Tripping the Light Fantastic (Part 1)

I don’t photograph weddings. I’m happy to leave that to people who specialise in that field, but I couldn’t resist family appeals to take my camera when my beautiful step-daughters’ weddings happened recently.

A little while ago I attended a family wedding – my step-niece and Paul Panting, the actor. It was an informal reception & disco in a local gastro-pub with a small band and was very lively with more laughter than I can remember at any previous wedding I’ve attended.  Paul & Sophie had asked me to take some personal photographs, but as I wasn’t the principal photographer, I was just able to shoot informal images & especially liked the atmosphere of the First Dance  by the young couple.

Both my step-daughters know my dislike of shooting formal weddings, so had asked me to perform a similar function of informal shooting when they married. In each event I made a special effort with the First Dance as it seems packed with almost as much emotion as the slipping of the ring onto the bride’s finger at the Ceremony – and is much more accessible and with dimmed and moody lighting makes for more interesting pictures.

Many amateur photographers (or their automatic cameras) will take one look at the lighting and think – this needs flash – and in using flash will swamp the lighting which is helping to create the romantic atmosphere they think they want to capture. However, most automatic cameras are now able to operate at a higher ISO than the standard or default setting, so if it is possible to utilise the existing or ambient light in this way then it becomes easier to convey the atmosphere of the moment.

Here is a selection from each wedding (Tripping the Light Fantastic Parts 2 & 3) – in the one it was more romantic and intense and the other was almost a dress rehearsal for Strictly Come Dancing. Each needed a slightly different approach – see if you can see which is which!

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