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Category : Wedding Photography

Sompalli Wedding ring finger

Wedding Day Photography? Maybe Not, but Everything Else…

Sompalli Wedding, Hands and Heart
I don’t do much wedding day photography these days, which is a shame, I always found it suited me well.

Thinking on my feet, dealing with the stress (the good kind), that makes you creative, was perfect for me.

You can even find a long neglected website which, surprisingly, still works, not sure who is paying for it… I long ago switched to writing blog posts instead.

The trouble is the pay in Barcelona can be a joke. I am sure if you are ‘known’ and get to do the more exclusive events it pays off.

Jobs in other countries that paid well spoilt me I guess… I kind of stopped looking for the work here, after one too many inquiries asking if I could do it for €300. Seriously! €300!

I would, in response to such inquiries (and perhaps with a hint of sarcasm) suggest they find a student, or even a friend instead (maybe that uncle with a big camera?) Because we know it’s all about the camera right?

So no weddings, but I have been getting quite a lot of requests from couple flying into Barcelona wanting photographs connected to their weddings. Maybe a couple of hours and an agreed limit of images with full post-production.

These are jobs thats usually mean getting as many locations as possible into the allotted time, but if the client is paying for the taxis then great, I am usually rushing around on Bicing for most of my jobs, thus a taxi is a little luxury.

So I am writing a post about some recent jobs, one a couple who were in from NYC (Avni & Karan), he wanted to surprise her with a marriage proposal. Another couple was from India (Laxmi & Anirudh) who had a stop over during their honeymoon tour of Europe.

For Avni & Karan we stayed in one place and mostly the roof bar, I had communicated with Karan quite a lot about the timing and signals he was to give so I was prepared for the moment he popped the question. These things rarely go to plan, the fact that it did this time was almost certainly down to Avni suspecting something was afoot and dutifully playing along.

The second and more recent job was with the honeymoon couple and we did the grand tour of Barcelona ending up on Montjuic, it was a shame that their time constrains did not allow us to go there later as its best around sunset; the haze of pollution is great for atmospheric light.

So, it’s not exactly wedding day photography, but it’s close.

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Lea & David Wedding, Misterton, England

For complete story: http://www.leeharris.euAnother month another wedding.

There was an again an American element, The previous month I was in Texas (which will be posted soon). The bride Lea is from the States and her husband is from the UK, I got to do this wedding thanks to my good friend Yeesan who lives in NYC.

Luckily it was very close to my usual base in Bath, so a nice drive through the countryside was one of the perks of the job, as well as getting to stay in the venue for a couple of nights (The Grange, Oborne). All of these elements combined surely represented to the US visitors a bucolic vision of Britain that rarely exists outside of the movies, or period dramas from the BBC.

I pondered all this whilst whizzing around the little country lanes, lined with hedgerows and dry stone walls, while every rolling horizon seemed adorned with cotton-bud sheep; an ironic retort, perhaps, to all those Osborne bulls in Spain.

The wedding took place in a tiny church maybe 30 km away and there was some crazy driving trying to be in 2 places at once. The locations were not well served by Google, but luckily I managed to work out where the church was in the village by using the satellite view and finding what looked like tombstones!

This preparation served me well, I did not get lost, unlike the bus driver, who, it must be noted, was a local.

It seems like a while since I did a wedding that basically followed the traditional form, so I was quite at home working at the church. The rules regarding photography were pretty relaxed so I set up a light on a stand to give some drama and then moved around pretty freely.

The weather could have been a problem as it was pretty skittish and the sun was coming and going constantly, there was even a touch of rain as well as a very lively wind; all these things can play havoc with photography OR present you with great opportunities, some of the images with the veils flying make for pictures I find both funny and also very aesthetically pleasing and having picture perfect clouds in a blue sky is just what every American might expect, I guess, of an English summer.

So, a very enjoyable wedding to do and a charming couple, who, I suspect, I may see again; give me any excuse to visit the states and I am there!

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Anna & Danny Wedding

Location: Castelldelfels, Spain.

My first wedding in quite a while.

I had kind of forgotten about this type of photographic work, but when the offer came up I actually put on hold a trip to the south to be able to do it, because A) work had been quiet for a while and so a holiday seemed unearned  and B) I just wanted to do it.

Weddings are one of the more scary types of photography a photographer can do, especially if you are working alone, but also they are by the same degree  exciting, and a good wedding affords the opportunity to do a complete project in a day that might normally takes weeks, or more.

If I have a successful wedding I can expect to have maybe 20 images I would add to my portfolio which is not bad for one days work (and 2-3 days post production, because everyone forgets that its the back end of this type of job that requires the most time).

