Hi guys, Toby here! Phil has left me in charge of this latest entry in our website blog. Whether that turns out to be a wise decision on his part remains to be seen.
So, what do you fancy? My world-famous lasagne recipe? Why the square root of two is my favourite number? My joke about how pigs get to hospital*?
Ah. Phil has leaned over my shoulder and suggested I tell you about being a second shooter. Good idea!
While I’d been helping in the background for quite some time, I joined my husband as an official second photographer just over a year ago. Making the transition from taking pictures just for fun to doing it for paying customers was daunting to start with, but also very exciting. I hit the ground running and threw myself into the necessary training to get up to speed with my D750. Having a science background has helped me get to grips with apertures, focal lengths, ISOs, and shutter speeds.
This hasn’t taken away from the fun element of Phil’s and my photography style; I think it’s enhanced it. We’re always on the lookout for the elements of a wedding day that make it so special: the exchanged glances, a cheeky smile, and the red wine stains on the reception tablecloths!
Having two photographers present at your wedding is all about getting that extra perspective; another point of view. When couples are getting ready separately it means that twice the nervous excitement is captured, and more of the complete story of your day has been told as both partners' preparations before the ceremony is captured.
On Gemma and Faye's amazing wedding day I went to document Gemma's morning of preparations at the family home, whilst Phil was photographing Faye getting ready at Pendrell Hall. Whilst I was capturing Gemma and Faye's beloved dogs being adorned with wedding day veils, Phil was snapping bridesmaids in bathtubs having a giggle. Both brilliant moments from their wedding day, wonderful anecdotes worthy of remembering. Brief moments of fun that during the whirlwind that is every wedding day, could have been lost and forgotten if not captured for posterity; memories that both Gemma and Faye would have missed out if they hadn't got to see what each other had got up to the morning of their special day.
During Claire and Andy's awesome day, I got to photograph the lad's having a fry up and getting suited and booted; at the same moment Phil was documenting the ladies sliding down the grand Pendrell Hall staircase on a silver platter!
The morning of Toni and Shannon's special day I was able to photograph the moment when Shannon received a card written by Toni and saved for their wedding morning. Whilst over at the Fairlawns hotel Phil was documenting the excitement of Toni, their beautiful daughter, and all the bridesmaids having their hair and makeup done. (I want to be allowed to eat cake whilst I'm having my hair done too!)
During the wedding ceremony itself, the second point of view can be hugely advantageous. Ceremony rooms may not always have been built or laid out with photography in mind, or there may be restrictions set out by the person in charge of the ceremony. Phil will always place himself in the best position he can to get the shots of all the important moments, but then may be not be able to move as freely as he would like. Sometimes you’re just blocked by bridesmaids, restricted by registrars, or prohibited by priests! Fortunately I’m usually at the back, with a zoom lens, ready to capture moments like the exchange of rings and that all-important just-married kiss.
This is exactly what we did during Toni and Shannon's Church ceremony. Phil was able to be closer for the intimate shots of giggles and laughter at the head of the aisle, with me capturing the grandeur of the church and all the guests from the gallery. Neither of us had to move around the church too much, which helped us be extra respectful of any wishes the minister may have had.
We were able to give Mel and Laura's simultaneous angles of their beautiful summer outdoor ceremony. I was able to photograph them from the rear of the aisle, and Phil remained ready closer to the action to get those lovely intimate moments between them.
We’ve also found that having cameras in two places at once means we get more from those time-sensitive and unrepeatable moments of the day like confetti-throwing, and first dance. Such as Laura and Mel's awesome confetti shower walk, Claire and Andy's impressive first dance, and even a creative and different angle of the formal group photos during Gemma and Faye's wedding.
Phil and I also have subtly different but complimentary styles. You’ll find that Phil often zooms in on little details, while I am more likely to pull back to get a wider shot. It just means you get an even more complete story of your day told with our images.
If you like the look of our informal documentary style of photography and would like us to capture your big day, we’d love to hear from you!
*A hambulance. I know: I’m hilarious.