Documentary Wedding Photographer

A velvet hand, a hawk’s eye




“…In whatever picture-story we try to do, we are bound to arrive as intruders. It is essential, therefore, to approach the subject on tiptoe… A velvet hand, a hawk’s eye… these we should all have…”

Henri Cartier-Bresson from “The Decisive Moment” 1952.

Imagine how something written in 1952 could have such an influence on the whole life of one photographer. That is the way it has been for me, and to this day these words still affect the way I approach my work and guide mine and Josh’s style.

When I was still a fresh faced art student back in 1976, I started part time work for a wedding photography studio. Then, when I finished my formal education (or thought I had) it was at that studio I took my first full time job. So I was a wedding photographer. In those days wedding photography wasn’t the coolest job around, but I was getting paid for my passion My early influences were not wedding photographers, they still aren’t. Back then I hungrily consumed everything I could find by the great photojournalists, W. Eugene Smith, Margaret Bourke-White, Eliott Errwitt, Ian Berry and my absolute hero Henri Cartier-Bresson. It was Cartier-Bresson’s essay, “The Decisive Moment” written in 1952, that impacted so powerfully and resulted in the way I now approach wedding photography.

The influence of these legendary photographers along with my years of experience has shaped and crafted my ability to create something beautiful: a candid, emotional re-telling of your wedding day through our photographs. Josh and I are not just photographers, we’re storytellers. When we reveal your album, we want to invoke the feelings you felt on your wedding day for countless years to come.

“…Our task is to perceive reality, almost simultaneously recording it in the sketchbook which is our camera. We must neither try to manipulate reality while we are shooting, nor manipulate the results in a darkroom. These tricks are patently discernible to those who have eyes to see…” 

Henri Cartier-Bresson from “The Decisive Moment” 1952.

Almost as soon as I got the chance to work under my own name, find my own clients, I began to establish my personal philosophy, manifesto if you like, of wedding photography and it was the great man’s words that shouted loud in my head. I photographed my first wedding as a documentary wedding photographer as early as 1988. In the nineties, “reportage”, or as we now call it, documentary wedding photography started to become fashionable. As a documentary wedding photographer, I was in demand. Now Josh, the prodigal son, has joined the business and together we document weddings for around 40 couples every year. We travel the world, as far away as Australia but we are often working on our doorstep in The English Lake District.

Josh is not a second shooter, he has over 10 years of experience and is a highly accomplished documentary wedding photographer in his own right. Josh studied photography and has a second degree in film. On the day, we work together so that we can faithfully record and document from alternative angles. Before the ceremony, when the protagonists are preparing, Josh goes to the groom and I work with the bride. What we look for is a cohesive body of images. Back in the studio, we edit together before Josh processes the RAW files to make a 60/40 (approximate) split of colour and black and white in favour of black and white.

It is the way we set about photographing your wedding that sets us apart and determines the look our images have. We work unobtrusively, intelligently and with integrity to design an album of pictures that tell the story of your wedding day. Of course we will make some posed portraits and we will photograph any group pictures you would like, although we suggest you keep your list short so that you can concentrate on enjoying your day, but always, the posed pictures we make will be done quickly, efficiently and with respect for the occasion, with a velvet hand and a hawk’s eye.

Wedding photography




Steven Taylor Photography

01539 737 497