It’s almost two years since I photographed my first wedding. I knew it would be a lovely day of photography. I was super pleased to be asked and I thought I’d quite enjoy it. I just didn’t expect it to feel quite so of 150+ guests. I’ve photographed weddings when it’s been a 32-degree heatwave and when it’s been so bitterly cold, we’ve had to do most of the photography indoors. Your husband’s face as he sees you in your wedding gown for the first time, and I absolutely revel in the excitement, nerves and happiness of your day. I’m there for the long haul and I feel it all with you.
I’ll step back a moment, I first got into photography because I was always taking photos of my kids (such a cliché I know) and I hadn’t really gone into it with the view that I’d start to photograph weddings too. I assumed that you’d need to be a lot more qualified than me, and so I didn’t really think about it.
But then a girl I knew messaged me one day asking if I’d photograph hers. In two months time. She had someone lined up to do it, but they were no longer able to, and here she was willing to place her trust in ME to capture her big day. She’d seen my family photos and was confident that I was what she wanted.
I was excited, I was scared I’d mess it up. I spent HOURS researching the venue (it was a corker of a venue too, to shoot my first wedding at – Middleton Lodge) both in-person and online. I took my husband with me as moral support, and also because he’s a dab hand with photographing buildings and details – we make a good team!
NOTE – I didn’t mess it up, and they LOVED their photos. See a selection below:
I expected to feel sick with nerves all day, but what actually happened was that I felt this weird sense of calm wash over me as I stood behind the registrar that day. I felt like I’d finally found my calling in life. It just took me 38 years to get to that point. It was a little bit like having an out of body experience, except I was very much in my body and I was snapping away! I knew from that point onwards that weddings were going to be a big part of my life and my career.
The funny thing is, that this wasn’t my first time working in the wedding industry. I’d had a job at the Chevin Lodge Hotel whilst I was at University and I worked on the bar every Saturday night at weddings in my late teens / early twenties. I’d LOVED it back then too – seeing all the joyous celebrations. I used to immerse myself in it and chat to the guests as much as I could. I adored looking at the gorgeous dresses and seeing what details and colour schemes they’d gone for.
I just wish that I’d also realised back then that the wedding industry was very much a career option. It was never really talked about by careers advisors, although I’m not blaming them at all – I think I just saw it as a temporary period of my life, and thought I’d need to get a “proper job” upon graduation.
The next time weddings were really on my radar was when my boyfriend popped the question and suddenly we were planning our own wedding. I became obsessed with buying wedding magazines and scrapbooking ideas. I’m a pen and paper kind of a girl. Always have been, always will be! I’ve still got my scrapbook and I just got goosebumps when I looked through it.
I also scoured wedding blogs online for ideas and somehow, managed to narrow it all down into a perfect plan for our day. I guess it also helped that my hubby is a project manager, so he was great at keeping my creativity in check…. especially when he sensed I was about to blow the budget.
The only thing we agreed we wouldn’t scrimp on was the photographer. We knew we wanted beautiful photographic memories both on our walls and in an album (yes we do still look at it occasionally – we look SO young!) and a photographer who put us at ease and who we could trust.
I feel like I’ve digressed slightly, but my point is, that now I am that person, capable of putting people at ease AND taking beautiful photographs, and that is a pretty amazing feeling.
Since that first wedding I have worked really hard to build my skills and portfolio, by second shooting with other photographers, attending portfolio-building workshops, and of course, photographing my own wedding bookings. I’ve worked at a real variety of venues, learnt how to work with the available light to my best advantage, and I’ve understood how to give gentle direction to my Brides and Grooms to get the best from their photos, without making them feel awkward or cheesy.
Since that first wedding I’ve photographed several different styles of weddings, I’ve photographed couples I know, and couples who have found me via Instagram. I’ve photographed small intimate ceremonies to parties of 150+ guests. I’ve photographed weddings when it’s been a 32 degree heatwave and when it’s been so bitterly cold, we’ve had to do most of the photography indoors.
Here are some of my favourite images so far. In every single one of them, the couple are fixated on their own happiness, barely noticing me or my camera, and that’s what gives me the greatest joy.
I’ve discovered that what I love most about photographing weddings is that no two weddings are the same. The things that are important to each couple vary hugely, and that’s the stuff that sets my heart and soul on fire. It’s honestly a privilege to get to play my part in every wedding. I like to be involved, and to have a bit of banter with your Uncle Bob. I LOVE seeing your Dad’s face as he sees you in your wedding gown for the first time, and I absolutely revel in the excitement, nerves and happiness of your day. I’m there for the long haul and I feel it all with you.
Yes, I have been known to shed a tear at weddings I’m photographing, no it doesn’t affect my ability to take great pictures. If anything it enhances it because I’m all about the emotion of your big day.
If you like what you see here and would like more information on my wedding phootgraphy packages, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone me on 07779 271447.