Wedding Photography & Creativity

Shooting weddings holds everything I love about photography; happy, relaxed people sharing wonderful and genuine connections, beautiful venues and (when no-one is looking) canopés!

Weddings are also challenging environments and not for the feint-of-heart; a million things can go wrong, and most of them will result in missing a shot that cannot be repeated. No pressure then.

My favourite quotes at the moment is: 

An amateur can take great photos when everything is going right.

The professional takes great photos when everything is going wrong.

This is what you are paying for...
— Fearless Photography

This is so true, and things DO go wrong, but match-fit photographers can adapt to this and no-one would ever know. Ensuring that your muscle-memory is so toned that you can change camera settings in an instant, that your sixth-sense is heightened so you know what's going to happen ahead of it actually happening, and your ability to spot that shot that could never be planned but that will be the winning shot of the day. All these things result in us wedding photographers capturing something beautiful, but also provide a huge amount of adrenaline or stress depending on your personality. For me, I'm lucky, it's the former. I love it!

However, weddings and events are not always the best place to experiment and to focus on improving your skills. Sure, all photographers should be learning something from each shoot to improve next time, and there are times during weddings when all the shots you want are in the bag that you can really go out of your comfort zone. But when your clients are about to come out to showers of confetti is not the time to try shooting through your socks or any other crazy technique that you may have thought up!

I came to wedding photography from exhibiting landscapes. Someone purchasing some of my work, loved the use of composition and light and asked if I'd shoot their wedding. Five minutes later, I was a wedding photographer. Ten minutes later I wondering what the hell I was thinking!

But it turned out to be the best thing to happen and I have been the best rollercoaster ride ever since. However, with the success of the wedding photography side of business I have found that my time to wander off to catch a sunset somewhere our try something totally different is often taken up with other business tasks. I'm passionate about 'relentless improvement' of myself and my skills and my business plan is even driven by the same thing. So I have decided to do exercise some more photography muscles that don't get used as much during weddings, and I know this will ultimately feed back into my wedding photography and continue my progression there too.

There are many genres I'd be keen to explore further, Street Photography, more Architectural work and Product photography, but I thought I'd start with where I came from and get do a few more landscapes. Actually all of these genres have one important thing in common, more ability to be in control of light, environment and the time to think very carefully about what you want to achieve in the shot - time that is often not there at events. This allows creative skills to develop to the point they become second-nature and then you have another set of tools in your creative toolbox.

So following our rather amazing weather in the UK this week, I headed out to grab a few shots at sunset. 

For those that don't know Bristol well, this is from Brunel's Clifton Suspension Bridge, shooting one way and then the other. 

Stay tuned for more posts of new work... no more this week though as I have a wonderful wedding on Saturday, and weddings will always be number 1 for me. 

Nick Church