There is currently such an emphasis on individual photographs, particularly online, that it’s easy to forget how a series of photographs can tell a story. Images seem to float disembodied across the internet, divorced from their original context… which can be lovely when it comes to pretty landscapes, but at the same time losing their impact when it comes to storytelling.
The images above were taken immediately before one of the weddings I photographed recently at Consall Hall Gardens. I was there (in The Moat House Hotel, Stoke-On-Trent, in fact) to take photographs of the bride getting ready – and the storyline is ostensibly the interaction between the makeup artist and the bride. But the girl with the balloon stole my focus for a short while.
There’s a fundamental difference in storytelling wedding photography – as with all forms of documentary and reportage photography – between a single image and a sequence of images. Most often, we are shown an individual image that represents a single point in time, and it’s left to the reader to interpret the moment. In wedding photography, our familiarity with the themes and the typical story makes it easier for us to immediately understand the image. A sequence leaves even less room for doubt. The viewer is watching events over a period of time, and it’s the photographer’s job to tell that story by stitching together a sequence of images which has more value than the sum of its individual parts.
I’ll be showing more sequences on the blog in the weeks to come.