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Andrew Billington Photographyon

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Don't Tell The Bride

A fresh series of 'Don't tell the Bride' started on BBC3 this week and I can't not watch it. I find myself slightly obsessed with the different choices that people make around their wedding day. 'Don't Tell The Bride' is perhaps slightly different because it is the joy in the poor choices of the groom-to-be that drives the show - I find myself having to shout at the TV 'Stop going to the pub and book a hairdresser!'. Why am I like this?
Four years ago I'd probably been to 3 weddings in my life and one was my own, then I started photographing them. I'm now totally fascinated by the day. They are a unique challenge for a photographer - the way I shoot I want to capture the day as it unfolds and not to disrupt the flow of the day - everything is happening in 360 degrees around you and you have to be aware at all times of the dramas and emotions that are playing out throughout the day. And it's capturing that unique story of the day that is where the interest and challenge lies for me. I don't want to create a generic set of 'wedding' images by manipulating the bride, groom and guests to recreate poses that look like everyone else's wedding album but to show the genuine emotions that playout through the day - it's the harder route (8-10 hours shooting) but the more satisfying.
I find every wedding day different. On the surface the structure of the day may be the same but the reasons behind choices or the relationships between people are all unique and specific to the couple whose day it is. Some weddings are loud, exuberant affairs; others quiet and subtle but I find the emotions are the same, just expressed in different ways - and it's that that makes me keep going back for more. 'This is the best day ever!' may be expressed between one couple as an enormous hug and squeeze, for another pair it might be something as subtle as holding each others little fingers - and it's my job to capture both different expressions of the same thing in an interesting and compelling way - that's why I'm obsessed with it.
Who wouldn't want to have the job of showing the joy and celebration as two people say they love each other. It's an honour.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Back to the Blog

Every week for the past 3 months my 'to do' list has included the word 'blog' - every week I've ignored it taunting me from the page. But not any more.
The past few weeks have been busy - theatre shoots, documentary work in schools and of course weddings. But that is no excuse - I should like to write, to share, to publish photos I'm proud of and have enjoyed taking; so I will.
I've included a small set today from a wedding I shot at the weekend that I'm working on at the moment: Frankie and Ian's wedding at Berkerley Castle in Gloucestershire. It was a fine day (contrary to the weather throughout the week) and a beautiful setting. Bridal preparations were at a local hotel and when I arrived there were already 9 women in a fairly small room all getting pampered and preened so I did what any polite person with a camera would do - started shooting. Chaos and excitement are great challenges to getting shots that start to tell the story especially in a confined space. But the room soon thinned out (once we had lost 2 hairdressers and the other bridesmaids went off to change) and it became very calm start to the day.
I won't go into huge detail on the rest of the day but the choices the couple had made for their day was lovely (lillies, great castle, fish and chips for the Wedding Breafast, a live band) and despite the registrar being 20 minutes late(!) no one freaked out and everything went off smoothly. I'm looking forward to finishing the edit this week and getting the shots to the couple whilst they are on honeymoon.