Hello there, David here from www.davidpurslow.com
Last weekend I shot the wedding of Angela and Ian, a really cool and great couple from Carmarthen – this was the first of my weddings in Carmarthen this month but not the last.
Angela and Ian’s wedding was one of the hardest I have had to shoot in a long time and I have to say this couple have the patients of saints ! The wedding was fantastic, the bride looked stunning, the bridesmaids and page boy looked fantastic an Ian looked like a dude ! – The friends these guys have are a real credit to them, it really showed how much Angela and Ian meant to the guests and I would like to add, one of, if not the best BEST MANS speeches I have heard in a very long time.
This preview of the wedding pictures will be slightly different to many others, I am going to concentrate not on the traditional photos I put up, by that I dont mean traditional wedding photography but photos of the bride and groom cutting the cake etc, a cake shot, the bride and groom (B+G) at the alter etc – I am going to use Angela and Ian’s preview to show you the kind of photos I generally dont post but the photos that mean things to the b+g because they capture key moment of the day that and key details of the day – The reason for this is I have been inundated with questions about how I tell the wedding story in the albums I present.
So here goes, as always the comments expressed are mine and mine alone !
I knew this would be a different sort of wedding when the day before I got a phone call from Angela – She informed me that she had changed her mind on where to get her hair and makeup done – She had – had a room reserved at her reception venue The Mansion House, Pant-y-Athro but after seeing it felt it was not quite up to creating great photos she wanted. After seeing the new location I was glad she changed her mind.
So I went off to The Ivy Bush Royal Hotel in Carmarthen to photograph the bridal prep – a very helpful lady on reception pointed me in the direction of room 128
Now guys, I should point out one of the perks of being a wedding photographer – you spend every weekend working with very happy and lovely looking girls ! when you normally arrive to start work they are in there pj’s – what a fantastic job this is.
I wont bore you with the lots of the normal pictures of the bride getting ready, yes I shot them but this post is about details as the details are what tell the story for the viewer (person looking at the wedding album)
In this shot, Angela was sitting in the chair in the “office suite” of room 128 – a fantastic annex with phone and fax and just the right amount of space for a bride and bridesmaid to get ready – with great light, nice and clean it was a photographers dream – while Angela was having her hair and makeup done, I looked across and saw XXXXX looking down at Angela with a look you only capture at weddings – without knowing what the picture is or why I took it, its an okay photo but in the album with the pages laid out and the story being told, its a very important picture
From there we jump to the makeup and hair being finished – Angela is checking out her new look in the mirror, always a classic moment and one that all brides beam with delight when they see themselves for the first time in all there glory !
Now most of my work is candids, I actually document YOUR day, I dont try to pose you too much, from time to time I will but generally I am always watching with 1 or 2 cameras in my hands waiting for that perfect moment – Que the flower lady. Angela had some fantastic flowers for her wedding and they were delivered to the hotel, no sooner had they come thru the door that the grin on Angela and XXXXX face grew and grew – in this picture (again totally unposed) They are LOOKING STUNNED – normally here I would show you the flowers and you would go ahhhh – but its about details and stories today. – So they cant stop smiling at the flower lady and for very good reason
The flowers were put on the bed and then Angela had a closer look
then came one of my posed photos, I wanted a shot of both girls on the bed – why, well it told the story of the room, it gave an idea as to scale and size, how clean it was and just how nice it was. – This picture will always end up putting a smile on my face, the brides maid face and quite possibly the Angela’s face because just as I took it there was a knock at the door, I opened the door (with Angela’s Permission) and the chambermaid wanted to come in and clean the room – well there I am all in black, BIG HUGE camera in my hand and 2 girls dressed in PJ’s on the bed – a laughing moment for sure ! – again without knowing the story the picture is well kind of just Okay but as part of the album it will be one of the last pure candid moments before Angela got married – priceless !
