{Operation 118} Why Wedding Photography?

Often I am asked by clients, friends, colleagues and fellow photographers…

“Nadine, why weddings? Why did you decide to specialise in photographing weddings?”

Depending on the person asking, I mostly respond with the same answer: 

“The details, the couple’s bubble, the guests, the venues and the food….” 

Here’s why:

The details
Being a creative person, I know how much time, planning and preparation goes into creating something that is an extension of the bride and groom’s personalities, their history, their story.
The bride would have started thinking about ideas even before she met her match.  Often taking mental notes of colours and details around her on any given day. On the wedding day, the bride might see all her best friends and her hard work come to fruition, but years after, she will still be showing off her efforts to those who show an interest in what was, the most important day in her life.

The couple’s bubble
Every couple lives in their own one. No two bubbles are the same…

Someone I know, recently described it as:
…two people standing on opposite corners of a room, in conversation and upon looking up and glancing at eachother, from a distance, they share a knowing smile…

When a groom sees his bride for the first time, there is a repeat of that knowing smile. Sometimes with a little tear or the grin of a cheshire cat but mostly it’s knowing, that you know, that the other knows, what you know… something like that. Unique to every couple, the moment when the priest/vicar announces that “the groom may now kiss the bride”, they turn and face their loved ones and again, hand in hand, they share a moment where, passing through the isle, the journey officially begins, and they both know it.
Again when the bride and groom arrive at the reception and everyone is standing to welcome Mr and Mrs, often the groom is slightly in front of his wife, leading her to their table where they will sit down and then share another congratulatory kiss, if they haven’t already shared a few in private.
He is proud, as is she. Of their day, of their guests, and of eachother. During the evening reception, if the couple has been fortunate enough to hand over control to those in charge, they will have their dance, share a little “local-joke” or a wish for their future or a thank you and she will hold his hand and allow him to lead her. Even if they are only swaying from side to side. She will feel safe in their bubble.

The guests
A smorgasbord of characters!
There are always just a few grumpy ones, for whom the food and drink could not arrive soon enough and then there are those who spend most of their time outside, smoking. There are those parents who are constanly checking on their kiddies and then there are other couples and singletons who really know how to have a good time, let their hair down and be present in a joyous moment.
The children also form part of this party and as I used to be an English teacher, I’ve learned how to connect with the little people and build report with them very quickly. Age 5 and up is easy breezy, but age 4 and younger can be a challenge. Children always guarantee interesting and sometimes funny pictures, often oblivious to what’s going on around them. Their innocence and playfulness is beautiful.

The venues
Every wedding I’ve done so far has been at a different location around the country. Never specific to the county I live in. Each venue with it’s own unique architecture, brings with it character and history. My favourite weddings are outdoors on a sunny/slightly overcast day with a silouette of the historic or modern building in the background. Often I will go off for a little wander just before the wedding or whilst guests are having a meal, to capture a few images of the surroundings. This might include plants, streams, ponds, statues and even animals…

Then last but not least, The food. Oh I love me some food photography! Often, just before the starters are served I will ask the coordinator/planner permission to enter the kitchen for some behind the scenes shots. Then I will do the same for mains and desert. It only takes a minute.
I believe that when a bride and groom have gone through a menu and carefully selected a palete appropriate meal which the chef and his team spend hours or days, lovingly preparing, it’s something worth remembering. It’s a spiritual experience to watch a chef decorate a plate and then make sure every other plate lives up to the same standard, decoratively and well prepared. Sometimes I am not allowed to enter the kitchen as it can be a bit manic in there, but I still try, every time.

Happy Tuesday!

PS* Tomorrow’s post will delve into a 3 weeks series on 2012’s wedding trends. I can’t wait to share my findings with you!

Hmmm…. all this food talk has made me hungry! So I’ll leave you with a few palete appropriate pictures…

QUESTION: What, for you, is an unconventional yet important part of a wedding that you’d love to have photographed?

Please answer in the comments box below.


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