no shot lists,
no cheesy posing
Firstly, thank you for stopping by and wanting to know how I work and how I approach documenting your wedding.
So, the title above says – ‘No staging, no shot lists and definitely no cheesy posing’ – This one statement could sum up my entire approach. I want my couples to feel completely relaxed and submerged into their wedding.
It’s a wedding, not a photoshoot and I treat it as such. On your wedding day I want you to be you and let the day unfold naturally, authentically and with genuine emotions, laughter, fun and some down right funky moves later in the evening of course.
My documentary approach allows me to capture your day in a very honest way. I mean, come on, you cannot stage your dad crying, your uncle John busting out the worm on the dance floor, bridesmaids or groomsmen racing each other on space hoppers.
There is just no way to stage authentic moments and relaxed portraits, there just isn’t. That’s why my entire style and approach is to let things happen as naturally as possible.
My driving force on your wedding journey is to document your story, your friends and your family in a creative yet authentic way.
From the time you book with me to the final delivery of your images i am there for you and your story. Throughout the wedding day i document beautiful moments in a very natural and unposed manner whilst adding creativity to deliver images that are unique to you and your story.
I love the feeling of leaving a wedding and feeling part of the family – there’s nothing better. It’s been said numerous times “it was like having a friend capture our day” – that’s the way it should be.
You will find me right in the action, at close quarters, you won’t see me skirting the wall with a long lens. I believe in documenting your story from within. I can usually be found laughing with your guests, often i’m the one making people laugh. Being close really helps your friends and family feel comfortable with me and allows me to document moments that i wouldn’t otherwise capture if they were uneasy.
This is why laughing loads throughout your day and chatting with friends + family is so important to how i work, meaning i can capture your wedding from within, just like a friend at the wedding!
There’s a reason I’ve started with Authentic and Genuine. This is my biggest priority at your wedding, from the moment I step out of my car on the wedding morning my number one focus is to document your story in a natural, relaxed and authentic way without any posing, shot lists, cheesy photo ideas, you get the drift, everything I capture is 100% natural and real, even the couple portraits, more on that later.
I’m a strong believer in the following statement… ’It’s a wedding, not a photoshoot’ – I want my Images and creativity to tell your story as honestly as I can without posing and staging. On your wedding day I aim to become a guest at the wedding but with expensive gear and a good eye. Talking, laughing and having a good time with your friends and family is very important, the more relaxed they are the more authentic the Images. I want your Images to appear honest, genuine to the moment and completely relaxed.
When it comes to family photos i advocate a V.I.P approach, by this i mean your grand parents, parents, bridesmaids, grooms-men and siblings. From experience this set of groups should only take 10-15 minutes to capture. At this point in your day you will only have 1 hour remaining with your guests before speeches (typically) – I want you with your friends and family not stood like a pair of penguins for 40 minutes doing boring group photos. Photos of the girls from work or the lads from the gym etc can be captured later in the day when there is zero time constraints, the majority of weddings have a 1-2 hour limbo period later in the day which is perfect for those extra group photos.
You will read in the next section why i keep group photos and portraits to just 10-15 minutes and as a spoiler it’s so i can document your wedding and your guests.
Just think of how many amazing moments i would miss by standing for 40+ minutes taking group photos. It’s worth saying, if you want 50 group photos and every possible combination, i’m not the guy for you.
the hold hands
and walk portraits.
Here we go, the meat and bones. A lot of couples hate getting their photo taking, never mind being asked to do awkward poses you would never do in real life. Just like the rest of the day unfolding naturally i believe your portraits should too. My extent of direction will be suggesting where to stand or walk – nothing staged, nothing posed. I want you to be yourselves so that your photos reflect your story and personality.
As i eluded to earlier, the wedding is a wedding, not a photoshoot. I see group photos and couple portraits as a trade-off. The longer i spend capturing them the less time i have to document your wedding guests laughing, drinking, chatting, jumping about on space hoppers, you get the idea.
I promise I’ll never ask you to stand like a pair of penguins touching foreheads.
So with that in mind when it comes to couple portraits i usually find two 5 minute windows in the day where you won’t be missed (yes i said 5 minutes, none of this 40 minute photo shoot craziness). Usually one window after group photos and another later in the day, giving you two distinct portrait looks, i.e day + evening/sunset.
I want your ‘portraits’ to be as natural as possible and to that end i will ask you to hold hands and simply go for a walk, zero posing, no kissing foreheads, no closing eyes and snuggling in like your on the set of casablanca. Just 100% genuine, authentic portraits of you two enjoying your day. Zero awkwardness, zero cheese.
Hopefully after reading my approach you can appreciate and value how I will interpret and document your day and your story. I always say to my couples – “In 50 years time, you will have each other, your rings and your photographs”. So it’s very important you trust me to fully document your wedding in a very relaxed, authentic and natural manner.
Let’s sum all the above up in to a short final message. If your looking for a creative award winning photographer who will be there for you every step of the way, document your day in a very natural, non-posed and relaxed way whilst having a blast with your friends and family, the search is over. Please jump on over to my pricing, If the budget fits, you love my work and you love my approach, let’s do this!
oh my days what an amazing, fantastic photographer. i couldn’t recommend ray highly enough. so friendly and made everyone feel so at ease. he created the most perfect photos and memories. thank you. you really are an incredible photographer and person.
– lon + matt
ray sawyer –
did you know i have won over 150 awards since 2018. i used to tout this like i’d won the olympics, and for a time it was important to me. but these days i’m much more concerned with creating images that my couples will absolutely love and fall in love with.
a photograph of dad crying upon seeing his daughter for the first time may not win an award but the photo will mean a lot to the family. its documenting these moments that make me tick and is my driving force on your wedding day.
The West Mill
Oaktree of Peover