Ray Anthony Photography

The Decisive Wedding Moment


This image was captured in 2012 in Palos Verdes, California at the Terranea Resort. It was an outdoor wedding on a beautiful cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Right before I left for the afternoon, the bridesmaids encouraged the bride to toss her bouquet. The only ladies to participate were the six bridesmaids and another guest in a white dress. Ever since I fell in love with documentary photography, inspired by Henri Cartier-Bresson’s famous expression “the decisive moment,” I have breathed that phrase like a mantra whenever I photograph weddings. This image is the closest I feel I’ve ever come to perfection! Many elements of composition came together magically for this split second capture! Your eye goes directly to the bouquet in the air because of the outstretched arms of the bridesmaids, the direction of the their faces, including the bride and flower girl, and even the fingertips of the bride’s left hand point you toward the bouquet of flowers. I love that the flower girl is framed by the bride’s arms and wedding dress. I love the setting with the vast Pacific Ocean horizon behind the scene and the clouds in the sky.  It’s as if the bouquet for this split moment is one with them. But what puts me in awe of the moment, something I did not realize was happening when capturing it, is how the lady in white is perfectly in the center of the bridesmaids as they all are reaching up to catch the bouquet. Her face is the only one in the crowd not blocked by outstretched arms. With the bouquet directly over her, you get the impression, that no doubt, the bouquet will land in her arms…(and it did!).


If moment-driven, spontaneous wedding imagery appeals to you, and documentary wedding photography is something you have not become familiar with, click on this link to learn more about wedding photojournalism.

One other point I’d like to make…I always felt that when the bride tosses the bouquet, it’s the first time during the wedding day she is not the center of attention. The attention goes to the lucky lady who captures the bouquet. It’s as if the bride is handing off the baton and saying “its now your turn to become a bride!” Notice you do not clearly see the bride’s face in this image, but you see the joy and emotion of the lady about to capture the bouquet 😉


At Ray Anthony Photography, we are the top documentary photographers of Michigan. If you are someone who is looking to commission a wedding photographer for your upcoming wedding, and documentary wedding photography, also known as wedding photojournalism, definitely appeals to you, we would love to meet with you and discuss the options we can offer. Give us a call or text us at 866-UNPOSED (867-6733) or click here to schedule a phone appointment with us online.