Fathers & Brides
Why I Love this Wedding Photograph
An emotional moment
Emotions are always running high during the preparations on a wedding day, so the moment the father of the bride sees his daughter in her wedding dress for the first time is going to be a particular point in the day worth capturing. Having been a wedding photographer in Sussex for some years now, my feelings about why weddings are so important have changed. A wedding is a celebration, a formal declaration of two people’s love for each other. However, possibly the most important element of a wedding is the acknowledgement of the bonds & emotional connections, not just between the bride & groom, but also between them & their parents & others at the wedding who have influenced their lives.
The bridal suite at Farbridge
The scene for this particular photo was the bridal suite at Farbridge, there’s loads of room & a separate makeup area so the bride can have all the privacy she wants while everyone can get on with getting ready. I knew Hettie’s dad was coming over to take her to the main barn for the ceremony, so I made sure I was in roughly the right position for when he came in. I try to set up as few shots as possible & on a good day won’t have to set up any beyond the group shots & a few shots of the bride & groom. This particular shot is one I try very hard to capture spontaneously. With good planning it’s usually not a problem, I can deal with any lighting issues & make sure I know where I need to be when I know the father of the bride is on his way. Of course I can’t wait for this particular shot, as it could happen at any time & I might be missing other shots, so I make sure I know where I need to be & get my exposure & lens ready before I focus on other things.
Photographing the Father of the Bride as he sees the bride for the first time in her wedding dress
This is of course the moment I’ve been waiting for, I will have been keeping an eye out & as soon as I see or hear that the father of the bride is nearby I get myself into position, usually behind the bride so I can see his reaction clearly. The next few seconds are crucial as a lot can happen in this time. Bridesmaids moving around as well as any other guests who are in the room, if there’s a videographer they will want to get a shot as well, so it’s important I keep my cool & have everything ready to get those two or three frames where we can see a genuine emotional reaction. It’s one of the reasons I moved into wedding photography from advertising photography, seeing people show their real emotions & capturing that in real time. It’s over so fast & forgotten so quickly, to give the bride a record of that moment is priceless. It’s pretty straightforward to give a wedding couple a decent set of photos from their wedding day if all you want to do is record what the venue was like & what everyone was wearing. But if you want photos from the day that show the real emotions & capture how everyone really felt & behaved on the day, that’s where the real skill comes in.
Here are some more photos of this moment
Here’s a link to some more information about barn weddings
This photograph was shot at a Sussex wedding venue
For the first shot above, here’s the photographic equipment I was using
Camera – Canon 5D MKIII
Lens – EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM at 50mm
Shutter speed – 1/400 sec
Depth of field – f/4.0
ISO – 3200
Exposure – manual