Best of 2019

Time for my annual ‘Best of’ post! 2019 has been another fantastic year of weddings; it’s been a real pleasure to look back through the (thousands) of images I’ve taken this year and create this post. For the first time ever, too, I’ve included some text to accompany every single image – reasons why they’ve made my ‘Best Of’; little insights into the way I work, what I love to capture. Hopefully it will be interesting for brides/grooms and fellow wedding photographers too…I say ‘hopefully’ as it took me a looooong time to do, ha!

This year has seen me travel all over the UK and Europe, witnessing – and capturing! – moment after moment. From the very first second I started doing this ‘job’ (way back in 2012, wow!), it’s been an absolute honour to have been chosen and trusted to capture these incredibly important moments, and it continues to be so eight years later.

2019 has also seen me continue with my training of other wedding photographers – both with one-to-one sessions at my home studio in Cornwall, via Skype, and at my ‘Law School’ workshops in London and Leeds. A little dream of mine was also realised, as I was asked by Rangefinder to be a mentor at WPPI in Las Vegas…getting paid to go to Vegas, total dream achieved, ha! In 2020 I’ve been incredibly honoured to have been asked to speak at two other conferences: The inaugural Doc Day in Dublin, Ireland (held in association with This is Reportage, which I’ll talk about a little bit more below), and the awesome Elevate in London, UK – can’t wait to speak at both. Very nervous, of course, but very excited too! I’ll also be announcing a 2020 ‘Law School’ workshop very soon – head over to this link and enter your details on the form at the bottom of the page if you’d like first chance at booking a place when it’s arranged.

As alluded to above, it’s also been a massive year for This is Reportage – the worldwide community of wedding photographers that I own and run. With membership growing, six amazing Collections of award-winning captures and Stories in 2019, continual features, physical meetups/parties in Lisbon, Portugal and London, UK, it’s been an amazing year. I also launched our very own Podcast as well, so if you’d like to hear me interview some of the world’s very best wedding photographers, you can do so over here.

But anyway, enough of the intro! There are *plenty enough* words below from me, anyway; you definitely don’t need anymore! Without further ado, here are some of my very favourite captures from 2019, with words about each and every image:

One of my very favourite firework captures, this! I was lucky in that Katherine & Oliver’s display was absolutely epic and went on for about half an hour…giving me lots of chances to get lots of shots (as capturing fireworks – as well as the couple – is actually really difficult). I love the way they’re both so obviously enjoying the display; Oli peering up at them, and Katherine laughing with him. To capture the fireworks along with a proper moment between them; that’s always the goal, so I’m very happy to have got this shot.

Something I love to capture during the speeches are images that contain both the ‘speech giver’ and the ‘speech receiver’ – here, Pep is talking about his new wife Jade, and I love the way they’re both looking at each other and laughing. Capturing connections – and, in this case, exemplifying it by having the frame contain only them – is something I’m always looking to do.

Ah, I do loves me some symmetry! Here, Dom is waiting for his guests to arrive, and – as always – it’s a total, natural moment; no guidance or posing from me whatsoever. Just watching, waiting, moving (myself!) to get the composition, and done.

I think we can all relate to this! Oh the beauty of summer weddings; early ceremonies and endlessly flowing alcohol can lead to lots of scenes like this, with a guest just having ‘a little break’ from it all.

This shot of Aimie and Colin’s First Dance is all about one thing: Movement. Their frantic action, combined with a relatively-low shutter speed, has enabled the frame to contain a bit of motion-blur, as well as the needed sharpness on Colin as he swings his new bride around. One of my favourite First Dance captures of 2019.

