How I approach your wedding day
Bride & Groom Preparations
Of course, your memories don’t start with the ceremony. The excitement of the day begins with the preparations. I’m there to capture these sometimes moving, sometimes funny moments.
As family members or bridesmaids and groomsmen fuss over the bride or groom, precious instances arise - a glance, an interaction, a special keepsake or heirloom that is brought out just for the day; a tradition or spontaneous celebration - all of which deserve to be recorded.
This is the focal point of your day. There are so many special moments that you will want to be able to look back on in years to come. I love capturing the nervousness of the groom as he eagerly awaits his bride, and the instant the couple first set eyes on each other.
Then there’s the vows, and I’ll be busy capturing Mum (and Dad) wiping a tear, and the moment when you exchange rings. There’s the laughter of the guests when the rings don’t fit, thanks to fingers swollen with nervousness, or when the celebrant cracks a joke.
Because we will have spoken in advance, I will know if there are any other special parts of your wedding ceremony that need to be included. For example, if someone special is giving a reading, or singing for you.
Once I’ve photographed the signing of the register, I’ll move quickly to the other end of the aisle. There I’ll be in a perfect position to take beautiful pictures of the two of you, and your guests congratulating you, as you walk past for the first time as a married couple.
I will ask in advance about use of confetti or other special celebratory tradition, so that I can be set up and ready to capture this magical moment as the newly-married couple exit the ceremony.
Immediately after the ceremony I like to leave you with your guests, as they crowd round congratulating you, and showering hugs and kisses all round. I will record some of these moments, informally, but will also be making good use of this time to get to know your guests, and more importantly to help them feel relaxed and comfortable around me and my camera!
I then whisk you off for about fifteen minutes to take photos of just the two of you. This gives you a lovely moment of calm to reflect on and take in all that has happened. Your day really will flash past too fast. When I’ve captured these special moments, and you’ve caught your breath, you will then return to your guests for the rest of the day.
Family Group Photos
The majority of couples still want the traditional group shots for their album. They want to share those photos with their family and friends. Everyone who is at the wedding will want to see themselves included in the groups. And there are certain expected formal groupings that the happy couple and their guests will cheerfully pose for.
At the same time, these days the two people celebrating their special event also want something different, something that reflects their personalities, something unique.
I adore marrying these two requirements together and creating some special group shots that are tailored to the specific event. Whether these are just of the twosome, or including closest family, or the attendants, we will find a special place in the venue to create a distinctive photograph that will be unlike anybody else’s.
Once the formal proceedings are completed, it is time for everyone to let their hair down and celebrate. The last thing anyone needs is an intrusive photographer getting in their faces and making them pose for shots.
Here my love of getting to know people comes into its own again. I will mingle with your guests, getting to know people, putting them at their ease. Then, when they see me with my camera in hand, they are already relaxed. I can be in amongst the guests, taking documentary style photographs without upsetting anyone. I will chat and enjoy their company and this relaxed feel comes through in the final result.
Groom - my top tip for you. If, like me on my own wedding day, you’re nervous about doing a speech, do it before the meal. That way, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the wonderful food, instead of trying to swallow against a dry mouth and roiling stomach!
As your photographer, I cherish this part of the event. I get to hear humorous (and embarrassing) stories from the Father of the Bride or the Best Man, as they both praise and tease the person they are speaking about. The speeches produce tears—of laughter as well as the other kind. There are the special moments as glasses are raised in a toast.
I enjoy photographing the faces of the people giving speeches, the people they are talking about, and the rest of the audience as they react to what is being said. It gives me the opportunity to capture all the emotions, making for pictures that will provoke those same feelings in years to come as you look back on them.
The Evening Party
As with the earlier reception, this is a time when I need to blend in and be unobtrusive, while I record the early part of the evening up until the first dance.
Typically, this part of the day presents the technical challenge of photography in low light. But your memories would not be complete without pictures of your first dance and, luckily for you, I love the technical aspects of my craft just as much as I love weddings.
While my day officially finishes at this point, if the dance floor is packed, I often can’t help but stay on for a while, capturing the party spirit. Your guests’ crazy dance moves completes your storybook or album perfectly.
Then I leave you and your guests to continue partying, free from any anxiety about a camera suddenly appearing.