In 2013 I photographed my first wedding. We were students at university and I had no idea what I wanted to do when I finished. But I didn’t think wedding photography was on the cards. I just didn’t have the confidence or skills, I couldn’t be trusted to capture someones wedding!
While at university I got a job working in the photography studios and darkrooms of an evening, which I absolutely loved. I met some great photographers and had a great time being surrounded by all things photography.
This job was usually reserved for second year students, while first years were too new and third years were meant to be working hard. But me and a friend were lucky enough to hold the job down in both our second and third years. (I also had another part time weekend job – I’ve no idea how I survived that final year and went on to graduate with a First Class Honors!)
While working at this job, an opportunity presented itself. A lady working in the university was in search of student photographers to capture her wedding. It was both her and her now husband’s second wedding and they didn’t have a lot of money to spend. They were hoping to give the lucky student a try and came to ask whether we’d be interested.
No, I can’t! I’ve never shot a wedding before, I don’t know what I’m doing, I can’t even take pictures, were among some of the thoughts that crossed my mind. Somehow me and the second year student I was working with (who is an amazing photographer) agreed to photograph the wedding.
After agreeing to photograph the wedding, the couple gave us a list of photos she really wanted and said her sister would be on hand to help us out should we need it. I had no idea what I was doing, and just instinctively took photos of everything I thought was important (which was mostly everything). From details, the first kiss, the first dance, the food, candids. I just shot away. I didn’t think I realised then I had a bit of a knack for capturing moments, and that I enjoyed doing it. Surveying the crowd looking for the next moment, it was quite exhilarating.
The day passed so quickly, as wedding days do in my experience and we found ourselves sitting down to some food as the couple and their guests did. We sat outside while the wedding guests were inside and were kindly told we could help ourselves to the Spanish style buffet – yum!
That day wedding photography wasn’t the only first I tried. I also tried calamari – I thought it was a onion ring, but man was it delicious! As a fussy eater I couldn’t believe it when I was told it was squid. And Parma Ham or was it prosciutto? Either way it was some type of cured meat, but it didn’t go down well and I started to choke! Luckily I managed to stop choking enough to carry on photographing the wedding.
AFTER THE WEDDING
We delivered the photos to a very happy bride and groom who sent us back a lovely thank you card. The feeling from that was intense, we’d done this thing. I don’t think I realised the impact of how important it was and that we’d captured something really special for these guys. We were just grateful for the opportunity.
I didn’t think I’d go out searching to shoot more weddings again, and I certainly didn’t straight away. Two years later in 2015, I got my next opportunity. But more on that another time.