Loran and bridesmaids in a decisive moment at St Anthony Hotel San Antonio Texas -0386-L1003507

I love what I do for a living. For over 25 years, I’ve been fascinated with the ‘Decisive Moment.’ My style of photography is primarily based on this concept and what I look for to tell a story in one image.

The ‘Decisive Moment’ is the idea that Henri Cartier-Bresson spoke of when all the elements in a photograph, the overall image, the visual and psychological elements of people in a real-life scene, spontaneously and briefly come together in a split second. The elements of the photo come together in perfect harmony to communicate the essence of the situation. An example of this might be when the couple leans in for their first kiss. It’s not when they kiss, but the fraction before their lips kiss. However, for this to be labeled a decisive moment, the overall image design to be in perfect harmony, based on dynamic symmetry and geometry.

You have to know people and have emotional skills when to strike the shutter.

When it makes sense, I’ll add the sequence of images captured leading up and beyond the photo. This frame is one of those images where a lot is going on.

A sequence of images captured at St Anthony Hotel in San Antonio Texas showing a decisive moment
A contact sheet showing the sequence of images captured before and after a decisive moment.

In this image, I knew Loran, the bride, on one-third of the frame was walking over to get her dress from the hangar, and she has beautiful light on her face. Her mother is on the far left gazing in the mirror with the hairdresser adding the final touches to her hair. Her friends with drinks in hand, move toward the bride. The eye moves from the brightest part of the image, from the veil to the wedding dress. There are her shoes in the bottom right corner. The movement of the dress in the bride’s arms and the repeating patterns of her dress and the veil, the bridesmaid’s fingers, and arms all point toward Loran. The bridesmaid’s body shapes come together really nicely in terms of composition and rhythm. A ‘decisive moment.’ Then, the moment was over, and I was moving on.

Captured with a Leica M10 and a 21mm Elmar f3.4 lens.

Thanks for reading, you can also hit subscribe and catch all the posts. Okay, everyone, stay safe out there and leave your comments below and let me know your thoughts.

Add Your Comment

Philip Thomas headshot

Hey! I'm Philip Thomas

All-Inclusive Wedding Day Storytelling

If you like what you see, reach out! I have a cool English accent; I’m dashing, handsome and funny – so my wife says. Seriously though, I love the craft of photography, I’m a former news photographer and a documentary street photographer. I capture weddings throughout Texas from a fly on the wall perspective. You’ll not notice me. My photos are candid and delightfully artistic with a splash of color and monochrome.

Read previous post:
I love images that look seemingly simple, and yet this shot was challenging to capture. The focus is on Alison, our beautiful bride, and her father during their joyous first dance. But I’m always looking for more, and I love multi-layering my images and tell the story in the most profound way possible. The challenge is to capture these moments in real-time with interactions from the photographer. If I can do this in one shot, then this is a good example. My back was up against the reception wall when capturing these. At first, the flower girls noticed me but eventually placed their attention back toward the subjects.
Layering images – Image of the week 10

This weeks it's all about layering! Stuck inside during COVID-19 lockdown, I thought I would have so much time to...