Get Me To The Church On Time by David McMahon

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I’ve always believed that a natural, unposed shot can be just as visually appealing as one that has been painstakingly choreographed to the nth degree. This unscripted shot, taken just after a recent wedding, illustrates my theory perfectly.

The bride and groom had just finished wishing friends and family outside the church and were about to depart to have their official open-air shots taken. I had put my camera back in its case and was walking away from the church, to where my car was parked on the street.

Suddenly I looked back and saw the bride hurrying to an annexe beside the church (look carefully and you’ll see a small sign that says “Office” on one of the pillars). She was approximately 30-35 metres away from me and it was probably the sound of her heels beating a tattoo on the footpath that initially made me look around.

There was a gale-force wind that afternoon and her veil was flying almost parallel to the ground. The bridesmaid was struggling to hold the bride’s train in one hand and to control the veil with the other. In the background, the best man carried not one but two bouquets while he expertly handed a wheel-along as well.

The bride was in a real hurry, as you can see from the position of her feet. The bridesmaid was doing a great job keeping up with her. The breeze was swirling with unbelievable strength. The light was great. The movement was terrific. The contrast between the white dress and the dark apparel was perfect.

I barely had time to whip out my camera and fire off a solitary, instinctive frame. There’s so much to be said for spontaneity, don’t you think?

I do not crop, enhance or post-edit my images in any way. Shot with a Pentax K100D, using a Sigma 18-125mm lens. F8, 1/500 sec, ISO 200, focal length 125mm.

TOP TEN in the Candid Shots of People challenge in Cee’s Fun Artsy Friends Group


Walkley Award-nominated journalist, novelist and wedding photographer at

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  • ginabgood1
    ginabgood1over 4 years ago

    Awesome image to catch! Perfect!

  • Thank you so much for being the first to comment, Gina. Might not have worked as well if the bridesmaid had been wearing a light colour.

    – David McMahon

  • Diana-Lee Saville
    Diana-Lee Savilleover 4 years ago

    I’m getting married in the morning, ding dong the bells are gonna chime

  • Perfectly expressed, Di. Isn’t it funny how many people know the lyrics of the hits from that movie, not just the tunes!

    – David McMahon

  • Diana-Lee Saville
    Diana-Lee Savilleover 4 years ago
    I have the DVD of it ;)
  • I think it’s a part of our collection, too. From my childhood, I clearly remember the opening shots of the flowers at Covent Garden, too.

    – David McMahon

  • janeymac
    janeymacover 4 years ago

    brilliant catch it reminds me of my wedding day tha wind was howling off the bay in Williamstown , veil , dress \blowingin the wind and someone go a shot of it !
    this is beautiful !

  • Thanks very much, Janey. Yes, I’m familiar with those bayside breezes! Must have been a great shot, the way you describe it. Glad you like this one.

    – David McMahon

  • Ranald
    Ranaldover 4 years ago

    Well done. Hope they are happy.

  • What a wonderful wish, Ranald – yes, they are deliriously happy.

    – David McMahon

  • Jenni Greene
    Jenni Greeneover 4 years ago

    Fantastic capture David! I’ve sometimes found I get better shots of a wedding if I’m not the ‘official’ photographer. I’m sure you’ve found the same? Again, well done, this is a wonderful candid capture.

  • You’re right, Jenni. And I’m so glad you enjoyed this candid shot. Thank you for your feedback.

    – David McMahon

  • cherylc1
    cherylc1over 4 years ago

    Gorgeous capture!

  • Thank you, Cheryl. The light was just perfect – so I had to take the opportunity!

    – David McMahon

  • Themis
    Themisover 4 years ago

    Good catch – she must have forgotten there something really important! I hope she found it :-)

  • Thanks, Themis. I must ask what it was she was hurrying to find!

    – David McMahon

  • JennyMac
    JennyMacover 4 years ago

    Well done David…. You caught that moment beautifully! : ))

  • Thanks so much, Jenny. This time there was no time to smile on candid camera! Just about had time to hit the trigger!

    – David McMahon

  • Betty Mackey
    Betty Mackeyover 4 years ago

    I hope the bride will get a copy! Great shot and a moment to remember.

  • Thanks, Betty. I’m sure she’ll like the spontaneity of the shot. Will keep you informed!

    – David McMahon

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