Richard Galloway, documentary wedding photographer in Surrey and the South East
It’s funny really, towards the end of a wedding I often get approached by either the groom, or perhaps the father of the bride, and I’m asked the same sort of question. ‘You did get enough pictures didn’t you?’ It’s usually accompanied by a hint of tongue-in-cheek and just a soupcon of anxiety. After all, the couple and their guests have spent the entire day on the other side of the camera and have barely had a chance to notice me. If it wasn’t for the fact that I usually take some posed family shots and pictures of the couple, I would probably go completely unnoticed.
It goes with the turf of being a reportage wedding photographer. Shooting in this candid documentary style means that you not only need an eye for a good photograph, but you also have to have a kind of social sensitivity. In other words, the ability to pick up on when people that you are photographing are aware of you, or even perhaps uncomfortable that there’s a camera in the room.
Of course, all of this leads to photographs that show real moments of a wonderful day. So rather than forced grins and strained jaw muscles, you get to enjoy the day in the way you always hoped to, whilst I record it as it unfolds. I do hear of weddings where the photographer almost ‘took over’, and I think that’s a great shame. After all, your wedding day happens just once and what you’re probably hoping for is an amazing day and pictures to remind you of it for the rest of your lives.
I may be a wedding photographer based in Surrey, but I’ve shot all sorts of weddings. From Sussex to Scotland, and from Farnham to France. But one thing always holds true for every single wedding. Come rain or shine, it’s a beautiful and important day that is to be enjoyed by all and respected by those who have been lucky enough to be chosen to contribute.
Richard Galloway, Frimley Green, Surrey, GU16 6NN