New Year, New Me!
It’s the start of a New Year, which brings with it the usual batch of New Year’s resolutions. Exercise more, eat less, and BLOG MORE!
2016 was a busy year for me, with a record number of weddings, and 3 house moves! Now settled in our new home, and with lots of essential home renovations already done it’s time for me to refocus on my business. Being a photographer isn’t just about taking great photos (though admittedly it’s a pretty important part of the job), it also involves running your own business as a self employed sole trader, and it’s probably the area I have most neglected over the years. Over the next few months I am planning to relaunch Cheryl George Photography. I’m not sure yet exactly what that will mean, but I’m really excited about it.
I asked someone whose opinion I really value for feedback on my website, and it was quite brutal (in a useful way). I’m not going to repeat everything he said, but I am slowly trying to act on his advice. You can expect a new website & blog in the next few months, but in the short term one of the first things he suggested was removing a load of photos from my galleries. I had over 200 photos in my wedding portfolio which I accept may have been slightly excessive. Retiring photos from here is a bit like saying goodbye to some dear old friends, and indeed many of my clients have become good friends. Some of the photos were from weddings I had photographed 10 years ago, and as you might hope, my photography has changed and improved over the years, so they probably don’t represent the best of my work. Just because I remember how cute that kid was, or remember how gorgeously romantic a couple were, doesn’t mean the photos have the same impact on people viewing them for the first time.
Before I do my brutal cull and bid farewell, I wanted to share some of the photos on here and explain the stories behind them, as I do think they represent who I am, and the moments I have found to be special. I hope you like them.
This is one of my favourite parts of the day, the calm before everything gets very busy. I love spending this time with the bride and her closest girl friends, and I consider it a real privilege to be allowed to be part of this non-public part of the day. I’ve been known to put my camera away to help with the dress, find the missing jewellery, or just bring a glass of water to calm some nerves. When Amisha sent me a text the day after her wedding to tell me that I’d felt like her 5th bridesmaid, I couldn’t have felt more chuffed. I love it when the bride and groom get ready at the same venue as I can spend some time with the groom too. It’s always far more chaotic in the boy’s room!
3rd row, left image: The bride is given the thumbs up by her son, while her daughter the bridesmaid looks on. The bride’s brother pretended he wasn’t impressed, but he was so proud of his sister on her wedding day.
Every ceremony is different, and vicars in churches have very different and very clear rules about what you are allowed to do, and where you are allowed to stand. Sometimes it’s very frustrating to be told that I’m not allowed to take any photos during the service, or that I have to photograph the entire ceremony from the back of the church, but I always respect their rules and abide by them. I have heard too many horror stories about other photographers who have ignored these rules, leading to a very hacked off vicar who then just makes life harder for the next unsuspecting photographer who walks through the door. Even if I am given a great spot to stand in I am conscious that this is a church service, and would never use flash or walk around during the ceremony. My favourite moment is after the exchange of rings when they are pronounced husband and wife. I love the cheeky look they give each other which seems to say”we’ve done it, we’re married, yay!”
Fun & laughter
Although I spend time on a wedding day photographing the key moments such as the ceremony, the speeches, the first dance, the cake cut etc, a large chunk of my time is spent looking around for interesting moments to photograph, usually without the subject even knowing that they are being photographed. A good wedding generates a lot of laughter, and I love capturing these moments. Looking back at photos from your own wedding day is there anything better than seeing your friends and family having a really good time?
Who doesn’t love a good speech. The one time I have dropped my camera at a wedding was after a brilliant speech given by the bride’s father. I had to applaud with everyone else and promptly dropped my camera and broke my flashgun. Oops. Lucky I had a spare one in my bag… I have been known to cry at speeches, I can’t help getting emotionally involved sometimes.
I’m photographing more and more weddings now where the couple already have children, and there’s nothing cuter than a toddling bridesmaid or page boy all dressed up in a bow tie. It’s then always a priority for me to ensure I get plenty of photos of them, as I know the parents will really cherish the photos of their little ones on their big day.
After the cake has been eaten and the bouquet has wilted, photographs will always be there to preserve the personalised details you spent so long choosing.
The couple themselves
Perhaps most importantly of all, you’ll need some gorgeous shots of the two of you. Some posed, looking straight at the camera, some more relaxed, and lots where you’ll look lovingly into each other’s eyes!
Thank you to every couple who have invited me to share their day with them. It was a privilege and an honour.
I hope you’ve enjoyed looking through some of my favourite photos. If you’d like a chat about your own wedding photography please get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.
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