So most people know I started in this business photographing motorsport & Formula 1…starting as a junior & working my way up to senior staff photographer. Working in F1 meant that every weekend I was part of 50 or 60 photographers working in the F1 paddock at every track. Inevitably during popular media events or end of season championship celebration shots, there was always a ‘bunfight’ over shots. The shot below has me sitting front & centre in the blue t-shirt, but is very much a civilised start of season driver shoot. A bunfight is the uncivilised, free for all, do whatever it takes (almost) to get the shot!
How has that effected the way I shoot weddings? Well for one, I have absolutely no problem with anybody taking pictures around me at a wedding – trust me, guests with a camera/phone are very easy going compared to most F1 photographers!!! I’m not one of these photographers who wishes for an ‘unplugged’ wedding. It’s not my place to ask the bride & groom for that, it’s their wedding day, not mine, I’m really just there to document it.
So to get Behind The Image, a lot of the bunfight F1 photos I’d have taken before would have required either getting up high on a ladder above everybody, or being tall, simply holding my camera as high as possible above my head & shooting & hoping it comes out. When you do this enough times, the picture generally comes out, so you get used to it & knowing where the camera should be positioned. For Susan & Andrew’s wedding shot below, this is exactly what I did! I stood behind the guests table, as I do not like to block guests, and lined up with the space in the room where the bride & groom would have to walk. As always as soon as the bride & groom entered the room everybody stood up & started cheering & clapping. I fired off a few frames to capture the excitement and that would have been a good shot. What made the shot that little bit extra special, was that the guest right in front of me started clapping in the air. With a bit of lucky timing, I captured the bride & groom in between her hands. This picture was the decisive moment shot, the one that had everything about that moment. Lucky shot, yes, but I made sure I was in the right place in order to get that bit of luck!