I was a producer and director before I became a celebrant, working on campaigns for Prada, Coca-Cola, the BBC and VisitScotland. Over my 25-year career, I was lucky to work with some very talented people and I learned a lot from them.
I know you will treasure the images from your wedding for the rest of your lives, which is why I do my utmost to make sure that your image makers get the shots they want.
That starts even before the ceremony. Unless you specifically want your guests to take photos, I’ll ask them to put their phones and cameras away. When you’re paying good money for a top pro, it makes sense to ask your guests not to spoil the shot…
When you come down the aisle, I always step to the side so the photographer and videographer can get my POV. And during the ceremony, I make a point of being aware of where they are, so I don’t block their shots. This is particularly true when you’re speaking your vows.
Often these days I will walk out of shot, so you can speak to one another directly, but even if I’m there holding vow cards for you, I’ll make sure they have a clear view of you.
One photo I make a point of not being in is this one…
I’ve worked with lots of photographers and filmmakers over the years, but new talent is always emerging, so it’s important they know that the set up at your wedding may be a little different to what they’re used to.
Your wedding is a ‘live event’, which means that your guests are my first concern. I want them to have the best view of you and your wedding party, so your shooters need to work around that.
While it’s normal in a religious marriage, it’s quite rare for couples to stand with their backs to their guests in humanist weddings.
Exactly how you stand is up to you, but it’s something that we will discuss during the process, and it’s important that your photographers and filmmakers are aware.
I generally suggest that you stand diagonally opposite your families, rather on the same side; that way the people who love you most get the best view.
Sometimes that won’t work with the prevailing light, so I’ll suggest swapping the front rows over instead. My only hard and fast rule on photography is that I will do my best to help.
If you’re a photographer, videographer or filmmaker and we haven’t worked together before, I hope you’ll contact me before the day so we can have a chat. You’ll find my phone number and email address on the home page.
That lovely image at the top of this piece was taken by Ditte of Firstlight Photography at Gary & Gerry’s wonderful wedding at the Bonham Hotel in 2021 and you can see more of her work (and read their story) here.
PS In case you’re interested, here are a few of the award-winning campaigns I produced.
This shot by Glenn Luchford for Prada not only won a silver award at D&AD, the UK’s most prestigious advertising festival, it even made it into the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum.
While this ad from the Eat Sleep Drink campaign I produced for Coca Cola through Weiden + Kennedy won a gold award at the British Television Awards.
And this is one of the six spots I produced that won that Epic Prix d’Or – brought to life by the wonderful Jonathan Barnbrook.