For the ‘best of’ series of blog posts, it’s time to come back to one of the most photographed moments of a wedding day – the first dance. I’ve photographed many in my time as a wedding photographer in Dorset & Somerset, and at many different wedding venues. I love this moment of a wedding day almost above all others.

If you like wedding photography, you’ve probably seen many different types of shot to capture this unforgettable moment of a wedding day. Wedding photographers approach this key moment in many different ways. Some set up off camera flash to create a specific kind of light effect: some work on ambient light only. Some, like me, may use an assistant with a video light to add just enough punch to the ambient light to create a pleasing balance of quality and drama. No matter HOW you photograph it, it’s the emotions that are important to capture. Plus, it’s not just the bride and groom’s emotions that are on show – the angle gives us the guests’ reactions, which is integral to the story of the wedding day.

It’s important to remember that dancing is exactly that – movement. Where possible – so where the first dance is a little quicker than the ‘walk around slowly in a circle’ dance, as I like to call it! – it can be really special to capture some of that movement in the shot without compromising the capture of emotion. And that’s why I like this particular first dance shot so much, as for me, it manages to achieve both objectives – the movement of the dance and the feeling and emotion on the faces of the bride and groom as they connect with each other.

Anyway, enough of the technical talk – how does this image make YOU feel? You know, it’s not every wedding first dance that gives us as wedding photographers, that ‘holy grail’ of shots – some love, some excitement, some pure emotion. Many, many first dances are events where the bride and groom feel a little on show, and as such, their emotions are a little more hidden. Wedding photographers can’t manufacture a moment, we can only capture it to the best of our abilities. So if you’re planning your first dance right now, don’t be scared of the moment. You will ONLY ever get this moment once in your lifetime. Have some fun 🙂