For me, this frame is about a few different things: Family, emotion, composition and light. This is during the speeches, and Phil (the groom; out of shot) is talking about his Dad (pictured). To capture his dad getting so emotional is massively pleasing for me – capturing emotion is what it’s all about – and the composition makes the frame even more interesting, in my opinion anyway! The shaft of hard light was a bonus, too, as it enabled me to have his Dad stand out from the surroundings, and thus make for a stronger frame. (You can see more from my time as their Thoebalds Estate wedding photographer here)

Because…sheep! Ha, I just like this. I like the way they’re looking at me, like “what on earth is he doing?”, and I like the composition; purposely focusing on the one behind to get this kind of look. Makes me smile, and it’s all part of the day, all part of the couple’s chosen venue (so many sheep at this place!).

A simple shot, but one of my favourites for sure, as this is what it’s all about: Groom, mum, moment. (See more of Tom & Al’s Lusty Glaze wedding photography).

…and to juxtapose that one above, here we have Bride, Father, moment. It’s all about the moments, people!

This capture makes my Best Of as I love how the frame tells a little mini-story: The bride (in this case, the lovely Rosie), her husband (Dan), their venue (the awesome Sherborne Abbey), their wedding car, and all with a lovely laugh/moment between them too. I also like the split-frame of inside/outside.

This one is all about waiting, as so much of wedding photography is: Waiting, watching, anticipating, and capturing. Here, the bride and her maid of honour – her best friend – step outside during prep, and I just watched and waited, anticipating that something could happen between them. Sometimes things won’t happen – that’s life! – but, at other times, something will – and I’m very happy to have been able to capture this hug between them, capturing something important of their relationship for all time. As always, composition is so important, and I’ve purposely composed them in the centre-bottom for some symmetry, as well as shooting wide to capture the vista.

My approach is all about capturing people unaware, and not looking at the camera at all…but when this singer from the brilliant The Function Band looked directly through my lens, it would have been rude not to capture it! Such a brilliant band, by the way; can’t recommend them enough!

Lizzie’s Dad revealing something embarrassing during his speech about her, and Lizzie just not being able to hear it…! Ha, love to capture little moments like this during the speeches. Compositionally, for me, I really like this, with the two subjects’ heads at opposite corners – makes for an interesting and dynamic frame.

Ah, reactions to magicians! Love capturing these! The magician himself is out of frame in this particular capture (would have been even better if I’d been able to get him in it as well), but I love the way there are four different people’s very strong reactions to what they’ve just witnessed, with two of them being the bride and groom, too. At Polhawn Fort, Cornwall.

I really love this groom and mum moment; the way they’re looking at each other, the tenderness of their touch…it’s simple, but I find it beautiful.

A traditional summer English/Welsh wedding, classic cars, bride and guests chatting…and a dancing top-to-toe-in-latex Zebra woman. Only at weddings can you capture something so incongruous, it seems – love it!

This is a small, subtle moment – a friend of the bride gently touching heads – and I really like it because of that: It’s not just the big, grand moments that we should be capturing, as wedding photographers; these little moments are just as important. Being so physically close to the subjects makes for a much more intimate image, and the higher viewpoint also gives a more interesting angle.

The first ‘couple time’ image in my Best of 2019 – there won’t be too many, as, although I enjoy taking 10 minutes or so to get some nice shots of the couple (if they want to have that, of course – it’s totally up to you, and some of my couples don’t want any of this time at all), for me, wedding photography is all about capturing the natural moments – and it’s from a beautiful wedding in Portugal. I like the framing, here, within the leaves – giving it all a good sense of depth as we go from leaves, the couple, and then the vista. The gorgeous Portuguese light definitely helps too, of course…!

I love all these happy faces! Christina couldn’t keep her eyes off Dom as she walked down the aisle, and I love the way everyone seems to be looking at him. Important to have kept him in the frame, too, so we tell more of a story in a single capture.

Emotion, emotion, emotion…! Radina having a moment during the evening of her fab Bulgarian wedding. I like the almost-negative space on the left of the frame, drawing your eye to the emotion on the right. So much of what we do is about composition; how we choose to capture the moments in front of us.

It’s no secret that I love dogs at weddings! Here, one of Tom & Al’s lovely dogs takes a little respite from the sun and action at their Lusty Glaze wedding.

