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What it's like to capture decisive moments of weddings

July 31, 2013, 10:49 pm | This story has an Influence Score of 2016

By riazhussain

Art is the expression of human creative skills and imagination. It begins with a personal drive of an artist to communicate messages, ideas, thoughts, feelings and emotions and travels miles of appreciation across ages and cultures. Artists engage and stimulate audience's aesthetic sensibilities. They make them look at the finer realities of life. At times, artists transform everyday aspects of life which we mechanically ignore. Today, in this story we are going to meet such an artist who beautifully captures decisive moments of life and gives them permanence with his art.

When we say that he captures ‘decisive moments’ of life, we, definitely, mean happy moments of life which people want him to give permanence through his art. It is natural for us to like to save our memories of the pleasurable occurrences of our existence. John Keats the Romantic poet once said, ‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever’. Thus, artistic photographs of our happy moments give us joy whenever we look at them.


Tim Simpson was born in Manchester in the United Kingdom. His enduring artistic talent began to manifest itself when he was in his childhood. He looks back at the early years of his life and says, ‘I picked up a camera at age 10 and have never been without one since then’. Today,  he is 45-year-old. He has such a long-standing relationship with the camera. His fingers are so used to it that when he grabs one in his hands, he does not have to think what to do and how to do it. He loves photography because it seems to preserve the transient moments of life. He says, ‘I love to capture people, I love the thought that the captured moment in time could hang on a wall for hundreds of years to come. It becomes a real piece of history -- photography gives a moment permanence, that is my favorite aspect of what I do’.

There is a difference between a man holding a camera without any skills in photography and a professional photographer. The latter transforms ordinary sights of life into masterpieces of art . This is true in Tim's case. He knows that art of presenting ordinary moments of life artistically. He points out, ‘When you have a camera even the most mundane things become interesting, waiting rooms, walls, mud, etc., everything has an aesthetic value. When you have a medium to capture the transient moments of your life, you would definitely prefer to capture the happy moments in it. Tim likes to catch the blissful moments of wedding events.

Wedding photography is said to have started in the mid 19th century. It began in the form of studio photography with married couples coming to the atelier of photographers who would make their portraits. This practice continued for aproximately 100 years. At the turn of the 20th century color photography emerged with portable cameras. After the World War II, the world hailed peace with loads of weddings and engagement ceremonies. The nuptials boosted the business of wedding photography and photographers attended the ceremonies at wedding locations with their portable photography equipment. Some decades back, wedding photography witnessed a change in style. Wedding photographers began to focus not on ‘poses’ but on the event as a whole or on real life details of the weddings. They began to document various aspects of the nuptials in details. They not only focused on the couple getting married but would give attention to people attending the wedding ceremonies as well. 

Tim also captures the wedding reception, wedding cake, gifts from the guests and speeches by the groom and brides' father.

As a wedding photographer, he cinematizes scores of weddings every year. He mostly shoots ‘weddings in the UK,  Derbyshire and Cumbria and as far South West as St Ives’.  He has a gallery to showcase his art. In addition, he uses social media sites to present his skills in the visual art of photography.  He gets a lot of bookings through these sites.  He has to work long hours on wedding locations in the evenings. In the UK, wedding ceremonies can be held in all sorts of places. He has to move his equipment to various types of wedding venues such as churches, register offices, hotels, art galleries and country houses.  At such venues he constantly searches for beautiful settings for the photography. Since most of the marriages take place on Saturday afternoons or Saturday evenings,  he has to sacrifice his weekends. Thus, in order to capture the happy moments of other families, he has to forego the moments of familial bliss at his own home on weekends.  In addition to his time spent at weddings, he has to spend days in doing pre-production and post-production work at his studio. 

Photography is not a static discipline. In order to stand out among the crowd of wedding photographers, our artist has to keep in touch with the latest developments in the field. He says, ‘I was trained as a professional and still train today in new techniques, photography is ever evolving that is why it’s stays interesting. You could never know all there is to know that is why it is still fresh’.

Life is a combination of happiness and sorrows. Simpson says , ‘Life without sorrow is a life not lived. You need the lows to appreciate the highs’. Thus, sorrow may have a function in the cosmos. If thinking about traumatic events in life can make people sick, thinking about happy moments can make people healthy and energetic. Wedding photography reminds people of the merry hours of existence and such memories may help in lessening the effects of everyday enervation. 

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: 
Its loveliness increases; it will never 
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep 
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep 
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

John Keats


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