every picture a story

Every picture a story: Ooops by Joshua Tomalin

When people ask me about my style and why take pictures the way I do, I tell them that people are beautiful and elegant and funny just being themselves. They don't need me ordering them about to be all these things. Dessert can be a tricky business.

Every picture a story: Get Me To The Church On Time by Joshua Tomalin

When the bridge and groom are on the verge of losing it, trust the page boy to keep the show on the road. Moments like this are what documentary wedding photography is all about.

Every picture a story: The Dance by Joshua Tomalin

I get asked from time to time how my performance photography fits in with photographing weddings. The best answer I can give that I am all about how light influences how we perceive something. My strongest visual influence is chiaroscuro.

When I am photographing dance I use the light to try and illustrate the meaning of the movement, maybe not by showing all of it, maybe hiding something and revealing something else, constantly trying to show the real thing - which might not be the same as brightly illuminating the thing and freezing it in time.

With me so far? Ok, maybe an example:

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I love this image of Jody and Alistair at Modern Art Oxford because it is a beautiful moment when everything comes together. The pools of light bring the kiss right into the foreground, but we can see see the friends in the background watching the happy couple. The motion blur shows the couple alive in the moment and full of energy.

Whether you are photographing weddings or performance, the power of light to tell to the story is the key to beautiful image.

Every picture a story: The Ceremony by Joshua Tomalin

I've photographed a lot of ceremonies but it was a first when Alice and Grant asked to me to photograph a Chinese tea ceremony. It was a perfect way to start their very individual wedding day and I loved the blending of tradition and 'let's-do-this-our-way'.

It is an intimate and solemn moment but the smile on Alice's mum's face lightens the mood. It is the type of memory that only a documentary wedding photographer can create.

Every picture a story: The Light by Joshua Tomalin

This is an image from the very first wedding that I photographed and there are two reasons why it is a favourite of mine. Firstly, Rachel is just about to walk to into the ceremony and her mixture of nerves and happiness are just adorable.

Secondly, I've spent a lifetime using light to tell stories - it is central to all of the images I make. Sometimes you have to chase it and sometimes it comes to you. When I got home from the wedding, kicked off my shoes and looked through the photos, I stopped when I came to this one.

I knew then I wanted to be a wedding photographer.

Every picture a story: The Phone by Joshua Tomalin

My favourite part of photographing weddings are the bits where things go a bit off-script. Here we are about ten minutes into the ceremony and the phone belonging to the grandmother of the bride starts to ring. The family are cracking up because she is the only person in the room who can't hear it.


The beautiful Rhodes House venue in Oxford was ringing with laughter - something that continued throughout the rest of the day. It's a hilarious moment that really set the tone for the celebration. Here is the very last image I took at the end of the day: