Why I love wedding photography

15th December 2015
I've been into photography since about 1978, with my levels of interest peaking and waning throughout the years, for various reasons.
Most recently a good few years out while my wife, Allison and I set up a computer business and built that up... that was 2002 and is still going strong. Ali is left to deal with that almost solely now while I go out and shoot weddings.
The 2 businesses work very much hand in hand though, in this digital age, there's no better back up business for a modern digital photographer, than his wife's computer shop.

But on the photography front, I've blogged many times about shooting band photography in the 80's, and how I loved that. But I realised all my lean photography periods came when I was just "landscaping". Just going out and looking for a different look at the countryside around me and selling a few prints.

I've always tried by damnedest to be different, shoot from a different angle & offer something different. Before falling right back in love with wedding photography again - I sold a LOT of landscape work from around the Dunbar area. In fact some of my best work still sells very regularly.
I still went out to try get something different. Every man and his dog and that dog's fleas has a million photographs of Belhaven Bridge. It's like a magnet in this area for photographers.
One of my top selling photos is a photo of that metal beasty. But it's taken early morning, in the fog facing INTO the land. Not in the evening looking out to sea that probably 99% of pictures of it feature.

I'm not knocking anyone's photos, just explaining what I like to do.
I dabbled in night time photography and again sold a few copies, but now everyone in this area is doing it. Some better than me it must be said, and I even recently bought a 600mm lens to do lunar photos and the likes, used it once or twice but then thought...

How the hell can I get a photo of the moon that no-one else has ?

I can't. Short of going there. God that would be cool.

Short of timing it when one (or better, two) planes go past it as I grab a photo , but even THAT'S been done by someone else.

I can't get into an area of photography that I could Google and pull up thousands of the same picture. It just doesn't excite me.

What is unique though is people (excuse my plural grammar there).
But people are the finger print in photography that makes every photography special.
Sure, if you're not into weddings, I dare say it's possible to say "every wedding photo is the same"... but every frame is unique. A smile, a glance, movement of a dress, the look two people give each other. Someone nervous, someone fed up, someone full of emotion and love - or even sadness.

Weddings offer all that. And portrait work. Especially out and about "environmental portraits". Yesterday I spent around 90 seconds with a local author & friend taking his photo on Dunbar High Street, and I got more from that 90 seconds in fulfillment & meaningful photography than I'd have got with 2 or 3 nights of Belhaven Bridge photos.

I know many good photographers that wouldn't touch weddings because of the "stress". But what a buzz they are missing out on... wedding photography pushes you to prove you know what you are doing - or learn fast (as in, on the spot) - and it trains you in so may aspects of camera craft.
You don't have to like people and be a party animal. I'm one of the shyest people I know (says me), but during a wedding it's gig time, what I feel or fear doesn't matter. I have in front of me the opportunity to spend a day with a happy group of people and produce something special for them.

Even when we go out and do the pre-wedding shoots. It's a free part of the service.
I could spend that afternoon or evening at home in front of the telly (or at Belhaven Bridge), but I choose to meet a wedding couple and see how they tick. Find out how their big day is going to play out.

And on the big day... 10 to 14 hours away running around with bags of gear watching every person and thinking 15 minutes ahead all day... what a buzz.
And on those special shots, when you press that button and you know right there that you captured something so special that people will look at that for years to come and remember the exact moment it happened.
Being the person that captures and hands over those moments is why I love wedding photography.

Roy (left) took under 2 minutes to walk out and take this picture, and Gordy (right) taken inside our computer shop (maybe soon to be studio).

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