10 Examples of Beautifully Original Wedding Photography
20 Nov 2015
Aside from unforgettable memories, howls of laughter with loved ones and heaps of cake, one of the most valuable things to take away from your wedding day is beautiful imagery.
From documentary-style shooters to traditional photographers, the person who will make that happen needs to create something special and unique. But truly original wedding photography is hard to come by and for that reason should be cherished and encouraged.
Enter Welsh wedding photographer Nick Murray. Crowned Wedding Photographer of the Year at the Welsh National Wedding awards and named a nominee for Rangefinder's Rising Star in the World 2015, his pictures combine landscapes and people in painterly compositions that lead others to consider the creativity of their wedding photography.
“Landscape always provides a location context for your day and it’s so much more fulfilling to see the surrounding area of where you say your vows, than to limit yourself to the immediate area of the reception,” says Nick.
“The best photographs are born by a sense of adventure and exploration, and to get out to discover the landscape is always exciting to me. I encourage my clients to be bold and brave and to seize the day to get the best photographs they can,” he adds.
Though his background is in graphic design – evident from his fine art style – the Cardiff-based photographer says he’s always been ‘Nick with the camera’ and was welcomed to wedding photography after shooting his sister-in-law’s wedding as a favour and falling in love with the genre. Nick has shot 52 weddings this year, one of his most recent involving ‘guests skinny-dipping in the hotel,’ which was ‘pretty wild.’ We’re guessing the wedding photography career move worked out well then.
In this interview, he shows us 10 inspiring and unique examples of wedding photography that knocked our socks off, explaining the story behind each picture. Whatever your chosen wedding photography style, non-traditional or classic, we hope it does the same for you.
1. This was shot on a freezing cold winter’s afternoon in Cardiff on one of the most informal wedding days I’ve ever shot. The whole day was ultra-relaxed and something like this summed up the couple’s attitude to the whole day – completely offbeat and non-traditional. Let your personalities be your inspiration for your photographer and let them use their talents to bring out the best in you.
2. I supported a New York Kickstarter project for this light tool called a Pixelstick. It’s one of the coolest things I’ve bought. I don’t like to overuse use it as it’s definitely got a 'look’ but when it works, it works really well. I shot this on a beach at the Oxwich Bay Hotel at the Gower in Swansea. It involves lots of staying still, and me running around as fast as I can. At least I get to burn a few more calories.
3. Clearwell Castle in Gloucestershire is one of my favourite venues to photograph and it’s brimming with gorgeous areas to photograph, and I shot this there earlier this year. Sometimes though, it’s nice to keep things simple and to make it about the couple rather than any kind of grand creative statement. We took this moment together, just as we were heading back to the castle. As far as people go, Oliver and Nadine here are two of the kindest, friendliest people you could ever wish to meet. They rocked every single one of their photographs.
4. This was shot outside Caerphilly Castle in Wales on a blustery December day. We stopped the wedding car for them to stretch their legs and I shot over the other side of the road. Cars whizzed by and I had to practise my squats to get the angle and timing just right. This was one of about 30 frames.
5. This is the same tree as the image of the bride on a swing, but taken at a different wedding. Group shots are always a challenge to create something interesting, but the bride and groom (and group) fell in love with this idea straight away.
6. We planned to shoot in a nearby field with this smoke grenade, but the heavens opened and it poured. We ran back to the wedding venue and I noticed this quiet area in the grounds where the sun was starting to peek out from the menacing clouds behind as the rain stopped. The best wedding photography isn’t necessarily gazing into each other’s eyes, but work that allows the photographer and couple to express their personalities.
7. One of the coolest days that was difficult to plan for a few reasons. The couple flew over from Hong Kong shoot, and we tried for ages to match our diaries for me to able to secure a day for them. I’m so glad we managed it because it was a day where I’ve produced some of my favourite work. I love shots with movement and dynamism. To me this gives the bride a chance to show how beautiful her dress is, and in this case, how fab her veil looks. I’m a big fan of fairytale. After all, this is what a wedding is – true magic.
8. Just as the sun was setting, we headed off for a walk away from the venue, so the couple could have some quiet time to recharge their batteries. This was such a quiet moment on one of the hottest days in Wales we’ve had this year. Even though there’s movement in the bride’s veil, I love the stillness of this moment.
9. This was the fourth attempt at this shot as the sky just kept getting better and better. The groom is behind the tree and he was the one pushing his bride to get her so high. I’ve shot at this venue (Canada Lodge and Lake in Cardiff) many times, and it’s always a challenge to use this tree a different way every time.
10. Shot at St Pierre in Chepstow, Wales, I took this towards the end of the evening, as the light around and then comes alive. Photography is about the continuing search for the right light, and I spotted this pool of sun hitting the ground from across the golf course. This could almost be mistaken for moonlight, and I really lucked out at how beautiful the light was that day.