Wedding photography has always been acceptable to fashion. When digital photography first became popular, spot colour was in demand. Turning the photograph to black and white leaving just the flowers in colour, was a part of every photographer’s portfolio. Then the desaturated look was in. Photographers desaturated photographs making colours look vintage and pastel in colour. The latest fashion is the muted look. This is when the blacks within the photograph are adjusted to give a distinctive look. Then we have the elephant in the room, the Black and white photo. Black and white photography is in fashion but it is the one constant over the 20 years I have been a photographer. When I started back in 2000, I was photographing weddings on film cameras. I would use a top professional medium format camera loaded with colour film along with a 35mm camera loaded with a black and white film. For me, some wedding photographs just look better in black and white and I have always been a fan.
So, onto some samples of my black and white wedding photography. The first one of the bride and her bridesmaids is great fun. After photographing the girls walking towards me, I asked them to do it one more time. As they walked back to their start position the dancing started and I grabbed this wonderful memory. I love the second one of three very cheeky boys. I got them to wrap arms around each other and then said something silly to make them laugh. The third one of the bride and groom looking out of the window was not set up. I was outside organising a group shot when I noticed the happy couple chatting with friends whilst leaning out of the window. Another lovely memory captured.
This next image of the bride and groom was taken in a tunnel that led up to the wedding venue in Barnstable North Devon. I love the lights that lead the eye into the happy couple. This help to turn it into a dramatic wedding photograph I know the couple love. Now we hope for a nice sunny day for our wedding but we do live in Britain. This bride was presented with torrential rain as she arrived for her wedding. I could easily have waited inside in the dry but I wanted to capture the bride and dad as they arrived. Yes, I got soaked as did my camera but I think it was well worth it. Now, how different is this next image of the arrival of the bride. On this occasion, we had a lovely sunny day so no need for me or my camera to get soaked. Two photographs of the same part of the day with a very different look.
The next black and white photograph I have to share with you is of the bride having just finished getting ready. The dress was simply stunning and I wanted to show off the beauty of the design. Laying the dress out and adding the flowers to the image makes for a beautiful wedding photograph. The next photo is a casual photograph of a bride and groom chatting. It looks reportage but it has been set up by myself. Using the leaves of a tree to frame the couple gives the impression of a private moment has been captured. The next photograph of a bride and groom is a typical sample of one of my set up formal photos. Just because a photograph is set up does not mean it has to be stiff and unnatural. In this case, I posed the couple against the wall with the wedding car in the background. Using a large aperture on my camera ensures just the couple are in focus with the car softer behind them. This ensures the eye stays firmly on the couple yet as your eye starts to wonder the car comes into the image.
The first of the last three photographs to show you are of the dancing getting underway. You would be forgiven for thinking this is the bride and groom but in fact, it’s the beautiful bride and the best man having fun. A great moment to capture, I just love their expressions on their faces. The second image is of the groom as he is getting ready for his big day. Again, it’s easy to think this is just reportage but he is laughing at one of my very poor jokes. The last image is from a wonderful summer wedding and is of the bride and groom walking and happily chatting. We had just finished photographing them next to the gate overlooking the field. As we walked back, I asked them to hold hands and chat about their day. As you can see, just a simple instruction like this can help to make a stunning photograph that the bride and groom will love.
So, I hope you have enjoyed this little look at some of my black and white wedding photography. Colour is always the mainstay of the images I present the couple but as you can see, wedding photographs can look wonderful in timeless black and white. To see lots more samples of my work including some black and white photography just click on this link to my wedding gallery