I have been photographing weddings for around 6 years now, and have been very fortunate to be able to contribute in my own small way, in making these fantastic events a memory that my clients will treasure every time they look back at their photographs and albums.
The added benefit for me is that my by the end of their wedding day, is that we have also become friends. This friendship will then quite often lead to me being asked to photograph their children as they are born, so photographing their wedding day is just the start of the relationship.
I think it would be safe to say that the majority of my wedding clients, (and I would probably include most of my commercial and portrait customers), would usually start the conversation with “I hate having my photograph taken”. So the challenge for me is there from a very early stage, to get them to relax in front of the camera, and who knows, they might even actually enjoy the process of being photographed?
To overcome this common situation, I offer (and almost insist) that all of my wedding clients meet up with me again (usually 6-8 weeks before the big day) and have a pre-wedding photo shoot. This very informal session, which will usually only last for an hour or so, is a great way to get to know them better, but also us allows up to catch up the final timings of the actual wedding day.
The black and white photograph was taken at the couple’s wedding venue, as this also gave me a chance to look for possible photo opportunities on the wedding day. Sadly the wedding day was a complete wash out, with rain from start to finish. So unable to take any photographs outside, they were so pleased that we had gone there prior to the big day, as they had many lovely shots taken around the grounds.
So as we get to the actual wedding day, I arrive (usually pretty early) to either the brides home or a hotel room. The girls are often in curlers and their onesies, and maybe not exactly looking their best. But within seconds of me walking in the room they are at ease with me being there. They have probably seen the DVD slideshow that I supplied following the pre-wedding shoot. And they now trust me to go about my business, and observe the day as it unravels in front of me.
Certainly all of the couples in the photographs showed signs of nerves, before entrusting me with the task of documenting their wedding day. And it’s not unheard for other members of the family (including dogs) to be involved.
The photograph of the couple laughing on the steps is another prefect example of them both being very camera-shy beforehand, they were joking as to what to do, and how to behave in front of me. I managed to catch a great natural moment when they both cracked up, and this shot became one their favourites from the session. Once they had seen the photo on the back of the camera, they both instantly relaxed into and we had a great time together (even though it was -5 degrees)!!
So my message to all of the beautiful brides to be is, get to know your photographer before the big day. You may even be able to relax and enjoy it, and know that the photography is in good hands.
Northampton based Professional Wedding, Commercial & Portrait Photographer.