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July 5, 2015 / Aware of the Void

Feel the Fear and Shoot a Wedding Anyway

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You would imagine that an entire year would be long enough to gather my thoughts on the time that I accidentally became a wedding photographer but I’m still struggling to file the day away in my brain.

At some point late in June 2014 my good friend/mortal enemy Annemarie asked me if I would take pictures at a friends wedding. My reaction was the same as every other time I have been asked this over the years – an instant and emphatic NO!!. I done my usual explanation that I believe that wedding photography is a very specialist type of photography best left to the professionals. I explained that a wedding photographer has a shopping list of “must get” shots and that they achieve this without thinking about it. I told her that for “artistic” reasons that I was currently only shooting with film and I had assumed that digital would be required for social media use. I explained that my group shots are legendarily bad and that there would need to be at least one. Most importantly of all I explained that when someone asks me to take a photo I will normally pack up my camera gear and pout like a bold child.

Annemarie politely listened and then dismissed all my well considered points and arguments and said that I seem to have miss-heard her. She said she wanted me to take pictures, not be a wedding photographer. She told me how important these friends are to her and that she wanted someone taking pictures that would capture the spirit of the couple and their amazing personalities.

I was intrigued by this prospect and very tentatively agreed to have a think about it. A couple of weeks later I was invited to Skerries to eat chocolate brownies and meet the couple. Sometimes its pretty amazing how you connect with people – within 5 minutes I felt like I had known Niamh and Nigel all my life. I would later discover that they pretty much have this effect on everyone they meet.

I got them to pose for a few shots an Annemarie’s garden and we had a lot of fun. A couple of days later would be the real event and all of a sudden I found myself concerned that I would not be able to capture the personalities of Nigel and Niamh and the pressure mounted. On the day I used a couple of different cameras. The Mamiya RB67 for formal stuff in the walled garden, my f100 for general snap shots, my iphone because Instagram must know everything I do and a very fancy looking Cannon 5d Mkii with L glass because I wanted to look like I knew what I was doing.

I really enjoyed the day and am glad that I gave wedding photography a go and I delighted to have made new friends in Niamh and Nigel. I have posted a selection of the pictures of that day shot with the mix bag of gear I had with me on the day. The happy couple as far as know were pleased with the results.

Would I do it again……..

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10 Comments

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  1. Michael / Jul 5 2015 2:04 pm

    Ah… weddings and photos. I was asked by my sister-in-law to take photos at the wedding of her eldest daughter even though a professional photographer had been engaged. I of course asked why she would want such a thing, there would be beautiful professional shots. I was stunned when she said ‘you took photos at my wedding and they are the one I look at not the wedding album and I’d like you to do the same for my daughter’. I had no memory of giving her shot of her wedding! So I did as she asked, shots at the family meet-up on a Friday evening in Sardinia, the wedding on the Saturday, and at a meal on the beach on the Sunday. But the mantra of a colleague and friend which goes ‘no good deed ever goes unpunished’ proved correct and I was subsequently asked to shoot a civil ceremony in Bath. This again was a three-event event and the couple wanted me as they did not want ‘the interruption caused by a professional photographer’. That’s it, I thought, no more weddings. But, last summer, I was cajoled to shoot a wedding in London. The bride is an artist and her bridesmaids stars/starred in ‘Game of Thrones’, so no pressure. It was, I’ve resolved, my last foray into this genre; (but my sister-in-law has other daughters).

    • Aware of the Void / Jul 5 2015 8:17 pm

      It can be stressful but at least your family seem to have enjoyed the results. I still think it is a massive compliment when someone uses my phtos as a profile picture on FB so I think the super positive feedback from my couple is the best i could have hoped for.
      I don’t think I will be doing anymore of these as its not really my thing and i’m lucky enough to see photography only as a hobby but you never know 😀

  2. grumpytyke / Jul 5 2015 2:34 pm

    I did it once as (in Romania) there was no-one else. Very scarey! Olympus OM1; can’t remember the film. From what I remember: the couple were very pleased; your shots are much better – love them!

    • Aware of the Void / Jul 5 2015 8:18 pm

      I love mu OM1 but sadly so does my wife so i don’t get to bring it out too often.

  3. Jeanne / Jul 5 2015 4:37 pm

    Lovely! They look like a fun couple, and your photos came out awesome!

  4. mewanchuk / Jul 6 2015 5:20 am

    You did a GREAT job!!

    Congratulations! (…To all of you, I guess!)

    🙂

    -Mark

  5. Adufe / Dec 26 2015 3:26 pm

    Brendan awesome work

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