The Story behind this Photograph (A Series of Images)

Jenna and Jaco’s wonderful wedding was only the second I had documented since switching to the Fujifilm X-Series system. Their day took place at the well known Avianto wedding venue in Muldersdrift, South Africa and was made all the more special by this high school romance’s grand, ‘I do’, climax. Approaching weddings from a true documentary photography perspective means that I am striving to make images without influencing the day in one way or another. I am quietly taking in the day and it’s nuances,  the laughter and frustrations, looking to tell the true story of a beautiful day. And It’s always a beautiful day!

Walking into the room where Jenna was getting ready I immediately noticed the beautiful and ornate mirrors placed around the room. This, along with the big windows allowing so much light in, made for a documentary photographer’s dream set up. (I don’t use much flash at all, either.)

Jenna chose to wear her hair down and it was looked beautiful, the final adjustments to her dress were happening and in the last few minutes before the ceremony there is always a heightened sense of occasion and any nerves not previously noticeable start slowly slinking toward the spotlight. During the back and forth taking place Jenna moved between two different mirrors as I looked to catch angles that would tell the story perfectly.

Starting with the rush to get her into the dress.


And then the final adjustments as her friends rush past and hands appear out of nowhere to fix this and that.


Jenna putting her earrings on. How amazing does her hair look!


One last check at the opposite mirror in different light while mom and bridesmaid pass across the frame.


Then, as Jenna posed to look at herself in the mirror her bridesmaid stepped forward to straighten her dress and I made this frame with my X100T.


I stood up immediately after to capture this frame with my X-T1 and the 56mm f1.2 – Here Jenna smiles with excitement as her mom and friends all give their resounding approval. ‘You look absolutely stunning Jenna!’ An unposed, sincere smile and a genuine, heartfelt moment made into a photograph.

How do you feel when looking through these images? Don’t you also feel part of the day and do you like the lack of posed and contrived images? My name is Tim Moolman, and I’m a True Documentary Wedding Photographer. Why not drop me an email if you’d like to know more? I would love to hear from you.


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