As you may have noticed from previous posts here I’m no Annie Leibovitz when it comes to taking pictures of people, yet despite this I was asked to be the official photographer for two friends’ weddings this year and next. While I was very honoured to be asked, clearly they never listen to anything I say, nor have they visited my website/Instagram to view the abundance of person-less pictures.
Although, I was really looking forward to doing it (one wedding has now come and gone) I was also quite fearful of the following things:
· tripping into river, falling out of tree camera in hand or just smashing camera in general
· back up battery going missing, general battery related emergencies
· taking a load of terrible pictures making brides, grooms look portly
So, you ask, did any of those things actually happen? Why yes, of course they did. My first near miss happened at a Buddhist retreat in the Beara Peninsula, two days before the wedding, while I was busy watching some enlightened ladies doing mindful walking. The graceful ballerina inside me hit my foot off my camera strap, ripped said camera out of my hand and onto a step made of half grass, half rock. Lens bounced on soft surface, camera viewfinder lost some of its finesse (and plastic). Fortunately, all still functioned with the camera after I completed some mild internal screaming (so as not to disturb the enlightened ladies). The second near miss came when a lovely guest of the wedding picked up my camera bag and dropped two lenses out of it. At that point, it was after dark and I had nearly finished my work for the day, plus the presence of a creamy pint of Guinness prevented total meltdown.
As a guest of the wedding I learned some lessons for next time:
· Don’t wear high heels to a wedding when you are the photographer – especially not if it’s in a grassy meadow or on gravel
· If they say they don’t want their photo taken, take it on the sly when they’re not looking
· Leave your tripod behind unless there’s a fire show, which there was
· Don’t fall over – I blame the heels
· Get that one sensible family member to corral their own family – do not engage with the herd until the last possible minute
· Have some backup-friend-photographers on hand so you can steal any decent images and claim them as your own
I have to say photographing a wedding where one of the brides is hard to pin down on a normal day, nevermind at a wedding full of people she must talk to all at once, was an entertaining experience full of Benny Hill style chases and moments of me calling out into empty spaces.
Although I haven’t got round to editing the nearly 1,000 pictures I took, I was pleasantly surprised when I looked through them and noted that both brides are indeed worthy of the caption above. All in all, the experience was filled with chats with lovely randomers I would never have otherwise met, magnificent poses from strangers, and lots of tongue in cheek abuse from the elders. I recommend giving it a try. In a pair of good sensible shoes.