It’s rare for me to share a wedding image prior to releasing the actual preview blog, but ever since I’ve edited this one particular shot, I’ve come back to it time and again – and it spends a lot of time living on my computer desktop so I can look at it!

This was photographed during bridal prep at a recent wedding in North Bovey, Devon, where the bride was having the final touches completed to her makeup by the makeup artist (the fabulous Elle Hitchens, who I have worked with many times and can thoroughly recommend!). 

So what do I love so much about this wedding photograph that means that it’s made it to my ‘best of’ section on the blog? Well, for me, a good photograph becomes great when it nails the three key areas of composition, light and moment. The light in this shot is just beautiful, as we caught the rather weedy sunlight entering the cottage window and illuminating the bride’s face. The range of darks and lights give a wonderful dynamic range to the shot – as well as a great sense of mood.

Secondly, the composition works perfectly for me. I actually shot this from the corridor outside the room where the bride was having her makeup applied, as space was rather at a premium in the cosy cottage she was getting ready in. Not only does that give the image a perfect documentary feel, but it also means that I was able to observe and shoot without impeding upon the moment or getting in the way! 

And finally – the moment. Moment is everything. I can almost feel the hush as I look at this image. The expression of concentration on Elle’s face as she sets the bride’s makeup; the sense of expectation on the bride’s face; it all tells a story that is easy to connect with. Even though we can’t see the bridesmaid’s face, as I shoot over her shoulder, we can easily imagine the expression of love and wonder she is wearing as she watches the bride complete her preparations, just minutes before leaving for church. 

What do you feel when you see this image?