As well as Angela and XXXXXX there were 5 other bridesmaids and 1 page boy in the room, along with Dad and myself – While the Bride was getting dressed I shot pictures of the younger girls outside (in the main part of the room)
Then comes the big question of how do you entertain a 2 – 3 year old when mummy is in the next room getting dressed ? – well a good trick is show them pictures of themselves on the camera !
The interaction of bride and chief bridesmaid is a very important part of telling the story on a wedding day – in this picture Angela is applying her purfume, again, look in the background – how nice is it to have XXXXX in the background, clearly looking over knowing her best friend is about to get married – Priceless story telling photo !
and last but not least, the photos I always take of the bride just after she is all dressed up – I always point out to the bride this is not about being a ‘perv’ these shots are about the detail in the dress – the reason I say this is I actually get very close to the bride with these shots and end up pointing the camer at her “curves” to capture the details.
Once the bride has had her detail shots taken I always want one with dad (if he is there) and this one was a candid while they were getting ready for the “real photo”
The dress is a very important part of the day, YOU HAVE TO CAPTURE THE DETAIL to tell the story – I am totally convinced that the reason a lot of the brides who book me choose me is the attention to detail I put into each wedding, that detail is generally not shown on the web and only becomes apparent when you look at complete albums – NEVER MISS THE DRESS DETAILS.
Within seconds of the photo above being taken I was off to the church – I wanted to get shots of the guests arriving etc – This was probably the wettest wedding I have shot this year but guess what – the bride and groom are paying me for my services, if it rains I cant have an off day – this is there day and no matter what the weather I have to be on form – I actually enjoy shooting in the wet and the rain – its a long story but goes back to the days when I used to shoot professional football on wet and windy January days, soaked to the skin with 60,000 + people behind you shouting there heads off – wet weddings dont bother me in the slightest.
Again detail, detail detail
and I think that only in wet weather does a bride get her full value out of the drivers (cant spell the other word) – Only on a rainy wedding day does a bride get treated like the queen – Look, see what I mean, when it rains of your wedding day, you get treated like royalty !
In all these shots, its actually raining however with cleaver use of longer lenses and contrast, its possible to loose the rain, if you look in the next photo, look at the green in the trees, there you will see the rain – but look at the guy, its really hard to notice the rain
and in the next shot, guess what – I am stood right where this gentleman was stood in the photo above to shoot a picture of the Groom and his best man
I am going to jump here to the bride walking down the isle – the back of the dress is almost as important as the front, if you want a good picture you need it as she walks down the isle really, after all she is about to be kneeling on it, sitting on it then its back to the car, photos etc and you miss the chance to grab it – normally I show the photo of the bride and dad walking down the isle from the front but this is to show more detail stuff
Now rather than showing you all the wedding photos I will leave the church with one more detail shot – Not seen by the B+G but look what little one is doing
From the church off we went to the reception venue – I wont tell you story of the night, its almost a nightmare, this poor couple was very badly let down by the venue and almost had NO DISCO – they never let it dampen there spirits and eventually they managed to get a first dance, some 3 hours late ! – The “makeshift disco” consisted of only 2 lights, 1 cd player and a couple of speakers – the room it was in was PITCH BLACK and very hard to photograph in – The guests were having the time of there lives and Angela and Ian took it all in there stride – I think I would have been pulling my hair out if I had any. To be honest I was pretty shocked by the attitude of the reception venue and the fact the Bride and Groom had to open the doors themselves when they arrived, after all it was pooring with rain but thats just me, I guess I expect more from a very expensive venue – one of the most requested venue’s in Carmarthen !
I am also a firm believer in what goes around comes around and since the coverage the B+G had booked was Up to First Dance that meant they had to feed me – thats normal for photographers if your waiting around for first dance and we NORMALLY get a table by ourselves or with the band hidden away somewhere but not today – I actually had my very own spot on one of the guest tables – The food was amazing, I cant fault it one little bit, fantastic selection – a choice of 3 different starters, 3 mains and 2 deserts, coffee, chocolates, cake, wine and champaing – what a meal and what a way to look after the photographer – I sort of felt like a fraud sitting at the table but was made to fell totally welcome and at home.
