I’m a wedding photographer.
So, hey, I’m a wedding photographer. Fact.
It’s the most amazing job in the world. The variety is awesome. Sometimes I’m photographing a cool wedding on the hills of a Tuscan village as a destination wedding photographer. Other days I’m a Derbyshire wedding photographer shooting at some of the coolest venues Derbyshire has to offer. Either way, being a wedding photographer is amazing.
I get to witness and be a part of one of the happiest times in peoples lives. A real milestone in life where new memories are made. New relationships are forged by the meeting of two families and friendship groups, new heirlooms gifted and new traditions created. It’s amazing and a privilege to be there, with a camera in hand and the responsibility of photographing these events on our own creative way.
So what does a wedding photographer actually do?
So what does a wedding photographer actually do? Well, without trying to bore you too much (you can read all about our approach to weddings here). We’re just there. Present. In the moment. We’re watching everything unfold in front of our eyes. With a camera to our face, we take pictures of happy times, some sad times, but mostly happy tears. Documenting the day as we see it and with the click of a shutter, we preserve memories forever that would have otherwise be forgotten.
Trust. Trust your wedding photographer
Being a wedding photographer is much more than what happens on a wedding day. Our approach to weddings means that we like to be so much more than just the guy with a camera on a wedding day. We want to get to know you guys waaaaay before we point a camera in your face. Truly great photos only come as a result of an amazing connection between us both. Without that, it doesn’t work. You guys, as the bride and groom have to believe in our methods, however mad they may seem and totally buy into our style and vision for your day and visa versa. We want you to be invested in us as people as well as us as photographers, and we’ll give you the same back in return.
So many times we’ve been out for drinks with our couples, been for food, even travelled with them, all to create a unique bond and totally build your trust. As a result, when we strap on a 35mm lens and point a camera in your face, up close and personal, you know it’s for a great reason. By that point, even if you hate having your photo taken, you know we’ve got your back and we’re going to create some amazing images for you.
The life of a wedding photographer still doesn’t stop at the end of a wedding day. People always ask “what do you do for the rest of the week when you don’t have a wedding”. We sit around, drinking coffee and watching Netflix, right?! Haha, if only!!
Aside from continual website updates, SEO work, emails, accounts, liaising with other suppliers and everything else that it takes to run a business, we’ve then got to do something with those images.
Once the wedding day is over, we then meticulously pour through thousands of images from each wedding, picking out the best ones. Honestly, we shoot a lot of images. Around about 6000-8000 images per wedding between two of us. A lot of those images are rubbish; people with eyes closed are favourite or just test shots…in fact, most of them are no good! We’re not shy about that.
We believe that if all you ever do is play it safe and you’re not pushing yourself to try things out and experiment to the edge of failure, all you’re ever going to deliver are “safe” images. You gotta do better!
A lot of the time on the day, we’re photographing what we think might happen, rather than waiting for it to actually happen and risk missing the shot. We try to anticipate amazing moments about to happen and start shooting with the aim to tell the story leading up to that epic belly laugh photo, as well as the carnage afterwards. Maybe mum trips and spills her drink, just as everyone else is laughing about how many canapés Uncle John has just stuffed in his mouth, just as mum and dad show a rare moment of affection for each other in the background when they think no one is watching. There’s your golden documentary photo that captures multiple layers of moments on a wedding day to tell the story of the day.
Swing the bat
As a wedding photographer, you’ve got to swing the bat in order to hit a home run. Swing the bat. Just keep swinging. 9 out of 10 times that ‘moment’ doesn’t actually come to anything and fizzles out, never mind. Delete those images. We’ll move on to look for another story to tell. Just keep swinging because that one time you connect with the ball and hit a home run, you’ve just photographed the most amazing moment and probably an awesome memory for your bride and groom. Preserved forever. If you’re not clicking the shutter on your camera, you’re definitely not going to get the shot.
That’s why we love our job so much. We get to witness amazing relationships on a wedding day. To see everyone at their best, and their worst and give you guys a way of seeing those people for years to come.
For this image, I took 84 photos in order to be able to get the 1 perfect one! Swing the bat!
The Final Image
Once the wedding day is all over, we then spend days and days and days, carefully editing the images. Adjusting exposure, contrast, and balancing colours to account for some of the horrible lighting that appears on 99% of wedding venues. All this contributes to our HBA style and for us, the editing is the cherry on top of an amazing wedding photo and really brings it to life.
Wedding Photographer v’s Documentary wedding photographer
There is a lot of talk about documentary photographers, portrait photographers, destination photographers and everything in between. Ultimately we’re all just wedding photographers, there to tell stories in our own way. So which one are we?
Truthfully, we’re all of those and none of those at the same time. We’ll never label ourselves as a “documentary wedding photographer”, Nor we will say we’re a “portrait wedding photographer”.
We love that a wedding day can be a great mixture of all both. If we were true documentary photographers, we would never intervene or alter anything about a wedding day. If there’s a Tesco bag in the shot, or a crisp wrapper laying in the background, we wouldn’t touch it. It’s part of the day, right?! For us, no. We want to be able to meddle a little bit and bend the course of the day to create the best possible pictures and if there’s something in a photo that we don’t believe should be there, we’ll try and remove it before taking a photo. We’ll guide you into poses that make you look your absolute best or we’ll add artificial light that isn’t there naturally to enhance a wedding photo. For us, that’s what being a wedding photographer is about.
That’s not to say that we don’t agree with documentary wedding photography….far from it. To be able to take documentary photos on a wedding day is key to what we do too. Yes, we love our portrait sessions, sooo much, I’ll never not do portraits. But we also love to spend a lot of our day being completely un-noticed and photographing what is going on in front of us, making sure our presence with a camera doesn’t alter that moment in time. We do love documentary wedding photography too. THAT’s why we try to incorporate a mixture into our style as a wedding photographer.
Everyone has their own style
There are some incredible documentary wedding photographers out there such as Tyler Wirken who are purely documentary shooters and his couples love that. There are also incredible portrait photographers like Joey L who only shoot portraits and we’ve learnt soooo much from both styles of photography. We’ve picked out elements we love from their approaches and merged them into our own style.
So, there you go…. Those are my general ramblings about wedding photography for the day.
Ultimately, however you look at our style and how we photograph, we photograph people and things at weddings… I’m a wedding photographer. I love it.