Peter Hurley inspired me!

As a photographer, weddings aren't always in the diary, you have to be available and willing to do almost any job. However, i choose to branch out a bit to try and get some inspiration from other areas of photographer to improve my wedding photography. 

I have booked in two headshot job, one of which im yet to do, in order to get a better understanding of posing faces and hands. The clients has no experience in front of a professional, given that its 2016 selfies is what most people are used to, so I took the opportunity to sharpen my portraiture skills. 

The Challenges;

                           It wasn't easy for me to do this and I faced many challenges, first of all i didnt have full creative control because my client, Danny, had criteria from his agency to which i had to follow but just add my own style into the mix. One of the challenges i face was the background i wanted to use, you will see when i post the final images, i used a sunset background which mixed well with his skin tones and i thought added to the images. Another challenge was gettin the facial expression right, i didnt want him to be smiling so much that his face screwed up. I wanted to him to smile with his eyes though .  

Top Tips for Preparing a Great Best Man Speech...

There aren't too many rules here and but are some guidelines you may want to follow if you don't want to embarrass yourself and/or insult anyone. I will also give a few line you can include in your own speech.

  1. It's a Wedding - It's not all about the stag and speech there is more to your role, keep that in mind.
  2. Be Thoughtful - why not buy a nice bottle of champagne or wine for the honeymoon suite for after the wedding. Offer to pay for your own suit or the hire? 
  3. Take the Stress - Unfortunately, you are there for the entire day from prep till the tidying up. like tip 1 it's not just about the speech and stag. You should be the go to guy unless it's a real emergency the groom should know of anything that has turned up late.
  4.  Be Prepared - Show that you care about the wedding as much as the groom, get everyone's number from the bridesmaids to the vendors. keep the bride and groom hydrated and make sure the vendors have all paid and been fed and have what they need to do what they were hired to do.
  5. Keep your speech short and sweet and avoid awkward stories that are funny ' by the bar' stories, to a minimum. the aunts and uncles and grandparents don't want to hear about the newlyweds' sex life. Also its generally a good idea not to bring up any ex's during your speech.

MY Top Tips for being a good Maid Of Honor...

There are some questions that dont get asked about weddings. Usually the only contact the photographer has is with the bride and not many other people, perhaps just the brides mother and father, and of course the groom. However, on the day there is a huge role that can be overlooked which can cause some confused as ive seen first hand. This role can be hugely important at some weddings more than others, and that is the maid of honor. For alot of people, whether its their first time or not being part of the bridal train, may not necessarily know what they can do to help the bride. So here are my top 5 tips to help be the best Maid of honor you can be. 

                  Wedding planning really can take over your life so be supportive and give honest opinions about the ideas she is giving you. When the bride asks you about the centre   peices for the table AGAIN, don't roll your eyes give her your honest opinion about them. Saying do what you want its your day is not what most brides want to hear when she has a million and one things running through her head about what could go wrong and what isit done. 
  2. Be her go to girl...

            The final few moments before a bride walks down the aisle can be her most nerve-wracking, so do your best to help keep her calm. Make it clear to everyone that you should be the first point of call when things go wrong, and only get the bride involved in true emergencies – she doesn’t need to know that the cake topper has gone missing or that the best man’s zip has just broken. Shield her from stresses at all costs and she’ll be eternally grateful afterwards.

  3. Make time for her...

      This is related to the first point. Your bride will always appreciate you making space in your diary for planning chats, and you should try your utmost to be available for all important appointments. If you can’t make it, be genuine and apologetic – try not to give the bride the impression that her big day doesn’t matter to you.

  4. Be a bridesmaid ALL day

    You're the maid of honour from the moment you wake up on the big day of the wedding to the moment you go to bed. Don’t forget about your duties after the ceremony is done and dusted e.g continue to be helpful throughout the reception and evening. do things like getting signatures for the guest book, making sure the suppliers have been paid and that granny has caught her taxi home.

  5. Ward off jitters

    Many brides will start to panic that they haven’t made the right decisions in the last few weeks. Banish all talk of ‘have I got the right dress?’ and ‘is the venue good enough?’ and reassure her that she’s made the right choices. If she’s seriously having second thoughts, talk it through calmly with her and make sure she’s thinking rationally before making any major changes.

I Took A Step Out My Comfort Zone!

I've been doing weddings and birthday for so long you get used to the experience and you know what will happen and when. At the weekend I took a job photographing a newborn. Now that might sound like it's not a big deal but its a completely different area of photography I explored.  It might sound simple and straight forward because newborns don't do much apart from sleep how could it be an issue. Their different issues you have to overcome which I found out on Sunday.

Photographing a newborn requires a lot of patience and planning. I did research before I took the photos and there were things I'd never of imagined I needed to prepare on the list. Things like feeding the baby before the shoot to make sure they are comfortable and sleeping. Things like what fabrics are made out of, flash or continuous lights, what the mum was comfortable with in terms of posing as babies as we all know seem more fragile that we think. 

The problems I had on that particular day was that the baby was blocked up and couldn't lay on her tummy for long before she started crying, also she wanted a feed half way through the shoot. There isn't much you can do about this apart from going back another day when she is feeling 100% and just wait for her to finish feeding. One of the props we intended to use wasn't working because she didn't like to be exposed to the air for too long, so the temperature of the room is vital for a comfortable baby. We had to abandon that idea and keep her wrapped up nice and warm and tight. 

 I myself had thought it was going to be easier than it was to take these types of photos but to get a baby to look like they're smiling or to pose them in such a way is very difficult. Compared to wedding photography it's much harder without a portfolio of newborn work to convince them it's safe to do some poses and you're not hurting the baby. All in all though it was successful and it looks like we got some great shots. I will ask teh mother if its ok to post a few photos on here so you can see the outcome.