The next three frames I’ve included in chronological order, as it’s a little mini-story that is quite fun to tell! The groom’s brother, bless him, takes the top glass off the (enormous!) champagne tower, and it all comes crashing down! Here’s the exact moment it happened…

…and here’s the still-shocked-and-not-quite-believing-it-actually-happened aftermath…

…and here’s the (little sheepish) watch as the catering staff clear it all up! Storytelling is *such* an important part of what we do as wedding photographers, and the little mini-stories like this are just as important to capture as the big picture of the day itself. Different angles, different viewpoints, different compositions…there are so many ways to capture these stories as interestingly and dynamically as possible.

I do like symmetry as a compositional tool/aspect, as you’ve probably noticed! Aimie and Colin having a little smooch at their Hedingham Castle wedding, back in January 2019.

Ever since becoming a father to a little girl myself, nearly eight years ago now, the father/daughter relationship at a wedding has become even more special to me. I love this tender, emotional moment between Alice and her Dad here.

I love some Irish dancing/Ceilidh action at a wedding! With the camera right down on the ground I’ve captured it from a different viewpoint to what the normal eye would have seen – something which always helps to (consciously or not, for the viewer) make an image more interesting to look at.

Something a bit different…! Helen & Jae having a little time to themselves out of the window at Polhawn Fort – as you do! I like the big laughs, and composition to purposely include the other people looking up at them – which also helps to lead your eye, as the viewer, up to the couple, too.

Blowing confetti out of the groom’s hair; the best man/groomsman’s most important duty since 1891.

Real men cry, oh yes they do – and hopefully I’ll always be there to capture it…! Matthias getting a little overwhelmed at his and Ciara’s Durham wedding earlier in 2019.

I like the composition, the kiss, and the billowing of Alice’s dress, here. I think it also goes to show that ‘couple time’ images don’t have to be in the ‘golden hour’ – this is the bight midday sun and I think it works because of that especially.

I like the from-below angle here, the composition, and Christina’s huge smile/grin…and I’m also including it because I just love to see brides giving speeches!

It’s always been a thing for me that I love to capture guests feeling the love at weddings – it really isn’t just the couple themselves that get all romantic on a wedding day! I like the psychedelic nature of this capture, complete with mini-glow stick, as two of Aimie & Colin’s guests get all smoochy on the dancefloor at Hedingham Castle.

Another very simple, straightforward shot, but I include it in my Best Of because of the tenderness; the emotion that is evident to see in Abbie’s Dad as he sees his daughter in her wedding dress for the first time. As a father to an eight-year old myself, it’s something I think about (though I hope it’s a long, long way off yet…!)

‘Couple time’, for me, really doesn’t mean ‘posing’ whatsoever – it means just taking 5/10 minutes away from your guests, where you two can just enjoy some time alone together, appreciating that you’ve just got married. Here, Natalie and James take the opportunity to have a little dip in the (probably absolutely freezing cold) Cornish sea…

I like to include people in my ‘detail’ shots – as, after all, weddings are not about the material objects, they’re all about the people. Of course, details are still important to capture, but when you can combine it with people – like here, as the shot is about Ciara’s shoes, but you have the helping hands of her bridesmaids, and her Mother looking on – then it means so much more. I also like the juxtaposition within this post, of the image above this one being about shoes coming off, and this one about shoes going on…

Hands, hugs, emotion…you can feel the love here! Again, getting so close to the action with my 25mm means that the resultant image is so much more intimate than if I chose to capture it on a long lens. The totally silent shutter of the Sony A9 also means that, even if I’m close like this, you won’t hear me taking the shot, and so won’t be distracted by my presence…the goal is for you not to notice I’m there at all.

It’s important that we capture images in ways that are visually interesting – it’s vital, in fact – so though this image is of a ‘normal’ thing (in this case, Andrew, the groom, talking to two of his guests), by shooting it from really low, and purposely having composing him in the centre of the frame, we have (what I think is) a dynamic image; something that is visually interesting, even if you don’t know the subjects themselves personally. A little bonus for me is that the two people Andrew is talking to in this capture are also a past bride and groom of mine!

