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Even more joys of wedding photography

Date Posted: May/24/2023 3:56 AM
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This week I had another "fun" wedding.. For once I'm on my own, the couple are very tight on money, and the photographers I normally work with are both away. Now truth be told, I've made a point of not taking weddings where I'm on my own, for one it's a lot more fun with my other photographers, and more importantly I've no back-up on my own. If I break down or get hurt we're stuffed!
I arrive at the church, clear skys and bright sun, great for the couple, not the best lighting for me, harsh shadows. It's 11.30 and the service is 1.30....
12.00 comes and still nobody else, now theres a buffet in the church hall next door so I expected that to be getting sorted by now. 12.30, finally the vicar turns up. I ask where everyone is and he replies, the groom will be here in about an hour. What! it's 12.30 now and the service startes at 1.30.... Ahhh, no it doesnt, they moved it to 2.30 and didnt tell me last week when we checked the details and times.
Finally the wedding gets going, for a change the vicar is helpfull and the church fairly well lit (makes a change) the bride and groom want a special photo in the church doorway, a fairly standard shot for me but it's important to them.
Now group photos are going to be tricky as theres not really anywhere at the church big enough and it's walled in by parked cars (I'm parked abouta mile away) Get the guests out of the church, do the doorway with the church doors shut behind couple. Right, best man can you get the guests out of the church hall and get what group shots I can fit in. Off he goes and comes back with about 20 people.... there was a 140-ish in the church?
Ahh, it turns out nobody told most of the guests about the buffet in the church hall so they all went to the rugby club for the reception, except thats 2 hours later, thats why they had a buffet!
I grab the best man and take the couple to the local park for the couple shots, easy peasey, I had to take the best man to drive us there, my cars a mile away and the wedding car was only booked to drop the bride off at the church. Still couple shots done and back to the buffet, food for a 140 and about 25 of us... Works for me!
Finally we leave for the reception, now I'm going to have to do the group shts there, but as it's a rugby/cricket ground theres a pitch I can use, at least thats the plan.
Arrive at the ground and ....theres a game in full swing, of course there is!
Theres also no bride and groom, ahhh, no wedding car so I'm guessing the best man is bringing them. Finally they arrive, and they go in to see the cake and the room, I wait for them to come out to start the group shots and.... everybody else starts going in, they called the meal early, not to bad, it's 6.15 now and not dark till about 9.15ish, i'll have to get them out quick after the meal.
Thats where it went wrong, four hours later (10.15) they were still serving desert, four hours! I've never seen such a slow serving of food, honstly it was a joke. I'd finished my main course before the bride got served, and I was on the top table next to the best man. I was brought up to wait till everybody was served before eating, this was so slow the bride insisted that people start though, even then I wasnt comfortable eating.
By the time we finished it was totally pitch dark, now I have flash and even stands for external off camera flash, but sadly the long steps down to the pitch were unlit, and if I'm honest in poor condition, it was just to damgerous to get them all down to the pitch.
So the group shots are all doen inside, in small batches.
And people think wedding photography is easy.


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