There are always moment in our lives when we feel like we don’t have enough time to enjoy certain things. You know when you’ve poured a smooth cup of coffee first thing in the morning, and you’re sitting there, just sipping quietly, waiting for that freaking moment when you can hear your wife’s shrill voice ordering you to drive the car to get cleaned, or take out the rubbish? It’s like you’re on edge the whole time, drinking your coffee and secretly hoping that you’ll never hear it – that maybe you’ve miraculously gone deaf, or that she’s gone mute. Or both.
Well, that’s how I feel after a ceremony. Not that I’ve gone deaf, but that I’m on borrowed time. You see, after the vows have been said and rings have been exchanged and your 90-year-old granddad has fallen asleep from all the excitement, that’s when I swoop in and take the married couple to one side for their creative photos. These are the ones that hang over the mantelpiece for the rest of eternity – so you want to get them just right. And this takes time.
When it comes to the group photos, everyone likes to look perfect, and I’m part of making that happen. I’ll have scouted out a spot to take the shots, where the lighting is great and I know I’ll be able to fit everyone in. I’ll work with you to discover your best angles, even if it does take the maid of honour twenty snaps to find hers. I’d like to say I’m the Houdini of the photography world, but when your mother-in-law ugly-cries for half an hour and leaves a hot mess trail of mascara running down her cheeks, no amount of magic can fix that in five minutes. Not even Photoshop.
I’m a patient guy. Wedding venues, however – not so patient.
No kidding, I have to fight with 99% of venues to allow me more time for creative and group shots. Even for an extra 15 minutes. And when you’re having as much fun as you do when you’re messing about on a fun photo shoot with your nearest and dearest, believe me, 15 minutes flies by. This should be a time for you to relax. A time to be your new married selves. A time where, for a brief moment, you don’t have to worry about what your guests are doing, or if diabetic Uncle Bob is eating his Mars Bar. And you definitely shouldn’t be worrying about the manager tapping his wristwatch and telling you to move on. You’ve paid thousands for your venue, so make the most of it. Put your foot down (and kindly flip that manager a proverbial middle finger, so that I don’t have to).
A week before the wedding, I usually go through the schedule so that I can get timings right. Personally, I advise scheduling a couple of hours between the ceremony and the wedding breakfast so that you can spend time with your photographer getting the shots that you really want. The more time, the better. Nail those creative and group shots, so that you can mingle and get confetti chucked in your face, and eat cake and dance. And maybe one day, after many years of marriage, you’ll understand exactly how I feel when you sip your coffee in the morning, waiting for that sound...