The most important element in any wedding has to be the people… the relationships and the emotions and the banter and all that wonderful human interaction. That’s what makes me smile and tickles the hair on the back of my neck when I see it through the lens of my camera. I want you to look at your photos in a few months time, or a few decades time, and feel all the things you were feeling at that moment all over again.
The last thing I want to do is interfere with the natural flow of the day so my approach is very relaxed and out of the way. I don’t have a list of shots in my head and I won’t be setting things up. I’m at my best when I’m quietly moving through the crowd, catching those laughs and funny faces and happy tears before you’ve even noticed that I’m there.
That doesn’t mean we won’t do any family portraits, I know how important these are, but they will be relaxed and quick to let everyone get on with the party.
I love this part of the day! I start wherever the bride is getting ready and spend a couple of hours planting myself in the middle of things. I don’t do any posing at all, I just want to discreetly capture the atmosphere, the nerves, the fun and the buzz of anticipation. It’s also a good time to get people used to me being there. If the groom is nearby I will also try to sneak off for a little bit to catch some of his morning too.
I aim to arrive at the ceremony, whether it’s at a church or on the side of a mountain, about half an hour before the bride. This gives me a chance to be there when the groom and the guests are arriving and greeting each other and nervously waiting for the arrival of the bride. When the ceremony is underway I try to find a spot, usually to the side of the altar, where I can observe everything but where I’m out of the way. All the attention at this point should be on you guys, not on me! This is also why I don’t use Flash during the ceremony as having a bright light going off while everyone is quietly watching you exchange vows can be very distracting.
After the ceremony is usually a good time to get those all-important family portraits, I will have asked you for a list of your groups (not too many!) and if possible we will do those right there wherever you had your ceremony. If that’s not possible we will do them as soon as we get to the reception venue. I want to keep them laid back and I don’t want to keep people too long so everyone is happy and smiling. At this point I hope you will let me steal just the two of you away for some portraits too. Now, I know you probably don’t like having your photo taken (me neither!) but I promise I will keep it light and fun and I won’t be asking you to suddenly become a runway model (unless you are one, in which case this should be easy). Instead I like to just chat with you and let things unfold naturally and I might do a little bit of direction but mostly we’ll just be having a bit of fun with it. I’ll take as much time as you want to give me, if you say we only have 10 minutes then we’ll get some nice portraits, but if you’re up for spending 30 mins we’ll be giving the creative process some time and we will get something even better.
Ok, so from here on in it’s pure Documentary Photography and this is when I’m at my happiest. I will mix and mingle amongst your guests looking for those moments of laughter and humour and emotion. These are all the most important people in your life gathered together under one roof and I want to capture all of it for you to remember forever.
Usually, my packages include my staying until you are announced in to sit for dinner, but you can extend that through the Speeches and the First Dance. Speeches are full of emotions… they can be happy, sad, hilarious, unpredictable and the wonderful thing is by this stage everyone is relaxed and has completely forgotten that I’m there.
I don’t just stay for your First Dance, I stay for some time after, I want to capture your Granny dancing with the Best Man and your college friends doing that dance they always do and everyone letting their hair down.