Richard Peters Photography


My First Wedding Shoot!
August 14, 2008, 12:13 am
Filed under: Photo Shoot Stories | Tags: ,

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I’ve always said no in the past…now I’ve done one, is my mind swayed…?

Since being a guest with camera at a friends wedding during  2007 I’ve had several other friends see the results and ask if I would be the official photographer for them. I’ve always given the answer as a polite ‘no’, after all, I’ve never really done one before so I’d basically be using their big day as practice, surely that can’t be a good idea…can it?!

Background Music

Background Music

 

However, when a couple at work asked if I’d take their photos a few months back I finally gave in and agreed. Admittedly I was partly swayed because they said they didn’t want anything too formal and preferred the photojournalism style of photography and would want most of the pictures taken in that style. As the time grew closer I became more and more nervous about the big day and started to browse the web to see what information I could find and also the do’s and dont’s of wedding photography. I was also given some excellent advice from Guy Collier (‘Your not taking two camera’s? your crazy!’ being the main pointer) who’s wedding and portrait images have always inspired me so when the big day finally loomed I felt I was as ready as I was ever going to be…
    
The Ceremony

The Ceremony

Last minute checks, its not just about the equipment!

Of course the night before I checked all my gear, batteries charged…check, clean lenses and sensor…check, plenty of memory cards…check, suit that you haven’t worn in over a year still fits…aaah!! I was so preoccupied with the technical side of things it wasn’t until 1am on the morning of the wedding that I tried on my suit for the first time in over a year…of course just my luck, it didn’t fit too well anymore so instead of picking up the camera man (another friend of mine) at 1:15pm the next day, I was in fact sitting in a pub having lunch waiting for a phone call to tell me the suit I had purchased half an hour earlier, was ready for collection having had the trousers taken up! This was going to be a close call…

Signing the Register

Signing the Register

Time to start shooting

I was finally in my suit at 2:15 and by 3pm I was at the wedding with the camera man. Luckily the ceremony wasn’t until 4pm so we were still some of the first to arrive. The venue was the very photogenic Chiswick house in West London and proved to be a very nice backdrop indeed to the days events. The weather was a typical summer day in the UK, we had dull overcast light, bright sunshine and, of course, I was set for dull shady shooting, then the sun came out full force from behind a cloud just as the bride stepped from her black cab arrival resulting in the first few shots being very over exposed – thank you D3 for your amazing ability to recover detail from RAW files! The rest of the afternoon went well with the odd few things thrown in to keep me on my toes such as very varied lighting including a ceremony room that was lit almost exclusively by an open door BEHIND the bride and groom (really not ideal!) and of course I had no shot list or any clue of who family members were as my friends ran out of time to let me know – basically things I expect wedding photographers all over the country put up with every weekend!

Husband and Wife

Husband and Wife

Now, I’ve decided photographing something you haven’t done before, when your under pressure to get it right first time, is like having to give a speech in front of a room full of people – no matter how much you rehearse it, your going to forget something when the moment comes and your standing there about to speak. In this case, once things started to kick off properly I had a mental block and couldn’t work out why the camera was telling me there was too much light to take a photo! Of course the reason for this was simple, I had been taking some photo’s inside and when I went back outside, the sun had come out and I was still of course sitting at ISO 3200 so the camera was letting in way too much light!

Music

Music

Drink?

Drink?

 

 

 

 

 

After regaining my composure I set about capturing the events as they unfolded around me, little laughs and jokes between guests, some of the (very few) children playing and of course the happy couple interacting with everyone around them. Every now and again I had the couple come up to me and insist I enjoy the day as well as taking photos as I was a guest as much as I was the photographer – that of course took some of the pressure off although I wish they had informed the waiters and waitresses I was a guest too as they spent most the time walking past me without offering me anything to drink and its thirsty work carrying all this gear around in a suit with the sun frying you from above!

I’ve done some long days photographing things in the past including a 500 mile round trip to do wild seals at Donna Nook in one day…and I have to admit I was not even close to prepared for how tired I’d be after 7 hours of running around constantly making sure I covered all aspects of the afternoon! And what did I learn at the end of the day…?

The Best Mans Speech

The Best Mans Speech

 1) The lighting was so dim at times (sat at ISO 3200 for all inside shots) I’d be buggered without the D3.

2) You need two camera’s, I missed a lot of photos from having to swap lenses.

3) Unless someone makes a very convincing case, I won’t be doing another wedding as the official photographer, so I won’t need that second camera anyway :)

 

 

In all seriousness, it was a great day. And once I got in to the flow of things I quite enjoyed the experience. I take my hat off to wedding photographers everywhere though as I found this stressful and I wasn’t even under the pressures I imagine you normally would be (I don’t expect the bride and groom to often tell the photographer to stop taking photos and enjoy himself lol). I took over 700 images and so it is of course impossible to give you a true account of the day with so few images here but I hope this gives you a small taster of the day.

Would I Do Another One?

Depends how nicely I’m asked…

Confetti

Confetti

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1 Comment

very interesting re daniel’s wedding…

Comment by liz




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