Cambridge Wedding Photographer | Cambridgeshire Wedding Photography bio picture
  • Welcome to my blog!

    Hi! I'm Andrew, welcome to my blog. I'm a photographer who photographs weddings, portraits and, well people really and I try to feature some, all or most of my work here on this blog. Apart from having a camera in my hand I love music, am a bit of a classic car nut and have two beautiful children. I also love chocolate, really nice wine, classic British comedy, barbeques, sunshine, holidays and having a really nice time! Feel free to browse through the pages, lurk in the shadows or get in touch! Enjoy!
  • Categories

Category Archives: Thoughts and Rambles

“My Friend/Uncle/Fiancee’s Mate/Dog has a Great Camera and They will be Photographing our Wedding”

I came across a post on Rock My Wedding earlier this week that literally made my jaw drop open. It’s written by a bride who asked a friend to take photographs at here wedding and, rather than the usual list of reasons why it was a bad idea, she bravely posted a number of his photographs in the post. Predictably, the pictures are absolutely awful and I don’t mean just bad, they are the type of images that make you groan and wince when you look at them. It’s like scrolling through photographs of a car crash.

a

 

This brought home two really important facts to me:

 

  1. Firstly, from a professional’s point of view I knew exactly what had gone wrong with each of the pictures, why and how the photographer had got such terrible results and also exactly how to fix them. I realised that I have actually kind of forgotten how to take bad photographs. Now that’s not meant from an “aren’t I wonderful” point of view but I realise that, as any good professional will be able to do, I can take good quality consistent images almost without thinking now. This is A GOOD THING as it means I can concentrate on photographing great moments and being creative rather than twiddling with the camera settings! This is immensely reassuring for both myself and my clients as this type of ingrained skill and technique takes years of practice to develop.
  2. Photography has little to do with the camera. The friend in the blog post had a big flashy digital SLR camera and the bride knew that he had taken some great pictures of cars. As the saying goes “size doesn’t matter” (just don’t get me started on photographers who have massive lenses and multiple lenses slung around their necks!) and just because someone has a large camera it doesn’t mean they know how to use it! It’s a bit like the fact that everyone owns a pen but few of us are really great writers for example. Modern cameras are great and they do a generally good job even on auto settings but if the person behind the camera doesn’t know what they are doing the resulting images will be poor. Great photography is to do with seeing, thinking and instinct. These are skills honed after years of practice and very few amateurs will be able to work at this level even for a short time never mind over several hours over a full day’s wedding. I honestly believe that a good professional photographer could photograph a wedding on a cheap point and shoot camera, or definitely an Iphone or similar and get great results. It would be more difficult than with a professional camera set up but possible. It doesn’t work the other way round. Putting a novice behind a professional camera doesn’t necessarily produce great results.

 

Well, those were the two main things that sprung to mind but there is a third as well. The bride in the article mentioned that the photographer friend was great at photographing cars and this again highlights another common misconception. I think that many people (some photographers too) think that if you are good at one aspect of photography then you must be able to photograph a wedding. After all, photography is photography is photography? Well, not exactly! I have to be honest (I’ve mentioned this several times on the blog before) and say that I’m not all that great at landscape photography for example. I’m actually also not all that good with studio lighting although I can get by and this is fine by me because I know that I have other skills. I’m good at reading natural light for example and I’m a good “people” photographer. Photographing a wedding calls upon a vast range of technical skills from a photographer to be carried out over an extremely prolonged period of time often with punishing time constraints. You might be able to photograph a sports car nicely at your leisure in lovely sunshine but try capturing a great expression from a bride and groom coming out of church in the dark whilst walking backwards with all your equipment on your back is a totally different matter. (By the way that picture WILL be there, there is ALWAYS a picture to be taken, a glance, a knowing touch or whisper in even the most inhospitable photographic environment – you just have to learn to look for it!)

aq

So, I guess rather predictably, I’m saying “don’t get a friend to photograph your wedding”. Well not exclusively because, if photographs aren’t your main priority then go for it. In fact I wrote a blog post here advising that if photography isn’t your main priority then go and splash the cash on extra Bollinger for example! I have to say that, if I ever got married again, that’s exactly what I would do – but that’s another story! But, if you know that you will want to keep the memories, you know that your photographs are going to be important you will never ever regret spending money on a good professional wedding photographer. Good wedding photographs are like emotional currency in the bank, they will bring back memories for years to come, be treasured by your children and will help carry you through the bad times.

