Wherein Jon got ready for his marriage to Jo ~ OR ~ How to tie a wedding day tie, the teamwork edition ~ OR ~ Within which I ruminate at length about my approach to blogging and volume of imagery

A bit of a one off special this one. Over the past year, probably two, maybe even three or possibly even more I’ve found myself, when it comes to relating the story of a wedding day, having to post a two part blog feature as I often find myself selecting more images for inclusion in the story than might load within a reasonable time frame in a Web browser window. This is the process I go through: I work through all the images in the final delivery set for a wedding and flag each one that I’d like to include in my published narrative of the day. I find myself going, “Ooh, that one; I’ll use that one,” then, “Oh, and that one too,” then, “That one! That one as well!” then, “Oh, I’d forgotten that had happened; I must show that too,” then, “I know this one is similar to the last one but it shows something extra again about the same thing,” then on and on until I find myself with a collection of up to a couple of hundred images (sometimes a few more).

Then I pour the contents of my mind onto the page in written form to glue them all together.

Arriving at such a large volume of images simply reflects the fact that I do, myself, thoroughly enjoy reliving the weddings I’ve attended and photographed but sometimes I wonder if single part blog features on each of them would make for a more amenable read for… readers (and if I could sleep a little more during peak season as they do take a fair while to piece together). I’ve attempted in the past to distill all of the visual material that I’ve accumulated into a single blog post. Very occasionally I’ve succeeded (then smarted at the thought of all the images I’d also wanted to show but had forced myself to cut out). This year, I set myself a resolution to be disciplined and to hone my editing skills in order to deliver cohesive, high impact single episode wedding stories.

Thus I started with Jo & Jon’s London wedding, my first of the year. I sat down and started flagging images I wanted to include in the blog feature. That day, I’d started with Jon and his groomsmen before moving on to photograph Jo’s preparations. By the time I found myself leaving Jon and his entourage, in image selection terms, I counted 46 photographs that I wanted to blog. A rough calculation told me that my plans for a single episode post weren’t quite on track. 46 photographs, just from the groom’s preparations. Factor in bridal preparations, the ceremony and all the key story-points of the day that would follow from that. Add to that the in-between moments that I may have captured. 46 multiplied by all those things. That would lead to a blog post (or, rather, a multiple series of blog posts) with a total image count of somewhere in the region of 27,000, many (many) thousands more than I’d actually taken that day.

So I looked at the 46 images I’d selected. I knew I’d need to pare them down significantly. I liked them all so much though I decided to give them their own blog post before making a second attempt at piecing together the full wedding day story.

I’m sure it will be enjoyable for Jo as she wasn’t there to witness four grown men develop an entirely new martial art from the tying of wedding day ties.

I showed the four photographs immediately above to Jon (who’s there top-left, by the way), on the back of my camera, in turn immediately after I’d taken them. They were the first four photographs I’d taken on his and Jo’s wedding day. They’re not the first four in the set that I’ll be delivering to them though and of course they’re not the first four presented here; there’s the one at the very top of this post too, just for starters. I do reorder the occasional image or set of images during the editing phase, never to present a false narrative I hasten to add, but to bring more sense to the narrative flow. For example, in this case, having spent a little while indoors with Jon and his groomsmen, I went outside to take a few scene setting photographs. Being scene setters, these would logically be best placed at… the setting of the scene. Then having arrived from outside in the delivered image set, it struck me as making more sense to look in through the living room door first before actually entering the living room and seeing everyone close up. All this in terms of the delivered image set.

Maybe I don’t need to explain all of this :~) Maybe I could ask you? I know you’re there. My Web site stats tell me so. Maybe you’re just here for the pictures though. Imagine if I wrote all of this and nobody ever read a word. Maybe I could ask a more burning question? Single blog post wedding features or two-part, which would you prefer? The answer might help me concede to continuing in my habit or provide me with resolve to be more disciplined. Your answer will very much count, by the way.

So, I showed the four photographs immediately above to Jon, on the back of my camera, the first four photographs I’d taken that day. I told him that my job there was done, I’d photographed everyone present and I’d be on my way to the next location. This is the degree of humour I bring to bear on a wedding day. Largely I keep quiet and take photographs. A lot :~)

Jon’s best man, Pawel, always found his happy place in the tying of a tie…

Being a climber you’d have thought that Jon would be a dab hand with knots which indeed he is though tying your own tie on your own wedding day seems to best the best tiers of knots to be found at the best of times (empathic grammatical structure at work; that is to say, my words are getting tied in knots)…

I didn’t have it in my heart by this stage to point out to them, what with all my experience of seeing people get ready on wedding days, that they were meant to don their shirts before tying their ties…

How to tie a wedding day tie (I’m going to get so many hits from people Googling how to tie a wedding tie now, most likely from grooms and best men and ushers on wedding days themselves, looking for instructions to scrutinise on their smart phones and they’re going to come across all of this. I just hope they have a photographer there to document the mad whirl of discovery that it is. Wouldn’t it be funny were that photographer me?)…

After all that effort they deserved a drink…

They confuse me too…

Easier to close than… than… it eludes me. In some ways it’s a good thing I’m too busy at times taking photographs to be listening to conversations. Honest :~)…

How to say check-list in body language…

A degree of teamwork that, if I’m to be honest, I’ve rarely seen in groomsmen preparing. When there’s a mountain of sartorial mystery to be climbed though, teamwork is what gets you to the summit safely…

Jon’s brother, Ben, makes his diagnosis…

How to break the not so good news?..

And Jo’s brother, Jonny, to the rescue (the true tie master of the day)…

Summit reached…

The full story of Jo & Jon’s wedding day coming soon (with less groomsmen’s preparations next time!)

Contact London Wedding Photographer Phillip Allen : phill@misterphill.com : 07870 696248