It seems I've been harping on about them for ages now.
In the coming months I'm making moves to place my self securely in the wedding game. Hopefully this will be my main game for the foreseeable future. I like shooting weddings. I think they are super fun and interesting to watch. I shoot them in a non invasive fashion. I'm usually lurking in a corner where the light is good waiting for something epic to happen. I particularly love catching people in the middle of a good belly laugh. Teeth out and teary eyed. Nothing more satisfying than looking back over an image and thinking "fuck yes, glad I caught that!", they are the moments that you kinda have to shoot before they happen. If you react as it happens it's gone. Long gone.
Recently I've had the honour of shooting with Claudia. You should all know her by now as she is one of my main inspirations to shoot weddings. She takes a laid back attitude to most things and her work remains one of them. It's a great vibe to work around and learn from. Reason I say this is because I like to worry. I like to worry a lot. If I'm not worrying I'm probably giving myself a hard time. She has taught me to look for the light, "stop being so technical" and that grain is good. It's also great being able to work with her as she gives me the opportunity to drop a few shits and fucks into conversation throughout the day. They start to rack up during a shoot as I have to be on my best behaviour around the couple and their guests!
The days are long and usually made longer on the way home. Despite my best efforts I always seem to find the longest route home. Pair my distaste for GPS or nonchalant attitude to directions with the early starts and you've got yourself a hot mess! The last few miles of my journeys home are a fuckin struggle. A window down and music UP kinda struggle.
But its all worth it.
My love for wedding photography is driven by my own wedding experience. See, the wedding of Abi and I was easily the best day of my life... Don't know if I can speak for Abi on this one but for arguments sake we'll say the same applies. We were surrounded by our nearest and dearest for a whole day. There was a general mindset of "nothing else matters today" throughout the whole day. Those who attended comment on what a great time they had. Granted the three kegs of awesome beer I bought may have had something to with that but, I genuinely think there was more to it. Abi and I have been through hell and high water with each other during the past years. We have stood strong for one another, like the roots of mighty trees during bad storms. We have laughed like mindless idiots over toilet humour, various internet videos and our general goofy humour. We've shared some amazing highs and weathered some of the hardest lows. I think all this showed during our wedding and everything else fell into place making everyone feel at ease.
What I've realised is, every couples wedding is the same. There is almost a sigh of relieve from the guests when the ceremony is over. Like they are glad the right thing has been done. The couple have reached the next level of commitment and everyone is stoked to celebrate it with them. I can't deny the fact that some people involved in said sigh are just happy they can finally go for a fag, get a drink and rest easy knowing they'll soon be fed... But you know what I mean right?!
Regardless of whether guests enjoyed the wedding or not, you can't take away the feeling you are left with after being married to the love of your life. It stays with you for every day that follows. Knowing that you are now in a competition with one another till the bitter end. A competition to love the fuck out of one another for fear of losing half of all your shit! I joke, I joke!
It's an incredible feeling knowing that this is your partner in poop jokes and mischief till the days where you both leave this little blue dot.
The next best feeling to this is receiving your wedding photos. The only photos you'll ever get where being a narcissist is completely allowed. Where looking back over them you can relive all the awesome moments of the day and revel in the fact that your photographer has made you look like a god damn power house couple. Especially if your photographer "gets you". When they have taken the time to become a part of your day. Part of your gang. Part of your life. They are solely responsible for capturing some of the most intimate moments of the day but knowing not to cross certain lines and interfere with the "nature".
THIS IS MY GOAL. THIS IS WHAT I WILL ACHIEVE. TO DELIVER THE SAME FEELING I HAD WHEN REVELLING IN OUR FINAL WEDDING IMAGES. TO DELIVER SOMETHING PERSONAL. TO DELIVER SOMETHING SOMEONE WILL CHERISH AND PASS DOWN TO THEIR CHILDREN. TIME AND TIME AGAIN.
Being granted a backstage pass to a day that some people dream about from a young age is not a responsibility I'd like to fuck about with at all. Being able to chat to some ones grandmother about cats while she has her make up done, pouring the groom a whisky to calm his nerves or even talking about travel with the annoying uncle to allow the bride and groom to slip away without seeming rude. These are the things that make shooting weddings seem more important than just being a photographer. Honouring the trust some one has put in you not to fuck it up!
Call me a helpless romantic but I couldn't imagine a better job.
My whole working life has been predominantly based around hospitality and looking after folk. Whether it be crafting a delicately balanced medley of flavours for an A la carte menu, whacking a filthy stack of bacon and cheese on a succulent beef patty, crafting a simple sandwich for someone who's having a shit day or just taking time to chat shit with someone while pouring them a drink. Sure I've probably bitch moaned about every place I have worked at some given point when the pressure has been upped by a few notches but truth be told. I can't live without the pressure any more. I thrive from it. When it comes to GO! time everything turns into a huge puzzle in my head. Not the type of puzzle that shows a shitely put together big ben but one that puts everything in order in the most efficient way. Filling every gap with some form of task to lighten the load on a brigade. To serve every customer before tempers get frayed. To ensure that what ever good thing the people you are looking after have going, keeps going. Would also like to add, theres always an ulterior motive to these situations. The better you get at something usually means your speed will increase. The quicker you get usually means a smoke break is always closer to your grasp. A great friend once told me to "Strive For Excellence". This so fucking true. If you achieve perfection you get complacent and lazy. I don't ever want to be a complacent and lazy photographer.
I genuinely hope that in 2017 couples will trust me to capture some truly inspiring memories for them to hold close to there hearts. There will be hard times and a few mistakes I'm sure. However, my love for this will not allow me to fuckin ruin anything. Only improve, improve and improve some more. The feeling of being able to replicate what I felt when getting my photos back from Claudia is my sole ambition. If I gain a few friends and have a good time doing it then feel free to slap me should I ever grumble.
Anyhow, I'm getting paranoid that what I have typed has become a bit to poetic for anybodies liking. Two more things before I finish up.
1) Claudia, if you are reading. Thank you so much for everything as of late. Thank you for allowing me to join you in what you do.
2) Abigail. My wife, my love, my best friend. Thank you so much for being so supportive. Thank you so much for reassuring me when I've made mountains out of mole hills. Thank you for trusting me to not fuck shit up. Thank you for being my rock and believing I'm capable of making this a success.