I would like to talk a little about the beautiful wedding of Lizzie & Robb, some images of which you may have seen on my social media with the title: The day the winds came! It was certainly memorable as the first wedding I have shot at during a red weather warning (!); and storm Eunice did not disappoint, but it was also a real highlight for me as a photographer...
I would definitely still class myself as new to the wedding industry and it is a continual learning process with so many elements; not only photographically, but in terms of developing my business. I find this aspect a huge challenge as my passion is the creative side of my work rather than the day to day tasks which keep everything running smoothly. However, one of the most important things I have learnt over the last year, which has a huge effect on the creative side of my work, is the importance of finding clients whose vision of their wedding photographs is the same as my own.
Lizzie & Robb have been the perfect clients for me and their incredibly kind and thoughtful review, I think, reflects that they felt I was the right photographer for them too. On first meeting them, over a video chat during lock down, I immediately felt comfortable and relaxed enough to divulge my awkwardness with seeing myself in the corner of the screen. From here, our meetings for photos and planning were fun and interesting and we discovered that the meaning we attach to things, not just photographs but places, objects, our families; were completely aligned. This meant that we easily developed a completely mutual check list for their wedding photos.
I believe it was during our first meeting that I discussed with Lizzie & Robb the fact that I don't use filters or pre-sets on my images. I realise that it is a popular choice to have vintage or light/bright filters on wedding photographs and photographers work hard to develop their own pre-sets which give their images a distinctive style and makes their work recognizable as their own. However, it is really important to me that every single image is as natural and authentic as the moment it was taken (as far as is possible). This means that the images I take will vary between venues and even between different rooms in venues. Some rooms have floor to ceiling windows, some have little light at all. The weather too will have huge bearing on how the images come out. A grey day will change the colours inside and out, a bright day will bleach a lot of colour out and create harsh shadows and whilst I am constantly adjusting to get the best image for the conditions, I often work with these conditions to create my shots, with the aim of creating a moment that can be relived almost exactly as it was. For these reasons, no two weddings I shoot will ever look the same.
We also discussed feelings of awkwardness with posed couples photographs. So many of my clients 'hate having their photo taken'. It's almost impossible to smile naturally when you are told to, especially with a camera pointed in your face. I prefer to allow my couples to take time alone whist I take a more voyeuristic approach to capturing their interactions together. The trust between myself and my clients is particularly important here, which is why I pretty much insist on meeting my couples before the day.
With these things in mind, the way I work may not suit all couples. Being able to move around in my own time, observing and adjusting for specific moments or shots I am envisaging, requires time and so I prefer to keep group photographs to a bare minimum. This was absolutely no problem at all for Lizzie & Robb who welcomed my preferences and had the same goals for their wedding photographs, going as far as to say that they would be happy for me to have pretty much free reign on their day. With their trust, I shot almost the entire wedding using only natural light without fear of any comeback for poor image quality in low light areas or a bit of motion blur. They take my own view that this is what makes each moment real.
Lizzie & Robb have been instrumental in me finding the confidence to really stick with my own style and creative principles and be myself. I am now open with all of my clients from the outset about my relaxed, (almost casual) methods, my own awkwardness in front of the camera and any concerns I may have. But, most importantly I feel I can honestly say that I put 100% into every image I take and my expectation of my own work is that I will only provide images that I myself find happiness in. That's not to say that every image will be a perfect 'framer' but I hope that every image will be a moment to remember forever.
venue: Apton Hall, Rochford
floristry: The Wilde Flower Studio, Chelmsford
wedding dress: Rock The Frock Bridal
cake: RT Cakes