Late in 2010, I shot my friend’s wedding. I’d never done it before, but Arnaud trusted me because he liked my photography. I recommended a wedding photographer from Brisbane named Jonas Peterson, but his price was more than Arnaud and Liz budgeted for. Such is the cost of popularity (and great work).
(As an aside, Xystros the Cypriot, our favourite KL friend who lives in our apartment building knows Jonas and his partner. Small world.)
The task fell on my shoulders at a relatively less expensive price of free. Being a creative and enthusiastic fellow, Arnaud put together a selection of wedding images to act as a guide for the photography. When I heard this I was a little cautious because I was originally asked to “shoot however you want; I trust you”. Fortunately, the photographic references were in line with the way I shoot general photography: observe, don’t disturb, and capture. Or, to put it a better way: pretend you’re a ninja.
Which is the way Jonas likes to shoot. Interestingly, I think one of the things that makes Jonas’ wedding photography and my general photography similar is what we see as observers. Kind of like shooting between the lines. As I walk around with my camera (or even without it) I’m always cropping, framing, and imagining single photographic images. All the time. And I think this constant “seeing” and silent observation has helped me to isolate and bring out details and relationships in a scene that may not be noticed by others. One example is this image.
When I look through the images from the day there are obvious similarities between my images and Jonas’ images; in the end the bride and groom wanted it this way, and I was happy to oblige. Had they wanted less creative imagery or the typical dramatic this-is-the-most-important-day-of-my-life-you-better-not-fuck-it-up images, I would’ve caved under the pressure. Or perhaps I would not have agreed to the shoot in the first place. Luckily Arnaud and Liz are adventurous enough to try something like this (not to mention place their faith in a complete newb to wedding photography.)
Years ago, when I studied photography, I remember students would shoot their friends’ and families weddings all the time. And there was a distinct line between people who did, and people who said “hell no!”. I was firmly in the second camp. Maybe the passing of time has made me more confident. I found (perhaps with a sprinkling of hindsight) that I really enjoyed shooting the wedding despite the stresses of the day.
I’d probably do it again, too.