I’ve mentioned it before, how I don’t want people to be looking at the camera at all – but, for kids, for some reason, it doesn’t seem to matter so much. Indeed, I like this particular image *because* they’re looking at the camera, for some reason. Hey, sometimes I don’t know exactly why I like an image, and, I think, it doesn’t actually matter that I don’t know why…!

The essence of wedding photography for me, this: Close, intimate, moment. Real.

The first – and probably, I think, the *only* – time I’ve ever captured the Father of the Bride doing his speech whilst standing in The Stocks.

I don’t take many images in the portrait-orientation, but this couple-time capture of Christina and Dom just worked really well like this, I think. It’s important to try different things at weddings – after all, you never know if something will work or not if you don’t try it – and it means we’re continually learning, getting better, and producing fresh work.

All about the expression, this one! I love expressive people at weddings; Abbie was such a fab bride! I love shooting ‘through’ people like this; giving the context to the situation, and giving depth to the image.

The little-seen ‘flick off all the confetti from the back of the dress’ shot.

I like this tender moment during Clive & Jamie’s First Dance; composed with them to the side so you can see all those lovely onlookers. With the purposeful shallow depth of field, the image is still all about the couple – the sharpness on them drawing the eye first – but it has the context and associated warmth of them being watched by all their family and friends.

A high-five captured as if you were really there yourself! So, a kind of virtual-reality high-five, so to speak. If I was stretching it, ha! But yeah, again, by shooting so close and wide (again, shot on my 25mm), you get such an intimacy, as if you were really there (which I was, of course).

Groom, bride, bird of prey… just the usual things you see at a wedding, right? I like Harriet’s reaction in the background as Tom ducks for cover from the bird’s massive wings. More falconry at weddings, please!

Always un-posed, from me – but that doesn’t mean you still can’t get cool-looking (non)portraits. This is one of Christina & Dom’s groomsmen, just watching the guests arriving. So yeah, you don’t have to pose people to get cool shots of them – I’d argue that people actually look better when they *don’t* know they’re being photographed. I like the negative-space of the wall on the left of this frame drawing your eye over to the groomsman.

I capture hundreds of hugs per wedding (and I love to do so), so, for a hug-shot to make my Best Of, it has to be different/special in some way…and this one makes it due to the emotion you can see in Jamie’s sister’s eyes here, along with the repetition of hand shape and double-hug in the top-right. Relationships between people are *so* important to capture; moments like this, between sister and brother, are so special.

It’s a selfie, which of course we see thousands of, but I just like the composition. And it’s my Best Of, so I’ll include what I like…;)

I like the wide, quite-abstract composition here, where it all seems to be about shapes. As wedding photographers, we obviously see lots of make-up situations, so I really think it’s our job to always be coming up with different ways to photograph what can be similar-looking scenes. That’s always the goal; to make your images unique.

Heads in opposite corners of the frame, as physically close as it’s almost possible to be, energy, laughter…ah, I like it!

After a very successful First Dance, the little ‘we did it!’ embrace. I just love the intimacy, ‘feel’ and connection in this image, really makes me smile.

As well as big, close images of emotion, you may have noticed that I’m quite keen on the abstract, as well. Low-down, the bride and her bridesmaid small in the frame and quite indistinct, this image is more about light, composition, and mood. I like it!

A ‘non-couple time, couple time’ image, so to speak! Just an observational capture, as Christina & Dom mingle with their guests after their official wedding ceremony. Again, it so often comes back to that wedding photographer must-have of waiting, watching, anticipating and capturing.

A boy and his dog Mexican-stand off on a beach out of a window. Abstract, the negative space making your eye work around the scene…I like! Also gives context to the surroundings, as this was taken during Jade’s prep which backed on to the beach in Cornwall.

Just a big, hearty laugh. No other reason needed!

