For me, this is a prime example of the type of image that I’m seeking out at every wedding. It’s an “inside” view picture, way beneath the surface of what was superficially going on. I can pretty much guarantee that nobody else even noticed this moment but to me, kneeling on the floor and looking for the insider’s view, it tells a fleeting, touching and powerful story.
So, we are at a lovely wedding drinks reception on the lawns of Jesus College Cambridge. Everyone is chatting away and, at eye level, there’s the usual laughing, interaction, chatting and smiling photographs to be had. Initially, that of course is what we all see and accept. But it’s really important for me to dig deeper, to look beneath the surface for those hidden narratives that are really at the heart of what’s going on. So, on this occasion, there deep within the crowd, almost hidden from view was the story of this little girl and how she was feeling.
Her Mum is on the left in blue and she’s chatting to the bride on the right. I just love her expression, staring at the bride, quietly listening, processing what’s going on, learning, forming an opinion. She was there for quiet a while and it was just a case of waiting until she looked up almost in wonderment and recording the moment.
The whole picture is held together by some rather beautiful light as well and the way that the light glances of the girl’s face gives it depth and character. Colour wise there’s a nice unity of blues and greens binding the whole thing together. Look also at how she’s holding the bouquet firmly and safely with both her hands – the echo of the bride’s bouquet above is rather nice too!
Compositionally I would ideally have placed the girl slightly to the side but to get the framing or “looking into the picture” feel I would have lost some of the girl with her arms round her Mum to the left and also the girl in the background who I think I caught taking a selfie just at the same moment.
The icing on the cake for me really was that the three girls in the picture are sisters. It’s basically Mum and the three sisters and the bride. I tried and tried to get an image with the sister on the left a little more prominent but had to settle for her looking away. I like to think that she’s looking at her sister taking the selfie. Anyway the arms around her Mum are quite lovely!
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