We always knew who our photographer would be. Not long after we’d got together, Guy had been to his first wedding, that of a couple of friends. And their photographer had been very known to him – none other than his “wifey”.
Karina is a semi-professional photographer; recently she completed a 365 day challenge, to take, edit and upload an interesting picture every day for a year. I really like her style because the art is in the picture that has been taken, the way it’s framed and the moment she has captured: not in extreme lighting conditions, set-up poses or discolourations – I suppose I see these kinds of photography art as “dishonest”. I want our pictures to show, to their best, the things that were actually there as they naturally were. I don’t want a faux personality represented by twee little cutesy poses, or a semantic field of import introduced through fading at the edges of the picture or that bloody vintage summer garden theme photography style, where everything is slightly faded and yellowish, as though I am squinting at the picture through a cloud of mustard gas.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I do like some experimentation. And to prove it, here are a bunch of “experimental” photographs which I do like.
Colour selectivity. I unashamedly love this, but of course, with things in colour scheme, it works really well to pick out the details. This picture is printed pretty big in our album.
Sepia. Turns out I don’t like black and white, but sepia is lovely, and Guy agrees. For me, black and white makes the freckles seem darker and thus me look blotchy, but sepia has a softer effect (and Karina knows this from trial images she sent us). Guy also got us a lovely sepia picture of our cat to hang above her dinner bowl. This picture is also big in the album, but mostly because it’s so funny, not because of the sepia. The very silly gentleman pictured above is Guy’s father, and the amused comrade Guy’s mother.
A photograph within a photograph. This is one of several Karina took of the kind, but this one is the best. We really like the idea, but only want to include one in the album because too much is too much.
This is obviously posed – but when we had trial pictures with Karina we explored potential poses and decided as a rule, we didn’t like, but there were a couple of poses we did want because they were “us” – this being one of them.
My uncle took lots of pictures of this kind too. It’s the figurehead on the car, if you’re unsure. Of course, I want lots of photographs of details, but it would never have occurred to me to take photographs of details on a car when you’re not at a car museum or showhouse. However, I like it for the picture’s own sake, and we’re having one in the album.
Again, posed, and probably not going in the album, but it’s not like the headless images I have seen and disliked – because of the bag. A close up of my bag or of Guy’s hands would probably have worked better for me, but I see this picture as putting together the two elements. There are, of course, plenty of close ups of part of my dress.
As a rule, I don’t like “that picture where everyone sticks their shoe in”. I don’t get it. I don’t even like shoes and I don’t know why you’d want pictures of people’s feet rather than, say, their hands or something. I mean hands say something about you; feet say something about your shopping. But I do like this one shoe picture that Karina took at our wedding (though not enough to put it in our album) – for a very particular reason.
When we had planned to have Karina doing the photographs, Guy and I looked through all the pictures she took at the last wedding – several times. At the wedding, the bride did like shoes, and wanted “that shoe picture” with her preparation photos, which obviously ended up as a few images. So I turned throuh a few sets of gracefully poised shoe pictures and rather commended her choice. So I remembered them.
Well, guess what shoes she wore to our wedding?
And I’m so pleased, not only that she found a place to wear them again, but that I noticed!
Of course, if you’re asking a friend to take the snaps, there’s a lot more to consider than simply whether you like their style, as I’ve discussed previously in my blog. However, the mark of a good photographer is someone who discusses this with you in the first place. Karina discussed our venues with us, and the lighting conditions. Luckily, my obsession with optimising natural lighting conditions in the Town Hall was exactly what she was hoping for.
In order to get an idea what photos we wanted, she encouraged us to look through her website and then gave us a photo trial at Somerville. She experimented with some different styles and then put up the pictures so that we could give her feedback. I think this was really helpful for confidence on the day.
To make everything as straightforward as possible, Guy emailed Karina a ‘Who’s Who’ with pictures of members of our family and the wedding party. I recommend doing this as it makes things so much easier for them, and I have heard horror stories about albums being received from very professional photographers filled with pictures of +1s with key family members missing entirely. We also gave her the list of groups we’d provided the ushers with, although we made it clear that that was just a guideline, or ideas, not a regimented programme!
We had a look at the kind of photography out there and decided that we didn’t want “getting ready” pictures, or pictures of shoes or anything, though we did have pictures of the dress and suit hanging in the bed frame. However, in the end, my uncle turned up with his camera whilst I was getting ready and took those pictures anyway! But, because we didn’t have them officially done, I didn’t feel obliged to like them (I look pretty freakish with half my makeup on and half not) and was quite happy choosing one as a “representative” of that time to put in the album.
Kevin actually took about as many photographs as Karina, in all, and I felt they complemented each other well, catching moments from different angles or different moments (for example, my uncle didn’t take photographs during the ceremony, but he took the morning pictures and lots of the rickshaws). I also really liked his version of the picture of my hat in the morning.
This is my uncle, with my aunt, Gill.