...AND HOW TO SURVIVE IT !!
Nothing instills fear in the heart of even the most hardened pro photographer as much as the word "Wedding" I should know, I ran my own photography business for nine and a half years covering on average 15 - 30 weddings per year! Great! I hear you shout, but beleive me it wasn't always so, in fact far from it....
Here's a quick "taster" of an average wedding day.... Arrive at the Brides home a few minutes before the agreed time, not too early as everyone will panic as they are not ready! sit down with a cup of tea and watch people running around like headless chickens, 30 minutes later begin to sweat as no one is even remotely ready, time to start looking at your watch and looking worried.... The Wedding car's arrive, suddenly everyone is ready and heading for the door, you quickly persuade them to let you take a few photos, you take the Bridesmaids together, the Bride and her Bridesmaids, the Bride with Mum, the Bride with Dad, and then one with Mum and Dad with their "beautiful" daughter, this takes all of 2 or 3 minutes then its a mad dash to get to the church ahead of the Bride, All being well you arrive in time to get photos of the Groom with his Mum and Dad, and photos of the Groom with the bestman and his ushers, they then rush into the church just as the wedding cars arrive, Get a photo or two of the Bride with her Dad seated in the limo, followed by a couple of them outside the car, then its time to lose Dad for a minute or so to replace him with the Bridesmaids. Last shot before entering the church is the Bride and her Dad framed in the doorway looking over their shoulders at the camera....aaahhh ! Very few clergymen will allow flash photographs to be taken in church during the actual wedding service, I personally agree with this, after all, its a solomn occasion and not a Hollywood epic! The service over with and its time to photograph the signing of the register, wait until this has been done then pose you Bride and Groom for the photos, this way you get them actually looking at the camera and not shots of the tops of their heads as they look down at the register to sign ! This done its time for the traditional shot of the Bride and Groom walking down the aisle and then framed in the church doorway, next get the main group shot done while everyone is together, this is much easier, follow this with the confetti shot, take two or three and pray for a good one.
The wedding car!...photos of the Bride and groom outside then in, then its off to the reception! Take the Happy couple outside to the hotels hopefully landscaped gardens, get both sets of parents, the Bridesmaids, the bestman and ushers, and not forgetting any little flowergirls and page boys! Once the Bride and Groom have been photographed with each set of parents seperately and then together, do the shots with the wedding party. Before going any further ask if the Bride and Groom have any Grandparents, Uncles and Aunties, Brothers or Sisters, friends from work etc whom they would like a special photograph with, if nothing else this impresses them with how professional and caring you are....great for later "word of mouth" bookings! Ask the "Guy's"...the bestman, the ushers to get all the guests off the grounds and back into the hotel for you, its now time for the Happy couples slushy smoochy romantic type shots for which they don't really appreciate an audience, always include a selection of soft focus shots...always a favourite! once these are taken its back indoors for a few posed shots of the couple pretending to cut the wedding cake. Now, unless you have been silly enough to let yourself be booked for the night time reception its time for you to head home, as long as you are leaving your Bride and Groom happy you have done a good days work!.... GUIDE BY KEN LAMBOURNE, MAY 07.