There is the notion that photographing the wedding of another wedding photographer might make for a somewhat fraught, nerve-wracking experience. I do find the notion a perfectly valid one but for myself have never found it, in practice, to be the case. When I say ‘never’, I should add that I’ve only found myself in such a position twice, the first time back in 2009 with the wedding of Emma & Ian and in this instance with the wedding of Stuart & Bekki (interestingly enough all five of us have found ourselves sat around the same pub table, on occasion, despite living in far flung places). I must say that on balance, I do particularly well in terms of finding myself in a place where there’s a strong correlation between what my clients are looking for and what I would tend to do instinctively; in these instances the correlation seemed one of a mirror image. I sing a certain type of song with a certain accent but if I’m asked to sing La Marseillaise with a North-Eastern Dutch accent then it’s liable to be, I don’t know, a little tricky? That made perfect sense as an analogy, of course. (I won’t actually sing at your wedding, by the way. Count yourself lucky!)
Alors… Stuart is an excellent wedding photographer who rubs shoulders with a good number of top practitioners in the field so I was particularly humbled and, well, chuffed – for want of a more elegant expression – when he asked if I would photograph his and Bekki’s wedding. Maybe all the others were booked already :~) If there was any resultant trepidation on my behalf, it centred around wondering what those others might think of any results that they saw, more so again what Stuart’s dad, Les, might think. Les is the only wedding photographer I’ve met that is approaching retirement age. Decades of experience under his belt, he’s seen more and knows more about the practice than I could yet scratch the surface of and he produces imagery as fresh as any adept relative newcomer to the field on top of significant foundations that many might never match. Down to earth and unflinchingly friendly, meeting Les was a particular additional pleasure in what made for a truly fantastic experience beginning to end, and my offer still stands to carry his kit and a water bottle for him if he ever finds himself shooting in my neck of the woods.
Back to Stuart & Bekki. Professional connection and respect aside, it was a great pleasure to work for Stuart, a caring and constantly thoughtful character, and for Bekki – the fact of her being a school teacher instantly casts her amongst one set of career heroes of mine – her seemingly unflappable enthusiasm and positivity made her a joy to photograph and just, simply, to be in the company of. Their wedding spanned two days. On the first they brought around thirty of their nearest and dearest with them up to Ambleside in the Lake District, an area that they have a long standing love for. On the second they returned south to Staffordshire for an evening party with yet more friends again. This is the story of their wedding… weekend… View full post »