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Image of the Week - Wanna Play?


The core of my wedding work is built around observation. Like most photographers I’m a total gear nut who constantly hankers after the latest and greatest cameras, but despite this my most valued piece of equipment is a keen set of eyes. Seeing a scene clearly - as a distinction from simply ‘looking’ at a scene - and constantly being on alert to the situation around you is more important than any camera, lens or accessory. Weddings are incredibly event-rich occasions. From the big obvious moments to the smallest gestures, glances and interactions, there are literally thousands of opportunities an hour. The key is in identifying the interesting ones and building an image around them.

I’ve always been a fan of the ‘sideshows’ at weddings. That is to say the small, often unnoticed events that tell their own stories. They’re simultaneously self-contained but also add detail and colour to the story of the wedding day as a whole.

The image below is from back in 2009 and was shot at a wedding party in London. The bride and groom had been married overseas and were having an evening reception to celebrate with those who couldn’t make it out to the ceremony in the Caribbean. The room was jam packed and although there weren’t many kids in attendance there were a few, and understandably they looked universally bored. Except these two. As the hubbub continued 6ft above, down below knee height this Games Master and her would-be suitor were engrossed in a spot of Nintendo.

I love moments like this. The complete ignorance of the party above and their absorption in the game is wonderful. I love the light cast from the screen onto the girl’s face, the incongruous mixture of casual and formal and the total lack of camera awareness. I got lucky frankly. In another world on another day a photographer crouching to ground level to capture the world from their point of view may well have proved distracting, making the picture less about the moment and more about their reaction to me. Thankfully the game was a good one and the concentration absolute!

This was shot with the Canon 5DII and the EF 50 f/1.4. Exposure was 1/30th, f/2.2, ISO 4000.

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