Friday 8 August 2014

wedding photography part 1

A few months ago, I was both honoured and delighted to be asked by my lovely friend Connie to be the photographer at her wedding.  Honoured, delighted, excited... and extremely nervous.  Was she getting a real photographer too?  No.  So if I mucked it up, that would be it?  Yep.  I checked that she would be OK with this.  I mean, I wanted to do it but I also wanted her to be 100% aware of the fact that I'd never photographed a wedding before and that I am BY NO MEANS a professional.  Connie waved away my concerns saying that she liked my pictures and that she was sure it would be fine.

So I agreed.  Connie and her fiance were living in New Zealand at the time and facing all the "interesting challanges" that planning a wedding on the other side of the world brings.  Even when, with a couple of months to go, their venue announced they had accidentally double-booked themselves and would they mind having their wedding on a different day...? This might send a lot of brides of over the edge, but Connie was pragmatic and good-humoured about the whole thing. 

We had a couple of Skype chats beforehand to talk about what sort of photos they wanted, and it came down to getting-ready photos, the traditional family photos, and then lots of candids. I'm going to share a few of my favourites over the next few posts, along with a few things I've gleaned from the world of wedding photography.

I think the first thing that surprised me was how much access the photographer has to the wedding.  They see the behind-the-scenes and while my friends were pottering around having a coffee before the ceremony, I got to be in the thick of it, recording and snapping and discovering the details.

Connie, her fiance and her sister who was the bridesmaid all got ready together and they were all relaxed and cheerful and happy to pose for pictures.  It definitely helped me that she knew what details she wanted to capture. From a photography perspective, the lighting in the room gave everything a very yellow cast and so I tried to get pictures as near to the windows and natural light as possible.  I love natural light more than anything and virtually never use a flash.

I should perhaps confess at this point that one of the first things I did was look at a lot of wedding photographers' websites with the help of my good friend google.  Unfortunately, when searching for "wedding photography", one of the first things that came up was a blog post explaining in detail why one should never photograph a friend's wedding.  The author of said post seemed to believe that a) you will not be friends any more afterwards and b) you will not enjoy the wedding.

Personally, I have found neither of these things to be true.  Connie was realistic in her expectations and clear in what she wanted.  And I enjoyed doing the photography and being so involved in things; it enhanced the wedding instead of spoiling it and there were times when I didn't need to be behind the camera.  It's worth remembering that EVERYONE has a camera at weddings these days and with social media and the multitude of ways to share images, chances are if my pictures weren't quite up to scratch for a particular moment, someone will have caught a better one.

With everyone ready to go, there was time for a quick last photo and then we headed over to the venue.  I said at the start of this post that I would be sharing my favourite pictures and that's exactly what I'm doing.  I came away from the day with around 750 images and I gave every single one to the newlyweds.  I know photographers don't usually do that as they are selling a finished product and they need to display their best work. However, I believe that people see different things in photographs and the ones that I love won't necessarily reflect the couples' favourite moments of the day.  So I would rather they pick out the ones they like best.  Meanwhile, I can pick out the moments that I feel best represent my recollections of the day, and that I'm happy with as a photographer. 

Kisses xxx

P.S. Another 13 photos are added to the ever-growing #500snapsofsummer total which now stands at 198 taken and 302 still to take.

P.P.S. I've got some full-length pictures of that incredible dress in the next post!  However, if weddings are not your thing, that I'll be back to my out-and-about posts in a couple of days. But these are definitely some very special additions to my #500snapsofsummer collection so I have two more wedding posts to share here first!


  1. These are just stunning - Connie must be delighted with your skill and interesting shots. I think you are every inch a wedding photographer!

  2. Great shots. I can't wait to see the whole dress and more of the details you are capturing.

  3. How I wish I had photographs like this from my wedding day...everything was so formal back in the day!!
    Alison xx

  4. I love the shot of the three sets of feet!

  5. Absolutely stunning photos - and so much better than any official ones I've ever seen! You must be so proud of yourself and maybe you have a second career ahead of you....

  6. What a brilliant job the photos are so good. Glad you enjoyed it. That dress looks stunning.

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