This Gallery is a bit different to the others in that it contains a small number of sample shots from various Weddings and some Events I've done in the past couple of years. Many couples don't want their 'big day' plastered all over the Internet for everyone to see and any shoots like this are usually accessible only via a password protected area of my site where clients can then select their favourites for printing or including in an album. The clients in these Galleries have all agreed to allow their pictures in this gallery.
Digital photography is fantastic and it has opened up the ability to just about everyone to take a decent picture. One downside is the world is full of so-called 'Wedding Photographers' these days and the whole provision of this service has, in many cases, been de-valued which is a shame, not just for photographers, but for those wanting to record their special day. Weddings and other events are a special case, they are an instant in time where you get one chance to do the job right.
Wedding & Event photography is not just about knowing your technical abilities with the kit, in my mind there are four other components critical to a successful day.
The first is getting to know the couple. It's great to learn a bit about them, their likes/dislikes, personalities and style they'd like to have portrayed. It's not always possible to do this face to face but technology these days allows the next best thing by using the likes of FaceTime or Skype. Ideally though it's face to face meeting(s) where, apart from the aforementioned, we can go over shot plans and even rehearse the shots they want.
The second is recce of the venue. I have to visit the location before the Wedding/Event so I can build up a plan of what shots can be taken where and what to do if the weather isn't on our side. All aspects of a Wedding can be planned to the 'n'th degree, all apart from the weather, so there must be a Plan B prepared to cater for wind, rain, sleet, snow or even super hot sunshine!
Third is people management. Gathering family and guests for pictures I always think is like trying to herd cats, a nearly impossible job! So when the pressure is on a firm but friendly approach is needed to get groups assembled and looking at MY camera, not the inevitable assembly of others with phones and cameras all trying to detract attention from the one lens they are paying money for. Nothing spoils a shot more than a line of people all looking in different directions! We will also make use of the shot plan prepared earlier with the allocated Usher responsible for gathering up those stray cats in preparation for the next shot. Not only does this (hopefully) mean less stress for everyone, it also means we get the shoot completed quickly and let everyone get back to the celebrating.
Last and by no means least is processing of the pictures after the event. These are not 'snaps' handed into the chemist to get processed, these are a collection of pictures you want to treasure for ever. I will only ever take one Wedding or Event booking per month. Why? Because it takes me many hours of work on the computer filtering the images down to the 'keepers' and then doing first edits on each of these. Once this phase is complete I will then let the couple/organiser know and send a link & password to let them see the set of proofs. I will then end up with a list of images that will be properly edited. Some pictures will be easy but others may take some time to get just right. What do I mean by 'just right'? Well it could be anything from removing the braces on a Bridesmaids teeth, taking lamp posts or other distractions out of a background, replacing a flat boring sky with something more interesting, whitening teeth etc. the list goes on. I had one Groom who went to the bother of getting a new false tooth for his Wedding, only to forget to put it in on his big day! I went through every picture he was in and edited in his missing tooth.
So, my moto for Weddings and Events is Quality over Quantity and one per month is more than enough for me.