A favourite wedding story. Looking beyond the obvious…
As a documentary storyteller, my aim is to capture storytelling images and for me, Wedding Photography is about capturing memories, raw emotion and celebration. I love photographing the uniqueness of people – the little ‘idiosyncrasies’ that make us individual. Weddings are perfect for this, as they are reminders to be grateful for all the beautiful people we have in our lives.
Through the joy of wedding photography, my aim is to capture the magic and wonder of human interaction and this is one of my favourite ever wedding stories. This small collection of images helped change my direction and approach to wedding photography, they helped me to look beyond the obvious and seek out stories that are real, fun and have true emotional value for my clients.
Doing this job I get to travel and to meet the most amazing couples but a couple of years ago on a destination wedding in Cyprus I met this young boy called Marley who was something else. I was in Cyprus and booked to document Sarah and Lee’s wedding at the beautiful Sunrise Beach Protaras Cyprus. My aim at every wedding is to photograph the ‘heart-beat of the day’ and unbeknown to me at the time, Marley was it.
Sarah and Lee are from the North East and we’d never met leading up to wedding apart from a brief chat the day before the celebrations at the Sunrise Beach Hotel. There wasn’t any special requests for pictures of Marley nor was he flagged for attention, but on the wedding day he was everywhere, smiling and laughing whilst all around him were crying during the ceremony. His love of life was never more apparent than when he was the first to congratulate the Bride and Groom before they had even had a chance to walk down the aisle and at times I even caught him doing my job, taking pictures with his dad’s camera. Later in the evening I spotted him curiously picking the icing off the wedding cake before it had even been cut. As I quickly rattled off a couple of shots I over hared an elderly lady behind me saying “look at the photographer taking pictures of the little boy putting his fingers in the cake, ‘HE’ should be stopping him”. A light bulb came on inside of me in that very moment “No I shouldn’t, it’s my job to document and to tell the story, not to direct, pose or prompt”.
At the end of a long day I found myself sat chatting to his Dad as the sun was setting on the Mediterranean Sea and I said “I’ve noticed your son everywhere today he has a real zest for life and I couldn’t help but take a few pictures of him, I don’t know why, but there was just something about him that caught my eye and joyfully distracted me from taking the standard wedding pictures! Would you like a quick posed picture with him before the sun goes down”? His reply was “We would love one, please wait a moment as he just having his medication”. I was later informed by the Sarah the Bride about Marley’s condition. Sarah told me “His condition is Portal hypertension, congenital hepatic fibrosis, polycystic kidney disease, caroli disease and esophageal varices. It affects the liver and kidneys leading to liver and kidney failure and needing transplants in the future. He has banding done every 12 weeks to stop internal bleeding from varicose”.
Back home and a couple of weeks later, on receiving the wedding photography proofs Sarah the Bride wrote to me and stated that through the pictures I’d captured of Marley I’d “captured the heartbeat of her wedding day”.
For me the pictures are reminders of the child within us, who was fearless and life is for living, in addition, Marley reminded the “artist’ within me that “doing/following what you love is a much better way to spend your time than following what you think other people will love.
You can take a look at children’s liver disease foundation
Sarah and Lee where married at the Sunrise Beach Hotel in Protaras, Cyprus. Please contact me for more information on destination weddings or visit the gallery for examples of work.