2020 Wedding Photography – What A Year!

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2020 Wedding Photography – A Year In Review

 


Welcome to my look back at Wedding Photography in 2020 – what a year it has been.

 


A WALK IN THE PARK

One of my last weddings of the year was the small Micro Wedding of Olivia and Ian who were married in West Bridgford. The restrictions at West Bridgford Registry Office were very strict in regards to the number of people allowed in the ceremony room; 6 people only and I was one of them.

This image of Oliva and Ian walking casually through Bridgford Park in West Bridgford was a candid moment as they walked back to the car park.

If it wasn’t for the facemasks it would be a normal wedding photo of a newlywed couple enjoying the feeling of being married, but the facemask show that this is not a normal time to be getting married, you will see numerous wedding images on this blog post of people wearing masks, but, it’s a sign of the times in 2020.

Bride and groom take a stroll through a park whilst wearing face masks following their covid wedding in 2020

The above wedding photo was shot on a Sony A9ii (ILCE-9M2), using Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG DN Lens – Sony E Fit, with the camera settings of 1/640th, F1.4, and ISO 100.


BRIDE AND GROOM FIRST DANCE – PRE COVID-19

It was January 2020, little did we know what the rest of 2020 would bring – but for a single evening in January, I had a wedding full of people, full of people mixing, mingling, and celebrating the wedding of Sian and Dunc.

This is one of my all-time favourite first dance pictures, the look of joy and happiness on the faces of the newlyweds make this an easy win for being in my top wedding images of 2020.

Bride and groom enjoy a first dance at Goosedale surrounded by the family and friends a few weeks before the start of the covid 19 lockdown

The above wedding photo was shot on a Sony A9ii (ILCE-9M2), using Sony FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Sonnar T Carl Zeiss Lens, with the camera settings of 1/160th, F2, and ISO 4000.


BRIDE AND GROOM FIRST DANCE – DURING COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS

The difference between the wedding photo above and this one is very stark and shows the difference between what was allowed at weddings and January 2020 and what was allowed in October 2020 a few weeks before lockdown 2.

This wedding image shows just the Bride and Groom dancing during the first dance, with a few family and friends in the background – only the newlyweds were allowed on the dancefloor to dance.

The restrictions for this wedding was 15 people for the ceremony and 15 people for the reception, all social distancing measures were in force.

Bride and groom enjoy their first dance during the covid 19 lockdown

The above wedding photo was shot on a Sony A9ii (ILCE-9M2), using Sony FE 24 mm f/1.4 GM Lens (SEL24F14GM), a small amount of flash from a Profoto A1X Air TTL for Sony with the camera settings of 1/25th, F4, and ISO 2000.


COVID-19 FAMILY FORMAL PICTURE

Family formals, the part of a wedding day that stresses me out, no one looking where they are asked and so many pictures needed to get a picture of everyone with their eyes open!

This picture was taken a day before lockdown 2, a matter of hours before weddings were to be stopped, and is a frame taken between two group shots and it makes my list of 2020 favourite wedding images as there is a lot going off.

We have the Groom and the Dog looking at the camera – all good! We have Dad not sure if he is going to leave the mask on, Mum is organising the handbag and Autie at the end knows the game, and finally, the Bride trying to get her Mum to stop talking to her friends so we can get the picture.

I think this picture could only have been topped if the dog decided to do his ‘business’.

Family formal group shot at West Bridgford Hall a few days before the start of the second national lockdown

The above wedding photo was shot on a Sony A9ii (ILCE-9M2), using Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG DN Lens – Sony E Fit, with the camera settings of 1/400th, F2.5, and ISO 100.


BRIDE ARRIVING FOR HER WEDDING

This shot of Elicia waiting to get out of the wedding car was taken on a wet and windy day at the end of October.

This type of shot is quite difficult to capture, often this view is blocked by the driver or a bridesmaid waiting to help the Bride getting out of the wedding car.

But, lady luck was on my side for this wedding and I was able to get this picture – one of my favourite images of the year.

