Photo Of The Day: A Fantastic Dance Floor Shot By Ben Appleby

Wedding Photographer Doveridge, Derbyshire
The West Mill, Derbyshire
Wedding Photographer HBA Wedding Photography

HBA Wedding Photography is us, Hannah and Ben Appleby.

Back when we got married, we knew nothing about weddings or photography. We booked someone cheap, hated our photos, and have regretted it ever since. It was these feelings of disappointment that inspired us to do better.

HBA Photography is also the couples we work with. The stylish, offbeat individuals who trust us to photograph one of the most important days of their lives.

We make no secret of the fact we’re completely self-taught with a distinctive style that’s developed through experimenting and pushing boundaries.

Truthfully…? We don’t have a “style”. We don’t label ourselves as “documentary photographers” – We hate that term. It suggests that we lurk in the background, spying on you from afar like a weird stalker… Nope! We like to get in there. We stick a 35mm lens on our camera and capture the day from our couples perspective, up close and real. We want them to look back at their images and re-live the day as they saw it, not disconnected from a distance. How can we truly tell their story, if we can’t hear the story!?

That said, we like to let the day unfold, without interfering too much, in a documentary style. What happens, happens and it’s often those moments of uncertainty, panic and despair in between the moments of happiness that make the really interesting storytelling photos. We will always shoot the struggle. Life is messy. Life is a struggle, but life is good too.

We love to get close as well though. We’re not scared of couple portraits. We love to get creative with light on a wedding day, creating striking portraits from super close, or really far away to give you something epic for the way. So I guess you can say that our style is just “Real”. Photographing your wedding just as you imagined it would be, in an epically beautiful way that’s going to make our cooples do a happy dance when you see the photos.

Creative. Dramatic. Emotive… I guess you can say, THAT’S our style.

The Shot

It was a 100% spur of the moment photo – No time for planning and no additional setup time.

We were hitting the dance floor hard – The party was in full swing. There were a couple of people we’d spotted on the dance floor who were a little more outgoing than others so we knew at some point they’d do something awesome. Surely enough, the time was right, the music was hot and this lady dropped down into the splits, just as the groom pointed at her in amazement!

Thankfully we were in the right place at the right time and managed to get a good angle on the subject. The lighting was good and locked down already from shooting the party and everything else fell into place. The hand from the groom, the rear flash causing a small flare were just the cherry on top to make the shot for me.

The dance floor is always tough. You’ve just got to be present and be completely aware of what’s going on around you as moments like this happen in a split second,  then they’re gone.

It was a venue with a low, undulating white ceiling, so it is always hard to reduce the ambient to a level that feels dark and atmospheric, whilst still using enough flash power to get good, clean light. We had to get in close and be completely immersed in amongst the guests, which is always hard on a crowded, small dance floor.

I’m not gonna lie, it was simply right place at the right time. We knew this wedding guest was gearing up to something great as she’d been pulling cool shapes on the dance floor previously. We knew we had to just make sure we were in a position so that our rim lights were firing behind her head and our key flash was in a good position from the front. The rest was just waiting and watching (in a non stalker kind of way)

Techinical Details

Canon 5D MK4
Canon 16-35mm L2.8 @20mm
1/60th  –  f5.6  –  ISO320 –  Custom WB of 6900k
Rear flashes: 2x Yongnuo flashes
Front Flash: Elinchrom ELB400 with 40x40cm softbox

No real continuous metering – We just set our ambient and flash power and then tweak the position of the front flash a little to suit the position on the dance floor and the look we want for the shot.

We did a little bit of post to darken the edges down slightly, but it’s pretty much how you saw it SOOC.

The couple love it! It’s one of their best mates having the time of her life at their wedding, why would they not love it! The groom is a performer and DJ so he especially loved that everyone partied hard at his wedding.

We LOVE this bride and groom  – Ricky + Nikki were the most gorgeous couples. Fun, outgoing, emotional, sexy and passionate together… Everything you want from a couple. They knew how to have a great time and were all about being around their friends and family on the wedding day, but still allowing for a little bit of time to be alone together for some photos. They were a joy to photograph for sure and will always be one of our favorite couples ever!

Wedding Photographer Derbyshire

Wedding Photography Select’s Thoughts.

Such a cool image, great lighting focusing on the woman and the hand adds an extra, perfect element to the shot.

Our ‘Photo Of The Day‘ is a carefully selected image to help inspire you for your big day. Whether you’re a couple getting married or a wedding photographer shooting your next wedding, we want to show you great wedding photographers that think outside the box.  Each image we share has a lovely story behind it, whether it’s the technical details behind each shot or how the photographer arrived at the creative decision to capture it in all it’s glory.  Here at WPS & The Select Bride we’re passionate about great images, great wedding photographers and inspiring you at every turn.

If you want your image featured, we now accept open submissions via our Submissions Form.

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