The Most Important Guest at Your Wedding?
Is your Photographer going to be the most important guest at your wedding? Well, probably not, but choosing the right photographer to capture you with all of the people that matter to you most might just be the one thing that makes or breaks the way you remember your wedding…
1. Your photographer should be a calming influence! Choosing a photographer means that you’re choosing to spend your day with your Mr or Mrs to be & one other person – you’re going to want that person to be the least stressed person at the wedding because you’ll be seeing him a lot. Personally I like to get out of the way as much as possible so my couples can enjoy the party but it doesn’t mean that I’m not involved from beginning to end – I’m just very good at being discreet.
2. Nearly everyone who is there at your wedding doesn’t know what’s coming next. Your photographer, along with the venue, knows your timings and knows what’s on the agenda. Working closely with the venue means I can keep things moving without anybody feeling like they’re being shepherded around.
3. Your guests are all going to bring a camera, or at least their smartphone, and photograph through the whole day. In some ways this is great, but mostly it means that your guests might only experience your wedding through a screen in front of their face, and generally the blurry pictures (usually a few selfies) they get aren’t that great anyway. Knowing that your photographer is getting professional pictures and actually building a document of images to tell the story of your day gives you the confidence you need to be brave and inviting your guests to an ‘unplugged’ wedding. This won’t always be possible of course, but it’s worth thinking about.
4. I care about giving my couples the absolute best of my creativity and attention when I’m photographing their wedding. It’s not just a case of being there and seeing what happens. Making sure that you’re having the best experience comes first for me and that means that you’re more relaxed, which in turn means that I can get a more authentic look at telling your story. Your guests will take pictures at your wedding. You might even ask a friend to do the official photographs, but there is a 99% chance that that friend or relative can’t approach or see your wedding in the same objective way that your professional Photographer can. It’s a lot of pressure for someone who hasn’t had the experience of shooting a vast range of different weddings. The weather, the light – it changes all the time. The awkward family group shots, the potentially jeering and possibly drunk friends! And you have to fit all of this in to your….
5. Timings, Timings, Timings! Understanding timings. And yes, I do get the feeling that I am probably repeating myself here! Having a pre-wedding shoot is great fun and a great way to get closer to your story. How did you get together? How did he propose? Where are you headed and what’s on your horizon? Getting to know all of this stuff, even in some small way, gives me the insight I need to get closer to the portrait. I get closer to understanding how to photograph you in a way that you can recognise as something that is you. You get inside the idea of the power and value of great photography. It seems small at the time, but it’s what I often refer to as the Slow Burn. The Together Shoot does a lot of things, but on a purely logistical level it acts as a primer. It’s your warm-up. Think of it as a practice run for the part of the day when we can hit the ground running and get the pictures you want quickly and without unknowing. I like to give you as much time to be present at your wedding as is possible. Sometimes I think my mantra is “It’s not my photo shoot – it’s your party”
Bonus Number 6 – You’re trusting and hiring me, not just for the numbers, but for some of the soft stuff too. My creativity, and my philosophy are bound up in one adaptable dynamic vision. This is important. It’s a singularity and an art to find the story to tell the story, and it’s the one thing that turns a captured wedding into a story told. It’s undiluted. Even having two photographers on site can be enough to make your wedding into a series of incoherent captures. People will sell you two photographers like it’s the only way, but don’t be tempted – unless you have more than 150 guests, you don’t need the old fashioned ‘Husband and Wife’ team. You just don’t. When people shoot like this it makes my blood boil because they’re shooting to fulfil a brief. You’ll X more photographs of some weddingy stuff that will add nothing to your story anyway. No stone will be left unturned and there will be no mystery or magic. And you’ll pay.
Being asked to be at any wedding is a lovely thing. Being asked to be there and getting paid is really a privilege. So I make it my mission to make sure that every wedding I attend gets 100% of me, and it bit more for good measure. It always amazes me when people are so open and I do get to work with the most amazing people. I know it’s a cliché, but I’m very lucky to have such awesome clients – and I try to remember that all the time.
In lots of ways, I tend to merge in to a wedding as if I am one of the guests. I like this: I get to react to close situations, and I get some great candid pictures when I’m there. One of the things about the way I shoot is that I’ve kept up with camera technology and have been exclusively using smaller mirrorless cameras (The Fuji X system cameras) which completely changed the way I could shoot a wedding. With these cameras I can look less like the ‘superior’ professional to some extent, and this has the effect of disarming guests and earning a certain amount of trust. Whatever it is, and whatever the perceptions are it’s enough to get me the pictures you need.
If you are planning your wedding please contact us here and let us know all about what’s important to you.