Martin & Allen had such an amazing wedding at Aynhoe Park – and only at Aynhoe Park will you find a giant glitter ball hanging from a tree. A ‘couple time’ capture that was just begging to be taken!

This was a snapshot; one of those moments where I turn around, see what’s happening, and try to – as quickly as I can – capture it. So, yes, it may not be 100% sharp, but what’s more important: Sharpness or Moment? Of course, my goal is to always capture every moment as perfectly as possible, but I sure won’t be throwing away captures or moments like this if the sharpness isn’t 100%. A moment between the parents of one of my couples.

Sunset and symmetry…a lovely combination! They’re just enjoying a little evening walk along the beach here, too – no direction or posing whatsoever.

I may have said it once or twice before (!) but it’s the intimacy of this really-close capture which makes it so impactful, for me. Their heads together, eyes-closed, lost in their own little world within a packed dancefloor…

Because…sheep, again! And this time with the added bonus of the bride and groom πŸ™‚ More seriously, I do like to capture images like this, where it’s kind of from someone else’s viewpoint (in this case, the sheep/lamb’s).

This is Alex at the front of the aisle, waiting for Jessica to walk down and become his wife. Shot from below so that I could get this symmetry of him with the arches of the ceiling at Hengrave Hall. I honestly think this is one of the very best things about wedding photography; it may sound pretentious, but I truly believe we’re making little pieces of art on-the-fly, with decisions made in split-seconds. It’s thrilling, and I love it.

I love this image because it’s the bride with her ‘two main men’ – one arm on her Dad, whilst she kisses her brand new husband. Close, intimate, real.

You see a lot of brides and grooms enjoying sunsets in wedding-photography land, but here’s a lesser-shown fact: Guests enjoy sunsets too! They’re not just for couples πŸ˜‰

A storytelling image, this one, as we have not just the groom doing his hair, but also his jacket in the foreground. I like this kind of split-frame capture; it’s visually-interesting and dynamic.

First Kisses are great, but so are the second-, third-, fourth- and, well, you get the idea (!) kisses…!

Though my aim is to not be noticed, sometimes I fail…something tells me these guests realised I was there.

The light, the semi-silhouette, the reflection and composition…all adds up to a capture I really like.

You don’t always need to see faces to get a sense of ‘feeling’ in an image; here, Harriet’s hands on Tom’s back are all you need to see…

Oh that Portuguese light! With a little bit of flair, and a lovely couple, et voila!

Ha, I just love the baby’s expression here. I love the fact that the Dad had no idea I was taking this image, either, and I like to think that he loved seeing the resultant image some weeks later when the couple (hopefully!) shared this image with him. A personal love of mine is to be able to capture lovely images of peoples’ kids at weddings.

Carrying on the theme of what I spoke about above, a lot of wedding photography can actually translate to ‘family photography’ – and I love that. Weddings are not only about the couple themselves, but their family and the new bonds it can create. Here, it’s Helen and Jae, but also one of their children…it’s weddings, but it’s also family, and I love that.

Ha, I just really like this: Boogying down on the dancefloor, shot through the viewpoint of the person she’s dancing with. Simple, but effective!

Those autumn colours, threatening skies, and a backlit chin-kiss. What’s not to like, ha!

It’s a shot of a church, but it’s different…I like it! I think the black and white is really effective here, and the low viewpoint. Yeah, I just like it!

A symmetrically-captured First Kiss, shot from above, with all those happy faces smiling and clapping in the background; yep, this does it for me.

More happy smiling faces here, and I love the sense of depth by shooting through the window and including the outside of the car in the shot as well.

Emotion, that’s what it’s all about…

Mirror-shots are not uncommon, of course, but I particularly like the sense of depth in this one, as it makes your eye move from their reflection on the left side of the frame, to the guys themselves in the right, and back again.

This is an example of a small, subtle moment – but one that’s still so important to capture. During one of their ceremony readings, Jade and Pep exchange a look, touch and smile. I’m always aiming to capture as many moments as I can; that’s the goal.

