Storytelling wedding photography

Young boy looking at the wedding cake in the Kitchen at Huntsham Court

Last week I received two awards in the most recent round of the WPJA judging for my storytelling wedding photography. This is the second awarded image (you can see my other award winning wedding photos here). It comes from Emma and Mike’s wedding at Huntsham Court earlier this year. This is one of my personal favourites from the day. Emma’s sister was on cake duty, her job to assemble the cake in the kitchen at Huntsham Court ready to be served up after the wedding breakfast. Emma’s nephew was eagerly watching proceedings, no doubt attracted by the possibility of the leftover ganache and a large spoon (as was I).

In terms of storytelling wedding photography,  this image sits at the end of a short sequence of images of the cake being prepared.  It’s one of those little side alleyways that pop up during the day that you can briefly wander up and often find something interesting, usually a part of the day like this that the couple will never see otherwise. Although they will be aware for example of how the cake came to arrive on the table, the pictures bring back into the story the other people present, the friends and relatives gathered to celebrate, to help and to witness.

I think it’s important to find and include those stories when they happen in the overall collection. In order to tell a story the collection of pictures needs to take as it’s subject the people, not the table settings and the fripperies that you might think are the most important elements if you’ve ever spent any time on wedding blogs or reading bridal magazines. All that stuff will be in the pictures as well, for example the cake is here in this picture but the subject is Emma’s nephew. The story is in the sequence of images and culminates here in the wistful expression on his face. For me storytelling wedding photography is all about the people. You see I’m a firm believer that the dress looks better on the bride than on a hanger or , God forbid in a hedge – unless of course the bride is in the hedge as well – but that’s another story for another day.

The rest of the images that lead up to this moment are here below. This award winning image as I say is the last in the sequence.

If you’re looking for a wedding photographer and interested in having some one tell the story of the day and the people involved then why not drop me a line for a chat about your plans.

Michael Riley Photography


I am a a multi award winning UK and destination wedding photographer. Based in Devon, I offer wedding coverage throughout the UK and anywhere else in the world for couples who like my work and approach to a wedding.


My wedding photography is entirely unposed, natural & candid. My style is documentary wedding photography or reportage wedding photography which means that I don't intervene in the day for the sake of a shot. I don't pose, interfere or otherwise fuss and faff. Everything is relaxed, laid back and fun allowing for those natural moments to come through and be recorded as memories. You get all the moments observed not orchestrated. If you like the sound of this get in touch via my contact page.

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