This photograph has been in my wedding photography portfolio for some time now. It was taken in Cambridge a few years ago and isn’t what you would really normally associate with wedding photography but, particularly for the bride and groom concerned, it is a valuable and real record of some of the people who were at the wedding. So many times I see photographer’s portfolios stuffed full of the standard bride and groom shots with little attention paid to the wider story that is going on as guests interact and celebrate the wedding day. To me, this is a kind of rich tapestry of background which augments and supports the main events of the day and is vital when documenting the whole story.
In this image the guests are waiting for the ceremony to begin. I actually don’t really know why the image works so well but I think it’s partly that you really want to know what each of the subjects are saying and what their interaction is about. It helps that the guest in the middle, to me at least , looks a bit like George Bush and he seems, by his body language and gesture to be quite dominant in the picture – he is completely central as well which adds to the effect. The other guests seem to sort of ping off him and work really well in counterpoint; the much softer body language of the couple to the left for example and the irritation of the woman sorting her shoe out completely ignoring everyone else balances things out beautifully.
Did I manage to photograph all of this deliberately? Well no, there is a certain amount of luck and timing involved and this was probably the best of a sequence of images. This was the image where everything came together. It was just a case of watching, thinking and waiting as so many of my images are!