On a rather dull Wednesday morning a few weeks ago, at the beginning of November 2021, I got an "messenger" message from an unknown person. Would I be available to do a wedding photography shoot on the coming Saturday? Hmm "now let me see" have got anything on, on Saturday? Of course not! So I replied to the lady. She explained that she had been let down by a photographer for her daughters wedding. Which wasn't a wedding, but a reception. I said I'll ring you this evening 7pm. I went out on a 999 call at 6.30, just my luck.
Eventually I was able to ring her. Her daughter had married during the lockdown with just a few guests and nothing else. They had been able to postpone the venue, but the photographer ( they had paid a deposit) was not prepared to do a wedding photography style shoot and suggested that they find another photographer for a couple of hours, to cover the "reception".
The lady, the brides mother, put a post out on Facebook, another lady I had taught first aid to, a number of times, had recommended me. I was so excited. The delay in being able to ring, being out on a shout, had given me time to think a little.
Eventually I was able to speak to Zena. She explained their story. I suggested that I do the pre ceremony images- getting dressed, hair and make-up etc. We arranged to meet on Friday in Bromsgrove. I booked off call for this! We immediately got on well and made some detailed plans for the big day, which was now, tomorrow!
I got home and charged all the camera batteries, got spare flash batteries and generally prepared everything, including a backup camera and lens.
We planned for me to be at Ashleigh's house for 4pm to shoot the dressing, makeup etc. I was able to call in at the venue, https://churchfields.farm/ which was lovely, and they were very helpful,
The tables had been dressed ready and looked really superb with an Autumn theme.
Next stop was the brides parents house where she was dressing, I was able to get shots of the hair by Danielle and the makeup by another lady, I did not get her details unfortunately.
The more I have learned about photography, the less important the photography itself is, and the more important the memories we are storing or creating, are! Images of the detail of this early part of the day are very important. Not now, probably not in the next five years. But eventually, to look back and think! Yes, I remember that!
I was able to get photos of Ashleigh's sisters, who were to be Brides maids and her Mum. They were all looking very beautiful, with hair, makeup and dressed to perfection
I took a good number of "detail" shots, her shoes, earings, and the dress of course!
I then took a quick trip to where the Groom was dressing. and his Groomsmen. One of the most important things, there, was to photograph was the dog. I got this lovely shot of Mike and the dog!
I got a really nice set of shots of everyone there.
Next stop was the actual reception. I was there early enough to try and capture images of all the guests arriving. A wedding is a bit like a portrait shoot on steroids. Everyone is excited and dressed up in their best gear and looking fantastic. Before the Bride arrived I got shots of everyone there, whether they liked it or not. A couple of people took some persuading, but I got them all.
There was very little lght availble at the entrance to the venue, so I stood on a table and blasted the scene with flashligh and got some nice shots of the Bride, her dad, all the bridesmaids and some of the ushers. They all had their titles, but of course Ash and Mike were already married. However they all SO looked the part.
The all important first kiss! Although they had been married for some time, this was "totes emosh" Everyone cheered and clapped and there were a few tears. It was indeed a lovely moment.
The next stage was the cake cutting. A momentous moment at any wedding. The cake itself was really quite striking and the image of their hands, illustrates the moment beautifully.
After the cake cutting is the ceremonial first dance Ash and Mike had chosen an Elvis track. Again people cheered and cried and it was a truly beautiful moment. Quite quickly after this first dance, the noice level started to rise and it was time for me to leave.
I had a fabulous day, I was able to deliver over 600 images for the happy couple, which I was pleased with. Some of these images pushed modern photyography to its absolute limit. Taking photos at a wedding venue is one of the most testing envirnonments possible. Bad or non existant light, too low, and too high ceilings, lots of people, and an extremely fast moving, dynamic situation. I have to be up for this challenge. I have one of the best cameras money can buy, top quality flash lights and 47 years of experience!
I am looking forward to the next one. I charge £1750 for a wedding shoot, from beginning to end, with everything included, except travelling/expences etc. I have some £300.00 discount vouchers and offer a discount for the "blue light card"