Photographing The Last Dance At A Wedding

IMAGE OF THE WEEK

Photographing The Last Dance At A Wedding

Photographing The Last Dance At A Wedding

Having had the privilege of a one-day masterclass with the iconic Martin Parr on documentary photography at Photography Farm, his insights still resonate and often come to my mind. Parr shared a nugget of information during a Q&A session when asked about photographing weddings.

Surprisingly, one can indeed book Martin Parr as a wedding photographer, but with a unique twist – his preferred start time would be at 9 pm. Why? According to him, the most interesting images unfold post that hour, especially at Scottish weddings where the emphasis on dancing is notable.

Enter Connor McEwan‘s captivating Image Of The Week, nominated by a fellow Farmer. Unveiling a modern interpretation of the last dance tradition, this image radiates a contemporary vibe, both from the couple and Connor himself. His decision to step back and capture the entire scene amplifies its impact and well, I’m all in when there’s a giant disco ball. This one looks like a glittery moon shining in between the crescents.

While the focal point is undoubtedly the couple and their emotional embrace, the surrounding guests add an intriguing layer. It’s a busy frame but the two people dressed in red serve as vibrant pillars in the composition, and the shadows form leading lines directing our attention to the couple.

Connor’s commitment to staying until the early hours for this wedding speaks volumes. The result? Undoubtedly worth it. The couple, I believe, must be overjoyed with this emotionally rich photograph that Connor has crafted.

Photographing The Last Dance At A Wedding

THE DETAILS

CAMERA: Canon R6 Mkii | Canon 16-35mm (image shot at 35mm)

SETTINGS: ISO 4000 | F/2.8 | 1/250

PRESET: Belmont from 606 by Eric Floberg (DVLOP) – with a few colour tweaks

WHAT CONNOR SAID

“YOU’LL OFTEN GET REALLY BEAUTIFUL MOMENTS OR BETTER PARTY PHOTOS LATER IN THE NIGHT. THE CAPTURE TIME ON THIS IMAGE IS 12.46AM”

In Scotland, most weddings finish with Loch Lomond by Runrig in which guests all hold hands in a circle while the couple dance in the middle. This is a genuinely candid moment of David and Alistair lovingly embracing during their last dance of the night surrounded by family and friends!

David and Alistair had brought in a full stage lighting rig and a massive disco ball (HOW COOL). As well as the couple’s embrace the beautiful ambient stage lighting is adding so much to this image. Don’t be afraid about bumping up your ISO and pushing your camera’s iso capability.

I know most photographers will contractually cover the first few dances -definitely sensible when shooting back-to-back in the summer! But I’d recommend staying on and capturing more moments for your couples from time to time – you’ll often get really beautiful moments or better party photos later in the night – The capture time on this image is 12.46am.

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