This is actually the same brother and sister hugging as found earlier in this post; but this time from the opposite perspective, and later in the night. Instead of the emotion showing in her face, we see the emotion in his. Special, for me, to capture these kinds of moments.

An image from prep that people may think was set up or posed – but it’s completely not. Just a completely natural shot of the bride, shot through a mirror, and exposing for the shaft of light that was on her (and thus why the rest of the frame is so dark). You don’t need to pose in order to get striking ‘portraits’ of people!

The bride, a laugh, a random hand…abstract, and I like!

Lush light, and a bit of a ‘what’s going on here?’ type of moment, add up to this being in my Best Of.

OK, I’m a bit of sucker for men crying…! I just think it’s lovely to see anyone – male or female – letting their emotions show; it’s what we thrive to capture as wedding photographers, so, people, if you’re in two minds, definitely let it all out!

I love their heads together, their embrace, the closeness of the capture, the from-above viewpoint…a simple shot, but effective (I think, anyway. Actually, I don’t really need to add the ‘I think’ bit, do I, as obviously this whole piece is just about what I think – there is no right or wrong, merely my opinion!)

Ah, the backlit hair/face-spray shot! The photographer within me is always happy to get an especially effective one of these πŸ™‚

Have I mentioned how I love to capture guests getting all romantic…? πŸ˜‰ Ha, I know I have, but this is another favourite example of this from 2019; the close capture, combined with wide aperture, meaning the guests are in focus whilst the background is thrown out of focus – perfect to make them/their embrace stand out, whilst still giving the context of their whereabouts (the wedding breakfast).

Ah, the embrace, the rim-light (created by the sun being behind them and against a dark background)… lovely.

Guests don’t only get romantic, they get emotional too! Always trying to keep an eye out for anyone feeling the emotion of the wedding ceremony like this.

One of the extra benefits of switching to Sony a couple of years ago, is being able to use the screen to compose and capture all my shots – this means I can hold the camera at arms-length, above my head like this, and still being able to see what I’m capturing. Here, Pep and Jade embrace on the dancefloor, and I’m right in there to capture the intimacy.

Holly, Simon, an embrace and a reflection. I like the way Holly’s dress pops out from the dark background, too.

Late-night shots FTW! I like the way you can kind of see Clive thinking “Should I really do this?”. Ha, of course you should πŸ™‚

The make-up going on in the left of the frame in silhouette, the bride popping from the background on the right (laughing, and looking in the direction of the fore-mentioned make-up, and thus drawing your eye to it)…quite a graphic-looking capture that I just really like.

Ha, just the expression, love it!

Confetti…! I obviously take *so* many confetti captures from virtually ever wedding I shoot, but I only wanted to include one in my Best Of, and this is it, due to the huge amount of confetti and that throwing-arm in the bottom-left of the frame. By the way, if you’re getting married yourself soon, then a little tip: You can *never* have enough confetti; the more the merrier for sure!

There’s something about capturing emotion from a very physically-close location with a wide-angle lens…it just gives such a sense of intimacy, something which you just can’t reproduce by capturing from the other end of the room on a long lens. Here, Martin gets emotional during his and Allen’s amazing Aynhoe wedding ceremony, and I think it feels, from a viewer’s perspective, as if you were really there yourself.

Those beams of light, and the mirroring of the guests’ dancing, makes it for me.

This is an example of simply capturing a striking-looking ‘portrait’ of a guest. Of course, I love to capture moments and relationships between people, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t like/can’t capture striking portraits too. And, by ‘portaits’, I still mean totally un-posed, natural captures, where people don’t even know they’re being photographed.

This image stands out to me because it’s a First Kiss – but actually looks like it could be from couple-time. My aim is to always capture the ‘big moments’ (like the first kiss, first dance etc) in different, unique ways, and the composition here, with Jade and Pep at the left of the frame, kind of ‘framed’ by the pergola, I think really works.

