It is always an honour to attend a friend's wedding, but it is indeed a rare privilege to photograph a close friend's wedding.
Photographing a photographer can be a double edged sword; on one side she would know the limits and expect me to push them further. She would know where I should be and what shots need to be taken. On the other hand she would understand what is possible and would not expect the impossible. Fortunately Kelly was the perfect client.
Once again, it was a glorious sunny day and for a Wedding Photographer it’s all about that light! I turned up at Kelly’s home bright and early. Her sister and other bridesmaids had stayed the night so they were already getting ready. It was the normal Wedding morning hustle and bustle; the girls digging through all kinds of bags and dashing about, hair being straightened, girly chatter... all the usual stuff. Kelly was upstairs in her bedroom with another bridesmaid Charli. I said my “Hello” and got straight to work.
I allowed myself a few minutes to calibrate my camera with a few test shots. A rookie mistake is to go straight into the shoot without testing and closely examining the photos on the back of the SLR.
There was music playing in the background which is something I nearly always suggest; without music people find it harder to relax, especially when there is a photographer around. Kelly was very "chill-laxed" so she was comfortable in front of my camera.
Kelly’s transformation was gradual and amazing. The metamorphosis from girl next door to stunning Bride was great fun to shoot because she made it fun! Joking around, dancing to music and not showing any worry at all allowing me to get some good shots and a few poses.
By midday, the car had arrived. Not just any car, but a classic Jaguar. Photographing the Bridal car is a big deal. Attention to detail is vital and the Bridal car is definitely DETAIL.
I drove ahead to the very quaint and charming St Mary’s Church in Weston Turville. It’s tucked away surrounded by large mature trees. St Mary’s is very photogenic. From the outside it is enchanting, equally the inside has all the angles and arches a proper church should have.
The 60+ guests witnessed a proper Christian Ceremony. Quite a few were from the church we belong to and some from Bognor Vineyard Church. Kevin looked proudly as Kelly walked up to him.
Soon after was the big group shots. We had planned it out before hand and with the help of Michael we gathered the guests; the whole thing was done quickly and in great spirits.
Then all that was left was the reception, the breakfast (where I don't shoot), the speeches and the first dance. They all went without a hitch, although I was caught out by the cake cutting; I got the shot but apparently someone changed the schedule at the very last minute. Part of the fun of a Wedding Photographer :-)
The speeches went smoothly. I stood right at the back with my big 200mm lens to cover it.
I'm not sure how these things start but there was a spontaneous dancing routine happening right in front of me. I had to be quick on my toes to capture the fun and the, quite frankly, amazing choreography! It was something straight out of a musical! Shame I was working or else I would have joined in.
It was a long day but worth every minute. By the early evening the glorious hot sunshine had turned into a summer thunderstorm with lighting strikes happening in the distant Buckinghamshire. It brought a freshness to the air and a great end to a wonderful day.
I'm trying not to use too much hyperbole but sometimes the only way to describe how my shoot went is simply "perfectly".