Natural, Relaxed, Unobtrusive Cornwall and Devon Wedding Photographer
Updated: Feb 1
That, in a nutshell, is exactly how I describe the style of images that I make. Relaxed; you just being you. Natural; making the most of the beauty of our surroundings. Unobtrusive; being barely aware that I am also present and taking photos of you, on your wedding day.
E & A at Crowcombe Court, Somerset
But did any one ever get the best shots by being all of these things? This is something that plays on my mind constantly. My mantra almost loops through the front of my brain as I am shooting a wedding; relaxed, natural, unobtrusive, relaxed, natural, unobtrusive, punctuated with other necessities such as details and wide angles. And then comes the moment where a shot appears before you and you just know that it’s going to make a good image, but it would be an even better image if I could just turn the subjects slightly away from the light, or if the train of her dress was evenly scattered on the floor behind her, or if she lowered her bouquet to reveal more of her dress. And I know, from experience of shooting the weddings that I have, that couples will appreciate the final product more, if the dress is tweaked, if the couple do turn and if the bouquet is held slightly lower. So, am I allowed to call this unobtrusive? Is it really natural if I have had an input into how the final image will look? Can you call it relaxed if you have been given guidance on how to stand? I would like to think so, and I will tell you why.
K & M at Ever After, Lower Grenofen
Many couples opt for an engagement shoot, which is a marvelous idea for many reasons. We get to meet each other, face to face rather than just conversing via email or Whatsapp. I like to try and paint a picture of my couples as time goes on, from the initial enquiry, through to the pre-wedding consultation, so that by the time the wedding comes, I feel as though we are old friends! I am, after all, spending one of the most important days of your life with you! It also gives you the chance to see how I work in this natural, relaxed, and unobtrusive way. A lot of people literally freeze up as soon as I get the cameras ready to shoot. The look at me for advice or guidance of what they should do and how they should react. My trick is really quite simple… just be you! So this is where I give a gentle suggestion or a nudge in the right direction. I may ask you to just walk twenty steps down the beach and then just stop, do a twirl, have a smooch. I may ask you to stand together by the gate and just have a chat about anything and nothing. I am always on high alert, looking for that little bit of magic or the spark that you get from being near each other, as this is what will show the natural and relaxed ‘you’ in your photographs.
B & J at The Green Cornwall
And I work in exactly the same way on your wedding day. Of course, to get the shots that you want from your wedding, I am going to have to have some input into the basic set up of the shot – the location and the position perhaps, but the rest really is up to you! It isn’t the standing by the gate and looking at the camera that makes the best shot. It’s the way that you look at each other and only you two know what that look means. Just like me asking you to twirl around isn’t always going to make the best shot either. Yes, I will include these in your edit but the shot that I am eager to catch is the laughing and the embrace in the picture that captured you falling dizzily into your new husband’s arms and the natural emotion that comes with it.
I am, and always have been, my own biggest critic. I look at my images and I can appreciate the beauty of the moment that has been captured. I can even get technical and comment on the composition or lighting of the subjects within the image. But I do always strive for more. I want more movement, more emotion, more spontaneity and will probably never stop striving for this. I follow countless photographers on social media and am inspired, daily. It evolves my creative aspirations, and I can’t ever see this changing. The more I see, the more I am inspired and the more dreamy, for want of a better word, I want my images to be. But still natural. Of course, still natural, and relaxed and unobtrusive.
N & T at Pier One
I was recently reading about a photographer called Imogen Cunningham. Her insight into the preoccupation and fixation of creating that perfect image fascinates me. And often that perfect image is hard to describe when only you can see it in your mind’s eye. I love this quote of hers and think of it often and I shall leave you with it too; ‘Which of my photographs is my favourite? The one that I’m going to take tomorrow.’ And I really can’t wait for all of the weddings that will come tomorrow, and the day after and the day after that… and the years after that for that matter. Because who knows, maybe it will be at your wedding that I so manage to take my favourite photograph.
D & J in Newquay