An essential part of your story – getting ready ! Often when I arrive to record preparations I really don’t know what to expect. Some bridal parties are calm and relaxed, while others are in a mad panic; a detail isn’t quite right, or someone is running late ! But whatever is going on I want to capture the tone and atmosphere and get some great shots in the bag straight away.
I usually try and explain my journalistic style to those I haven’t met before and ask people to try and ignore me – tricky with a large camera and lens. And obviously make it clear, to ask me to step out of the room for clothes changes ! First up usually are the details of preparations; make up, shoes, dress details. This means I get some time to check the available light in the room and hopefully gives the bridal party a bit to time to get used to a photographer being in the room. Once I have these then I’ll move on to the scene-setting images. Make-up being applied, hair being done and hopefully capture some interaction between people. While my style is mainly documentary, I will direct to particular features, for example a beautiful mirror, or an area of natural light beside a window. Of course if you want some formal portraits, absolutely no problem.
Finally, if time allows, I try and do some portaits of the bride in her dress, before departing to find the groom – usually in the bar !