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.
Wedding Photographer York Place Studios
Scarborough, North Yorkshire
I’m Dominique, one half of UK and International Wedding Photographers York Place Studios alongside my talented brother Liam Shaw. We started out 10 years ago with a passion for wedding photography from our little photography studio in Scarborough, North Yorkshire on a tiny street called York Place and are immensely humbled and privileged to now find our services in demand around the world. York Place is still HQ for us though and that’s where we get together to chat all things photography, drink copious amounts of tea and coffee and come up with all of our new ideas alongside our sister videography company York Place Films.
I have photographed weddings for over ten years now but from the very start it was our ambition to capture weddings as naturally as possible, something that was definitely an unorthodox approach at the time we started! In fact even when I shot my very first wedding at the age of 16, armed only with my black and white film camera and a gazillion rolls of film, my first objective was to document the action without interfering! I still get a huge buzz out of capturing the little moments at the wedding and showing the couple their day through my eyes, photographing the unexpected, never just the “ordinary”.
Our work is always inspired first and foremost by the couple and so we try not to go into a wedding with any pre-conceptions whatsoever about how we’re going to shoot, whether it’s our first time or hundredth time we’ve been to a particular venue. Aside from any groups the couple have asked us to capture I don’t go into a wedding with a list of “I must capture the bride doing her make-up” or “I must get a portrait in the rose garden”, I actively try to avoid planning any shots and instead just live in the moment, trusting my instincts and thinking about light and composition at all times whilst just taking the shots that really make me feel something in that moment. I always find if you direct the bride/groom in any way (move her/him into some more interesting light for instance) then whilst you may be more able to create a shot that photographers might say is more technically accomplished, in doing so you’ve lost that real moment and raw emotion and the soul of the image is often lost. That light in their eyes that drew me in and made me want to take that photograph in the first place has been diminished as your subject has been taken out of the moment and been well and truly reminded of your presence.
For similar reasons both Liam and I choose never to shoot with flash. There’s nothing quite like a bright flash in the corner of your eye to give you that awkward reminder that someone’s taking your picture! More than that though we simply prefer the look of photographs taken without flash and like to embrace the ambient light around us. Light is a huge influence on how we feel and see things emotionally and we want to show the light as it was, not how we artificially created it. This of course can lead to challenges when the light is low but we choose to embrace it and push ourselves to create something new and different.
The photograph of the bride coming down the stairs is one of my favourite images and the bride and groom certainly loved it too as they have a big print of it in their house! The bride was leaving her room and it was quite dark except a small pool of light coming from the window behind her. Instead of rushing ahead and capturing the more obvious shot of the bride coming down the stairs, I waited at the top until she passed by me and I took a series of frames looking for the moment when the dress, hands and flowers looked the most attractive and were in line with each other. I exposed for the highlights so that most of the photograph was in shadow and only parts that were lit by the window stood out. I always knew the photograph was going to be in black and white when I took it, so it was an easy conversion, I dodged and highlighted where necessary but no other post production was needed.
Our aim when taking a photograph is always to capture it perfectly in camera rather than imagine we can sort it out in post. This massively reduces the time spent cropping, editing etc and means that the frame stays as pure as possible which has always been our goal. It is very important to us that our photographs remain timeless and never ‘age’ which means we avoid any fads or tricks if possible. We have seen too many photograph styles come in and then over a couple of years become dated and over-done and we want to make sure that the photographs we take are still considered as beautiful in 50 years time as at the moment we take them. The photograph of the bride coming down the stairs was taken nearly three years ago and it is our intention that it still sits very comfortably within our portfolio, in fact it is still one of our favourites to show! This timeless feel is hugely important to our whole ethos about photography.
The Select Bride’s Thoughts
It’s a wonderful shot and very different to other shots of the bride descending the staircase. It has a great use of light and shadows and the black and white conversion is perfect. When we see shots like this we always want to know more about the process behind it.
See More Photography Of The Day At Wedding Photography Select