After dinner I shot a whole bunch of guest shots, I will show you just 2, the first is a candid, this young lady had travelled all they way from Croatia I think it was for the wedding – again a sign of the feeling between the guests and the bridal party – the guests ooozed the feeling of goodness for this couple. – The details in this shot to notice are the balloon in the background and the fact I got this lady who travelled all that way – that and the fact it was a candid shot – we are up at the bar in this picture and its packed but I managed to nail the shot
and around this time I would normally shoot the group shot – with 150 ish guests present it was hard to find a spot to cram them all in and get a 1/2 decent photo – but I tried
We had to shoot it inside because at this stage the wind had really picked up and the rain was still coming down in sheets and there was no way you would get a group shot outside with those weather conditions
DETAIL’S – the strangest confetti shot of the year – as I mentioned already I ALWAYS walk around with a camera in my hand, well someone had attacked the bride with confetti – there was no big confetti shot today as they couldnt do it inside and it was WAY too wet to do it outside but someone wanted the bride to have some for ‘later’ I think its more for the groom to find if you know what I mean – anyway as I was saying, someone had attacked Angela and managed to get confetti where it needed to be and when her girlfriend asked what was happening, she pulled her top away only a smidgin to show the confetti – well I whipped up my camera, without looking thru the viewfinder I shot from the HIP as it were and just snapped 1 shot before Angela quickly pulled her top back up (Angela has okayed me using this picture) – total time less than 2 – 3 seconds from whern she started to lower her top to when it was snapped back in place – the result – amazing detail shot
Naturally I wanted to share with you a few posed and set up photos so here we go – the venue had a fantastic staircase and I used that for some of the B+G shots
In this first one, I am laying on the floor shooting thru the banister and thats what the white bluring is on the lower right hand side of the photo – I did this on purpose and I wanted that voyeuristic effect
and here are a couple of different ring shots I shot to show off both the rings and the flowers
Last but not least are the photos of the “DISCO” and one of its two lights !!!!!
In this shot, the girls were having a blast to the time warp or something like that, I was playing with adding a few lights to give me enough light to shoot the first dance song
and last but not least, the LONG awaited first dance – I shot this at around 10:30 ish pm – remember when I said what goes around comes around, well I waited and waited for this shot – I would have waited until the next day – not because they gave me a meal, not because they put me on the table but because they were a great couple and had booked me from 8am until first dance – it was not there fault the venue screwed up and they were not going to suffer (at least from my part) because of it – Nikki my wife understood as she knows how important weddings are to me personally but us as a family – its 80 % of all my business – I generally dont need to put in that amount of extra effort but from time to time I do – its just part of the job and I am convinced its because of things like this that this year has been one of my best years ever !
As if to echo this, only today I received an email from Angela and Ian – I have posted it below as it made my week – I am so happy they picked me to be part of there day.
Congratulations Angela and Ian – see you soon,
I just wanted to drop you a line, now that things have quietened down a bit just to express our sincere thanks for all you did for us on Saturday. You are a fantastic guy and we so appreciate how much you tried to help us out on Saturday evening, it was above and beyond what we enlisted you to do and we are so grateful. Anyone who is fortunate enough to have you photograph their wedding is extremely lucky and will have the best photographer there is! Everyone at the wedding expressed what a delightful person you were and how glad they were to have met you. You injected fun into my wedding preparations in the morning (and throughout the day), totally putting me at ease and to be honest nothing could have dampened my day (not even the weather!!!!!)
Anyway, could write on and on but I know you are a busy guy so I’ll leave it here for now. Looking forward to seeing the photos and talking to you again.
With love and best wishes to you and your family.
Angela & Ian F…………