Ha, I think it’s almost tradition for me to include a ‘how do you tie a tie?’ shot. Not gonna break tradition.

This is all about leading lines (the pathway), symmetry, location, and – of course – Jess and Alex.

Cute wedding dog within cute doggie-home, looking out at me, somewhat pensively. Needs no more explanation, I think!

Did you know the NHS goes *so much* above and beyond, these days…? πŸ˜‰ Ha! Radina’s friend went straight from her shift to do her wedding make-up for her, and it was important for me to include at least one frame showing her uniform. Photography is all about choice – what we choose to include in a frame or not can have a major effect on what the image is ‘about’.

So many happy faces, the wedding celebrant in the foreground to purposely tell more of a story about what’s going on…yep, I like!

The very cute looking dog from towards the top of this post, looking like its about to gorge into another dog! Ha, they were only playing, but still, looks fierce! I like the way their fight is juxtaposed by the guest peacefully looking out into sea, too…

It’s a ‘We just did it!’ shot, and one of my favourites that I’ve ever taken. Pure energy and joy.

I think there’s a little mini-theme within this post of smiley, happy faces! Ha πŸ™‚ But I think there’s so many of them in this post because it’s something that I truly adore capturing – the pure, unbridled joy and happiness of weddings! Here, two guests are having a blast during a photo-booth; I like their laughter, and the light/dark contrast of this shot.

Two hugs, the first captured incredibly closely; it’s friends, best of friends, the bride and her bridesmaids, all rolled into one. Love it.

One of those occasions where I see something specific, and then try to get the shot around what I’ve just seen: In this instance, I saw the ‘A very fine beard’ toiletry bag, and knew that it would make a cool shot if I somehow got that with a real human-beard in the same shot, too. Always without posing, or guidance, or asking people to move/repeat things, of course – just involves me moving, waiting, watching, composing and capturing. And I also have huge beard-envy, but that’s a totally different subject.

I admit, I do love speech reactions! And, with my penchant (gotta get at least one fancy word in this piece!) for different compositions, this shot of James in embarrassed-laughter, top-left with a bank of almost-negative space on the right, definitely pleases me!

Kate & Pete at the uniquely-overlooking venue that is the Sandy Cove Hotel in Devon, UK. When you’re presented with a view like this, of course you want to capture it – it is, of course, one of the reasons why the couple chose to get married there in the first place – but I also want to capture it uniquely, not like every other wedding photographer that’s been there. Hence, for this shot, I liked to shoot through a tree – not only does it make for a different shot, but it adds foreground and depth.

Emotion again, and this time from the speech-giver, rather than receiver. I love the way we see the two grooms getting up from their chairs to go and embrace/comfort her, too.

The joy of seeing your loved ones at your wedding! By purposefully composing so that I’m ‘shooting through’ the subject, we get the context of the shot – it also adds depth and dynamism, I feel.

Another First Kiss captured, hopefully, in a different way. I love the way their guests make a leading line for the viewer, leading your eyes to this kiss itself in the top-right. So much of what we do is in composition.

I include this because, in my opinion, it looks like to could have been from a ‘styled’ or ‘fashion’ shoot – i.e., not real. But it is 100% natural, from a real wedding; you *can* get these kinds of images without posing, without directing.

The Jenga fall…It seems that, whenever I capture Jenga games, whenever I’m around with my camera everyone seems to become an expert, and it never, ever falls! Which is such a shame! So, yeah, I’m always happy when I get to actually capture it going over…

One of the most popular aspects of modern weddings: The late-night snack bar! I like the atmosphere of this shot; the contrast of dark and light, like a beacon for the hungry wedding guest.

My taste for the abstract again; from above, just a head, flowing veil and dress. I like.

This shot sort of typifies the traditional English-summer wedding for me: Church and pint πŸ™‚

I just love this tender kiss on the hand during Tom & Al’s speeches. I can’t always be physically close to my subjects – not always! – but by focusing tightly within the frame with my 85 in those situations where I can’t be close, I can still – hopefully – create a strong image, directing my viewer’s eyes and attention on to exactly what I’m wanting them to focus on.

