What I Have Learnt About Modern Formal Wedding Photography
When I started my Wedding photography business in Swansea, contemporary wedding photography consisted of few formal shots and mainly of informal, un-posed shots. This seems only to have become more prominent in the last few years. I must admit, I as a wedding photographer prefer to create documentary style photographs but I also understand the importance of group/formal shots in modern wedding photography. Here are a few things I’ve learnt about group shots along the way.
Only a month now until I return to Swansea in the midst of the wedding season. But before I go home to Swansea I’ll be travelling around the East coast of Australia in a campervan, which I’m extremely excited about. But how am I going to keep track of my wedding photography business while on the road? While in New Zealand I realised the difficulties in staying on top of my blog, emails etc. when WiFi is hard to come by and your sleeping in a tent every night! And being a photographer I naturally worried about running out of memory cards. But I found little solutions to all of my problems.
Street Photography Influencing Wedding Photography
It’s been a while now since I’ve taken my camera to the streets and engaged in what got me into photography in the first place, street photography. While travelling I’ve started to miss street photography and vowed to get back into it sometime in the near future. I noticed, while looking back at old photography work, how much all those years taking street photographs for my degree in Swansea University helped me become a wedding photographer.
So, we all know that Paris is the city of love, but the city of Melbourne in Australia must be the city of marriage. I’ve recently spent a week in Melbourne and was shocked at the number of weddings I encountered every day. I couldn’t walk round a street corner without seeing a couple of newlyweds followed by a wedding photographer who was also being followed by a team of assistants, second shooters and umbrella holders.
Ok, so I’m off travelling the world for 5 months as of tomorrow (5th November 2011). I’m extremely excited to get to do some travel photography, but what new ideas can I bring back to Swansea with me? As a wedding photographer I am used to photographing groups of people I have complete control over (well at least I like to think so). I used to do quite a bit of street photography so photographing strangers isn’t completely new to me. I’m hoping to learn a great deal more about photographing candid situations in order to add another creative element to my wedding photography. Anyone in Swansea or anywhere else interested in following my travels, I will be trying to keep my blog updated as I go along so keep an eye out.
Don’t get me wrong I am fully converted to digital these days, but I do miss the satisfaction of rewinding a film and developing it by hand. But a simple pleasure isn’t the only benefit of using film over digital, here are a few more.
As the winter rolls in, (and it’s definitely rolling in) I’ve been looking at ways I can improve on my wedding photography services for summer 2012. For a while now I’ve been considering offering a ‘pre-wedding’ or ‘engagement’ shoot as an additional service. It is something that has become more and more popular in recent years. The reason I think it will benefit me as a wedding photographer is that it allows me to further build rapport with my customers which can only strengthen the cooperation required on the wedding day. It’s also very important to suss out how the bride and groom to be behave in front of the camera, and in return how I should behave with them. To put it simply, this session gives me time to practice photographing the couple, as every couple is different.
Since photographing weddings in and around Swansea I’ve noticed how well weddings are documented. Every guest has a camera and flashes are going off like there’s no tomorrow. In fact I think it would be really good to look through all the guests’ wedding photographs as I think there would be loads of great images. I think it would be good for my development as a wedding photographer to see another perspective on the wedding day. What does the guest see? How does the guest take pictures? After discussing wedding photography with a guest at a recent wedding in Swansea Registry office I was asked for some pointers. Here they are….
Being a photojournalist, I’m used to documenting everything I see. I try to photograph as much as I can so the story is all there in the pictures. But over time I realise there are things which are probably best left out of the wedding photography album. Weddings are highly unpredictable events and when emotions are running high and alcohol is rife there are bound to be situations people would rather be left out of the wedding album.