Final Adjustments – One Of Our Favourites
This picture, taken at Paddy and Katherine’s wedding in 2012, immediately became one of our all-time favourite images. It was taken by Sarah, just as the wedding ceremony was about to start at Hanbury Church in Worcestershire.
It’s the kind of picture we love to be able to capture. There is no recognition of the camera here. It’s a true documentary wedding photograph with no setting up, no direction and no interaction by Sarah. She simply saw the moment start to happen and got herself in a great position on the church stairway, nailing the composition, the timing and other technical aspects.
More importantly though, what we really love about this picture is how it records the atmosphere and feeling of this brief, but important moment. The fleeting seconds just before the ceremony commences are always filled with a mixture of emotions. When we ask soon-to-be-brides about the part of day they’re most nervous about, the answer is nearly always “entering the ceremony”, knowing that all eyes will be on them, that the clock is ticking and that things just have to be just-so. It’s part of the wedding day where feelings are really amplified and consequently, one of the most challenging and enjoyable to photograph.
In years to come, when Katherine and her bridesmaids look back at this picture, they will probably always be able to remember how they were feeling at the time, in a way that a posed photo of them smiling at the camera would never be able to deliver. Although you can’t see much of the bride’s face, the pre-ceremony tension is absolutely palpable and this is made more obvious by the expression of the bridesmaids, who are 100% focused on Katherine and getting the veil just right for her. Everyone – including the priest and the flowergirls – is concentrating on the bride, so all of the eye-lines end up at Katherine’s face.
When it came to editing this picture, it was obvious right from the start that it would always look it’s best in black-and-white. We tend to make our black-and-white pictures look strong and ‘contrasty’ and in this case the direction of the light, the deep shadows and crisp detail of the veil stand out far more than in the original colour, which would distract from the moment. This picture isn’t about the bridesmaids’ dresses, or flowers, or any other material concern – it’s simply about a bride preparing for the biggest moment of her life.
We love this picture. We hope you will too.
The full blog post for this wedding can be seen at: