Weddings are amazing and this year the first of my buddy’s have been getting married off. Some people are telling me I need to get myself a girlfriend… I’m say new more loyal friends.
First in August I had the pleasure of being the best man for my best mate Pete. This was a great wedding although I the sick feeling deep in my stomach kept me distracted until my speech was over. A circus tent in the middle of nowhere with fire eating maniacs a hog roast and seemingly endless Champaign made for an excellent wedding.
Then just a couple of weeks ago was my buddy Michelle’s wedding and another daunting job for me, luckily this time there was no speeches involved but the scary job of making sure Michelle and new hubby Chris (Chunk) had some memories to keep forever. I had the amazing honour of photographing my first wedding and it was for one of the best couples I know.
What a great wedding this was. It had Michelle and Chunks stamp all over it. Arriving at the Unitarian Church in a 1980’s New York Taxi Cab Michelle looked absolutely beautiful in her amazingly huge white princess dress. And then the rest of the day spent in luxury at the local seafront hotel. A mega impressive stylish building with rooms that Michelle had decorated the night before with all her fun little bits n bobs. Butterflies everywhere, love hearts for favours and moreish cupcakes for the wedding cake.
Thank you Michelle and Chris for letting me be part of your beautiful wedding day and I really hope you are happy with the photography. If not we could always try it again!
- Don’t ignore the blogs you read in preparation for photographing a wedding. You’re reading them for a reason. 6GB of memory for the day is not enough when your shooting RAW images so when they say take as many cards as you can you really do need to take about 10GB plus and then back that up with your laptop and a card reader. I learnt this point the hard way. Towards the end of the ceremony I only had about 80 photographs left out of my 6GB. PANIC! I managed to get the group shots and a couple of just Michelle and Christopher but nowhere near as many as I would have liked them to have. Once the last photo was taken it was a mental dash back to the flat to grab my laptop and then to the photo shop to buy a new compact flash card… £40… No Chance! The £14 card reader I bought in a panic buy ended being the best little bit of kit I have. When I got to the hotel and set up the laptop I had the two cards uploaded to the laptop and cleared in minutes ready for the entrance of Mr. and Mrs. Walker
- Group shots – plan plan and plan some more. Make sure the Groomsmen know who you need and when, they are your best friends on the Wedding day tell them the photo you want and let them do the running round stopping great uncle Jeff from accidentally wandering into the sea 2 minuets before you need him. If I had to choose a part to get rid of from wedding photography it would have to be the group photos but I think without the stress of dwindling memory and more confidence in my work and approach it won’t be too bad. But seriously PLAN them lots. Find one location that works well for groups do them all there and then spend some time with the bride and groom wandering about to different backgrounds.
- Batteries – Luckily this wasn’t a problem for me I had a spare but I think next time I’ll even take a 3rd just in case. Also keep an eye on your battery level, mine ran out in the middle of the cake cutting and lead me to scream stop stop stop whilst changing it. Didn’t take two seconds to change but you’ll want to avoid that for sure.
- ISO – using natural light in your photography will lead you to crank up the ISO indoors to keep your shutter speeds as fast as you can. When you go outside don’t forget to lower them again for nice crisp noise free images.
- Finally Flash – There came a time in the night when available light was too low to shoot with so flash was needed. I only had my on camera flash and with the amazing 16-35mm lens I hired from Lenses for Hire the flash was mounted too low on the camera and cast a shadow over the bottom bit of the image where the wide 16-35mm lens blocked the flash. This will not be a problem now with my brand new Canon 430EX Speedlite.
- And then if it’s friends wedding like this your entitled to a few celebratory drinks so take the expensive stuff back to the flat, slap on the nifty fifty f/1.8 and to stop the drunken dragging look whack it on auto and enjoy the night, after a few more drinks let the grooms 10 year old brother loose with the camera and see his amazing view of the world from 4foot high! Not much lower than me.
It was an amazing day and I hope every one enjoys the photographs. Feedback is always useful as I don’t for one moment claim to be a professional photographer and definitely don’t know all there is to know about photography and seeing as this is only the second wedding I’ve been interested in enough to pay attention to I know very little about weddings too… I’d love to hear what you all think of my first attempt.
Michelle and Chunk I wish you both all the best and thank you for such an awesome day and evening. Shame abut those lantern photo’s ☺