***Scroll down to go straight to the pics!***
2018 has been a pretty crazy year, and I will go out on a limb and say it was probably the best year of my life!
Since I started experimenting with wedding photography in 2014, I didn’t know if it was a career I would ever be able to pursue. After being diagnosed with Lymphedema in 2012, the swelling in my left leg got worse and worse as the years went by, to a point where at the end of 2017 I thought I would have to give up wedding photography all together due to the physical and mental struggles the condition caused. I was uncertain how detrimental standing up for 14 hours at a time on a regular basis would be, and it left me contemplating whether wedding photography was the right path for me.
At the start of 2018, I had a life changing operation which has (unbelievably) allowed me to think about the prospect of doing wedding photography again. After some time out and concentrating on my health, I was able to start my 2018 summer wedding season without as many anxieties and drawbacks as I had had before, and start to properly enjoy shooting and get stuck into it.
After attending an Alan Law workshop in February (my first ever photography workshop), I really found my love for the trade and actually thought about how I wanted to shoot and what I wanted my style to be, rather than being concerned with what everyone else was shooting or what the ‘trends’ were. Alan is an award winning reportage wedding photographer (if you don’t already know him, check him out – he’s awesome!) and he focuses on capturing the raw emotion at weddings, and worries less about whether everything looks ‘picture perfect’ and more about the emotive content and quality/meaning of the subject. I often found at weddings in the past I was worrying about ticking off some kind of checklist of photos in my head – the bride holding the bouquet, the wedding shoes and jewellery arranged all neatly, the groom holding the bride round her waist etc. But Alan made me realise that if you shoot what YOU like to shoot, you will attract clients that are on your level – fun, silly, up for a laugh, relaxed etc. I have realised that the people at weddings are more important than the stuff, and that you basically have to be a professional (moment) stalker and keep a constant look out for the connections between people, regardless of whether it’s ‘shit light’ or not.
Something else that happened last year (probably more interesting for photographers) was that I completely switched camera systems, from Canon to Sony. I have been around friends who have owned mirrorless cameras for the past few years, and I always marvelled at how small and light they were, and thought…how can they be as good as this chunky DSLR? Well folks, they’re just as good, and switching to a mirrorless system was an undeniably good decision (granted, an expensive one…), and I have never looked back. I still love my Canon 5D Mark iii, and don’t get me wrong the image quality is still just as good, but the lightweight handling, the touch screen, the electronic & silent shutter of the sony is just a game changer for me. Being able to be completely unobtrusive/silent during ceremonies and important moments at weddings has proved seriously helpful for capturing the emotion without disturbing or making clients feel aware that they are being photographed. So all of that has made shooting weddings more enjoyable too.
I have loved every single wedding in 2018 and I have met some really awesome people that have become friends rather than clients. So in no particular order, here are my 100 favourite captures.