As you might imagine, 2020 will not be remembered as a year of memorable weddings for most people. Virtually all of my customers have chosen to postpone theirs to 2021. It will however be a very significant one for me personally, as I went ahead with my own to long time partner, Paul. The venue was the delightful little church, Morecambe Temple Of Light, one of very few churches sanctioned for same sex marriages in the area (and that particular church’s first).
My good friend Lester of Clear Image Productions provided most of the photography at our small event and did a fine job. I say most, because I had a fair input myself, including some shots inside the church beforehand. And when it came to the portraits, I decided to not only be the subject, or one of them, but the photographer too! So, you could say it was a challenge for Lester. Surely there’s nothing worse for a photographer than to photograph another professional photographer? It’s happened to me once or twice in different situations and is rather unnerving to say the least. The second challenge (scroll down) was for me to be both the subject and photographer at the same time, effectively posing myself and my partner.
During the ceremony, I was very conscious of what the photographer was doing, as well as focusing on the fact that we were getting married! In our case we also positioned a mobile phone to capture some video too. Though video isn’t my forte, I noticed that the minister was partly blocking the line of view, so proceeded to gently and (hopefully) subtly nudge Paul slightly sideways, so we’d come back into view!
Now it being a wedding during the Covid-19 pandemic with severe restrictions on numbers, social distancing and mask wearing (for guests) it wasn’t exactly how we’d have liked it to be. Mask wearing guests in photos doesn’t look good, even if the couple marrying were exempt. Just in case however, we’d ordered a couple of posh sparkly blue masks to match our suits, which as it happened weren’t needed.
When it came to signing the register, I had my photographer hat on again (possibly to the irritation of Lester!) and decided to, before he mentioned it, take it upon myself to reposition the table. Well, what’s nicer; a blurred background of wedding guests (albeit most distanced and wearing masks) or the church noticeboard and a radiator? Sadly you’d be amazed at how many so-called professional photographers appear not to notice such things!
One of the favourite photos for Paul and I was this one (below) of us beaming our way down the aisle after the ceremony. This is the exact type of shot that I really like to capture myself.
Out into the sunshine (not really the lighting that photographers like) and the confetti photo was next. So many times I have set up this sort of shot, but it was my first time at being ‘pelted’ with the stuff myself! Quite a difference I note between, biodegradable paper, dried petals and rice! I find that rather sadly confetti throwing seems to be a bit of a declining tradition, so much so that I usually advise couples to take some of their own and even carry a box myself in case of an ’emergency!’ The older generation of guests will usually think to bring some, the youngsters may not.
The most surreal part of getting married for me was the portraits. Firstly, in breaking with tradition, we decided to ‘redress‘ for the task a couple of days later. Stranger than that however, was the fact that I was being one of the subjects and the photographer at the same time! Of course, I am (hopefully) well rehearsed at knowing the best locations and angles for our wedding selfies. As I’ve said many times, Lancaster’s Ashton Memorial and it’s many steps, must be one of the best wedding backdrops around. Using a tripod and self-timer to photograph two people moving, proved tricky however and required several attempts.
To a photographer, nice shadows and a puddle with a good reflection, was irresistible for me!
The pond and attractive bridge made for a nice contrasting background, especially when the lush foliage added to the appeal (and kept us reasonably dry during a shower).
I find rainbows a lovely phenomenon that really adds drama and beauty to an image. We had one for our portraits too, which was rather nice. I captured it over the Butterfly House; one of Williamson Park‘s delightful features.
I hope you have enjoyed my wedding blog. Look out for more (less self-indulgent) articles coming soon!…