They were a good couple to photograph, very photogenic, as were most of the guests, it felt pretty glamorous.

I met up with Anna beforehand and was surprised to find her instead of relaxing with friends getting herself ready running around arranging various parts of the wedding herself, whilst the rest of the family and the groom were all apparently relaxing by the pool or whatever, she was doing all this and looking like a film-star; I was impressed.

The wedding was in a hotel in Castelldefels and also in a chapel in the middle of nowhere, halfway up a mountain, so i was rushing around a lot trying to be places before the couple.

There was no wedding planner and so I kept finding myself stumbling on events I had not predicted or even remembered (because I was a little out of practice) , This of course added to the excitement/stress levels.

All in all it was close to a 14 hour day with travel but i enjoyed it and came away thinking I can still hack it in this most difficult of arenas of photography.

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Wedding Photography: Couple kissing

Aisling & Colm Wedding

Aisling and Colm wedding celebrationThis was my first job since returning to Barcelona after being in Buenos Aires for a month. I had been back in the country less than 2 days and was still feeling jet-lagged, luckily this meant that a certain other wedding in the UK on the Friday prety much escaped me even though it was featured in every newspaper and television on the planet.

So, on the Saturday with the what felt like the whole world except me still obsessing about it, I headed to Sitges to do a half day photographing Aisling & Colms wedding.

It was a beautiful day and, as always, I arrived with sufficient time to check out the church and figure out the lighting etc. After  a 20 minute I was finally given access from a caretaker. All was all going to plan except that he let me set up on a balcony overlooking the aisle and altar only to then be told by someone else that access to that area was not permitted, which kind of messed up the possibility of some nice shots, I was also beginning to suspect this guy might not be sharpest tool in the box.

At around 12.45pm I asked him if I could get out to get picture of guests, I assumed would be arriving outside, but he said he had to light some candles first and then sauntered off to do god knows what; I was getting a bit stressed.

At about 12.55 he finally got out a big ring hung with medieval keys, each the size of a shovel and the great wooden door creaked open. I escaped, to then only flounder blinded, for about half a minute trying to adjust to the ferocious midday sun bouncing off just about everything.

Very tricky and harsh lighting, the flash was only just capable of competing with it, and it being midday there being no shade in front of the church which was problematic. Normally you get your subjects to face away from the sun or put them in shade but the bright light was coming from all directions and causing a lot of squinting.

The service inside, fortunately, did not suffer from this and I had set up a general light to cover the altar and also had a flash with me which I hand held.

After this we did pictures on the esplanade, in front of the church and by the sea and eventually headed off to the masia (country house) where the reception would take place.

The light was still very strong but it was more directional now and also the place had shadows and was lovely to boot, with a pretty decent view over the country side.

I was only doing pictures up till the meal and then headed home. Usually after a wedding you can feel a need to unwind, it is maybe, like a performance and the temptation is to have a few drinks to unwind, I, however was starting to flag and was looking forward to an early night. What a party pooper, or maybe I am just getting old?

 

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    Wedding photography: flowers

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    Aisling and Colm wedding

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    Kids at wedding

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    Wedding photography: flowers

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    Wedding couple

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    Aisling and Colm wedding celebration

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    Aisling and Colm at the church

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    Wedding Photography: The bride

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    Wedding Photography: Couple at Sitges Curch

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    Wedding Photography: Wedding in Sitges

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    Wedding Photography: Couple with kids

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    Wedding Photography: Couple posing

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    Wedding Photography: Bride with family

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    Wedding Photography: dinning tables

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    Wedding Photography: wedding party

Caribbean Wedding

Location: Tobago.

A wedding in Tobago. I was not working, but I was the Best Man and I have a dread of public speaking, especially when it’s something important like this and  hardly spontaneous.  I had a lot of time to ponder this day and still could not get what I wanted to say written down on paper.

On the day of the wedding, with time to kill (which was probably due to me not carrying out some traditional function of the best man) I found myself gravitating to the room where the bride and brides maids etc were getting ready.

Now, when shooting a wedding as work this is usually the first part of the job and in many ways my favourite and apart from the obvious reasons why that might be, you do also get a chance to warm up and don’t really need to use a lot of lighting, if any, as makeup artists tend to find the best natural light available.

I guess I was technically not supposed to be there, but, as they were actually using my room, I think I had an ok excuse.

The truth is that being able to take some pics was better for my nerves than pacing around feeling certain there was something useful I was supposed to be doing, or even, actually getting a speech knocked into some kind of shape.

