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stone barn wedding photography. bride shaking hand with relatives and mother of the bride sharing a moment with her other daughter.

Stone Barn Wedding Photography // Ellie & Alex

Conceding Control For Greater Gains

Stone Barn, Cotswolds, UK
A beautiful Stone Barn wedding with an emotive ceremony and close family connections.

Can you pose a moment?

We have been purely shooting moments for a long time now; since our very beginnings in fact, back in 2006. But, back in those very early years, when we really wanted to capture a particular photograph we’d envisaged, we would, on occasion, move the bride, groom or guest to get the composition we truly wanted. We wouldn’t tell them directly how to stand or what to do but, if required, we would move them into the best light, the best position or put them in front of the best background; we couldn’t trust our abilities that we could capture the true moment without intervention. Now though, when we see a photograph emerging (something we now predict rather than react to) we can move our own position instead and compose the story we want to tell seamlessly without the person(s) even being aware of our presence or the specific story we’re looking to achieve.

But, the question is, why should this matter? What truly is the difference between a staged (or even “lightly encouraged”) moment and a purely spontaneous one? Why would we actively make our lives more difficult as photographers by making the choice not to intervene?

Well, there are a few reasons that the sacrifice of direct control, for us personally, helps to create photographs we feel more of a connection with.

Perhaps the most obvious reason is that the person(s) involved know that you have asked them to move and, depending on their personality, they might (like us!) be uncomfortable being in front of the camera and either not want to pose or end up acting in an unnatural way. Once the precedent of moving or posing for the camera is set we find that people are so much more aware of us, looking to us at every part of the day for instruction, even in the moments where their actions and position were absolutely perfect to begin with. When they look back at the photographs they will also remember that they did pose and for us that loses some of the magic of the memory. We don’t want our couples to remember us on the day, we want the photos to take them back to that time and place and remember how it felt to be there in that moment. To capture the feel of a moment, we can’t take the person emotionally out of the moment

The way we shoot is often to include as many people as possible in the photo and to do that in a posed way would not only be really tricky to organise(!) but would remove the spontaneity and life of the photographs. The little gestures and idiosyncrasies are what make people who they are and we couldn’t ask them to perform those traits, any more than they could naturally perform for us. They generally aren’t actors and we couldn’t explain what we need from them even if they had the skills to do it. Often the subtleties of shape or expression that make a photograph what it is are almost impossible to imagine; we only recognise the magic in the photograph when we see it.

Wedding pictures are more than just a record of a single day; where else do you get to capture those interactions with all the people that you know and love in one place at one time. But if we interfere with those moments we might create a beautiful image, but the trade-off is often a loss of the spontaneous personal connection within it. For us there’s a joy in the hunt, magic in the unlikelihood of the occurrence. It’s the difference between seeing an elephant in the wild and seeing one in the zoo.

Ellie and Alex’s Stone Barn wedding somehow seemed the right occasion to accompany these musings, and as we delved further into looking at their first messages to us, it became clear they were actually a completely perfect fit:

“Our wedding is the first opportunity to get all of the people we love together, across multiple generations in one room. We really don’t want the day to be captured in a way that feels contrived or unnecessarily posed and want to capture the humour, emotion and real moments that can’t be scripted or planned for. We love the visual humour that you find in some of your images, coupled with the observations that just bring out the slightly surreal and heightened nature of a wedding. Ultimately, we want to capture a candid side of all the people there. So in years to come we can look back and immediately feel the personality of everyone there.”

Ellie and Alex, we simply couldn’t describe your wedding or the ethos behind our photography any better. We fitted together like the perfect pairing. Thank you for finding and choosing us.

Dominique & Liam


If you’re planning a Stone Barn Wedding in the Cotswolds and connected with our photography we’d love to chat and see if we could be the right fit for your day.
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