Jewish Tradition in the English Countryside
A Jewish wedding has, to put it lightly, a LOT of traditions. As a photographer used to shooting marriage ceremonies from many different religions, I’ve learnt how important it is to take the time to understand the intricate rituals of each. At a Jewish wedding, things like the Bedeken (‘veiling’) and the ‘breaking of the glass’ require me to stand in exactly the right place if I’m going to capture the significance and intimacy of the moment in a beautiful image.
For Pat and Sophie’s wedding, I’d spent the morning with the bride as she got ready with her family. It was a very emotional occasion and as always I was careful to make sure the people in front of the camera felt comfortable and relaxed around me. The couple were actually quite camera shy, which meant that throughout the day I took a low-key approach, staying out of their way and standing in the right places to capture natural emotion.
The couple were actually quite camera shy, which meant that throughout the day I took a low-key approach, staying out of their way and standing in the right places to capture natural emotion.
However, shooting the happy couple on their way down the aisle to the chuppah to take their vows was a joy, and the shouts of “Mazel Tov!” as they left the synagogue and headed out into the beautiful rolling countryside made it all the more thrilling. Laughter and tears abounded as we moved to the hotel reception and an evening of raucous celebration. Boy did these guys know how to party!
A common challenge at weddings is how to shoot the excessive movement which usually occurs in the evening reception as everyone becomes more raucous. Usually it’s a dimly lit environment. So, bouncing the flash off the ceiling is one way I can prevent the otherwise inevitable blurriness and grain, which is what I did here to light the whole room evenly. This takes no small amount of skill, but it’s something I’m confident doing thanks to many years of similar experience at weddings.