Weddings are great. They fill up our summers and let us shoot in fresh air, in spectacular locations and bring joy to hundreds of people. Once the season has wrapped up in early Autumn, we only typically shoot a handful of weddings between then and mid-spring the next year. This is our booking and preparation stage, where you’ll find us at wedding fayres or upgrading our site. We do however, need to keep our photography skills sharp throughout the year, so when we start back at the first wedding of the season we’re still as fresh as we were the year before. I’ve decided to put a few pictures in here of what I’ve been up to since the end of the 2016 season – just to give you a flavour of what an off season wedding photographer does when brides aren’t in front of our camera.
My parents live on the end of the earth, after relocating a few years ago from Bristol, UK. It takes a good 6-9 hours to reach, but just a few steps outside the backdoor produces spectacular cliffscapes and blue water. These were shot at the beginning of December 2016, despite the cold weather it was still brilliantly warm. I use the same photographic process to shoot landscapes as I do with couples at a wedding, as well as applying film emulation colours to make it look like it was shot on a roll film camera.
I’ve been shooting model portfolio images since before weddings, with my first model shoot in 2011. I love to be able to keep my skills sharp and practice flattering and interesting lighting. The lighting techniques I use to give great light for models is the same as what I’d use for bridal portraits. The techniques and physics behind how light affects an object will always remain the same from one picture to the next, so these are more of a gentle reminder to myself on how to interact with people and how to edit skin to a high calibre.
Running photography workshops
Keeping on the model theme, I run portfolio building days in London. These are a great opportunity for starting or semi-pro photographers to book a group of high end models, and shoot with the highest end camera and lighting kit available. I run and manage these, helping the students get the most out of their images, with help on lighting direction, power and settings. I’ve always wanted to get into the educational sphere in later life and this is my first foray into the world of helping others. I want to be able to run wedding portfolio days too, to help other local photographers with their passion and update their websites without the constraints of a wedding day.
I’d like to say that I keep myself busy, but in reality only 10% of the off season involves picking up a camera. The rest is admin, paper filing and double/triple checking notes for the next seasons weddings. When you start to deal with 30 or more weddings a year all through the country, filing is an essential part of office life. I’ve also been experimenting with shooting rolls of film in creative ways, using my dads old Nikon. We have just introduced a film-only wedding package now for those who love the creative blur and grain of roll film, and would love their images to have that timeless quality that digital just can’t achieve.