Yorkshire Wedding Photography 2019 Top 5
The Beauty of Honest Emotional Photography
In the spirit of a New Year, I think it’s pertinent to look back on the wedding season just gone and reflect on some of those images that stand out in my mind. These lists are always difficult, I’ve already attempted a top 5 of the decade films, music, and even premier league football players; all were very hard to whittle down to only 5. Because how do we categorise just 5? With images we could split the list into top 5 colour, black and white, impressionistic, fine art, documentary, emotional. Realistically we could make a list of a top 5 anything, especially with how diverse weddings are. But in the interest of brevity, I’ve decided for a straight shootout: a pure top 5. These images are the ones that stay with me, the ones that have made a lasting impression. Some of them were shot as far back as May, whilst others will be as recent as November. So, without much further ado, here are my top 5 wedding images of 2019 (in no particular order).
Katie + Marc’s 1st Dance – Northern Monk Brewery, Leeds
When shooting 35mm film during a first dance there are a number of things that can go wrong, but if you trust the process the images created can be unlike anything a digital sensor can recreate. Here’s how this image was taken: Nikon Fm2n, 50mm at f/1.8, 1/30th, 800 speed film, manual focus, developed normally. There’s any number of things that could have made this image completely unusable: hand holding at 1/30th of a second is hard enough, especially when the couple are moving, especially at the razor thin aperture of f/1.8, especially when you are manually focusing trying to keep the plane of focus exactly where you want it, especially when you’re shooting film and have absolutely no way of checking whether you’re getting the images you intend.
The result, however, is an image that has just the right amount of motion blur for me (your milage may vary) and an embrace that captures all the love an affection of Katie and Marc. It’s an image that screams emotion to me. And I have a slight confession, this isn’t black and white film! It’s actually Cinestill 800T, but the colours just didn’t work for me in a wedding setting. So I did a little editing on the digital 50mb TIFF file and the result of which is the final image seen below.
Often I find that when an image doesn’t tell you everything about a scene you have to go looking and invest your own emotional interpretations.
Simeon + Jess
When your Husband-to-be writes you a handwritten letter for your morning and addresses it to … well, that’s to stay between Jess and Simeon … capturing that moment is beautiful and magical. How incredibly lucky I am to be invited into such an intimate moment and be allowed to document Jess’ reaction without any hindrance. I love this image especially because of the final tear about to fall off Jess’ nose. This is a quiet moment after the crying, but where the remnants of those emotions are still visible.
I’d love to say how technically difficult this photograph was to take and how much skill was involved, but truthfully all I did was suggest Jess open and read the letter on the bed closest to the window. With beautifully soft diffuse window light flooding over Jess all I had to do was silently click the shutter whilst trying not to cry too loud myself.
Becca + David – Broughton Hall Utopia
Okay, some colour you ask! Becca + David’s wedding as a whole is rather special to me. Whimsical Wonderland Weddings published their wedding, inspired by the wild and rustic countryside of Utopia at Broughton Hall; you can see the published blog here. Now, there are many photos that I love from this wedding – a lot of those were shot on my Medium Format Contax 645 with Fuji Pro 400h. But the image I’ve chosen, and it was difficult not to pick Becca getting ready or even the amazing shenanigans of the dance floor later on, encapsulates the sheer joy and laughter that surrounded their entire day!
This was without a doubt the trickiest confetti run I did all year! A confetti run that stretched all the way from the church doors down to the church gates, navigating 5 separate flights of steps, with guests lined al the way happily throwing confetti over newly married couple and photographer alike. It was a miracle I didn’t break my neck – did I mention I was ‘walking’ backwards! All I said to David + Becca at the top was take your time, don’t feel like you have to rush, and enjoy it!! And you can certainly see that they did just that!!
This photograph was after about 3 of the 5 flights of steps, so they were well and truly ‘in’ the confetti run by now. But, as you can see on their faces, they were having the time of their lives!! The sheer joy on their faces, and their guests’ faces, is a testament to what weddings are all about!
Fiona + Adam – Losehill House, Peak District
The Strines, The Peak District. For anyone who’s ever been there the road sticks in your memory. Beautiful views along a straight road providing a perfect leading line. However, on this day we had ‘some’ inclement weather to navigate. We left the church saying if there was an opportunity to stop we would. This was a shot Fiona really wanted. Given the weather I was, however, rather surprised when the limo indicated and came to a stop in a lay-by atop The Strines. Surprised yet excited, I got out of my car. It was windy. I mean, really windy! I eventually made it to the limo thinking that they’d take one look at what was currently happening to me and decide to proceed to Losehill House without attempting the photograph. I was to be pleasantly surprised once more when Fiona boldly announced ‘well, we’re here now!’. And so out they got.
We managed a few by the car before I suggested we try for a gate on the other side of the road. Being pipped by guests in their cars as they passed us, probably thinking we were mad, we dodged the traffic and made it to the gate. Fiona then lost her veil to the wind. And actually in this shot you can see Fiona holding onto it with her right hand. Wuthering Heights eat your heart out! We had the heather, the ominous clouds over the brooding heath. But then the rain came again! And we ran for the limo as fast as we could! It was actually a close call between the photograph below and the one of us running down the road being splattered by rain!!
Mila + Craig – Wakefield Town Hall
What can I say? Craig only wanted to show off his stylish socks! But I think Mila went and out did him! Without a doubt this is the photograph that I’ve taken all year that always gets commented on. People are just drawn in to it at wedding fayres, they have to come over any mention it. I’ve known Craig for a few years now and when he asked me to photograph his wedding I just knew I had to do it! The attitude and confidence expressed in this photo makes it a winner all day long for me.
Again, there is absolutely nothing complicated about this image. I directed them to stand with the sun behind their left shoulders (you can see by the shadows) in order to get a beautiful backlight affect. And then it was simply a case of lifting up those trousers and that dress. Simple but effective – and, I think, quite a good subversion of what can be a typical wedding image.
A Little Thank You
2019 has been an amazing year for Christopher Thomas Photography, we’ve met some amazing people, laughed with them, cried with them, and shared incredible once in a lifetime moments! Thank you to each and every one of my amazing couples for inviting me to celebrate their special day with them.
We’re booking dates for weddings in 2020 & 2021.
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