articles/Weddings/bridescomes-page1

Here Comes The Bride - part 1 of 1

Published 01/12/1999

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David A J Facey. FMPA FSWPP

Go into any shop to make a purchase and you are met with a vast choice of goods from which to make your purchase. It doesn't matter what the article is you are confronted with different styles, prices, manufactures etc. That's what makes people. We all like to select what's best for our uses and us.

That's not always the case when it comes to a br ide who wishes to cont ract for wedding photog-raphy.

Photographers as a rule are creatures of habit and to even wrench one away from their favorite film type is a case of major surgery. I had an operator this year who refused to use black and white film as he said "I can only concentrate on colour". I was talking to another photographer who claims to have done eighty plus weddings per year (the reality is he did one wedding and repeated it eighty times.) I mean no disrespect to that type of photographer, they do a good job and the client knows exactly what they will get. But what about the bride? How many people ask them what they want? How many of us offer a choice of styles and how many times have you been asked, " We don't want those over posed pictures, can we have fun shots, can we have candids etc". People are all individuals and at our studio are treated as such. So what are the alternatives? Labeling, we have as a choice. Traditional, contemporary, reportage, and no doubt soon another

style will be added. We live in an incredibly visual age and all our clients see an amazing variety of first class images, advertising any thing from baked beans to nappies. I had an instance a few years ago when I did a wedding for two people who were both in the advertising world and the brief was " if looks like a wedding picture we don't want it " that was an extreme case but it certainly got the creative juices flowing and made me address what I shot.

So supposing we want to go down this route how do we go about it and what do we do?

TRADITIONAL, for the want of a better label is where we do what every formal wedding has always been and always will be, work to a format and don't change (I know it works for some photographers so don't knock it) get a nice well lit smiling shot every time and lets see all the faces, lets add a nice vignetted neutral density filter to blur out the edges on the romantic shots, and make sure the bride and groom are central to every group shot, the cake cutting etc must ensure the wedding rings can be seen and away you go. Oh I forgot, a few nice available light shots at the reception, quarter of a second @ f5.6 posed so they can't move and look like tailors' dummies, cameras into the bag and away you go. That's that till the next one when you can repeat it all again.

CASUAL CONTEMPORY. OK, how do we approach this and make our images a bit different?


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This works best on group shots, let's put the bride and groom on opposite ends of the shot, let's not have them all over each other all the time, they hopefully will be spending the rest of their lives together so to be separated for a few minutes on the wedding day isn't going to hurt. Don't encourage people to put on those false smiles (laughing is fine but not that inane fixed grin most brides have). Let's try letting the bridal party walk instead of just standing posing (you can ask them all to jump up in the air it " that was an extreme case but it certainly got the creative juices flowing and made me address what I shot.

So supposing we want to go down this route how do we go about it and what do we do?

TRADITIONAL, for the want of a better label is where we do what every formal wedding has always been and always will be, work to a format and don't change (I know it works for some photographers so don't knock it) get a nice well lit smiling shot every time and lets see all the faces, lets add a nice vignetted neutral density filter to blur out the edges on the romantic shots, and make sure the bride and groom are central to every group shot, the cake cutting etc must ensure the wedding rings can be seen and away you go. Oh I forgot, a few nice available light shots at the reception, quarter of a second @ f5.6 posed so they can't move and look like tailors' dummies, cameras into the bag and away you go. That's that till the next one when you can repeat it all again.

CASUAL CONTEMPORY. OK, how do we approach this and make our images a bit different?

This works best on group shots, let's put the bride and groom on opposite ends of the shot, let's not have them all over each other all the time, they hopefully will be spending the rest of their lives together so to be separated for a few minutes on the wedding day isn't going to hurt. Don't encourage people to put on those false smiles (laughing is fine but not that inane fixed grin most brides have). Let's try letting the bridal party walk instead of just standing posing (you can ask them all to jump up in the air if you want but most will tell you to bog off) the main thing to remember with all of this is that at no time should you ask anyone to do anything you wouldn't do and never ever take or put them in a pose that makes them look stupid, believe me they will not thank you for it. Be aware of what's going on around you and try to anticipate events, make sure you have a compact or similar small easy to use camera in your pocket. A missed shot could be the one that brings you in more weddings.

I remember years ago leaving a reception and the guests said as I left " thank god you've finished at last" from that day on I revised all that I did and how I behaved on weddings and the comment now is " that was fun" or "oh can't we have more photographs taken" I have even booked future weddings at the same time. Make your wedding photography fun. My philosophy now is that the bride and groom have already paid you and you have the potential of least 120 future clients. You know it makes sense. REPORTAGE.

Super snap shots? Well not really, but with thought just as easy to do. Anticipate the moment, the best times.. whilst guests are waiting at the friends? Much more relaxed than when you set the shots up and poke a big medium format camera down their throats. Do what the guests do to you, pinch their shots from under their noses and see how more relaxed and natural they are.

Now all you have to do is to combine all of the above into one wedding and watch your sales, prices and bookings rise. Believe me it works .... you are giving the couple what they want and with plenty of choice.

So what 's the best equipment and film stock to use on these combination weddings weddings.......?

David A J Facey. FMPA. FSWPP.


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1st Published 01/12/1999
last update 07/04/2022 09:08:01

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