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Starting out with Weddings

Starting out with Weddings -  A light hearted look at wedding photography with some advice to consider if you're thinking of shooting one soon.

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Portraits and People

Words and pictures David Allison

'Trees, you do lovely trees', said my first Bride as she booked me for her wedding photographs. She had seen some arty, moody, black & white, tree shots I had entered in a camera club competition. She obviously thought I could take wedding photographs and I though so too. Oh how I learned. The groups were posed like a row of elms, the interior shots were barely lit with my guide no10 flash.

Anyone can take photographs, anyone can take weddings, but the fundamental requirement is confidence. After seeing the results of that first wedding I read every wedding magazine and wedding photo manual known to man, I knew that it was being in total command of the event that had given me the buzz. Contrary to opinion the centre of attention is not the bride, it's the photographer as he shouts, 'Look at me'. You have to be a bit of a performer, an extrovert, a megalomaniac perhaps.

Bride, groom and family are at one of the most stressful events of their lives. The photographer has to inspire confidence and be able to direct a hundred or so people who don't know where they should be going or what to do next.

The first photographs I always take are the children as they arrive because after ten minutes in this weird, tense environment, in their new clothes they start howling. Often nowadays some of the children will be the bride's and remembering that thirty percent of marriages are re-marriages, family groups get complex. Often I have photographed four sets of parents, with attendant step-sisters and step-brothers.

'Could your Granny stand over there?', 'That's my Mum !', mistakes like this are more disastrous than an overexposed shot.

The chauffeurs often say to me that I am the fastest photographer around. People don't like getting their mug shots taken especially when they are dressed in unaccustomed kilts and suits. I set up the groups fast, keeping the patter going, and snap before they get their bored expressions on. At the group shots make sure all the family are there, many will be heading off to the bar.

When in the park the photographer, and bride & groom, get their first cigarette. One bride said in horror, 'Oh God here comes my father, if he sees me smoking ......'.

About the Author
David Allison is a wedding photographer who also runs http://www.wedding-service.co.uk
The UK's largest wedding information directory.
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