I’m very lucky – Just yesterday I had the pleasure of attending James & Samantha’s Vow Renewal Ceremony and Reception. It was my first wedding as a photographer, and I was kinda nervous.
As a photographer you want to show your skill/talent (delete either or both if applicable), you want to be creative and get it right technically. But, most importantly, you don’t want to disappoint the bride & groom.
In fact, you want to make them happy. These photos are what will remain of this particular day twenty or more years from now, and its all about what they want recorded in the forever column.
I have to say that beginning, middle and end, it went swimmingly. You couldn’t ask for a better day, and the fact that their original wedding was held 17 years ago to the day added a sense of poignancy. They hold each other in deep regard, you can see how naturally they flow as family unit and a couple, it is as real as it gets folks, and I pay homage to the example they set.
Fortunately I had seen the venue the night before, all set up, down to the last pretty detail. Sam had a huge part in creating a lot of the details, and even painted the hand made candy cart herself.
First things first, the ladies getting beautified. Plenty of time, a little wine, lot of giggles, and I reckon it was about 100 degrees! I think I got my best photos here as Sam was laid back, and the BM’s, Jane and Ellie, and mum Jenny, were really receptive to my presence. I tried not to direct, just to document what was going on as it unfolded.
There was to be another photog on site, so when she turned up I went off to shoot the reception detail and ceremony room.
After that, off to see what the lads were up too. We had only about ten minutes, and this is where my inexperience showed itself initially. Short on time and light and trying not to string out a well focussed James, i snapped away, a little adhoc. Lewis and Kieran were stars and did everything asked of them, but with hindsight a more skilled photographer would’ve gotten more here.
The Ceremony. Now here is where things CAN get tricky. The Vicar stated his preference for no slapping mirrors, ninja stylee photographers, or flash. I tired to respect that, opting for the Navy Seal approach instead, crawling around on my belly to get from shooting point A to B. The other photog was bolder, and hopped about, flash and all. I understand that too, as a paid Pro you gotta get THE shot. THe ceremony is where that is at.
For me (YMMV) a 70-200mm would’ve been ideal in this setting, allowing me to get intimate without getting personal if you catch my drift. As it was I made do withe the Fuji X100, with its silent shutter and rather wide 35mm FF equivalent lens.
Sam had very kindly invited me to the dinner as a guest, and it was fabulous. Yummy food, great company and the kids were hysterical, as little kids always.
And don’t you know it, all of a sudden it was time to party. The very wise DJ had the kddie disco first, and an hour later the all important first dance.
Now, the first dance is emotive anyway, almost the finale of any wedding, a completion of but Sam and James had a friend sing the chosen song for them (its been going round and around my head all day) , and it almost made my heart hurt. You know, THAT kind of singing!
This marked my exit. The evening guests had arrived, the party was in full swing and I had done all I could, and hoped to have achieved what was asked of me.
Here’s too you Mr & Mrs Morrison – and another happy 17 years ahead of you at the very least. xx