Saturday, 14 April 2012


My partner and I were invited to a family wedding last weekend, with some vague instructions for me to bring my camera. I'd been asked if I wanted to be the official photographer but declined - I'm not a natural crowd wrangler. Anyway, it turned out that I was sort of the official unofficial photographer and depending on your point of view I was to provide either glorified Facebook photos or candid shots to complement the official photographer's output.

Now this was actually a pretty interesting opportunity - a chance to ease myself into wedding photography if I ever felt the need to branch out, plus a chance to see what a 'proper' wedding photographer does.

The first thing I noticed is that you don't have to go into drill seargent mode to get a crowd of people to do what you want - I'd underestimated the power of wielding a posh camera. The second thing was the pressure - nobody was expecting much from me and I still felt it, so what it must have been like for the official guy I can't imagine. It's a big day for the client and you can't go back when the light's better and have another go!

Thirdly - and this was real surprise to me - I found that candid photography is a lot of fun. The security of knowing that I had carte blanche to shoot who, what and where I wanted meant that the job turned into a kind of game. I suppose it was a kind of hunt - there was a ceilidh, so there are going to be people doing this over there at that moment - but will this, that and there happen at the same time? Can I get into position? Will there be enough light (no!)?

At the end of the day I think I got some decent shots (no pics sorry, some of the subjects won't want to see themselves on the net), but the main thing I took away from it was a renewal of my belief that wedding photography isn't for me and I'll forever look up to the skillset it takes to be a wedding photographer, but at the same time I had a lot more fun than I thought I would and picked up a few techniques and notions that will come in handy for other types of event.

And I should probably apologise to the official photographer, I may have drooled on his L-series lens a little bit.