Bride arrives via the Rolls Royce Wedding car at her micro wedding at St Judes Church in Mapperley Nottingham

The above wedding photo was shot on a Sony A9 (ILCE-9), using FE 20mm F1.8 G (SEL20F18G), with the camera settings of 1/250th, F2, and ISO 320.


SEEING YOUR LIFE PARTNER

Another October wedding saw me at Goosedale for the small wedding of Lindsey and Lauren.

This image of Lindsey is from a series of images in which she breaks down with emotion after seeing Lauren for the first time on the wedding day.

Partner of the bride getting emotional at the sight of her bride walking down the aisle at a covid restricted wedding

The above wedding photo was shot on a Sony A9ii (ILCE-9M2), using Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG DN Lens – Sony E Fit, with the camera settings of 1/160th, F2.8, and ISO 1000.


THOSE WEDDING SHOES

I’m always looking for humourous or different wedding pictures on a wedding day and this is right up there as a firm favourite.

Elicia had a big wedding dress and it meant that she needed a hand to get those wedding shoes on.

With Mum on her hands and knees under the dress, I grabbed an image of Mum partway under the dress, but I thought there was a better picture, and there was.

Thankfully Elicia had a big enough dress for me and her Mum to get under the dress and I think it was worth the dirty knees as it gives a very different view of putting on the Brides wedding shoes.

Mother of the bride helping the bride put on her wedding shoes before setting off for her covid 19 restricted micro wedding

The above wedding photo was shot on a Sony A9 (ILCE-9), using FE 20mm F1.8 G (SEL20F18G), with the camera settings of 1/250th, F2, and ISO 4000


A TOUCH

I’m always looking for emotion, eye contact, humour, and touch; I think you can see that in all the images on this wedding photography blog post.

A touch between generations is a special one, this image shows the Bride and her Grandma touching hands.

A photo doesn’t need to show faces for you to know what is going on, you can see the white of the wedding dress so you know it’s the Brides’ hand and you can see Grandma in the bottom of the picture.

On a wedding day, as a wedding photographer, I have to make many decisions on what to take a picture of, the emphasis or the main reason for taking the picture, and the composition of the frame.

I could have taken a wide shot of this moment which would have shown the back of Grandma sat in her wheelchair, the full view of the Bride, and the clutter of the garden in the background – but by choosing a tighter composition and using the Sony FE 85 1.8 lens I was able to isolate the moment and focus your attention on the touch.

The bride holding hands with her grandma during the wedding speeches at a micro church wedding in 2020

The above wedding photo was shot on a Sony A9ii (ILCE-9M2), using the Sony FE 85mm F1.8 (SEL85F18), with the camera settings of 1/400th, F4.5, and ISO 100.


THE LOOK BACK

Olivia and Ian, wow; these guys had it tough. The wedding was on and off, on and off, on and off so many times in the 6 weeks in the lead up to the wedding day.

Socials and news channels were full of stories of an impending lockdown 2 and with the wedding set for the 7th of November, things were in the balance when it was announced that our Prime Minister was due to make a national TV statement on the 31st of October.

Well, the reports were true, lockdown 2 was announced and would start on the 5th of November – a day before Olivia and Ian were due to get married. We thought that was it, Olivia emailed to say it was off for the time being.

But, the registrars at the West Bridgford Registry Office had a plan and they managed to rearrange all the couples who were affected by the lockdown, the wedding was back on – this time the 5th of November.

This image shows Olivia going into the registry office in West Bridgford, you get to see the mask, part of the dress, and the signs on the wall tell you where she is – it’s a photo that tells a story.

Bride wearing a facemask enters the West Bridgford registry office to get married

The above wedding photo was shot on a Sony A9ii (ILCE-9M2), using the Sony 35mm f/1.8 FE (SEL35F18F), with the camera settings of 1/640th, F2.8, and ISO 100.


