Door 15: Priors Tithe Barn
It’s another favourite of mine from the past year again today! So far in the blogvent calendar the total number of posed images has been….drum roll…zero! Until today…
Anyone who follows my blog or has seen the information across the rest of the website will know by now that I am primarily a reportage / documentary wedding photographer – I really love to capture moments as they happen without staging anything. I spend 80% of the time at the majority of weddings doing just that; walking around looking for interesting, fun, emotional or just ‘nice’ moments to capture. Having said that, a fair portion of my wedding photography clients are still keen to have some posed images too, be it formal group pictures, posed couple shots or a combination of the two.
I personally prefer the non-posed wedding photographs (as you can most likely tell from my portfolio), but I can see the merit behind a well-constructed staged photograph and I can also understand why people often want group shots.
Something that I aim to do whenever people want couple pictures is to be as hands-off as possible, but still giving helpful guidance. A photographer who’s work I very much admire once said ‘I set the stage for the moments to happen, but I don’t stage the moments’. This isn’t always achievable, as people are often naturally a little camera shy, but once I’ve got the couple in position I like to just let them interact as they will.
In this particular image we’re at the wonderful Priors Tithe Barn in Brockworth (just outside my hometown of Cheltenham). There’s a lovely garden area behind the barn with a little pond and a bridge connecting a small hut on an island to the rest of the garden (as seen in the above picture). It’s a great spot for pictures and the majority of this couple’s posed images were taken there. The bride is framed by the archway that can be seen at the top of the photograph – I’d toyed with leaving it in and cropping it out but ultimately I felt that the arch in particular played an important part in reducing the ‘cheese’ factor of the photograph. It adds a slightly raw, very natural feeling to this idyllic scene.