As many of you will already know. Shooting a wedding is said to be one of the most demanding shooting environments (without the extremities of harsh/unforgiving terrains/climates) for both professional Photographers and Cinematographers.
Last year, I was lucky enough to be granted full access as main Photographer to John & Lucy Nicholson’s wedding, in June of last year on the beautiful island of Jamaica. What a privilege, and honour it was to not only be there to experience the wedding, but also get to shoot it first hand (Highlight images are available here: http://charlielocke.com/gallery/mariage-john-lucy/)
What I learnt from this wedding in particular, was that. Although I think the images turned out great for a first wedding. Many of the certain challenges which come with 99% of all commissioned affairs were simply not a ‘thing’ due to the circumstances with the couple being family. That being said, I came out with an advantage. A decent set of images, and an insight as to what it would be like to shoot a wedding first hand. Awesome!
On the flip side, none of the common occurrences (at least very little) that happen on an average day-to-day wedding shooting scenario, were discovered. And I knew this. Thus, I was still left with a hell of allot to learn before I could call myself a ‘Wedding Photographer’. Or a ‘Wedding *anything*’ for that matter, as really, I have only attended 4 weddings at most in my lifetime, so my knowledge base is still very limited besides the standard “I do”.
Aside from what I learnt shooting stills at a wedding many months ago. What did I learn from shooting video for the very first time at a wedding?
Saturday 4th January 2014, Billericay, Essex, I was part of a four person crew capturing beautiful moments around the stunning venue the couple had hired. Commissioned by Imran Meeran (Creative Director at IamMediaUK @ www.iammediauk.co.uk).
I learnt allot about what I can achieve, by trying many different ways to engage eye contact, or in some other way to employ emotion in the images I was shooting.
Two examples & top tips!…
1. Young Children!
I would say 80% of young children under the age of 10 (thereabouts) would be willing to do something stupid for the camera. Whether that be pull a stupid face, engage in a really heart warming smile off competition, or just damn right dance their hips off into the moonlight!
Talk to the kids, approach in the right way, be crazy, but always let them know if how and what they are doing is good, by your reactions or even offering them something small in return for a few minutes of their time (A high-FIVE usually does the trick!) This way, you are more likely to engage a connection with the surrounding children who are probably wanting to get in on some of the fun stuff for the camera! If they see someone having fun, it’s infectious, and you could quite easily hit the jackpot!
2. Just a smile
Sometimes, it’s all it takes. Certainly in the case of the wedding this post is based upon. Smile!
People read emotions, often more so than you feel them. Your face says it all. Your body language, everything. The way you approach a scenario, let it be how you mean it to be. You have to enjoy what you’re doing, and show it. Immensely! I had such a fantastic time, and I guess that payed off. I engaged in tons of eye contact around the whole venue, to the point where some people would get a little embarrassed at times maybe, and thus continue laughing and playing around with their friends about being on camera (mostly young-mid teenagers). But that is exactly what I was looking for. Engaging emotion, and I’m glad it payed off! It tells, STORY.
Most importantly, what I learnt. Is that I am ready, to shooting weddings, and I love it.
I was prepared, knowledgeable, skilled (I hope) and ready to tackle the battle. I know my kit inside out, but most importantly.
I was D.I.V.E.R.S.E.
Loved it so much, it’s almost instantaneously become a passion of mine to shoot more! I had such a ball, I was laughing, smiling, enjoying and just happy the whole time, and the surrounding people and team to work with helped welcome me, and grow things warmer. One of the hardest single days work of my life, but I didn’t feel a thing until the day after (still feeling it 4 days down the road) because I was that engrossed in enjoyment and happiness. I didn’t have time to complain or even think about my bruised knee’s, sore joints or tender muscular pains.
That’s the place I want to be in. That’s the place I want to work, and that. Is exactly, what I am going to do!
Feel inspired! Because I know I do.