It's ramping up to a busy time on the old wedding photography front - obviously it's the key season for us contemporary wedding photographers and I'm finding that preparation is all. Every wedding day I want to give my best and serve couples with some exciting, interesting and original photography so putting in time doing the groundwork has proven invaluable.
Pre-wedding Venue Visits - Essential. I always offer to meet up before the day to discuss the timetable and get the opportunity to walk around the venue with the couple. This lets me know what is special about a place for the couple and to make plans in my head of where it is best to shoot things and what features look good (I'm always wanting to give a context to my wedding images and if I can know a place beforehand then I feel fully prepared). I'm thinking of making the pre-wedding meeting almost mandatory.
Lists of Formal Shots - again pretty mandatory. My style of shooting is less about spending lots of time lining groups up and more about capturing the day as it unfolds but it's inevitable that when certain people are gathered together you wouldn't want to formally put them as a group to capture the occasion. I shoot on average 6-10 'formal' group shots per wedding (which couples tend to agree is enough) and try to get this done in about 10 minutes so the day can flow. So having the list of groups before the day helps me to know what I'm shooting and put them in the most efficient order - plus I can give a copy to the Best Man and use him as a 'roper' to get everyone together.
Knowing the Style or Theme of the Day - this is part of all the discussion with the couple beforehand to know what sort of day they are looking to have (Casual, Vintage, Relaxed, Formal) and it really helps me to add that feeling to the photography on the day.
Anyway - this is all part of the pre-wedding day prep that I like to do which means that I feel much more free on the day to capture the essentials and then look for the unique, interesting and personal.
Here are some recent shots from weddings at Sandhole Oak Barn and Landmark Arts Centre