With Benjamin Toms
I hope you’ve enjoyed the series of photography advice articles with documentary wedding photographer Benjamin Toms. They all stemmed from a conversation we had a little while ago where I learned so much about wedding photography I simply had to share it all with you… which brings me to one last little piece of advice I absolutely couldn’t miss!
This one’s a little tongue in cheek, but the message is still important…
Documentary wedding photography is storytelling in pictures. It’s never a dull timeline, but more of a journey through your wedding day, captured through the eyes of your guests. You’ll see lots of wonderfully candid photos of your favourite people in the world chatting, laughing, smiling and so much more. This style of photography will capture the spirit of your day like no other.
… and then there’s Auntie Muriel.
Please note, I have made Auntie Muriel up. Much as JK Rowling invented Harry Potter (but I’m sure he was loosely based on a boy with wizardy tendencies… although I digress) Auntie Muriel is not a real person.
She simply represents a generation of puzzled aunties who don’t like to be caught unawares. Auntie Muriel is your favourite auntie – behatted; floralized and with Elizabeth Taylor’s lipstick and curls, she knows wedding photos are important, she spots the photographer, and she turns towards the lens, beaming, to have her photo taken.
And then there’s a stand-off.
Because a documentary photographer isn’t there to take posed photos. He or she is looking for natural, relaxed images of your guests chatting, laughing, smiling… at each other.
So Auntie Muriel looks down the lens and waits.
And so does the photographer.
Auntie M is puzzled.
The photographer is patient.
Auntie M gives up – it’s not like her; but if he doesn’t want to take her photo… well, humph! She’d rather be sipping Pimms and cooing at her baby granddaughter anyway…
… and the photographer gets his image.
You love Auntie Muriel because she has a heart of gold. Her smile lights up rooms; her eyes make babies chuckle and grin… and this is the memory you want from your wedding photographs.
Why am I telling you this? Because after talking to Ben I totally get what documentary wedding photography is all about. It’s the most amazing way to capture the atmosphere of your day – and it means your guests don’t need to pose for photos; they can carry on enjoying themselves, relaxed and happy all day long.
And because I spent a happy hour listening to Ben talking about his work. I’ve no doubt that he’d win over all of our Auntie Muriels if they could spend an hour learning about documentary photography… but you’ll have to tell them instead. If you’re booking a documentary style photographer for your day, do have a quick word with Auntie M beforehand, and let her know she can happily ignore the photographer on the day!
More wedding photography advice by Ben:
- Your wedding through the eyes of a photographer
- The two best moments of your wedding day?
- About those group shots… invisible on blogs, unmissable for your memories!
- Why documentary photos are the key to a unique wedding
- The vicar, the registrar and the wedding photographer
- Two short hours of your time for a lifetime of memories
- A wedding photographer’s tips for amazing couple shots
Benjamin Toms Photography – more information and pictures!
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