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Image of the Week - Flowergirls Framed

It’s been a while since we’ve had the Image of the week feature, but as the season is slowing down now, it seems like a good time to revive it. The premise is simple, I choose a photograph from a past wedding that I feel is particularly strong and discuss how and why it came to be. This week, we’re going to take a look at this image from Jess & Chris’ early August wedding.

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This one, for me, sums up what wedding photojournalism is all about. That is to say, documenting the events of the day in a way which goes beyond a simple record of who, where, when and why. This moment could have been shot very differently; with the little flower girls running, shot tight and straight on, with the bush to the left of the frame as the background. It would have made a perfectly lovely shot, but the same moment, photographed this way, becomes an infinitely richer and more arresting image.

This photograph was taken from inside Jess’ parents’ house. I’d just popped in to check on the progress of the bridesmaids and grab a couple of quick shots of the confetti being prepared. As I returned I stopped to photograph one of the bridesmaids who was doing her makeup by the light of the window. Jess was outside, seated for her own hair and makeup, under the lintel of the summer house. Initially I began to compose a photograph using the diamond shaped leading in the window to frame Jess and, as I did so, the two bridesmaids wandered into the shot. Occasionally as a photographer you find yourself in a situation where you can almost feel a really interesting shot coalescing around you. This was one of those. To begin with, the kids just stood with their backs to me, watching Jess’ makeup progress. That in itself would have made a lovely image but the bridesmaids were stood in such a way that I couldn’t frame them and Jess cleanly in different diamonds.

After a few moments of quiet contemplation they turned and dashed out of the right of the frame and in that brief moment I was lucky enough to get the shot you see above. I love the juxtaposition of seated, thoughtful, nervously excited bride alongside happy, rushing, carefree flowergirls. It’s about stillness and motion. The sense of movement came off nicely, thanks to their stride pattern, the sway in the hair and the leading girl being in midair at the point of capture. Finally, the leading in the window gives this image an extra something and helps to reinforce a sense of story-telling. It reminds me of framed vignettes, or the individual cells of a comic strip and instills it with an air of narrative that’d be devoid in a straight up portrait of the kids running. It’s one of my favourites from Jess and Chris’ wedding and even the season itself.

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