There’s been a lot of hurt and heartache flying around the wedding photography industry over the last few weeks. I’m trying my best to keep away from it all, but it appears in numerous places. Having recently gone through a number of weddings, and commencing workflow on somewhere around 6,000 images from the last week, I’ve become more (sadly) wary of the images I take, and am forever torn between trying to please other photographers, and trying to please the client. I obviously know better; in a fit of frustration, I posted these words on my Facebook Page:
As I try to develop my own style of photograph and processing, it infuriates me more and more as other photographers continue to rip each other’s work apart.
Thing is, I’m not creating images for other photographers; my aim is (to try my best) to create images for my CLIENTS, which I would hope THEY could enjoy.
I know there are things technically wrong with some of my photos. Sometimes, there are no excuses for these errors. Sometimes, I’m just carried away in the wonder of the moment, and in my needful desire to capture a beautiful moment, everything else goes out the window.
Such moments occur while I’m second shooting. Apart from maybe 2, the photographers I have had the pleasure to work with, work in a completely different style to myself. However, they are wonderfully generous in giving me the opportunity to go along and learn what I could, whether I was taking a photo or not. 2nd shooting, as I hoped and have had confirmed, is not just about building a portfolio.
Stopping and taking the time to look around, to actually SEE what is happening on the day, to just WATCH what people are doing, waiting to capture those incredibly precious one-off moments…I found myself practicing that to great lengths over the weekend, since this is the style I ultimately aim for.
And while, as I say, I still need a lot of polishing with my technical skills, I think my people watching and story capturing skills are improving dramatically.
This first photo caught even myself by surprise. The wedding of Kirsty and Michael in St Editha’s Church in Tamworth. As Kirsty entered the church, she was composing herself just seconds before she had started moving. It’s such a significant moment; I knew she had finally seen her future husband waiting for her at the end of the aisle. I didn’t know if she would cry, I didn’t know if she would hold herself…I didn’t realise how moved she was by what she was doing. But as she looked to the heavens and the light hit her face, I had to capture it. How could I not? I didn’t know what the settings were, all I knew was that it was a moment not to be missed.
This next photo was taken at the wedding of the gorgeous couple, Kate and Ricky at Walton Hall in Warwickshire on Sunday, in a split second. Tom and I were quickly being ushered out the door, the bride was ready, her lovely uncle at her side ready to walk her in and give her away. Kate was incredibly nervous, and, I suspect, tearful as both of her parents had passed on and were with her only in spirit. Without checking my camera, as the door was being pulled closed, I turned, raised my camera, and hoped to capture a moment so incredibly moving, it would be something special to the bride and her uncle for a long time to come.
As I say – technically, there are a million things wrong with the images. I’ll get there, technically. I don’t claim to know it all, and be “at one” with my camera at all times. And at the same time, I don’t proclaim to make excuses! I know and understand I have a lot of work to do. I don’t want, or like, delivering sub-standard work to clients. At all. But sometimes, just sometimes, I think I need to just step back, stop sweating some of this stuff, and just remember who is important, and why it is so. Sometimes I just need to remember why I do what I do.
Sometimes, just sometimes, the story in the photo is the most important thing of all.