Two acrobat ‘adult elves’ balancing on each other, framing some quite-bemused wedding guests. Yep, you never know what you’re going to see, doing this ‘job’!

Walking back down the aisle, arm and bouquet aloft…just a very happy image that makes me smile! The low viewpoint means they’re physically surrounded by their family and friends in the shot, which I love.

Eyes on the prize, folks, eyes on the prize! Ha, an example of a very small ‘inbetween’ moment, that I love to capture.

Borislav’s Best Man’s speech was emotional to witness – when you see someone else getting teary you can’t help but be affected yourself! Luckily, I have my camera to hide behind…

Symmetry, light, movement…like it.

I like the ‘Where’s Wally?’ element to this frame, with your eye searching around the frame. James and Natalie share a little moment surrounded by their family and friends during the wedding breakfast. A moment, hopefully captured creatively – that’s what I’m always trying to do.

The light, the semi-silhouette, the champagne in the foreground…all ingredients as to why this makes my Best Of recipe.

This one is just a lovely moment, I think: As a surprise, one of the grooms arranged for one of their best friends to sing their First Dance song, and this is him embracing her as she sang it. Right in there close again to really get that sense of intimacy.

Oh the juxtaposition and randomness…love it!

I love the way Lizzie and her Mum are looking at each other here; the morning of her daughter’s wedding has got to be such an emotional time, and receiving a ‘thank you’ card like this would really tip me over the edge. Shot low down so I could include the card and their faces; telling more of the story within a single frame.

…because guests deserve cool laughter-shots too!

…because singers deserve cool shots as well!

The penultimate speech-capture of the set, you’ll probably be glad to hear – sorry, just can’t get enough of the speeches, such a fab time with the whole gamut of human emotion seemingly on show. Here, James and Natalie both responding quite differently – and extravagantly – to what’s just been revealed…

I love the way Sarah and Tyler are looking at each other here, within their VW camper – and the reflection of the street just making for quite a cool, different capture. Totally natural, as always, this is taken just as they were waiting to depart from their church, just minutes after becoming husband and wife.

That hand top-left does it for me!

My final shot of the speeches, and definitely one of my fave shots from the whole year. After an emotional speech, the two grooms embrace. Shot super-close, composed so you can see their embrace but also get the context of their family and friends watching on…I like!

This little girl gave such a fantastic dance performance! SO quick-moving, too, so I was very happy to have captured this air-splits!

The final one in my 2019 Best Of is Rosie & Dan’s First Kiss; I like the almost-perfect symmetry here, and the rare choice of me shooting in a portrait-orientation in order to get this composition as well as the grandeur of Sherborne Abbey. Their dip just adds to the image for me, too; one of my fave First Kiss captures for sure!

And that’s the end! Thanks so much if you managed to make it down to here – and if you actually read all (or even some!) of the above, I salute you! I hope you found it interesting; a bit of an insight into the way I think and work.

Are you getting married soon? I’ve just got a few spaces left for 2020 –Β find out more about the packages I offer over here.

Are you a photographer? I’ll be announcing a 2020 workshop very soon; click this link and fill out the form on the bottom of the page if you want to get the first chance to book a place.


  1. Rhys says:

    Awesome work Alan, and thank you for taking the time to write about it each picture, it’s been great reading a bit more about what’s behind each image

  2. Beautiful work Alan. Such a perfect round up! I love that you added captions, it gives us a chance to really understand the story behind the photo and connect even more πŸ™‚

  3. Absolute loved looking/reading through that over my morning coffee Alan, you have an incredible knack of finding such sublime moments and framing them so so well.

    You have major top instinct buddy with that camera and your eye!!

    Have a great 2020 dude


    • alanlawphotography says:

      That’s so incredibly kind, and really means a lot, man – thank you *so* much! Hope you have a super 2020, and that I actually get to meet you in the flesh sometime!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *