On the 12th January 2013 I assisted Darren Key on shooting a wedding in Walsall. I was quite nervous about photographing a wedding, as I had never shot such a huge event before. My focus was to create some really nice, natural images of the happy couple as Key was leading and posing them for the main photographs.
I used a Nikon D700 and a wide-angle lens. I also took a separate flash, but upon arrival at the venue, once I attached the flash to the camera, the shutter began to bracket. This meant that I couldn’t take images immediately, which could mean I could miss shots or capturing poignant moments. As neither Key nor me could work out how to fix the shutter, I shot without the flash for the entire day and used manual settings to allow for more light. In some senses I’m glad I didn’t have to use the flash as I was forced to learn how to change the settings quickly without a second opinion some times in different lighting conditions. I also prefer working with natural light. However, some photographs, such as those taken outside the venue after the ceremonies were incredibly bright which I had to adjust during the editing process. And so in a technical sense I learnt quite a lot of valuable things, like what settings work better then others and what I would do differently when approaching a project like this one again.
During the day, I photographed the guests and the married couple just as they were, making for some really nice natural images. During the actual marriage I stood on one side of the room and Key stood the other side. This meant I could focus on the Groom and Key could focus on the Bride. Key moved around the venue throughout the day, which made me realise how much photographers actually have to do when covering a wedding and how difficult it is to choose what to capture. I shadowed and also went solo throughout the day, which boosted my confidence on how to behave professionally. Key directed and posed the large group photographs, again this reinforced how important it is to have ideas on what exactly you want to capture on such a huge day.
We covered the Bride getting dressed, the wedding service, the guests and family, the speeches, the cutting of the cake and the first dance. The photographs I have taken will be added to the images produced by Darren Key and given to the newlyweds.
Acting as a photographer’s assistant and shooting a wedding for the first time, I feel went quite well, Despite the technical blips, such as not having used the best manual settings I feel I still managed to get some nice photographs. I learnt how to work quickly, stick to a schedule, associate myself with the guests and couple to make them feel comfortable at the prospect of me photographing them, how to vary settings for better image quality, how to go looking for an image and how to be less shy when working. It was a good experience and what I’ve learnt will help with other customer-focused projects.
Photography © Sophie Moet