Being a wedding photographer has always been a dream of mine. I have always loved taking photos of people; emotions are my passion to capture and weddings supply me with this. I get that butterfly feeling in my stomach when I capture it, when the light hits a veil and it’s beautiful when a Dad glances at his daughter during the walk down the aisle. It’s magic to me. Pure magic.
So what is involved in being a wedding photographer?
Don’t we just show up and take photos, job done? No, there is so much more.
Before a wedding I meet all my couples for a catch up and an in depth chat about the big day! We go over who everyone is, which group shots you would like and most important timings during the day. On the run up to the wedding day I am in regular contact with my couple as well as their suppliers, who I will be working with as a team to ensure everything is perfect. The night before the wedding all my gear is sorted, cleaned and charged alongside an early night.
On the day itself I join the bride and tribe in the morning as bridal prep is happening; at the venue I normally arrive earlier and take exterior shots as well. As the ceremony approaches I hope to be there half an hour beforehand to capture guests arriving, talk to the registrar or Vicar and of course see the lads. If it’s a church ceremony this normally involves parking; with my gear on my back, a sprint to the church as chances are I have had to park miles away!
Throughout the whole day as a photographer I have to be one step ahead, it’s critical that I am a moment or two in front so I don’t miss anything. I am constantly listening and looking at everyone and everything. I might be looking through my camera at one person but am aware of events about to unfold either side of me. The busiest part of the day has to be after the ceremony; during this hour and a half there is so much to capture. We have to do group photos, couples shots as well as the reception room details and of course spend time doing informal shots of friends and family enjoying the day. It’s the most to fit in, in such a short space of time.
Once the couple are in for dinner I take a breather and enjoy a nice cold drink of water. At this point I normally write part of my blog for the featured 10 images I send to my couple and prepare my camera gear for the next section of the day and the potential use of flash depending on the time of year. Speeches are amazing fun, as I love emotions this really gives me a chance to capture everyone relaxed, especially those people who have been a little camera shy earlier in the day. Here I normally crawl around on my hands and knees (yes that’s right!) to ensure I am discreet as possible and not get in people’s eye line of the top table. After this while tea and coffee is served we take advantage of golden hour before the first dance and cutting of the cake. No the dancefloor can be a high risk area to photograph, I have come away with cut feet and bruised ankles as everyone bumps into me as I am in the thick of those moves and shapes being cut. I don’t want to miss anything! As the party continues and is well underway I say my thanks and goodbyes and head home where I download and backup all the images taken. To be honest I normally stay up late and have a look back over them, picking out a few to send to the couple alongside the completed blog.
After the Wedding day.
Then starts the editing! Shooting a lot more than you see, I have to look at over a thousand images; reducing these by removing duplicates and shots I’m not happy with. These are normally a shot I’ve taken, then shot again to find a better angle or find better light. Once I have the final selection it’s then about perfecting the colour, crop and exposure if needed. This process takes a few days to complete, each image takes a few minutes or more. Finally any retouching of skin or removing items like annoying lights switches or fire exit signs I haven’t been able to hide when shooting. Once the images are finished, it’s time to upload them to the online gallery, complete the slideshow to music and put all my little touches together in my beautiful gift box. Then off to the post office I go!
Of course there is more alongside this like ordering of stock, album designs, the website to keep updated along with social media. There are enquiries to answer, blogs to write, networking and accounts, marketing and more. Shooting a wedding is just a part of being a wedding photographer; it’s physically and mentally tough but definitely the best! I truly wouldn’t want to be doing anything else and I can’t wait to be back in the thick of it… hopefully in 2021!