A TINY BIT ABOUT ME
I’ve always been drawn to the quieter moments. Weddings, they’re full of energy and movement but underneath it all there are two people doing something pretty amazing. Wedding photography can be more than just documenting events, it can make you feel acutely, it can make you feel what you felt.
That’s me, Claire and our 3 children Aidan, Niamh and Bethany at the top of the page on a cold windy beach on holiday. I love them more than I could put into words, I think maybe that’s why I take their picture. My daughter Niamh likes to sit on my lap whilst I’m editing, I try and say no because, well it’s hard to work with a 3 year old on your lap, but then she looks at me with her blue eyes and she knows she has me wrapped around her little finger! “Ooooh that’s pretty Daddy” means I’m usually doing something right!
LET’S WALK THROUGH A WEDDING DAY TOGETHER
The truth is this is really about you, your wedding day, and the memories we can capture.
That has got to be the most important thing, that you are left with the kind of wedding photos that you can enjoy for years to come, that bring back amazing memories, the kind you can show off to your friends and family because hey, who doesn’t secretly like to show off from time to time?!
I’ve written this page because there’s a good chance you’ve never gotten married before or ever hired a professional photographer. So, let’s take a look at how this whole wedding photography thing works from start to finish.
THE GETTING READY BIT
It will probably feel a bit weird at first and you may feel a bit nervous but give it a few minutes and I promise you’ll be surprised at how used to me and my camera being there you become.
Most of the morning you’ll probably be surprised at how calm you feel, but it’s usually about 30 minutes before the ceremony when the energy tends to change in the room, a bit quieter, a bit more nervous. But you know what, getting married should make your heart race, it’s totally normal.
When your hair and makeup artist arrives in the morning ask them to set up your chair next to the biggest window in the room if possible. The natural light will make your photos so much better!
It’s inevitable that the room will get a bit messy and that’s cool, I have 3 kids and am fully comfortable with mess, but maybe have someone prepped and ready to clean up a bit as and when needed.
This is it, what it’s all really about.
The details, the cake, all the things you’ve spent 18 months planning, at this point none of it really matters.
6 years of being a wedding photographer means that I have a pretty kick ass sixth sense of where I need to be and when to get the best photos possible. That’s what you are hiring me for.
I can promise you, after the wedding it will feel like a bit like a blur. I can remember Claire arriving, I can remember turning to look at her and trying to catch myself, the rest is just flashes of moments. Couples will often say to me how their wedding photos brought back moments to them that they would have otherwise totally forgotten.
Walking down the aisle, the temptation in the heat of the moment can be to rush, but take it slowly, take it in.
THE GROUP SHOTS
People hire me for my natural images, the way I capture genuine moments.
They will nearly always say that they hate the idea of spending ages posing for group shots but most people still want a few of the traditional family shots which is absolutely fine with me.
The most important thing for me is that you enjoy the day, if that happens then the wedding photos will just flow. So here’s how we get the group shots done so you can get back to the party!
Keep your shot list to about 6-8 photos. As an estimate we will need about 4-5 minutes for each set up. This can vary depending on factors such as the layout of the venue but as an estimate that’s pretty close. I promise you that after 20 minutes of group shots you’ll start to get fed up with it and feel like you’re missing out on the party which is the last thing I want for you.
Smile, breathe, it will all be ok : )
Mum want’s a photo with Great Auntie Flo even though you told her a hundred times before the day you didn’t want to spend hours having group photos, your 4 year old nephew isn’t looking at the camera, oh no he’s crying now! Why didn’t we listen to Paul!
I’ve seen it all before, it’s ok, it’s totally normal, I’ll sort it out. Smile and breathe.
Have 2 people you can rely on to help round up people for the photos. You have to remember that I more than likely won’t know who everybody is and if I have to step away to round people up then you can double the time this part of the day takes. This is a job for your super organised, super reliable (bossiest) friend. The friend you turn to when you need help, who isn’t afraid to tell people to get a move on. This is not a job to give to the usher because he’s not got much to do and would really rather be having a pint. This can be the difference between the group shots running smoothly and not.
Tell people before the day that they will be in a group photo and when we are planning to do them. That’s something we will have sorted a few weeks in advance. Delays are usually caused because someone’s disappeared for a chat, or they’ve gone back to their room to change their shoes.
WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY FOR THE REALLY UNPOSEY COUPLE
(A BIT UNSURE ABOUT THE WHOLE POSING THING)
The couples who come to me are drawn to how natural my couples look in their wedding photography.
They are drawn to the emotion in my images and are looking for the same for their wedding but at the same time a lot of them carry that little insecurity in the back of their minds. What if we just can’t look relaxed? Is the photographer going to make us do something silly? Is he going to make us be something we’re not? They will very often be quite shy, feel a bit apprehensive, and you know what, it’s natural to feel this way, but let’s embrace it, you don’t need to fight it, it’s that very shyness that can create some of the most touching images.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
I will find somewhere really cool/beautiful/well lit. I will have done this before the wedding day itself.
I will position you in cool/beautiful/well lit location. I’ll tell you to focus on each other and not me. I might suggest you hold hands because that always looks good.
I’ll step away. I’ll guide you through it, nothing to complicated, nothing to awkward, just little gestures that will look and feel natural.
And here’s the secret. This is more than likely the first time you’ve been alone the entire day, the first time you’ve been truly together since being married. You will want to talk to each other. You will want to hug each other. You will laugh together, you will connect with each other for the first time as a married couple. I know how powerful that moment feels. That’s what I will be capturing. Not a forced smile, not a forced kiss, the real, truthful in between moments.
Photographer’s Tip No.4
Photography is about emotion and light, if it looks like we’re going to get an amazing sunset then grabbing 15 minutes outside after the meal and before the evening reception for a few extra shots can provide some incredible results.
It really is that simple and it’s this approach that has given all my couples the kind of genuine and natural wedding photography you see in my work.
I can go on about my approach but really the best way to get a sense of how it all works is from the people that really matter, the great couples I’ve worked with in the past, so check out these reviews for a sense of their experience.
THE REST OF THE DAY
That’s it, it’s time to just enjoy the day. The group shots are done, I’ve got a shot with you and Great Auntie Flo hugging, the portraits are done and you know what it was actually really nice to just be together for 30 minutes or so, it’s time to let your hair down.
The rest of the day I will be working away in the background and I promise you’ll be so used to me that you will hardly notice I’m there.
The speeches, the cake cutting, the first dance, whatever it is you can just experience it, you don’t need to think about your photography. I’ll capture it all for you, it will be waiting for you after the wedding.
FOR THE KIND OF HEART | THE CREATIVE OF SPIRIT
Something in my approach, something in my work speaks to people who share these common traits and that is the single biggest factor in why I continue to love what I do so much.
They are always kind, they have all given me their trust and that trust has meant that together we have been able to create wedding photography that means something to them.