Deconstructing moments

There are two halves to my style of wedding photography: one half is using light and colour to create fine-art images that I hope have an artistic value outside of the confines of when they were taken and the other is capturing once-in-a-lifetime moments that will bring a smile to the couple’s face every time they see their photos.

For those moments I am a documentary photographer, more journalist than artist, freezing a split-second in time. I’d like to share a few moments in detail from the French wedding I blogged recently…

In the above shot there are lots of points of interest. It’s a classic ‘documentary’ moment – an image that has more layers the more you look at it. The bride and groom are out of shot to the left and the subjects almost all look towards them – I feel the viewer is very aware that they’re glimpsing a moment away from the main stage. There are lots of interesting individuals: old couples, a woman in sunglasses and on the right two friends greeting each other. It’s that greeting that makes the image and draws you in.

This second image is very similar to the first. By this point of the wedding it was very dark and I could have used flash to light the entire scene, but that would have given a false impression of the effect of the candle light. I wanted it to look as I saw it, or as near as possible. The shallow depth of field helps add to the sense of being an observer, just as the couple on the left are. You could be sat at the table, watching the guests chat and dance.

This final image was taken quickly. The boy walked out of the doors playing with the sunglasses and as he walked towards me lifted them to his eyes. I was shooting with a wide angle lens and only about 2 metres from the boy as I took the shot. Ideally I’d have liked a wider lens, to get the boy’s shoes in as well as framing him with the trees above, but it’s still a lovely moment.

To see more of my work, or for more information about my wedding photography visit


About David Charlwood

I am a professional photographer, specialising in weddings, working across the UK, based in the South East. View all posts by David Charlwood

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