Return To Weddings…
After many months of a strange and uneasy absence of weddings, (bar a couple of very small ones), photographers such as myself they are very much back! As soon as the last of the restrictions had been lifted in July, I hit the ground running with a run of rearranged and new bookings.
Last week I had thee weddings in five days and subsequently around 3,500 images to edit! I don’t like keeping my customers waiting, so have been working very long hours to go through them.
Firstly I quickly get some ‘highlights’ online, usually within 24 hours. Then I go through them all and upload to the couple’s online gallery. Occasionally I get asked, ‘Do we get all the images?’ The answer is that any professional photographer will edit out duplicates or shots where the subject is blinking. And boy oh boy people blink a lot in photos, don’t they? I have a theory that a combination of wedding day nerves and air conditioning increasing blinking. Many people assume that it is the flash that causes blinking. That’s unlikely, as flash is used much less nowadays, as cameras, including mine, are much better at shooting in poor light. Anyway, flash would generally cause someone to blink after it has gone off. Some people deliberately shut their eyes when being photographed, as they fear the flash or dislike being photographed. That applies to many. This ‘reluctance’ particularly happens with small children, who as you may imagine, as well as looking delightful in pictures can be a challenge at weddings!
So, the summer rush is drawing to a close now and the pressure is off a bit for me. I look forward to some autumn and winter weddings, before it’s back in full swing next year.
Normally, September and October are months for wedding fayres. There seems less around locally this year, but I will at least be exhibiting at Garstang Country Hotel on Sunday 26th September and Saturday 9th October at Lothersdale Hotel, Morecambe. Hope to see some new couples there!
Lancaster’s beautiful St Peter’s Cathedral makes a wonderful venue for a wedding ceremony. This was Ally and James’ big day last Sunday. It is spacious, ornate and relatively bright church. Unfortunately for me though, some members of the clergy aren’t very enthusiastic about wedding photographers. I was restricted to one distant location. I appreciate that some photographers do not behave appropriately or get a bot carried away during the ceremony. I however am always highly respectful and discrete during the service. It strikes me as ironic when often children run around, people cough and mobile phones sometimes ring and no one bats an eyelid at that!
Civil Wedding Ceremonies
How do civil ceremonies compare? Well, they are generally much shorter and simpler than a church wedding. Usually I get closer to the couple, but that means I need to be even more sensitive. Moving around and constantly clicking can be a distraction. A true professional photographer knows when to press the shutter and when to hang on. Amateur photographers or ‘over enthusiastic’ pros, are more likely to fire away like they are the paparazzi and can make a bit of a nuisance of themselves (and give the rest of us a bad name).
I am finding that confetti is a somewhat dwindling tradition. I love setting up these fun photos and in the case of this own at Garstang Country Hotel last week for Nichola and Kerrin, we borrowed a golf buggy. Anything can happen when it comes to confetti… Sometimes no one brings any (assuming that someone is bound to)! I often carry a couple of boxes for ’emergencies’. Sometimes everyone brings a box and the bride and groom disappear in a ‘blizzard’. Sometimes there’s a gust of wind and it all goes the wrong way. The latter can make for much laughter and subsequently good photos. Be cautious with confetti cannons, which (venue permitting) I think are better used to start off the first dance. Whatever it is, it should be biodegradable so as not to make a mess and upset the venue.
I try to use natural surroundings in wedding portraits as much as I can, with a focus on blending with and complimenting the location. This is as opposed to the highly creative wedding contemporary photographer types who tend to use couples as models to create pieces of artwork. I like my wedding portraits to be a mixture of elegant, traditional, fun and sometimes quirky, but most of all relaxed and natural.
Ally’s wedding was at the lovely Mill at Conder Green, which is adjacent to the Lancaster Canal. A lovely sky and setting sun made for a tranquil scene and good spot for a bridal portrait.
More frequently entertainers are being employed to whip up the crowd into a frenzy at weddings. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but all this of course makes for great candid photography that tells the story of the couple’s day.
Sometimes I will persuade the couple (Kerrin & Nichola here) to pop outside in the evening for one last portrait photo. This row of ornate streetlamps outside Garstang Country Hotel made for a nice shot, even if I did have to ‘digitally remove’ a parked car!