Hi, I'm Rik a wedding photographer based in London. I've been shooting weddings for 7 years after a career in graphic design and walking my dog. The wider world beckoned and it's safe to say the opportunities wedding photography has given me must make it one of the best jobs out there. Read on if you want to find out more about how I go about photographing a wedding and my slightly unhealthy obsession with using light creatively.
My style of wedding photography is probably best described as creative documentary with contemporary portraiture. There’s lots of buzz words around in wedding photography so I’ll explain exactly what that means.
When I first started wedding photography I was determined to do it in a way which exemplified everything I love about photography, and just as importantly, to avoid all the things I don’t like! The idea of being a traditional wedding photographer sent shivers down my spine. Herding people around, getting in the way and being the object of disdain wasn’t my idea of a fun Saturday!
Luckily for me I wasn’t the only photographer who felt like this. Over the last 15 years or so leading wedding photographers started to adopt a more documentary approach to capturing the events of the day. Instead of standing inches in front of the bride as she walks down the aisle on one of the most emotional days of her life, you’re more likely to find a documentary wedding photographer somewhere more interesting that is more discreet that results in a better photograph.
Good documentary wedding photography is as much an art form as highly constructed fashion photography. Knowing where to be at the right time is crucial and is something that experience teaches you. Being in the right place at the right time is critical, but more important, in my opinion, is seeing the right light.
Over the years I've developed a bit of an obsession with using light to create a mood which has come to define my style. Weddings are fast paced events so being able to see the light quickly and knowing what I want to achieve is really important. I'm forever studying my surroundings to see how I can achieve what I want. It gives me a bit of a headache by the end of the day, but it's worth it!
I get lots of comments that my pictures have captured the essence of the day, people look relaxed and unaware of the camera. That’s a great compliment to me as I know I've done my job properly. Documentary wedding photography involves looking for the angles, light and also pressing the shutter at the right time. A fraction of a second can make the difference between a great and a mediocre picture.
As much as I enjoy the documentary part of wedding photography I am also a big fan of bride and groom portraits – as long as they are shot in a sympathetic way. I engage couples with each other to promote interaction and togetherness. Couples respond so much better to each other and this always creates the right result. I want to create a moment between a couple that looks natural and unforced. Different couples want to create different things from this part of the day and it's always something I want to discuss. Most couples really enjoy this part of the day as it's the first time they get to themselves after several hectic hours. I’m just there to let things flow and capture the moment.