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Details shots are OK in moderation

Documentary wedding photography

I've written before about my frustration at the idea that wedding photography should involve hundreds of pictures of flowers, table settings, bunting etc. Its easy to overdo the details and forget the main purpose of the photography, to record the wedding day in full, particularly all the family and friends that made an effort to be there to celebrate with the bride and groom.

Having said that, I do shoot a few details, but they still need to be good photographs, not just record shots. I immediately liked the light in this picture. I didn't hang the dress there myself, or ask the bride to do it. I saw it, and it made a good picture, so I photographed it. Those are my only criteria.

Its All In The Details

Documentary wedding photography at De Courceys Manor, Cardiff

Yes, I do shoot detail pictures.

One of the problems I see with wedding photography these days is the proliferation of detail pictures. You know the type - endless shots of rings, flowers, place settings, favours, shoes... the list goes on.

I think this is caused by two things. Firstly, taking the pictures is relatively easy. Inanimate objects don't move around by definition, so you can stand there and take 20 slightly different pictures of the wedding cake without a problem. You don't have to concern yourself with catching the shoes at just the right moment. Shoes don't emote.

The second reason is wedding blogs and magazines. The vast majority of wedding publications are about "stuff". Stuff you can buy. Stuff you can use at your own wedding. Inspirational stuff. So when blogs and magazines are looking for wedding photography to publish, they naturally turn to photographers that can give them pictures of stuff. Photographers want free publicity, so photographers shoot pictures of stuff.

I understand that couples want a record of their day, including all the little touches that they spent time and money choosing, but what makes weddings unique is the people.

So I shoot a few pictures of the stuff and lots of pictures of the people.