A couple of years ago I attended a wedding and, after watching the photographer in action, I expressed that I never wanted to photograph a wedding. So, on August 3rd last year I was in Exmouth to shoot my first wedding.
Rich & Lissie had managed to convince me. Their laid-back attitude and them giving me an entire year to consider and prepare made the prospect seem much more attractive. Plenty of wedding and bridal Pinterest board pinning later, I was down in Exmouth, with a loose plan of action in hand, doing a recce and run-through of the big day.
The fact that the couple are good friends and have previously said very kind things about my photography made things much easier for me. They had compiled a list of shots they wanted and allowed for me to play around creatively. We had decided on two beautiful locations to visit after the ceremony. The first was a small beach popular with wind surfers, kites flying high in the background, and the second was a scenic greenspace overlooking the seafront.
Bright and early on the day of the wedding, I had my first important assignment: documenting the bride getting ready. This was probably my favourite bit to photograph. A relaxed, but electrifying atmosphere made for a fun part of the day and allowed me to get creative and try out a few ideas I had up my cuff-linked sleeve.
At one point Lissie was taken outside to be greeted by her surprise VW Camper Van, complete with a surf board on the roof rack, which was to be her ride to the church. The coastal themes were great fun to capture. Soon enough, I was driving ahead of the procession towards the Point in View Church. The pressure was on now, the more formal side of the day upon me.
Rushing out of my parked-up car to get ready for the arrival of the bride, caught up in the moment, I had left the photo schedule on the front seat! Thankfully, a guest kindly retrieved it and I was able to calm down from my brief moment of panic. The ceremony went smoothly, I collected a few more memories and managed to avoid the loud click of the shutter during the bits the chaplain had pre-warned me not to photograph. Finally, the couple left the tiny church (it seated a maximum of 40 guests!) to sign the wedding register in an even smaller side-room. Upon signing it, I was called in to take photos of the couple pretending to sign it (apparently taking photos of couples actually signing it is forbidden) and I was able to take the macro shot I had planned of their engraved wedding rings.
Next was the most daunting part of the day so far, the group shots. Thankfully, I was able to call upon the last-minute lay photographic assistance of my brother and he was immeasurably helpful as the person-per-frame rate rapidly increased. Each group posed in front of the bright blue Camper Van in the sun, concluding with the entire guest list (which included lots of people who couldn’t fit inside the church!) bunched together while I improvised and climbed atop a wall in order to get every face in view.
All in all, it was a successful day and a great experience. The rapidly pressure decreased as we drove out to the pre-planned locations, took the shots at a slower pace and arrived at the reception to flowing drinks and a celebratory mood. I’m pretty happy with the results and even happier with the extremely positive feedback from the couple.
Here are some of my favourite photographs from the day: