This summer I had the privilege to shoot a wedding. It’s not something I usually do, at all, but I was seriously persuaded by the bride to be to take the assignment.
I remember saying to the bride when I got the question to do the shoot;
– “Well, I don’t normally shoot weddings. I have no real experience of it. I think you should have the best suited photographer for your wedding, and I can recommend lots of other photographers that I know of.”
The answer from the bride was simple and direct;
– But we don’t want any other photographer, we want you, and the kind of pictures you do.
How do you argue with that? The only thing is to say “Thank you” and “Yes”.
The bride and the groom had looked at my portfolio on the web, and truth be told she already knew what kind of pictures I usually do.
When asking what kind of pictures they were aiming at the answer was equally simple this time.
– “It’s up to you, you decide.”
I got to take all my crazy ideas, with usually way too much gear, and actually just do it. Be crazy. Take it over the top. Don’t care if it’s a bit difficult or hard. Just do it. And a word of advice to other photographers during a shoot like this; Trust in yourself and use all the love and happiness bubbling all over the participants on a day like this and do something with it. There is more energy on a day like this than you can imagine. Use it.
The wedding day
With the car packed with both gear and assistant we set off for a 2 hour drive to the wedding location. My head, concentrated at driving, was overfilled with thoughts and different ideas. It felt like my blood had been replaced by Champagne. It was bubbling and tingling all over. Pure happiness.
I had in an early stage decided to go big. Using big Profoto strobes outside on light stands, and big white panels in front of umbrellas and soft-boxes to get that soft gorgeous light. Everything powered by a noisy petrol power station. My argument for the heavy gear; Get the best possible lighting. And what the heck, I had an assistant to carry the darn heavy thing.
I know lots of wedding photographers who mainly use existing light if shooting outside. Maybe a couple of small speed-light flashes, but nothing more. My way is a bit different. I’m a crazy person loving all things about lighting and getting that special picture that doesn’t look like anything else.
During this day I persuaded the bride, groom, bridesmaids and groomsmen to participate in all kinds of stuff. Climbing, leaning, smiling, laughing, hold reflecting screens and much more. In short, have fun!
On a day like this it’s your job to make them feel comfortable and calm. Let them have fun too. It will show in your images. Be that steady rock they can lean on because they probably have their most nervous day ever. Be personal but at the same time professional.
As much as they need you as a photographer, they need an outside friend. Someone to share emotions with, laugh and just relax with. I’m happy to be that person, and it also relaxes me, which in the end results in better pictures. I simply recycle their positive energy.
I can honestly say that this was the best day on this year so far. So much energy, so much fun and what an extraordinary beautiful, happy and open minded couple. Their love really shined through the images.
Thank you Hanna and Marcus, I wish you all the best!