The benefit of having two Photographers

When I first started taking photographs at weddings I was working on my own, and although I gained experience over a long period of time, one factor remained the same I simply could not be in two places at once. So, when photographing a wedding service this would often mean I would be positioned in one place and it would be disruptive to proceedings if I wanted to move, especially in smaller venues. There would bound to be be missed opportunities for photographing something interesting, spontaneous and natural unfolding at the same time as I would be concentrating on one particularly situation.

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When my wife Jeanette first started to assist me it was to hold a photography boom supporting a soft box to provide ‘off camera’ lighting while shooting a few key shots. Again this is something a lone photographer cannot do. Over a period of years Jeanette’s role has changed completely. For example, if we are covering a full day then Jeanette will start the shoot with the groom and family while I work separately with the bridal party. This may mean we are in two different locations well away from each other and also from the service venue. When we do work together during the service, Jeanette is able to capture images from a completely different angle. We will both be changing lenses and capturing images that include close-up detail like the exchange of rings and moments of real emotion, but at the same time we can achieve wide shots that capture the grandeur and character of the location.

 

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When a music slide show of this part of the day is provided the couple enjoy seeing images from all angles. This creates a real sense of the full scope of the occasion. In addition, something might occasionally happen that can unexpectedly restrict a photography view point. This can be caused by the unexpected movement of the subject or supporting cast. To provide a recent example, at a wedding the vicar- a lovely man- lifted his papers up and in front of the couples’ faces face just as they shared their first kiss. So although I missed this key shot Jeanette captured it beautifully from her angle.

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During the speeches I will use a reasonably wide lens that can capture multiple people, faces and reactions. Jeanette at the same time will be using a long lens to capture close up reactions. Again when these images are combined they provides a unique record of these never to be repeated occasions.

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To conclude, and to return to the use of off camera lighting. Not many photographers this lighting technique at all, yet it can bring studio quality to a key contemporary images. We do this using the best equipment available, which means no speed lights- they are simply not controllable enough for us. We use powerful battery pack lighting, shooting though a diffused soft box to ensure that something special is captured.

As illustrated in the example below we aim for a result that one photographer working alone cannot achieve.

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The one down side to this approach is that people often believe that images on my website have been staged. This is not the case, it is the result of careful preparation, teamwork and a great deal of professional experience.

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