A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to photograph a wedding for a good friend that I have known for many years now. I believe I also got the job because Debbie really understands and ‘gets’ the style and approach to my wedding photography. It wasn’t just a case of “Oh I know, Steve photographs weddings, we can just get him to do it.” I am no stranger to photographing friends weddings either, it was back in 2007 in Malta armed with several rolls of film that I first shot my first wedding for Lee and Kelly. Kelly always jokes when looking at my work now saying “You weren’t this good when you photographed our wedding…” at least I hope she’s joking, because truth be told it was those photographs, and the praise that came from them, that set me down this path of documentary wedding photography. I was told we just want a couple of family shots, a few nice ones of us and the rest just do what you want. It was this freedom and the realisation that actually a lot of people do want my style of photography that made me think, well I enjoy shooting weddings this way, so let’s give it a go.
For me, shooting Debbie and Matt’s wedding at Hayne Barn was a great experience and one that, had it been back in 2007 I would have certainly struggled to cope with as the conditions were challenging to say the least. We had thunder, hail stones, torrential rain and sleet, we had harsh bright sunshine and low soft directional light, there was the wonderful soft diffused light that comes from shooting in a marquee to the ceremony room which was practically in the dark all but for one small window light that was partially blocked by the registrar. Having all these scenarios thrown at me as a photographer in 2007, I probably would not have known where to start, in fact I may even have given up there and then. However, I now have the skills and the right equipment for all these situations and more importantly knew how and when to utilise them.
I am so glad Debbie and Matt chose me professionally and personally as I would have felt a deep sense of regret leaving it in someone else’s hands. A question asked… does it feel different shooting a wedding with friends rather than people you don’t know? The answer is no, because interactions and light are what I look for on a wedding day regardless of friends or strangers…. light is light.