An emotional wedding shoot

It’s been a while and I have been rather poor at writing, and rather poorly in general. The week before last I shot my very first solo wedding. It was incredibly exciting to be doing that, though I wish I had not had to stuff myself full of sudafed and a variety of other pain killers just to keep going on all day. I had a fever, sinusitus and a sore throat… but the show must go on and off I went at 7.45am to begin to capture the day. I dropped my daughter off for a playdate on the way and armed with prosecco, orange juice, the hairdresser and chocolate croissants I arrived to find the family had overslept and were barely up! I did have to giggle as to me that was almost the best part of the day with some of them running around frantically in their nighties and others seemingly not realising there was a schedule to follow. A real gift when it comes to taking candid ‘of the moment’ shots. The bride was getting ready with her 4 children, all girls in one house, and the groom was next door with the neighbours getting ready. This was great for me, as it meant that I could just pop in next door when I needed to get some shots of the groom.

I had planned my shots and the timings reasonably well… I say reasonably well, because there was of course no accounting for the fact that it had been raining all night and on the 7th July 2012, it decided to rain all day too. Luckily I had prepared and bought 5 see-through umbrellas in case the rain was to be our enemy. I personally love the rain and did try to convince the bride that the girls would all look great in their dresses with wellies on, but by the time it came to go, the rain let up a bit and there was no need for wellies… what a shame!

I got some wonderful shots in the house with the bride getting ready, having her hair done, of the girls in their gorgeous dresses, and of course of all of them together. I really enjoyed doing these shots, the shots of the groom, with this pal, by the car they were driving in (a lovely VW camper), and generally getting all the hustle and bustle feeling of getting ready. I think this must be such a fabulous time for the bride and groom, getting dressed up, feeling nervous, not being able to see each other until the ceremony and I really enjoy capturing these moments.

Saying that, I do also find photography quite difficult at times. I don’t mean pressing the button, but I do find it difficult knowing whether I have the right shot or not, knowing whether any of my shots are any good, or whether I am completely on the wrong track. I know I can see the shots as I take them – I am after all not taking them blind, but I never REALLY know whether a shot is any good until I get home and view them on my laptop. Even then, it does take me about a week before I can look at the shots and think that I have actually managed to get some nice shots that the family or the bride and groom will like. I feel like I am very self critical, and perhaps so self critical that it is to my detriment… It is defnitely something I have to work out how to deal with.

The other problem I seem to have  (though this may be more about having been really poorly on the day) is that I couldn’t stop crying… now I know that people cry at weddings, but seriously! Firstly it was when the bridesmaids walked in, then it was when they read their vows, then it was when a poem was read out, then later on, last but not least, when the speeches were given! I had to hide behind my camera the whole time and yet I really just wanted a good old cry! I really can’t be doing weddings if that is to happen each time! It was very emotional and a bit of a roller coaster, but in the end, I survived… definitely food for thought though.

As an ‘aspiring’ photographer – or a ‘novice’ photographer – I really noticed how difficult weddings are, especially when there is only one photographer. It is not just the photography itself, but there are so many obstacles to getting good shots. For example, registry offices! How small are they? there is absolutely no room in them at all, there is no where to stand really, and rather than being inconspicuous, you end up being almost the centre of attention. As it goes, this registry office did have quite a nice part outside; green grass, hedges etc and a funny but quite nice arch where we could take the photographs of the bride and groom and their family, afterwards. Our only problem was the rain, but the brollies got a soaking and I have even left some of the raindrops on the photos, so that they don’t forget what wet day it was that they got married.

I don’t think I have ever really chosen to do weddings, but actually, I really have enjoyed doing both the weddings that I have done. I didn’t think so at the time, but looking back on them, I really had a good time, met lots of lovely people, and once the panic in my mind was over (which is all about getting the right shots) and I looked back on them, I actually realised they were a lot of fun. Below are a few photos of wedding number 1. I will post wedding number 2 photos in a few days when the bride and groom have had the chance to see them. xx

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