Keeping up with blogging is proving to be somewhat difficult due to the schedule I’m currently in the middle of so here are a selection of images from three engagement sessions that I did with Caitlin and Tom, Claire and Mitchell and Simon and Tania. I find portrait sessions challenge me a little more than weddings because there’s nothing to really distract you from the two people in the images (nice flowers, dresses, suits, guests, etc), but it’s a refreshing thing to take on every now and then. But like I’ve said before, when the “wedding stuff” isn’t there, you’re left with the pure essence of why these two people are together – their relationship and love for each other.
I think one of our roles as photographers is to be able to show the true nature of the world and its people. Some of us like to make silly faces when others capture us while there are others who simply refuse to participate and put their hands in front of their face. But neither of these images are a true reflection of what we look like as humans – they’re simply moments in time where we’re aware of ourselves being recorded. Since Simon and I share a love of physics, I will use a scientific analogy to illustrate (or perhaps confuse). In Quantum Mechanics, there’s a well known principle that the moment we try and measure the state of things, the system is forever disturbed and not in the state it was before we tried to measure it (look up Schrodinger’s Cat). So taking an image when someone is aware we’re taking an image is in my mind not as real. Sure, there can be some amazing images that result out of a little direction and staging, but at the end of the day, they’re not true reflections of who we are.
Fiona and Simon are shy – perhaps the quietest people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in a long time. And they’re very much happy to not be the focus of attention which obviously makes things challenging when you have a wedding with your family and friends present. But somehow, they opened up and I feel like I captured them. I defied the laws of physics and measured a system without altering it. Their personalities are visible, more so perhaps because I actually know and relate to them, but I definitely think you can tell who they are. And I also feel like you can see the love and respect they have for each other in each of these images. That, I guess, is the exact reason I was asked to be there.
To be honest, when you’re at a wedding every week, there could be the expectation that you’ve seen pretty much everything that could happen. But not in my wildest dreams could I have expected to be involved in something like James and Lauren’s wedding. Over the space of two days, I had the opportunity to document something that I’ve never ever seen nor could possibly expect to see again – a circus wedding where every guest was dressed up, circus performers did amazing acts, a well trained dog brought the rings down the aisle and photographs with a motorbike that not only was the bride’s father’s labour of love, but in essence a family heirloom.
After over 10 years together, Lauren decided that 2012 (having a February 29th which traditionally was the day women are “allowed” to propose to their partners) was an apt opportunity to propose. She hung a banner on a bridge over a motorway and shocked the life out of James as they drove underneath. And here they were with beaming smiles, Lauren dressed as a showgirl and James as an circus ringmaster, getting married in The Spiegeltent surrounded by the most colourful set of guests the world will probably ever see.
I need to thank my awesome friend Ian who filled in at the last minute when Kristen was taken ill – he’d never photographed using Canon before but read the manual on the morning of the wedding to figure out where all the buttons were and took a whole bunch of amazing photographs which are intermingled in the images below.