I wanted to write a little post explaining my style clearly and about how I shoot throughout the day, to make sure couples looking for a photographer know exactly what they're getting! These are just two photo examples of each bit so please take a good look around my site to see more of my style (I usually shoot a lot of black and white!)
Here's the little run down of my 24 hours of a wedding...
THE NIGHT BEFORE
If the wedding is more than 1.5 hours away I always stay close by the night before, minimising any travel and traffic risks and making sure I get a good nights kip! I check my lists and my cameras to make sure everything is charged, packed, and ready. I look at my final details sheet (with contact numbers, names etc) and the timeline of the day to make sure I'm organised and check for any last minute messages. Sometimes I check the weather too, although I'm happy shooting come rain or shine it's something good to know what you're headed into and make sure you know your wet weather plan.
Check all kit AGAIN, grab myself some tasty substantial breakfast (usually avocado related) and drink all the tea before jumping in the car to the first prep venue. Cue very loud and energising music from my pre-wedding playlist to get my excited.
When I arrive, I start with a big friendly hello and a hug and like to just insert myself into the usual chaos of the room or house. I love to chat, have a cuppa, and my camera, make (bad) jokes and generally try to put people at ease with me being there. It can be a bit daunting for people having two professional cameras about first thing in the morning! During this time I focus on capturing the people, the emotions, the relations and connections and all the tears and squeezes that inevitably happen.
I get myself over to the ceremony venue before the bridal party arrive to make sure I get you arriving in good time and I usually say hello to the registrar or vicar (so they know I'm a nice photographer!) I tend to stay in one place during the ceremony, using two cameras with different lenses so as not to detract from the service itself. If it's easily done I'll sneak round the back sometimes to get a nice wide shot but otherwise I'm up near the couple off to one side to make sure I'm nice and close for all the emotional shots. Except for your awesome walk out shot of course!
Although I (and my couples!) like to keep these to an absolute minimum most people who book me still want a few. I like to get them done nice and swiftly so you can get back to having fun and I can get back to capturing natural moments! So I ask for a small list before hand and a helper who knows who the people are and I like to wrap them up in 15 minutes tops. I'll usually get these done in the first part of the drinks reception which means they're done and dusted. You can read more about them here.
I always take my couples a little bit away from the guests for this as no-one wants 80 odd cameras in their face while they're trying to relax, and usually do a short route around the venue for 15 minutes. That means a few lovely locations and a bit of time to spend with your newly wedded! I snap in a candid way here too, without too much direct posing to help you guys be yourselves as much as possible.
One of my favourite bits! Once couples and formals are done I spend my time sleuthing around the place capturing all the spontaneous antics of your guests. I love to capture interactions as well as portraits of people by themselves.
Before (or after!) your dinner will usually come the speeches. I keep myself up by the top table or near the speaker for these to get them talking and the reactions of those closest to them (hopefully) laughing lots.
Sometimes there's a little gap here after the speeches while a venue turns the room around, or guests get themselves another drink, or games are played. I'll either be capturing more candids, or if the light is lovely as it often is around this time of night me and the couple sneak off to get a few more photos in the gorgeous light.
More of my couples this year are opted not for the first dance, in which case it's straight into the dancing, but a fair few still love the tradition of being the first ones to break the ice on the dance floor. I love seeing what people pick for the song - if it's going to be a slow smoocher, a choreographed routine and if you'll just leap around wildly and awkwardly until people join in! I'll mostly use a flash for this part to make sure all the movement is captured although it depends on venue, time of year and ambient light. I also love the part just after the first dance where piles on the dance floor too, either to sway to a soppy song with you or party hard. Also confetti cannons are always a win in my book!
I like to get stuck in with this bit, I usually take myself down to one camera, stick on the flash and get involved in the chaos of the dance floor! I fully encourage dance offs, lunges, shots on the dance floor and anything else that generally encourages raucous behaviour! I stay 3-5 songs after the first dance with my full day package which is usually enough to get some cracking party shots. Extra coverage can be arrange for the really wild party animals though...
NIGHT TIME PORTRAITS
Sometimes just before I leave is a great opportunity to get a night time 'one for the road' shot - usually outdoor with some artificial lights. These can look fantastic at a venue and a really great way to end the day. I'll always do all the setting up first before getting the couple out so it means you're only there for 5 minutes!
and it doesn't stop there. Once I'm home I back up the images in two different places (I'm already shooting on 2 cards simultaneously meaning there are 4 copies of your images) usually with a large glass or wine or mug of tea and once I know they're safe I can sleep tight. The day or two after I'll send a sneak peak to you of about 20-30 images to share with family and friends, make thank you cards from, update your Facebook profile picture with.. etc while you wait for the full set. My turn around time is 6-8 weeks in Summer so round about that time you'll get an email saying they're all done and your USB is in the post!