Shooting a wedding - just like playing a gig !

19th June 2014
I'd imagine not many of my wedding couples know that much of my non-photography background... and that's probably a good thing ha ha.
But one thing I always say when folk that know me ask how I enjoy and prepare for weddings is... "It's just like playing a gig".

I was (actually technically still am) in a band from Dunbar called Setting Sons (not the guys from down south that wear wigs who stole our name). We are a punk covers band doing The Jam, Clash Stiff Little Fingers, Sex Pistols and all that purlarva.
Our biggest coup was actually supporting the real Stiff Little Fingers on quite a few occasions, at Edinburgh's Liquid Rooms, HMV Picture House, Iron Works Inverness and Glasgows Barrowland.


Playing The Jam's "Tube Station" in Haddington.


Playing in a band takes a huge ammount of practise & dedication. You never stop learning new stuff, and constantly checking gear over, rehearsing, setting up , checking gear again... then when the gig starts... no matter how you feel, no matter what obstacles or hic-cups happen - you just get on, and do what you're there to do to the best of your abilities.

If you've put the work in before hand, it will show in the finished product.

There's no doubt that playing at large venues in front of quite big crowds is a great way to be ready for a large army of aunties and uncles that need their picture taken.
Being in front of everyone at a wedding for the big group shot with all eyes on the photographer.... no time to flap now ... just hit those big bass notes man ! lol Or nowadays it's smile folks , no blinking ! :)


Opening song in a support slot with Stiff Little Fingers


I've been incredibly lucky to have been in that band with so many talented guys, from 2003 on it was a blast. The band's story is laced with sadness with two of our original members - one of which was my brother-in-law, died in recent years.
We've tried to carry on, and have stuttered close on a few occasions, but we were as much a bunch of friends enjoying ourselves as we were a band, and you can't replace that bond. Anyway, sadness apart, the whole point of this wee chat is just to give people an insight into the workings of my photography mind, about preparation, and how I believe there are many similarities between the two industries.
Actually - one of the reasons I started in photography was to photography local bands for posters - always hoping one of them would make it big. Turns out our own band came the closest :/

Now you know why I have a guitar tattooed on my arm.

The Lambretta tattoo is another story for another day !

So when you're at a wedding I'm shooting, and I'm rounding up everyone there for the formal photos - especially the big shot of everyone, you'll now know that in my head I'm at a gig... and you guys are the audience... just no throwing cans and bottles :)





Setting Sons at Glasgows Barrowlands supporting SLF.





With Stiff Little Fingers backstage at Edinburgh's Liquid Rooms, when The Jam's Bruce Foxton played bass with them, mixing with one of my heroes was an odd thing, I think he was more taken with me. Check the sweat on me after we just came off stage, Brucey must have liked my muskiness :)




Greig, such a good friend to loose, taken by a friend at a gig in Inverness. I have this as a big canvas on my living room wall.



Shamey, anothe sorely missed friend, in a typical pose from him, this photo was taken in my living room as part of a quick poster session, but to me it sums the man and his life up, and my feelings to loosing two friends & band mates.



Jake Burns from SLF dedicates a song to Greig after his passing.
Ironically we were asked to support at this gig.


Ok, onwards and upwards, no more dark secrets from my past !


G.x

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