the kind of vivid colour that really appeals to me.

This is what she sent over, taken at the wedding of Laura and Sam at their family home in Kent:

Dominique says:  “I chose this image because it really represents the style of portraits I love to photograph, and it not only captured a real and natural moment between Laura & Sam, but the setting was also extremely meaningful to the couple. The image was taken on their family’s land (the location for their wedding), and it was also really important to Laura and Sam that we included their lovely dogs in some of the portraits. The way the dogs moved within the frame just topped it all off and made it one of my favourite shots of 2013!”

See? Such beautiful light! (And if it wasn’t my blog I’m sure she would have sent in a shot from my wedding… right, Dominique? Dominique…??)

Next up is the wordsmith, storyteller and super-nice Mister Phill, who first caught my eye when this amazing wedding was featured on RMW back in 2011.

I love the image that Phill sent over as the colours and mood aren’t ‘typically weddingy’, and yet you can’t help but stop and look closer. This magical moment was taken at Kat and Tom’s wedding, held at Chippenham Park, Cambridgeshire:

Image by Mister Phill

Phill says: “I knew all along what I wanted to achieve compositionally with this image; a photograph of Kat as she descended the stairs from her chambers at Chippenham Park, down towards the ceremony room where Tom awaited her. I wanted to frame her within the archway, a simple construct; one of many narrative points in the broader story of their wedding day. I also knew from experience that there was no guarantee that the resultant image would say much more than, “this is the bride, descending a staircase.” What I couldn’t account for was the position that the bridesmaids would arrive at just as Kat made it to the centre of the archway, that they would be coming down ahead of her at all, that she would turn at just that moment to see if she could spy Tom through the doorway into the ceremony room and that in doing so, her face would catch the light in just that manner. It’s an image that I like a great deal for the result, but also to serve as a reminder that luck is an important partner to preparedness.

If you don’t have Mister Phill’s blog on your reader, you really should. He tells such beautiful stories of the weddings he shoots (both with words and imagery), you’ll actually feel like you were there.

The third photographer to enter the fray is the pint-sized and supremely talented Sarah Gawler. I’ve known Sarah for a couple of years now, and her background studying Fine Art really comes through in her work. Her photography is, to me, the epitome of femininity and beauty. Hire her if you want your wedding to look like it’s come straight out of the pages of Vogue.

This is her contribution, an evanescent moment taken at Chinyere and Ryan’s London wedding:

Sarah told me: “I love this shot because in the bridesmaids’ haste to get the bride into the church, I got a little caught under her veil as they whisked it over her face. I carried on shooting and just love this fleeting last moment before she stepped into the church.”

I think this might be what veils are meant for.

Now, if I want to be photographed by anyone before I die, it would be the indisputable Marshal Gray. This man has the uncanny ability to make every single one of his subjects look like rock stars, and he manages to give an evocative, edgy, urban-cool feel to simply everything he shoots.

This is a stunning image, taken at Kim and Paul’s wedding in Fforest, Wales.

Image by Marshal Gray

About this image, Gary (aka Marshal Gray) says: “I love the elegant feel to this frame. I’d spotted the the light and the forest framing a while before and I simply asked Kim to walk away from camera suggesting I wanted to take a portrait of her further back. Which was the plan. However as soon as I saw her walking away I knew this was ‘the frame’.”

Elegant and yet laced with edge. I LOVE it.

Our penultimate contribution is by the beautiful (no really, she’s a stunner) Chloe Browne from Caught The Light.  I must admit, I’ve stalked Chloe’s photography blog for years and years, way before I got engaged. She shoots the most beautiful weddings in the most beautiful locations, and her style is natural, real, and always drenched in light.

How ‘wow’ is this shot, taken at a summer wedding in Provence?

Chloe says:  “I love this image because of the setting. A beautiful alfresco evening under the stars with elegant guests and a bride and a groom so very much in love. I really couldn’t have asked for anything more.”

Erm, I could. To have been a guest, perhaps? This is glorious.

And last but so not least, we have an infectiously happy shot from the talented duo at McKinley Rogers, whose weddings appear all over the blogosphere and are always full to the brim with personality and style.

I have to admit to having a slight bias towards this image as Ellie the bride bought her dress from the boutique I work in, and is a pure delight. Are you ready to smile?

On choosing this irresistable image, Pen from McKinley Rogers told me:  “I’ve been really drawn to black and white images recently (although we do supply colour images too), and this image encapsulates everything we love about why we do what we do – JOY.  We love shooting weddings which are overflowing with uncensored joy and capturing those moments.  There is nothing that makes my heart sing more than a genuine moment of happiness, like this.

Yeah, I think they were happy to be wed.

So there you have it. Be it a fleeting moment, glorious light, a couple so in love or the perfect frame, I find it fascinating to delve in to the minds of these talented camera folk. If this post is to achieve anything other than gratuitous wedding imagery, it’s to make you stop and think about what you want from a photographer. Whose work really resonates with you? Whose photography makes you gasp? How do you want your story to be told, and who will be able to achieve that?

Thank you so much to the photographers who contributed- you are all awesome. I wouldn’t mind turning this in to a bit of a series so to the many other talented togs who make me happy with their camera skills, I may well be in touch soon. (That’s not a threat.)

Now let’s have some photographer love, eh? Any of these shots make you smile?

Sama xxx

Sama x

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5 Responses to “6 Photographers, 6 Favourite Photographs”

  1. Kat

    Love love love this post. What a beautiful distraction from actually doing work this morning. I can’t pick my favourite, they are all so lovely in completely different ways. Having said that, the last photograph made me smile and then nearly (nearly!!!) shed a tiny tear at the sheer joy of it.

  2. Phill

    “If this post is to achieve anything other than gratuitous wedding imagery, it’s to make you stop and think about what you want from a photographer.” Amidst what is an ocean of online articles advising on how to choose wedding photographers (not that this acts to set foot on that deep worn path), you truly do get to the heart of the matter here, Sama, and it’s all beautifully explained, contextualised and presented; a great honour to have an image included, too.

  3. katrina

    Oh wow this is a fantastic idea for a post and I definitely think you should turn this into a series. Such emotive photographs and some fascinating narratives. I really am honoured that Mister Phill chose this photo…so of course I have to say that my wedding photo made me smile the most! x

  4. tarafromtexas

    Lovely photographs! As a bride to be, one of my top priorities was choosing the right photographer. So much respect for those who are in the profession.


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