There was an official photographer on call but at this early stage he had yet to show up, so I was not stepping on anyones toes, and it did wonders for my stress levels!

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Mary & Conor Wedding

Location: Blanes, Catalunya.

Organiser: Crystal Events

I hired a cool red Mini, that was great fun once I had worked out how to start the bloody thing!

This wedding had time factored in for bride preparation shots, which I enjoy and it also allows you to get warmed up and flex the ‘photographic muscles’ before the more frantic period of the ceremony. There was a lot of people at the villa which is always good for atmosphere and they were very friendly and a good looking bunch.

This was the first time I met them which is not the ideal scenario, as its good to discuss details and get a feel for things before, also sometimes you need to make clients aware that certain shots need to be prepared, even if it’s essentially a reportage style shoot.

The day was seriously hot, the location for the service was El Convent, it’s chapel bore the full weight of the sun’s rays in the afternoon, this and a large attendance meant the ceremony was sweltering. I was told later that I and the videographer, squeezed up by the altar, with the priest and others, were really perspiring, a lot of faces were being mopped, it gave the impression in some shots that a lot of guys were getting very tearful, which I can assure was not the case!

It was a long day and I got home around 3.30am, really glad to get out of a very damp and uncomfortable suit, I discovered the joys of talcum powder and think a linen suit might be a wise investment.

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Emily & Regis Wedding, Parador Cardona, Catalunya, Spain, formal shot

Emily & Regis Wedding

Emily & Regis Wedding, Parador Cardona, Catalunya, Spain, brideLocation: Parador Cardona. Catalunya, Spain.

This location has to be the grandest I have attended for a wedding in Spain. I arrived the night before and stayed 2 nights in the end. I was working for 14

hours and knowing my bedroom was 2 mins away was a big plus, as was the real French Champagne that awaited me once I had finished working!

Emily and Regis are a lovely couple and their families represented a multitude of countries including France, Switzerland and Catalunya. The preparation time was particularly touching, it started early and did not consist of a bevy of friends but was intimate and the nervousness was palpable, they also got dressed together so despite the extravagance and roll call of important and exotic guests it was really quite informal.

They had designed their own costumes that had a neo-gothic style that suited perfectly the ambience of the castle, when I came to do the formal shot of them I looked for a space that fitted this look.

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Emily & Regis Wedding Party, dancer

Emily & Regis Wedding Party

Emily & Regis Wedding Party, acrobatLocation: The Forum, Barcelona, Spain.

The pre wedding party for Emily & Regis was in a huge marque situated in the Forum.

When I  arrived I saw 2 ‘tents’ one big and next to it one that was huge, I thought to myself it must be the smaller one, I soon realised it was both, the smaller merely serving as the entrance and changing rooms etc for the various performers.

The Main marquee was the size of a circus tent and the acrobat from France did some quite spectacular moves hanging from the vertiginous supports overhead. This was a very posh event.

There were also various other acts who performed, including the dancer shown above who fascinated the children present.

Drea & Brian Wedding, granada, terrace

Drea & Brian Wedding, Granada

Drea & Brian Wedding, granada, coupleLocation: Granada, Spain.

A trip to Granada for work. I could not believe my luck and how I got the work was kind of convoluted, I had done a general mail out to agents and 2 months later a message from Angeles of  Alhambra Weddings saying an American couple were coming to Granada to have an informal exchange of vows, had seen my pictures and wanted me to do the shots.

It was a small group and a lovely bunch of people, and unlike most weddings devoid of the usual stress and rushing around, definitely a magical place and perfect clients.

I am very keen to do more weddings that are in other parts of Spain or even other countries, I would particularly love to land some work in the USA, as there seems to be a tendency there to really push the boat out for ceremonies with lots of engagement and couple shots prior to the actual ceremony.

Roisin & Philip Wedding Mass Col, Catalunya, Spain, waiter

Roisin & Philip Wedding

Roisin & Philip Wedding Mass Col, Catalunya, Spain, cool lightLocation: Mass Col, Catalunya, Spain

This was a high jinx wedding. Form the inauspicious start when all the guests were trapped on the motorway when the coach broke down. We who were waiting on them were hanging around getting nervous as vague updates only confused as more.

But, as is often the way, these little problems actually make for a better atmosphere; adversity bonds people and as it was not so grave actually heightened the emotion and excitement once the event got started.Things were a little more hurried but it was a kind of breathless excitement more than panic.

A truly great bunch of people and by the time it was time to party everyone was mad keen to relax. This wedding party is perhaps my favourite so far, they were really having a knees up and I found a new way to photograph in this kind situation that I will develop in the future.