 

Oh, and BTW here’s the link to the Rock My Wedding post.

The Last Look

As an experienced wedding photographer one learns to look for certain moments that occur fairly much at each wedding. These tend to happen wherever the wedding is, whoever the couple are and fairly much irrespective of what sort of wedding they are having. One of my personal favourite moments is just before the bride is about to walk up the aisle and she takes the arm of her father. Now it could be because I am the father to two girls myself (I will potentailly be a snivelling wreck if they get married and I give them away!) but I always find this moment extremely moving. There is always a glance between bride and father, a smile or a tear – sometimes this is just as they link arms or sometimes before or after but, more often than not, it happens and makes a great photograph.

 

026

 

The image below is one of my particular favourites. It was heavy snow and very cold outside, the church and churchyard were beautiful and I remember the bride having to arrive by Land Rover as the church was at the bottom of a very slippery hill. When we went into the service the sun was setting and the church was extremely full and extremely warm! This type of situation presents numerous challenges for the photographer not least that as soon as I brought the camera in from the cold outside the lens steamed up! However, working with a “cold camera” and a “warm camera” I managed to get this lovely moment – I particularly like the way that the shape of the bride and her father is echoed by the bridesmaids behind. For me that lifts the image from being good to rather special!

 

031

 

067

Marriages in England 2013 – The Facts and Figures!

I have to admit to having a bit of a secret liking for all of those programmes on the TV that profess to show the “state of the nation” or look back at how we lived during a particular era. This is particularly interesting now as I am getting (a little!) older because, at the grand age of 46 historical programmes about the 70′s, 80′s or even the 90′s bring back personal memories of how things used to be! My goodness I’m sounding really old now! However we all do like a good dose of facts, figures and statistics – I think in many ways they act as a sort of barometer and help us to picture how we fit into things. What is the norm? What are other people doing? Am I doing what everyone else is doing (and perhaps being reassured by this) or is everyone else doing what I thought was my idea! (Dammit!)

The wedding industry is a funny old beast and, having been a part of it for over ten years now, I have seen fads and trends come and go. However, love will never go out of fashion and couples will always look for ways to make a public declaration of commitment. Increasingly this may be made within a secular context and the term “marriage or wedding” is in fact becoming used to describe a wide variety of events to celebrate the coming together of two people. This makes it an exciting time for a wedding photographer such as myself. I am increasingly getting commissions from couples who are wanting to celebrate their weddings in their own personal ways, be this an unusual venue, a non traditional order of events for the day or an unusual day of the week. This suits my style of wedding photography very well. I really enjoy the opportunity to “go with the flow” and it prevents me from photographing with any pre conceived ideas about what the final outcome is going to be. It allows me to push the definition of what a wedding photograph is. Twenty years ago wedding photographs would have been posed set pieces of cake cuttings register signings and smiling group shots and people had pre conceived ideas about what was or wasn’t a wedding photograph. Today that definition is much more broad, my photograph below is a photograph taken at a wedding and, to me is a fascinating story of three different events juxtaposed in one frame, but is it a “wedding photograph” in the accepted sense? – well probably not really!

Tipi wedding_0415

I wanted to share a brilliant infographic sent to me by The Wedding Secret.It shows beautifully clearly what is going on in the wedding world right now and actually reflects some of my experiences in my business in microcosm as well. The shift to secular weddings, the interest in having weddings on weekdays and not always in the height of the summer are all things that I have noticed recently. I’m not great with written facts and figures but I do think in a very visual way – infographics, therefore, are a perfect way for me to assimilate infomation easily and I think that this one is an absolutely outstanding piece of work – enjoy!

 

Weddings in England By The Wedding Secret

Want to embed on your site?

Weddings in England By The Wedding Secret
The Wedding Secret

Created by The Wedding Secret:

N i c e   w o r d s
F a c e b o o k
UA-7980110-6