The Decisive Moment: Image of the Week #4

Continuing this new section of my website where I will be featuring one of my favourite photographs each week and breaking it down.

This weeks photograph is the “decisive moment”, taken from Sam and Dan’s Swindon Wedding Photography last July.  They got married at Wroughton Parish Church (where the featured image was taken), followed by a reception at The Swindon Marriott Hotel.

Back Story:

I was only allowed to photograph a small amount within the church itself.  Some vicars and registrars have different rulings for photographers which we should always abide by.  I knew that there would be no photography allowed at all during the signing of the register but I wanted to keep myself within reach in case any candid moments arose during this time.  Henri CartierBresson coined the phrase “the decisive moment”.  He was the master and nobody before, nor since, in the world of reportage photography has come close to his instinctiveness with a camera.

Its instinct however, that, as a documentary wedding photographer, I rely on when I photograph a wedding.  I am always on my toes and work with my ears as well as my eyes.  I could see the two mothers chatting as they went up to the reigister signing and I just bode my time.  Eventually I got the little look and smile that said it all.  The two mothers, arms enclocked, giving each other a comforting and knowing smile while their respective son and daughter get married.

Its an incredibly personal moment, and I’m proud to have captured it.  Moments often go unnoticed and being a reportage wedding photographer offers me the privilege of trying to capture those moments – not only for Dan and Sam to enjoy, but for their kids and hopefully generations beyond.

Technical Details:

Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark IV
1/200th Second
Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 IS L
Did not fire
Focal Length:


As will all my images these days, the photo is colour and density corrected in Adobe Lightroom 3.  There after the photo went through my standard black and white conversion process in Photoshop CS5.  I have warmed the tone of the image very slightly and added grain to resemble the cinematic film quality that I so love with my wedding photographs.  I have substantially dodged and burned the image, bringing the important focal point for the viewer to the two mothers in the centre of the frame.

The Finished Photograph:

Swindon Wedding Photographer