Being a wedding and event photographer is about capturing moments. The first kiss, an uncontrolled laugh, a warm embrace. These moments are powerful - but they're also fleeting. Catching them before it's too late is one of the hardest challenges of photography.
I was able to take one of my favourite ever images a couple weeks ago - but I could easily have lost it. It was during the final moments of the Nottingham Citizens UK General Election Assembly at the Royal Concert Hall.
The organisers had thought up a brilliant idea which involved turning off the lights and asking everyone holding up their phones to represent standing up for issues that were important to them. I knew the moment was coming and so I got into place, sitting on the floor at the back of the large stage. Steve Silvester, vicar at St Nics Church, stepped up and prepared the crowd of over 2,300 people for what was about to happen. As he did so I prepared my camera, framed the shot and waited for the moment which I knew would look incredible, but be over no sooner than it begun.
At Steve's summon, the lights were suddenly switched off and the huge auditorium went dark. As Steve listed the social issues that we as a city were passionate about, people began to lift their phones. As they did so I began to snap away. At first they photos were too dark - so I changed the exposure. Then there were not centred - so I shifted left slightly. Then I had cropped his shadow - so I reframed. And then I got it. The correctly exposed, well framed, "money-shot". The moment had tried to slip away but I'd captured it in the nick of time.
I couldn't wait to upload it to my computer and take a look at it on a bigger screen. I imported it to Adobe Lightroom and played around with the colours, deciding to opt for a stark, black and white edit.
I really like this photo, not simply because it was hard work to get, or because it looks like something from a movie. I like it because it represents something. Each dot of light represents a person. Each dot of light represents a group. Each dot of light represents a life-affecting issue.
Steve Silvester proclaimed Jesus's words in Matthew 5.4: "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden." This image seemed to paint that picture quite vividly.