I’ve photographed over a hundred weddings in my time, and I’ve always worked by one guiding principle which is: Try not to be a pain in the arse.
There are a great many important aspects to a wedding day, and you’re not one of them. Your job is to observe and record the proceedings, not to be part of the floorshow.
Many of the “old school” photographers I assisted in earlier times seemed to believe they’d been called in to do some sort of Bruce Forsythe routine with a few photos thrown in. I don’t do that.
“Unobtrusive” is my watchword. I’m never happier than when someone likes one of my shots and says “I never knew you took that one” and I say “I know. That’s why you look so relaxed in it”. You see “Relaxed” is my other watchword, because you’re allowed more than one.
And if I felt the need for a third watchword, it would be “Informal”. There are a handful of traditional shots that really need to be set up otherwise elderly relatives would complain. The idea is to take those as efficiently and painlessly as possible then let everybody get back to enjoying the wedding.
The rest of my time is spent recording what I see in front of me, hopefully without getting on anyone’s nerves. It’s amazing how many people at weddings don’t particularly enjoy having their photograph taken. This is only a bit of a challenge when one of them happens to be the bride. It happens.
It’s really just a matter of taking all the required and requested pictures without making a song and dance over it. It’s a style of Wedding Photography that gets more popular all the time, partly also because it doesn’t exclude any of the important elements of the occasion. I look at the pictures of my own wedding and it looks as if the two of us and our families were the only people who showed up. In which case I’d like to know who ate all that food.
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