Well, where to start? As my other recent blog entries imply, I was asked by a family relative who I have known for 20 years to photograph the wedding of him and his fiancé in the magical land of Ibiza at the Sea Savines venue, near Es Cana in August 2018. I don’t shoot weddings very often but when I do for family or friends it is an enormous honour and privilege. The nerves nearly kill me, which is why I do them infrequently, but it’s worth it for the once in a lifetime opportunity to photograph happy people in spectacular places. It’s an enormous credit to be trusted with photographing a wedding for anyone, but especially so for a dear family member. Aside from the bride and groom and the vicar/priest/official, it is perhaps one of the most important roles of the day. It might not seem like it ON the day, but afterwards when everyone has returned to normal life, they want those treasured memories and they want to re-live them, often time and time again. So a good set of wedding photos is an important thing, so the person placed with the responsibility of creating them has a heavy load placed on their shoulders.
My recent blog entries talk about equipment and film choices that I used so I won’t repeat that much here. This will be a small showcase of some of my favourite shots from the day. Suffice to say I used a medium-format Hasselblad 501CM with Carl Zeiss lenses, Nikon F5 and some Olympus OM10 with Fuji Pro 400H film and some Rollei 100 film.
It started at the hotel where the bride, her bridesmaids and her mum were getting ready. The vibe was exciting and happy, and the room was thankfully air conditioned! I started with the usual attempts at photographing the dress and details such as flowers and so on. Unfortunately ring shots were tricky because one of them was with the groom and I didn’t have the best Macro lens either, so we photographed the rings differently later on in an usual way (read later).
Then I noticed that the bride (Becca) was not in her dress yet, but her hair and makeup was finished and she looked amazing. This sounds a little wet but one of the traits of good photography is capturing emotion and not always just what is in front of you, and Becca has a very emotive face and she is very photogenic. So although she was not in her dress, yet, I knew that some of her in her current standing would make for some amazing portraiture. So after snapping a couple of her in the mirror, I positioned her outside on the balcony where the light was nicely diffused and bright enough for handheld. Her expressions show a feeling of perfect comfort in the journey she was about to embark upon. These are perhaps some of my favourites from the entire day.
So once the mother of the bride and the Bridesmaids were ready, it was time to photograph those as well. I’m a traditionalist when it comes to wedding photography. Journalistic is fine for many, but I don’t think you can beat that perfectly symmetrical look of a group of bridesmaids in their finery.
And then came the bride in her finest! So it was time to photograph her and her bridesmaids and mum together.
After that it was down to Ses Savines to photograph the boys before the bride and her band of ladies arrived. So a quick dash in 34 degree heat got me to where I needed to be. The light was a challenge because of the bright back lighting so I went for a “light wrap” instead, exposing for the incident light falling on their front sides. This is where manual photography wins over automated efforts!
Then came the really tricky bit! Capturing the ceremony itself. One thing I dislike about the current (2018) modern photography trend is that the photographer at a wedding very often seems to take as much pride of place as the bride and groom. They’re almost like rockstars. All you can see, often, is him or her often with one or two others running around. It’s a distraction from the ceremony itself, I find, and it takes things away from the bride and groom who should always be centre place. Call me old fashioned but I aim to capture a handful of shots, discreetly, without being noticed much, or as little as possible. I think I did OK here and captured some nice shots without being in their faces.
Now it was time for some group shots. The pressure was off, a bit, now that the ceremony was done so was more relaxed but one still has to stay sharp when using a Hasselblad!
Next I had a few moments with the bride and groom alone. There is never enough time, but I got a good 20 or 25 minutes with them which was what enabled me to capture these shots. The black and white shots were taken using Rollei 100 B&W film. A lovely emulsion and rapidly becoming my preferred black and white film stock.
Then I was able to capture some details of the venue as a keeps sake and reminder of their chosen venue.
Then I noticed the light was getting softer, and lower, so I quickly reclaimed the bride and groom and attempted a few more, also including one of his best man with his girlfriend. I was down to shooting at 1/30th of a second here so on the verge of requiring a tripod, which I didn’t have to hand, so I did my best. The shots a re little soft in places but certainly acceptable.
After that came the cake cut and the first dance, followed by some night shots. I got some OK photos of the first dance and party groups but it’s tricky shooting with flash and its not my strong point so I’ve not featured many here.
Fortunately, we were all staying in Ibiza for a while, so I arranged a sunrise shoot soon after to try and get some sunrise shots with the rings. It was quite tricky but again, some nice results.
And that, as they say, was a wrap. Perhaps some of my proudest work I have ever done, and so nice to have done so for a family relative who I have known for 20 years since he was a boy, and his beautiful bride. I will forever be so delighted to have been asked to photograph this wedding. Proud life moment.