It’s such a beautiful moment isn’t it?
But the shot above is one of the most difficult to get on the wedding day because there are several factors which conspire against us capturing this most significant of images.
For example, there’s spontaneous obstruction – we may find ourselves in a position which previously offered us a clear view of the proceedings but just at the crucial moment somone steps in our line of sight or more often than not, either the bride or groom’s own hands or fingers block our view of the ring being placed.
Achieving a relatively sharp image such as this with a nice blurry background of a split second moment from a suitably discreet distance also requires a professional level of technical skill, equipment and a little bit of luck to boot.
For this reason it would be foolish to fail to manage expectations by promising this sort of image to any of our brides, although we do always try our best to capture this moment and many others like it during the course of the wedding ceremony.
Needless to say, there are times when no amount of luck, skill or bribery is going to make this photograph appear in the happy couple’s wedding album because the photographic opportunity is never going to exist for them.
I’m referring of course to the restrictions that some members of the clergy or registrars place on photography at the wedding ceremonies over which they preside.
Before I continue, I must stress that I’m fully supportive of legitimate concerns that wedding officiants might have over matters of distraction and I’m sure that some ‘so-called’ professional wedding photographers have sullied the pond for the rest of us somewhat by acting irresponsibly in the pursuit of their duties.
For those officiants and wedding parties that have found themselves on the receiving end of such awful behaviour, you do have my sympathy.
What I do find a little harder to understand though, are the varying levels of liberalism that we’ve found since we started photographing couples’ happiest of days. We’ve worked in the smallest of churches and been given a free rein by vicars who have said, and I paraphrase ‘this is their day, I want them to have the best photographs they can possibly have’ and we’ve also been banned from taking photographs after the first hymn up to the signing of the register because, and I paraphrase again but I kid you not , without embellishment “it one of the most solemn moments in a person’s life, you wouldn’t photograph a person who was dying would you?’.
Two words – William and Kate.
Anyway, deep breath.
The object of this post is not ( just ) to vent about power-tripping registrars or vicars who don’t like or understand photography, it is to serve as a gentle warning to couples who are perhaps hoping to be able to add a photograph like the one above to their memories of their special day.
Please, please, please find out in advance whether your venue places any restrictions on photography during the ceremony BEFORE you book it because invariably you’ll be booking a photographer AFTER you’ve booked your venue and by then of course it may be too late.
With registry weddings it can be a little more difficult to plan ahead because you’ll never know exactly which registrar you’re likely to get on the big day, but it IS possible to enquire as to whether ANY of the registrars you’re likely to get do try to impose such restrictions.
There surely can be nothing worse once you, your groom, your family and all your guests are safely present at your wedding and you’re about to walk down the aisle than to have your photographer be asked to wait outside – not even allowed to attend the ceremony? Yes, this actually happened to a photographer I know very recently and it was this which prompted me to write this short but sweet post.
So brides-to-be, if you’d like to browse through your wedding photographs in years to come and be able to pause for recollection on those wonderful moments in which you and your beloved became husband and wife, please make sure and consider the above.
Oh and congratulations to you both! 😀