One of my favourite wedding photos this year is of the brides father, Stephen, at Peppers Guest House Hunter Valley, on a hot and windy November day right before walking his eldest daughter, Christa, down the aisle.
As a photographer I aim to show not only how someone looks, but capture them in their true light if possible. I want to show a glimpse of their personality, or what stands out for me in a particular moment. It could be their eyes, a cheeky smile, a strong jawline, beautiful eyelashes or a muscular and toned back. It could be an excited look of anticipation or one of thoughtfulness and consideration. I want my photos to express something of the person before me.
I aim to show people in their best light, most of the time, manipulating things slightly for a more flattering angle, a less cluttered background, stronger catchlights in the eyes, a shadow across the face to accentuate the cheekbones or a little direction to soften the face. Forget about smiling and simply look.
Occasionally… rarely even, I’ll walk into a ‘scene’ and it just looks and feels perfect without altering a thing. That’s how I’d describe this photo of Christa’s father, Stephen, captured right before he was to take his daughters arm and lead her down the aisle to her waiting future husband, Scott.
It’s totally normal for fathers of the bride to stay away from the commotion of the pre wedding rituals as much as a form of defence from the stressed women making sure everything is just perfect before the big moment and partly because they know there’s nothing more to do than wait for the time to be right, the time to go.
I’m unsure what was moving through Stephen’s mind as I entered the room to grab a few photos of Christa in her gown before her ceremony. He looked comfortable – at home even. Confident and relaxed amid three women fussing over this and that. It was like he’d seen it all before.
He hadn’t, this was his first daughters’s wedding.
Seeing the scene and worried he’d move as I wheeled my camera bag into the room I said, “Don’t move, I want to grab a quick shot of you as you are.”
Stephen replied, “Don’t worry, I’m not moving.”
I crouched, set my exposure and snapped off a frame and had it, the shot above. One of my favourites of the year and one that makes me feel like I’m on the set of a movie with Robert de Niro.
What makes this frame so special to me, is it’s authenticity. As staged as it looks, this image is as 100% true to the moment. Having never met Stephen, I have a sense of his personality, his demeanour and his confidence from this single frame.
I feel like I captures his true self in a single frame, my first frame. A rare thing.
Camera Model: Nikon D4
Lens: 35mm Sigma f1.4 Art Lens
Exp. Comp: 0
Focus Mode: Auto
White Balance: Auto
If you’d like to see more photos from my “love this” series, click here.
And if you’d like to find out more about our wedding photography, how we can make your day one that you’ll never forget, or simply to look over our prices, click here.