THE LIMIT OF 15

The restrictions on weddings during 2020 moved from no weddings, 30 people no reception, 15 people and reception, to 15 and no reception. We had weddings without the requirement of masks and then we had weddings where masks were compulsory.

The wedding of Bryony and Clint was during a time when we were allowed 15 people for the ceremony and the reception.

The move to 15 people for the wedding was a strange one, 15 is an odd number which means that of the people you invite, not all of them can bring a partner – someone will miss out.

Bryony had a plan, she wanted some of her girls to be able to watch the ceremony – she asked Goosedale if her friends could watch through the big double doors in the Crystal Room.

With the doors as they were and the position that I was told to stand in, I couldn’t get a clear picture of all the girls, but I think the picture tells you enough about what is happening.

Friends of the bride watching the wedding ceremony through the outside doors due to the covid 19 wedding restrictions

The above wedding photo was shot on a Sony A9ii (ILCE-9M2), using Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG DN Lens – Sony E Fit, with the camera settings of 1/200th, F2.8, and ISO 200.


REMEMBER THE WEDDING DISCO?

Another image from the wedding of Sian and Dunc who were married in January 2020 at Goosedale, the only wedding disco I photographed in 2020 due to the various Covid-19 lockdown and nationwide restrictions which were in place at different times during the pandemic.

As I write this on the 23rd of December 2020, the restrictions are still – no disco or any form of close contact, and dancing is not permitted.

I cannot wait for 2021 weddings to start back up, the first disco at a wedding will be epic and I hope to capture the fun and excitement of groups of people being able to once again dance to Whigfield…

Wedding guests enjoy the disco at a wedding a few weeks before the start of the covid 19 lockdown

The above wedding photo was shot on a Sony A9ii (ILCE-9M2), using Sony FE 24 mm f/1.4 GM Lens (SEL24F14GM), a small amount of flash from a Profoto A1X Air TTL for Sony with the camera settings of 1/25th, F11, and ISO 1000.


THE FIST BUMP

Helen and George were due to get married the day after Facemasks became a legal requirement for all places of worship including weddings.

It was a little odd at first to see people wearing facemasks, but it was nice that people had gone with fun ones, funky ones, and not just the surgical ones – so at least the masks added something.

This picture shows a little first bump between George and his best man – why the first bump? Much better for COVID prevention than a handshake!

Groom and best man fist bump before the wedding ceremony

The above wedding photo was shot on a Sony A9ii (ILCE-9M2), using the Sony 35mm f/1.8 FE (SEL35F18F), with the camera settings of 1/250th, F2.8, and ISO 2500.


The Smile You Cannot See

A big part of seeing emotion in people; is the face, you can see if someone is happy or sad. I was fearful that Facemasks would stop you from seeing the emotions that people are feeling.

But, I soon realised that the eyes really are the window to the soul and you can see so much in someone just by looking at the eyes.

This picture was taken just after the wedding ceremony, and you can see just from the eyes that there is a big smile underneath that facemask!

Mother of the bride smiling under the face mask after the wedding of her daughter during the covid 19 wedding restrictions

The above wedding photo was shot on a Sony A9ii (ILCE-9M2), using the Sony 35mm f/1.8 FE (SEL35F18F), with the camera settings of 1/160th, F2, and ISO 1250.


THE EXCITEMENT

There are some weddings where the wedding ceremony is a good distance away, and the Bride doesn’t start getting the wedding dress on until I have to leave or I have left to make sure that I get to the wedding ceremony location in time for the Groom and guest arrivals.

It’s a big shame that I sometimes miss the final bits of the dress being done up, and the reaction as the family and the Bridesmaids see the Bride in the dress for the first time.

Thankfully Helen had figured this all out and made sure that I was around for the dress going on; I’m so glad as this picture is so special, showing Helen’s excitement in showing off her wedding dress to her Bridemaids who were waiting for her.

