This is just you (sometimes both of you) getting ready. During this time everyone has a laugh & joke together, with me recording what’s happening with no direct input; so no – “Ooh do that again” – type moments.
At this point then I’m shooting Contemporary, Documentary, Photojournalist & Reportage and in the Natural way (without flash).
Unless your timings have gone to pot there should always be 10+ minutes when you’re totally ready to leave to be married, and wondering what to do. This is the most perfect you’re going to look all day, so having a Portrait now of you looking FAB before any wind/rain hits you makes sense – yes?
So here I switch into Traditional mode to make the best use of light and some minimal posing direction to make you look AWESOME – in a Natural way too without flash.
The CEREMONY !!!
There’s no choice here but to shoot it as it happens. Most Registrars are helpful allowing me to get into a good position, some are less helpful and a very few are a PITA! The worst from a photography perspective are ministers, vicars, etc. in Churches, where its not uncommon to be told NO PHOTOS are allowed at all, or at best a few from right at the back.
Obviously we photographers aren’t in control here, so its all in the Contemporary, Documentary, Photojournalist & Reportage style and unless its dark-as-a-dungeon without flash too – so Natural.
Pretty much all Registrars and church officials will refuse to let me photograph the actual signing of the Register, but will invite me forward to shoot you pretending to sign a blank one. It’s entirely your choice as to if this happens or not, but even if you think it seems a bit daft, it is a traditional part of the Ceremony and something most Guests will expect; and also want to photograph.
This is a Traditional style requirement, which may/may not require flash, hence may be shot in a Natural way.
Post-Ceremony but before Wedding Breakfast
Typically your venue will allow around 90 minutes here, and here’s what usually happens…
1 – everyone greets you as the newly-weds, its a time of handshakes, hugs & kisses, totally natural and hence any photography here is Contemporary, Documentary, Photojournalist & Reportage and usually Natural too.
2 – then if you’ve asked for any Group Photos (follow THIS LINK for advice on Groups) this is where I have to take control to shoot your requests as quickly as possible so you can all get back to partying. This is very much in Traditional style, and usually Natural too.
3 – for most couples we then have a period of 10-20 minutes where we 3 go for a walkabout around your Wedding Venue. Its a time for you both to reflect on your day so far, your first quiet time together, and a time for photos to reflect the love & beauty of you both.
For most couples this requires me to take control, but in a very gentle & fun way. There is some posing, but not like the ‘Beckhams’ all angular & moody, I’ll just be asking you to hold each other however you normally do, and maybe tweaking a bit here & there. Fashion poses may look great in magazines, but if it’s not ‘you’ then you’ll feel daft and not like those shots later, so I won’t use them.
We may even nip off-site in my car somewhere if you want WOW photos by a lake, castle etc.
Clearly as I need to direct you to some extent this is a more Traditional style, with a hint of Fine Art at times, and while Natural most of the time some of the WOW-factor shots do require a specific flash photography skillset.
4 – then we’re back to photos of you & your Guests interacting & having fun. No input from me here means its all Contemporary, Documentary, Photojournalist & Reportage and unless we’re inside on a dark day it will be Natural too. Several of your Guests are likely to ask me for a photo of them as a couple or with their children and other family members too, so I oblige and drop into Traditional style accordingly.
There’s no style needed here as I don’t take photos of you all eating!
Again no direction from me at all, so its all shot Contemporary, Documentary, Photojournalist & Reportage and Natural wherever possible.
2nd Newly-wed set / sunset photos
There’s always a period of time after your Wedding Breakfast has ended and before your Evening kicks off. At this time many Guests disappear to freshen up, while some hit the bar like booze is going out of fashion!
This time gives us a variety of opportunities where we can finish any missed Group photos, continue shooting Guests interacting, or have a 2nd newly-wed shoot in the grounds or go off-site somewhere. Styles used here may include one or more of Contemporary, Documentary, Photojournalist & Reportage, Natural, Fine Art and Traditional.
Cake Cutting & 1st Dance
Most venues have now realised that putting a beautiful and often VERY expensive cake in a crappy corner doesn’t really show it off and it makes for poor Cake Cutting Photos. The better venues then place the Cake in the middle of the dance-floor, where you’ll cut it – usually shot in a Traditional way – and where they then take it away leaving you on the dance-floor for your 1st Dance to commence; which is shot in a Contemporary, Documentary, Photojournalist & Reportage style and rarely Natural as its often too dark.