#1 - A stroll in the setting sun - RÓNAN PALLISER PHOTOGRAPHY

#1 - A stroll in the setting sun

One of the most common things I hear said about wedding photography in general and (on occasion) my wedding photography in particular is this, or a variant of this: "The best ones are always the ones you didn't know were being taken". The industry term(s) for those types of photographs is any one of the following: photojournalistic, candid, documentary, unposed, natural, or indeed perhaps all of the above. Which ever of those terms appeals to you, it may be applied to this particular image.

As someone who got married in October, I'm a fan of October weddings - the weather is generally pretty good - the Indian Summer effect that we often get can still be in play, while the rain and wind more common in November is still a few weeks away; the light is just beautiful as the sun rises and sets lower in the sky; and the clocks have yet to go back meaning there's still that extra hour to play with, especially if the couple choose an earlier rather than later ceremony.

At first glance this may look like a posed photograph, but it wasn't. That's not to say it's entirely undirected. A couple of minutes earlier I suggested to the bride and groom that they walk together hand in hand as we made our way from the bridal party photos (at Fisherman's Cottage and its surrounds in Cong, if you're wondering) to the cars to head on to the reception in Lisloughrey Lodge. Mind you, in those first hours after getting married, it's rare when you really have to make that suggestion - they were likely going to walk back to the car together anyway, and quite possibly going to do so holding hands. The point of me suggesting it is to increase the chances of getting an image like this, but it remains just a simple suggestion so as to not force a photo, or indeed force a pose, which is rarely (a forced pose, that is) something that anyone - photographer or subjects - wants photographed.

The walk back to the car was a few hundred metres, perhaps, and as we approached part of Cong Abbey where stone arches presented themselves, to my eye at least, as a natural frame, I scooted on ahead.  The couple knew I was somewhere nearby of course, and that I was taking photographs, but I think at this point they didn't know exactly where. Not quite paparazzi ready to jump out of the bushes, but not far off. 

The photo is 20% skill, 80% luck - the skill is not so much technical - exposure, focus and so on - but all of the detail just mentioned to maximise my chances of a photo. The luck is the light, the direction of the light, and most of all the expressions - all totally natural. That raw unfiltered genuine happiness that permeates a wedding day.

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