Bride walking down the stairs in her wedding dress and seeing her friends for the first time in her wedding dress

The above wedding photo was shot on a Sony A9ii (ILCE-9M2), using the Sony 35mm f/1.8 FE (SEL35F18F), with the camera settings of 1/160th, F2.2, and ISO 800.


THE LUMP IN THE THROAT

Gill and Brian, like many couples in 2020 had their wedding plans curtailed by Covid-19, but there was also a little bit of luck in their story.

Originally the wedding was set for the end of June 2020 but was postponed to the end of September due to the Covid wedding restrictions.

When the restrictions were lifted, they were lifted to allow 30 people for the ceremony and also the reception. Gill thought that the restrictions were not going to get any better for weddings and so decided to move the wedding to the end of August – a whole month earlier than the postponed date.

Luckily for the guys, the restrictions stayed the same for their wedding, but a week after their August wedding, new restrictions were brought in with only 15 people being allowed to attend weddings. Moving the wedding from the end of September to the end of August worked out perfectly.

This image was obviously taken during the ceremony and Gill had warned me that Brian will no doubt get emotional during the ceremony, and he did, during the vows, the voice started to go and he took a moment to compose himself – you can see Gill is enjoying the moment!

Something unique about this picture is how close I am to the couple. Church weddings are normally a place of hate for us photographers; we are normally banished to the back, but for this wedding, I was allowed to be at the front and was told as long as I keep the 2m social distance, I was allowed to go where I needed to go.

Groom getting emotional during his church wedding ceremony a few weeks after the lifting of the 1st national covid 19 lockdown

The above wedding photo was shot on a Sony A9ii (ILCE-9M2), using the Sony 35mm f/1.8 FE (SEL35F18F), with the camera settings of 1/160th, F2.2, and ISO 2000.


WATCHING MUM

A big part of being a wedding photographer is watching, having the camera to your eye all the time means you don’t see the wider scene; you only see what is in the viewfinder.

For this shot, I was watching Willow out the corner of my eye and could see how much attention she was paying to the words her Mum was saying during the wedding vows. Sometimes kids get a little bored during a wedding ceremony, they start to play with stuff in their pockets or the parents leave them to sit and watch or play on a mobile or a tablet.

But Willow, she was right there in the moment taking it all in and not letting go of that basket full of confetti.

Remember, so much about being a photographer is watching and waiting, had I just had the camera to my face all the time I would have missed this shot.

Daughter of the bride looking on at her mum getting married during a covid 19 restricted wedding

The above wedding photo was shot on a Sony A9ii (ILCE-9M2), using Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG DN Lens – Sony E Fit, with the camera settings of 1/160th, F2.8, and ISO 1000.


REACHING FOR A VIEW

I think this is probably the most iconic photo that I took during the last few months of 2020, and it came the day after Facemasks wearing in places of worship became law, this picture features the same Grandma who is pictured in the wedding image above ‘A Touch’.

As with the picture above of Willow watching her Mum getting married, I was watching Grandma out the corner of my eye when everyone rose to welcome the Bride coming down that aisle and I could see that she was not able to stand.

At first, Grandma just sat there facing forward, listening to the Vicar and taking it all in, but, then she started to edge forward and peek around Helen’s Dad to try and get a view of her Grandaughter in her wedding dress, it was at that moment that I raised the camera, took the picture and got the image you see below.

Something I love about photography is you cannot have a wrong opinion about a picture, everyone can see the same picture but we interpret it differently. I showed this image to Helen during a quiet moment during the picnic in the rear garden of the Church, she looked and just said – ‘Yeah, I’m not a fan of masks’; but for me as a picture during such a unique time, I think it shows alot.

Grandma looking at her grand daughter getting married whilst wearing a facemask during the wedding ceremony

The above wedding photo was shot on a Sony A9ii (ILCE-9M2), using the Sony FE 85mm F1.8 (SEL85F18), with the camera settings of 1/160th, F2.8, and ISO 1250.


I HOPE YOU LIKED THIS LOOK BACK AT A FEW OF MY FAVOURITE 2020 WEDDING PHOTOS?

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