#1 – Petia & Chris
Short of any very last-minute Christmas period bookings, I recently photographed my final wedding of 2018, rounding off my 10th year in the field.
This is how it started, back in March 2009.
Chris worked at the same university that I was a lecturer at but in a different faculty to me; a face that I would recognise in passing but not someone that I knew. It transpired though that we had a friend in common, also working at the university, another Chris. When another Chris had a birthday dinner I brought along my camera and took some photographs – between courses and after the meal had been consumed – in the non-posed style that I favoured. Chris and Petia had been at the same dinner and having seen my photographs, Chris approached me to ask if I would photograph their forthcoming wedding.
The conversation went something like this.
“Will you photograph our wedding?”
“Sorry but no; I don’t photograph weddings.”
“Oh, why not?”
“To be honest, I couldn’t think of anything that I’d enjoy less than orchestrating processions of posed photographs.”
“That’s exactly what we don’t want, either. We want what you do.”
“Oh!” I was intrigued. I’d always assumed that wedding photography was about that process that I had little appetite for, photographically speaking. Then, “Still, no.”
“Oh, why not?” again.
“Well, if I made a mess of it, it’s not like I could offer to come back the following weekend to do it all again!”
“I understand, but it’s either you or table top disposable cameras.”
That was it. I had no choice really. I had to save them from that fate.
So I photographed Petia & Chris’s wedding and had fantastic fun in doing so. After their ceremony at Poole Guildhall, a small group of us travelled by yacht from Poole Quay to Studland where the two made a beach landing and I channeled Robert Capa (indeed a number of blurry images surrounded the one posted here!)
I’d considered the assignment as being very much a one off, though. Whilst enjoying the process enormously, I assumed that it had been an idiosyncratic request to have a wedding photographed in a documentary style; that otherwise the world of wedding photography was still about processions of controlled, staged photographs. Little did I know at the time! Things snowballed rapidly from this first wedding and for 10 years now I have enjoyed travelling to numerous places that I wouldn’t otherwise have seen and have met scores of great people that I wouldn’t otherwise have had the great pleasure of spending time with; indeed also quite a number that I already knew!
With the marker of a decade arrived at, I think I’ll allow myself the indulgence of looking back on every wedding I have photographed. This was number one. Petia & Chris.