Marc Bates


August 23, 2020

Kieran, his Dad Pierre and the most powerful image I have ever taken.

Daisy & Kieran were supposed to be married this year, in fact at the time of writing this they would have been married for 4 days by now. We would still be recovering or sharing stories about the beautiful day or the hilarious stories that took place during the evening reception.

Unfortunately, like so many other weddings this year it was postponed until 2021. That would have been no problem at all, but for Kieran’s Dad, Pierre.

He had been battling cancer for a while and it was very unlikely that he would live to see the revised wedding date in 2021.
It was decided that a small gathering would take place at home, in the garden, so that Daisy & Kieran could have a blessing from a registrar and Pierre could witness his Son and soon to be Daughter in law, exchange promises to become husband and wife.

When Daisy told me their plans, I knew it was an important event so I immediately volunteered to go along and capture some photos.

I arrived in plenty of time and the handful of guests had already assembled. It was just the immediate families on both sides and all of them had been interacting during the pandemic so it was perfectly safe.
When Pierre emerged he walked with a cain and even though I had never met him before, I could tell how frail he was. One of the Grandchildren walked him to his chair and everyone took their seats.
The virtual ceremony was conducted by the registrar who joined us on a TV attached to a laptop and it was as beautiful and touching as any wedding I have photographed.

Once the short ceremony had ended Kieran walked over to Pierre who stood up and they embraced. This was that moment.

I have to tell you at the time I knew it was something special. I knew I was capturing something powerful.

I have to tell you that this is probably the most powerful photo I have ever taken as a wedding photographer. There are technical aspects of the image that I don’t like, but it is just beautiful.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and this one is certainly worth a thousand more. I look at these two in this shot and I feel like I know everything I need to know about them and their relationship.
They didn’t speak, there were no words that I could hear and I don’t think they needed to say anything. They just held onto each other and for that brief moment the world stopped turning and everyone else faded away.

I said at the start, that this image defined this whole year for me and it’s absolutely true.
To me this photo is what 2020 is all about. Sharing time with people that truly matter and making sure they know how much you love them.
There are so many lessons we have learned and so many things that we have been reminded of since March. I think this year I for one, realised  just how precious and fragile life is and can be, who and what is important and what we should cherish.

This photo also defines what my work is truly about and what is my “WHY”
I am there to capture the moments like this and to tell your story. Don’t get me wrong, I love to capture and create the big shots, but these quiet moments are what life and love and my job are all about.

This was a moment frozen in time when they both knew they didn’t have much of it left.

A few weeks after this photo was taken, Pierre passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family, but he lived to see Kieran & Daisy exchange promises to be married. He also lived to see this photo.

I will forever be grateful that I was there on that day to capture this image.

Best wedding photographer  
UK wedding awards 2018

Best Wedding Photographer 
The British Wedding Awards 2020

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